Bicycling the Vineyards of Alsace Plus! the Black Forest

Bicycling 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.

***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.

There are no upcoming tours scheduled at this time.

Tour Style: Classic Hold A Space Request Private Departure Download Itinerary Tour Map
  • Trip At-A-Glance
  • Tour Summary
  • Daily Itinerary
  • Travel Information
  • Map
  • Reviews
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Trip At-A-Glance

Trip At-A-Glance

  • Length / 13 Days
  • Total Distance / 533-646km (329-399 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 48 - 59km (30-36 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / France, Germany
  • Begin/End / Strasbourg / Baden Baden
  • Price / From USD$5850
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Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Some of France's best cuisine, Parc Regional des Vosges du Nord, Alsatian villages, The Wine Road, Pedal from France to Germany, Saverne, Colmar, Wine tasting, Freiburg, Baiersbronn - Center of Germany's Haute Cuisine, Baden Baden
  • Includes
    13 days, 12 nights accommodation; 8 dinners with wine, 12 breakfasts; Gruyere cheese tasting; Baden Baden casino visit; and the usual (see below).

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Paris (CDG), Zurich (ZRH) Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA)
  • Overall Tour Level
    3.0 difficulty level 3.0
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    65km / 520m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    3
    50km / 463m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    27km / 595m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 3.0
    5
    66km / 1066m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    6
    41km / 819m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 3.5
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    7
    47km / 404m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    8
    61km / 527m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    9
    46km / 972m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    10
    113km / 1487m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 5.0
    11
    85km / 1499m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 5.0
    Today's ride is an optional loop ride
    12
    31km / 489m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 2.5
    13
    Last day

Terrain Legend

Gentle Gentle

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
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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.

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 once the residence of the bishops of Strasbourg. After admiring the quaint streets and half-timbered architecture.

  • Distance: 65km (41mi)
  • Gain: 520m (1706ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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.

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.

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 Ribeauvill?.

  • Distance: 66km (41mi)
  • Gain: 1066m (3496ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 6: Pedal 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 if you want to 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: 41km (26mi)
  • Gain: 819m (2686ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 3.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Colmar

Highlights: Gorgeous Munster Valley, La Maison du Fromage

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.

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'.

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: 46km (29mi)
  • Gain: 972m (3188ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 113km (70mi)
  • Gain: 1487m (4877ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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: 85km (53mi)
  • Gain: 1499m (4917ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: difficulty level 5.0
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

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: 31km (19mi)
  • Gain: 489m (1604ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

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. The tour ends around 11 a.m. You might also want to consider an extra day or two in this fabulous town. Whatever your plans - enjoy!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet in Strasbourg

Meeting time 2 p.m. - on Day 1, meet your fellow cyclists and Tour Leaders at the Day 1 Hotel specified on the itinerary.

Note:

As you are planning, remember that the hotels listed in our itineraries are our primary hotels and are - in rare cases - subject to change. Before you make arrangements, check with us if your tour departure is guaranteed. If your tour departure is out further than 6 months, please also check with us as there might be slight changes to the itinerary.

The below information will help you plan your arrival. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio. The fare and timing information listed below is approximate.

We recommend flying into the Strasbourg Airport (SCB). Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is a 2.5-3.5 hour train ride away.

From Strasbourg Airport to the Day 1 Hotel:

  • Taxi (30 min/EUR 30-40)

Or public transportation:

  1. Airport Shuttle to the Strasbourg Gare (9 min/EUR 2.5)
  2. Tram to Longstross-Grand'Rue (6 min/EUR 2) or taxi (5 min/EUR 12-17)

Look up French train schedules and book tickets, if necessary, SNCF.com or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us.  

Day 13: Departure Information

Tour ends in Baden-Baden

Your trip ends on the final day after the guided tour of the Baden-Baden Casino around 11 a.m. back at the hotel

The below information will help you plan your departure. For more tips or other routes, you might like Rome2Rio

We recommend flying out of Frankfurt:

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Baden-Baden train station (10 min/EUR 20)
  2. From Baden Baden to Frankfurt Flughafen - regular departures, seat reservations recommended (1.5 hours/fares vary)

Look up German train schedules at Bahn.de or Trainline.eu. Questions? See our information on taking trains in Europe here or ask us

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To Do Today!

6 to 3 Months Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Check the online itinerary of your trip and review the arrival and departure information under the "Travel Information" tab to see meeting place and time, if a reservation on a complimentary ExperiencePlus! Shuttle (if applicable) is required, and other important information to help you plan your arrival and departure.
  • Reserve your flights after you know you have a confirmed tour departure. Please check with our office if you do not know if your trip is confirmed.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights.
  • Begin your chosen training program.
  • Final payment is due 90 days (120 days for Bike &Barge/Boat tours) prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 to 2 Weeks Prior to Tour Start Date

  • Start reading one of the books or watching one of the movies from our Reading and Movie Lists: https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/
  • Plan what you are going to pack and start packing! Refer to the Packing Lists on our website at https://www.experienceplus.com/blog/travel-planning/packing/.
  • We'll email you your access code to Digital Daysheets, Hotel Itinerary, Participant Roster, names and contact information of your Tour Leaders, emergency phone numbers, and other important departure information about 2 weeks prior to your tour start date. All this will be provided to you via a feature called Experiences via the RideWithGPS App (tracks available but not necessary for navigation on Classic, Expedition and Bike & Boat tours).

Day of Your Flight

Get as much sleep on the plane as you can. Pack your Getting To and Away information and one day of cycling gear in your carry-on. See you soon!

What to Expect on Tour

Classic Tour Style

Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic page.

Map

Map

Reviews

Reviews

  • Sailing the boat, every afternoon relaxing on the boat after biking and swimming, lovely dinners, hearty breakfasts, bee keepers, traditional dinner out, rides through the islands (up and down!), guides, fellow passengers, crew on the boat-- really it was ALL great.

    Cheryl A., Colchester, VT - June 2021
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