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Ref CN15

Backroad cycling FranceTHE ALSACE WINE ROUTE Leisurely cycling through vineyards and villages on the border between France and Germany

Hopla Geiss ! Let’s go ! En route to discover one of the most endearing regions of France. The course of history has left its mark on the Alsace, caught between two world wars, two cultures, and two often belligerent countries. Alsace's terrific human and cultural richness is drawn from this permanent “yo-yo” between France and Germany. When in Alsace, one feels neither one side of the border, nor the other. Simply in Alsace! And what if we allowed ourselves to be drawn in by the clichés ? With its numerous quaint flowered villages, its orderly and neat vineyards covering the slopes of the Vosges foothills, its vast meadows on the Alsatian Ried, it’s easy to see why the region has such a strong identity. And of course everything looks better from the saddle of a bicycle ! This trip takes us between Strasbourg and Colmar, passing on our way through some of the “most beautiful villages of France”, as well as taking in the quiet cycle lanes close to the Rhine. One of the France Bike Trips team’s favourite areas...

Self-guided tour: from 565€ - Details Duration : 7 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 1 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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Highlights

  • The Rhine Valley, and some of the most beautiful villages in France
  • The prestigious wines of Alsace
  • The charm of medieval towns and villages
  • The peaceful Alsatian Ried
  • Cities of Strasbourg, Obernai and Colmar
  • The lovely cycle paths of the Alsace Wine Route

Description


Day 1: Strasbourg

Itinerary start: France Bike Trips services begin late afternoon on day 1 at your hotel in Strasbourg.

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Strasbourg.

Arrival in Strasbourg where we settle into our hotel before taking the opportunity to visit this superb city. Its rich and troubled history has left a remarkable architectural heritage, and the entire town centre, situated on the Grande Île, is a Unesco World Heritage site since 1988. The Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral and the beautiful Petite France district are of particular interest. Home to numerous European institutions, Strasbourg is often described as the "capital of Europe". A major university and cultural city, Strasbourg also has many museums. The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art will be of particular interest to art aficionados. The city also has a particularly prominent cycling culture. Keep your eyes peeled while moving around the city, as bikes often have priority on the streets of Strasbourg! The city is a real pleasure to discover with its small streets, traditional bakeries that make delicious bretzels, and café terraces serving the many varieties of local beer.

Day 2: Strasbourg - Region of Sélestat

For this first day of cycling we make the most of the great Canal du Rhône au Rhin cycle track which leads us gently out of Strasbourg. We're on the western edge of the Alsatian Grand Ried: an immense flood plain bordered by the Ill to the west and the Rhine to the east, and characterised by its luxuriant vegetation. The term Ried comes from "Rieth" which means "reed" in Alemannic German. There is water everywhere here, in the form of a dense network of small rivers and streams, whose sources rise directly from the ground water. The abundance of water offers a rich natural environment, completely different from the landscape of the Vosges foothills and the Alsace vineyards. We get a great first taste of this superb area, with some beautiful buildings such as the Ebersmunster baroque church. Sélestat also offers plenty to see: the Saint Georges Church, the synagogue, the Sainte Foy Roman Church and the Tour de l'Horloge (clock tower).

Distance covered: from 35 to 55 km depending on the location of your accommodation (Sand, Sermersheim or Selestat, according to category and availability); altitude gain: negligible.

Day 3: Region of Sélestat - Colmar

We continue our route across the Alsace Plain. Leaving Sélestat, we head south once again, along the border with Germany. Through a mix of small forests and farmland, we follow the Rhine upstream towards Colmar. With its source in Switzerland (not far from Liechtenstein), the Rhine finishes its 1320 km journey in Rotterdam, where it flows into the North Sea. For those with enough energy, there is an option to ride on to Neuf Brisach, a fortified Vauban town and Unesco world heritage site (10 km extra). After Marckolsheim, we turn and head west to join Colmar. The town is well worth an extended visit, and our early arrival leaves plenty of time to explore once you've settled into your accommodation. Colmar is considered the capital of the Alsace wines, as well as the most alsatian of the Alsace towns! The 17th century Maison des Têtes, the Dominican Church, and the collegiat Saint Martin Church are not to be missed. The "Little Venice" quarter, on the banks of the Lauch, is an ideal spot for a peaceful and romantic stroll…

Distance covered: from 35 to 55 km depending on the location of your previous night's accommodation; altitude gain: negligible

Day 4: Colmar - Guebwiller

A network of tracks leads us to the foot of the Grand Ballon. Culminating at 1424 metres, the Grand Ballon is the highest summit in the Vosges. Sometimes called the Ballon de Guebwiller, it's a popular cross country and alpine skiing destination. The first vineyards appear as we approach the mountain, offering a diifferent Alsace to the one we've seen so far… Once settled into our hotel, we can take the opportunity to discover the ruins of the Murbach Benedictine abbey a few kilometres from Guebwiller. Of the Saint Leger abbatial church, only the chevet and the chancel remain, but both are particularly impressive, and give a sacred feel to the village and its surroundings. Night in Guebwiller.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / altitude gain: approx. 200 m
For the out and back trip to the Murbach Abbey add 10 km and 150 m of altitude gain.

Day 5: Guebwiller - Region of Riquewihr

Today marks a turning point in our tour: it's the end of the Alsace Plain… replaced by the foothills of the Vosges and an abundance of vineyards. The Alsace wine producing area is actually very narrow: a mere 3 kilometres wide, and a hundred kilometres in length, protected from the wind and the rain by the Vosges. Today is also the start of a succession of great Alsace wines! It would be impossible to name them all, but the most famous are Eguisheim, Turckheim, Kaysersberg, Mittelwihr, Riquewihr… Aside from the prestige the famous vineyards bring to the Alsace, they also provide ample work for the local population, helping to keep villages from falling into decline. Each peaceful and quiet village is marked by its slender church steeple and its beautiful tall houses. Characteristic of the Alsace is the proximity between one village and the next, offering a varied and rythmical feel to each day. Our overnight stop along the wine route is in Riquewihr.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / altitude gain: approx. 400 m.

Day 6: Region of Riquewihr - Obernai

From wine villages, to vintage wines, and some of the most beautiful villages in France, the area certainly has plenty to offer! We stop off in Bergheim, one of the most beautiful villages in the Alsace: the 14th century Porte Haute, the parish church with its Gothic chancel that dates back to 1347, as well as its ramparts and numerous turrets offer a pleasant visit… On the riding side, although the tour is relatively gentle, today offers its fair share of climbs. For the fittest members of the group, there’s the opportunity to ride to the Haut Koenigsbourg Château. The 12th century château is perched at 757 metres, high above the Alsace Plain (our route is at only 200 metres above sea level…). Visible since leaving Sélestat, the château watches over us for the best part of the day. As we gain altitude in the foothills of the Vosges, the plains of the Rhine and the Ried slowly open up before us. We pass through the pretty village of Dambach la Ville: with its colourful facades and multicoloured flower arrangments, the fortified town is a typical example of alsatian architecture. But there are plenty more to follow! Other great vintages await us along our route, in Mittelbergheim (Zotzenberg) and Andlau (Kastelberg and Wiebelsberg). We pass through the village of Barr, where the vintage Kirchberg wine is made on the forty hectares of vineyards overlooking the village, before joining our overnight stop: Obernai, a beautiful village with its fine half-timbered houses and its abundance of flowers. Once settled into our hotel, we take the time to discover the town’s small medieval streets…


Distance covered: approx. 50 km / altitude gain: approx. 450 m.

Day 7: Obernai - Strasbourg

Our last stage takes us north along a series of small country lanes. In Rosheim, we discover the Saint Pierre et Paul church, jewel of Alsace's Romanesque architecture. We also pass the residence of the Bugatti family (the family of the famous car manufacturer is from a small village to the south of Molsheim). As with many of the villages during this tour, Molsheim is full of wonderful flower displays. Don't miss the superb géraniums which decorate the imposing buildings in the town centre. Molsheim is also steeped in history: a Merovingian tomb, a Gallo Roman tombstone, and the ruins of the town's 14th century fortifications make for an interesting visit. In Molsheim we pick up the Canal de la Bruche cycle track which leads us right to the heart of the European capital, Strasbourg. France Bike Trips services end in Strasbourg mid-afternoon.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / Altitude gain: negligible

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: France Bike trips services end mid afternoon on the last day in Strasbourg.

On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Strasbourg.

Average tour rating:

5/5 - 1 Reviews
Tom B. | Participant rating:
"fantastic - i put it together but worthy of you to consider for those that want a more upmarket experience"
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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
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Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message