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Experience Plus - Bicycle Tours since 1972
Cycling the Vineyards of Alsace Plus! the Black Forest
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Bicycle Tours in France: Cycling the Vineyards of Alsace Plus! the Black Forest

Alsace is arguably the most unique region of France. As a place that has changed hands 5 times between France and Germany over the last 150 years, it is now a cultural crossroads where French finesse meets German gusto. Tucked between the Vosges Mountains and the Rhine River the region enjoys a perfect balance between architecture, nature, and gastronomy. Although officially located in France, the Alsatians have a distinct identity and refuse to be grouped with neither the French from the "interior" or the Germans across the Rhine river. Join us as we explore the wine roads and villages of Alsace.

Next we move into Germany and enjoy 2,000 year old thermal baths, the center of Germany's haute cuisine, wineries, beer gardens, and some spectacular rides through magical villages. There is also the option to hike on Day 11.

***If this sounds great but you don't have time for the full tour, check out our Cycling the Vineyards of Alsace tour, which features the first 8 days of this itinerary.

Day 1: Meet in Strasbourg

Highlights: Strasbourg, Capital of Alsace

We gather at our starting hotel this afternoon and fit bicycles. As host to many of the European Union's institutions, this town is alive with activity and has a UNESCO classified historic city center as well. A crossroads between Germany and France, we encourage you to arrive early to visit this historic and politically vibrant town. The Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral was started in 1015 AD and now stands as one of France's most famous architectural masterpieces. The glowing pink stone comes from the nearby Vosges Mountains and it was the world's tallest building until 1874. Strasbourg is full of architectural gems as well as quaint quarters such as the La Petite France, often called the little Venice of the north with its canals, revolving bridges, and typical Alsatian-style buildings. We'll suggest a warm up ride this afternoon after we fit bicycles and before we meet for introductions and a welcome dinner.

Lodging: Hotel Maison Rouge-Strasbourg

Day 2: Ride to Saverne

Highlights: Alsatian Countryside, bike paths

We leave Strasbourg today via side streets, bike paths, and the serene Canal de la Marne au Rhin - part of the vast network of canals that crisscross Europe north of the Alps. Pedaling west over rolling hills, you'll pass through several beautiful villages including Issenhausen and Bouxwiller and where you'll want to stop for some pictures and perhaps and Alsatian lunch. Our route then leads us to the charming town of Saverne, laced by canals and the Zorn River. Saverne boasts an impressive Neo-Classical chateau formerly a fortress and now the residence of the bishops of Strasbourg. After admiring the quaint streets and half-timbered architecture we'll enjoy a special Alsatian dinner together tonight. Daily Mileage: about 60km (about 37 miles).

Lodging: Chez Jean

Day 3: Ride the bike path to Molsheim and beyond to Obernai

Highlights: Marmoutier, Molsheim, Marlenheim, Alsatian "Wine Road"

We enter the heart of the Alsatian vineyards today as we leave the pasture lands of the north. First we pass through the village of Marmoutier with its 12th Century Romanesque Church and head on to Marlenheim and Molsheim. The majority of our ride today is on a bicycle path along the famous Alsace Wine Route. You are entering rich wine country today, so you'll have ample opportunities to taste at small family-run wineries, but be sure to save yourself for our guided winery tour in Obernai this evening. Daily Mileage: 52 km (32 miles) plus hill rides for those who wish.

Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier

Day 4: Rest day visiting Obernai or ride to Mont Ste Odile

Highlights: Alsatian wine villages and vineyards, views of the Vosges Mountains

We'll be back in the same hotel tonight so you can follow our recommended route to Mont Ste Odile, high in the Vosges Mountains with spectacular views, or enjoy a rest day off the bike. Obernai has a beautifully preserved medieval and Renaissance city center with plenty of sites to visit. Dinner is on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 37-58 km (23-36 miles)

Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier

Day 5: Bicycle the Alsace Wine Road

Highlights: Wine Villages of Riquewihr, Ribeauvillé and the Castle of Haut-Koenigsburg

We really are in the heart of Alsace today, with its festive villages in the midst of vineyards, Renaissance house facades, and expansive views across the Rhine River Valley, and the Haut Koenigsbourg castle. Those who want to can visit the castle, then explore any number of the sixteen villages of the local consortium on the way to our hotel in the center of Riquewihr (Bergheim is probably the best preserved while Thannenkirch is famous for its wood working). The villages have populations that range from 400 people to the 5,000 in the town of Ribeauvillé. Dinner is together. Daily Mileage: 51-71 km (32-44 miles)

Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

Day 6: Pedal the Rhine Plain today or into the Vosges Mountains

Highlights: The festive villages of the Alsace Wine Road

You are in the same hotel again tonight so you can choose your ride today. We'll mark a beautiful ride going up into the mountains. Those who prefer a more challenging ride can continue on to the Col du Linge where you can visit the memorial of this World War I battlefield, which is a testimony to the "war of the trenches". An exhilarating downhill takes you through Orbey and back to Riquewihr. Daily Mileage: 41 km (25 miles). Dinner on your own this evening.

Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

Day 7: Colmar

Highlights: Gorgeous Munster Valley, La Maison du Fromages

Perhaps the best known town on your route today is Munster, founded by evangelizing Irish monks in the 7th century A.D. They brought their cheese making skills with them and created one of the most famous cheeses in France. Plan on a lunch stop here, or continue on to Colmar to explore the canals, museums, and great shopping. Colmar has been a famous market and wine center since the 13th century. Enjoy dinner together this evening near your hotel located in the heart of historic Colmar. Daily Mileage: 44 km (27 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Le Rapp or Hotel Le Colombier

Day 8: Freiburg

Highlights: Frieburg

Freiburg is without doubt one of Germany's most beautiful cities. That's not only because of its splendid colorful houses, or the impressive cathedral, but because it is also is a gorgeous city for shopping. And of course everywhere you will find the old "Bächle" an unusual system of gutters that run throughout its center. These Bächle, were once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock. They have a constant flow of water diverted from the Dreisam River and were never intended to remove sewage, and even in the Middle Ages such use would lead to harsh penalties. During the summer, the running water provides a natural form of air conditioning, and offers a pleasant gurgling sound. It is said that if one accidentally falls or steps into a Bächle, they will marry a Freiburger, or 'Bobbele'. Dinner is together tonight. Daily Mileage: 60-70 km (37-43 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Oberkirch

Day 9: Freiburg

Highlights: Explore town or option ride to the Kaiserstuhl

Today you decide whether you prefer to explore the Freiburg squares, cathedral, brewery with beer-garden or start your shopping tour at the Historical Merchants Hall. Or for those who really want to pedal and climb we have the perfect ride for you. The "Tour" of Freiburg is reminiscent of a Flemish classic stage, with beautiful climbs and gorgeous views. Our ride will take us around the Kaiserstuhl, Tuniberg, and Batzenberg and is considered to be the best road bike route in the area featuring small country roads, climbs, riding through Germany's smallest wine region the Tuniberg, past the Atilla-Rock (supposedly Attila the Hun was buried here). Dinner is on your own. Daily Distance: 62 km (38 miles) and 2400 feet of climbing.

Lodging: Hotel Oberkirch

Day 10: Baiersbronn

Highlights: Center of Germany's Haute Cuisine

Baiersbronn is famous as a center of haute cuisine in Germany, having 8 Michelin stars in total. According to the New York Times, Baiersbronn has the same number of Michelin three-star restaurants as London and twice as many as Chicago. They add, "Baiersbronn is now on its way to becoming recognized as the world's most unexpected restaurant capital." Dinner is together tonight. Daily Distance: 90km (56 miles).

Lodging: Hotel Restaurant Pappel

Day 11: Baiersbronn

Highlights: Hike or bike into the Black Forest

Enjoy a spa, or hike one of the great trails around Baiersbronn, but if you really want to build your appetite for a grand dinner in this tiny Mecca of haute cuisine, bike the Black Forest and climb the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse also known as the Black Forest High Road - your legs will tell you why! Enjoy the views, waterfalls, narrow hidden valleys and the spectacular ruins of a the Allerheiligen Monastery. Dinner is on your own. Daily Distance: 75km (46 miles) 3850 feet of climbing.

Lodging: Hotel Restaurant Pappel

Day 12: Baden-Baden

Highlights: 2000 year old thermal baths

Baden-Baden used to be called the "European Summer-Capital" due to the number of nobles and wealthy that came to spend the summer here. But this international cultural center charms its visitors all year round. Be sure to visit its sophisticated thermal baths. The modern Caracalla Spa and the Friedrich's Spa offer wellness and relaxation while the "Festspielhaus" and the Frieder Brurda Museum are the cultural stimulants. And of course you should not miss an evening in the oldest and most beautiful Casino of Germany. Dinner together tonight. Daily Distance: 45km (28 miles).

Lodging: Atlanta Parkhotel

Day 13: Tour ends in Baden-Baden

Highlights: Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden is a fabulous town so consider an extra day or two here. Whatever your plans enjoy!
  • Highlights
    Some of France's best cuisine, Parc Regional des Vosges du Nord, Alsatian villages, The Wine Road, Pedal from France to Germany and back to France, Saverne, Colmar, Wine tasting, Freiburg, Baiersbronn - Center of Germany's Haute Cuisine, Baden Baden
  • Includes
    "The Usual" plus... Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 13 days, 12 nights accommodation; 8 dinners with wine, 12 breakfasts; 2 to 3 bilingual tour leaders; van support
  • Countries
    Germany, France
  • Begin/End
    Strasbourg / Baden Baden
  • Arrive/Depart
    Paris (CDG), Zurich (ZRH) Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Total Distance
    596-707km (368-436 miles)
  • Daily Distance
    54 - 64km (33-40 miles) average for 11 riding days
  • What to Expect
    A unique part of France and Germany. Enjoy world famous wines, traditional Alsatian architecture, the Black Forest. Quiet country lanes and bike paths perfect for cycling.
  • Rating
  • Notes
  • Terms
Dates Price Single
Supplement*
Notes Next
Step
Aug 31 - Sep 12, 2014 $4925 $650 Sold Out Book It
Jun 28 - Jul 10, 2015 $5200 $650 Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. Book It
Aug 16 - 28, 2015 $5200 $650 Book by November 15th and Save $200, per person. Book It
*We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the single supplement rate. This fee will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available this fee will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

Click on the "pins" for details about each day's highlights.

Map Key

Green pinStart
Yellow pinCity (on route)
Red pinEnd
Other city dotCity (not part of route, provided for reference)
How would you describe this tour to a friend? Very well-planned, superior tour guides, beautiful area (Alsace), varied terrain, interesting participants.
Lee and Sherrye C., Arvada, CO
This was a really great tour! ExperiencePlus! has done another great job in choosing leaders, location, routes...everything.
Lori S., Edinburg, TX
The bikes are absolutely wonderful to ride, and the dinners were very good and varied. Do this ride, you will love it!
Julie S., Blue Island, IL
One of the best tours in Europe. Beautiful countryside, charming villages, distinctive architecture, quiet roads and bike paths, culinary delights, good wines, varied terrain.
David F., Columbia, MD
Truthfully, there were many favorite experiences on this trip. Let me see if I can give a few examples: the dinners were all unique and wonderful, and tasty; the wine tasting was fun and educational; picon beer and tarte flambe; the storks; the Maginot line tour & other historic stuff; the many charming villages we rode through that had the charms of Alsace--from flowers, to colors, to the squares, to people, etc. I loved Alsace, and would go back, and would encourage others to visit it.
Patti F., Rochester, NY
Great tour! Beautiful routes, quaint villages, great food and wine.
Cheryl P., Livonia, MI