Bicycling the Vineyards of Alsace Plus! the Black Forest

  • Itinerary Summary

    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.

    ***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.

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    1. 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.

      Distance: Test Ride. Meals: D

      Lodging: Hotel Maison Rouge-Strasbourg

    2. 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 Bouxwiller and Dettwiller and where you'll want to stop for some pictures and perhaps an 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 which was also once the residence of the bishops of Strasbourg. After admiring the quaint streets and half-timbered architecture.

      Distance: about 60 km (about 37 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Chez Jean

    3. 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.

      Distance: 52 km (32 miles) plus hill rides for those who wish. Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier in Obernai

    4. 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.

      Distance: 37-58 km (23-36 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier in Obernai

    5. 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). The villages have populations that range from 400 people to the 5,000 in the town of Ribeauvillé.

      Distance: 51-71 km (32-44 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

    6. 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.

      Distance: 41 km (25 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

    7. 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. We'll stop at the Maison du Fromage and learn how Munster cheese is made. 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.

      Distance: 44 km (27 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier - Colmar

    8. Day 8: Freiburg

      Highlights: Freiburg

      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'.

      Distance: 60-70 km (37-43 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Oberkirch

    9. Day 9: Freiburg

      Highlights: Guided bike tour of Freiburg

      We'll explore Freiburg by bike together on a guided city tour. You will explore the green city Freiburg with an alternative concept of mobility and lots of renewable energy, and leave you plenty of time to explore on your own. Or for those who really want to pedal and climb we have the perfect ride for you to tackle on your own.

      Distance: 0-45 km (0-28 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Oberkirch

    10. Day 10: Baiersbronn

      Highlights: Center of Germany's Haute Cuisine

      After leaving Freiburg, we'll follow the Elz river deep into the Black Forest on our way to Baiersbronn. It's a long ride and you will be well rewarded tonight at dinner because Baiersbronn is famous as a center of haute cuisine. According to the New York Times, "Baiersbronn is now on its way to becoming recognized as the world's most unexpected restaurant capital." You can form your own opinions at our dinner together!

      Distance: 114 km (71 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Hotel Sackmann

    11. Day 11: Baiersbronn

      Highlights: Hike or Bike into the Black Forest

      You could enjoy a spa day, or hike one of the great trails around Baiersbronn, but if you really want to challenge yourself we recommend taking the optional hilly ride along the Black Forest High Road also known as the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse - your legs will tell you how the road got its name! Enjoy the views, waterfalls, narrow hidden valleys and the spectacular ruins of the Allerheiligen Monastery.

      Distance: 74 km (46 miles). Meals: B

      Lodging: Hotel Sackmann

    12. 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.

      Distance: 45km (28 miles). Meals: B, D

      Lodging: Atlantic Parkhotel

    13. Day 13: Tour ends in Baden-Baden

      Highlights: Baden-Baden

      Stick around this morning for a special guided tour of Baden-Baden's casino, with its rich 250 year history. You might also want to consider an extra day or two in this fabulous town. Whatever your plans enjoy!

      Meals: B

    • 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

      Use of a quality 27-30 speed bicycle; 13 days, 12 nights accommodation; 8 dinners with wine, 12 breakfasts; Gruyere cheese tasting; 2 to 3 bilingual tour leaders; van support; plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

      France, Germany
    • Begin/End

      Strasbourg / Baden Baden
    • Arrive/Depart

      Paris (CDG) / Frankfurt (FRA)
    • Total Distance

      533-646km (329-399 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      48 - 59km (30-36 miles) average for 11 riding days
    • Rating

    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes
    Jul 8-20, 2018 USD$5400 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 Book it
    Aug 12-24, 2018 USD$5600 USD$650 Book by November 15th and save $200 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 private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • This was an amazing tour. The routes were just right, the climbs were lots of fun and the scenery was beautiful. Our guides took great care of us and the food and accommodations were great. I definitely liked the riding, but relaxing in a nice hotel and enjoying a great dinner at the end of the day was wonderful.

      Shelley M., Scottsdale, AZ
    • Beautiful villages and scenery. Wonderful wine. Yummy pork dishes and some steep hills.

      Betsy I., Boulder, CO
    • I''m sure any trip could be improved but this one was superb beginning to end!

      Jack I., Boulder, CO
    • You guys are the best.

      Bill H., Miwaukee, WI
    • Beautiful bike paths, fantastic food, and wonderful small French and German villages!

      Carol D.,
    • Beautiful villages, great local food, great local wines, great guides. The best way in the world to travel. Slow enough to stop along the way to see the sights that you want. Fast enough to cover more ground than just walking.

      William W., Mt Pleasant, SC
    • Variety of scenery from the charming wine villages of the Alsace to the broad vistas and dense forests of the Black Forest; mix of cultures; great cycling including lots of bike paths; interesting cities to visit.

      Linda M., Livermore, CA
    • Phenomenal, Wonderful roads, picturesque villages and great food.

      Peter K., Williston, VT
    • 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

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