Bicycling the Vineyards of Alsace

Bicycling the Vineyards of Alsace

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. The rides are beautiful, the villages delightful and the combination of French and German food perfect for cyclists.

If this sounds great, but you prefer a longer tour take a look at the 14-day option Grand Bicycling Tour of Alsace and the Black Forest.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Sep 20-27, 2020
USD$4350
USD$550
Guaranteed to Go!

* 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.

Tour Style: Classic Book This Trip Now Hold-A-Space/Questions Request Custom Date 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 / 8 Days
  • Total Distance / 308 km (191 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 51 km (32 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / France
  • Begin/End / Strasbourg/Colmar
  • Price / From USD$4350
Tour Summary

Tour Summary

  • Highlights
    Some of France's best cuisine, Parc Regional des Vosges du Nord, Alsatian villages, The Wine Road, Saverne, Colmar, Wine tasting.
  • Includes
    7 nights accommodation, 5 dinners with wine, 7 breakfasts, Munster cheese tasting, Wine tasting.

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Strasbourg Airport (SCB) or Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG)
  • Overall Tour Level
  • Daily Ride Summary

    Day

    Distance/Gain
    mi/ftkm/m

    Terrain

    Day Level

    Notes

    1
    Test ride
    2
    68km / 562m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    3
    52km / 403m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    4
    28km / 590m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 3.0
    5
    60km / 970m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.0
    6
    56km / 1083m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.5
    7
    44km / 453m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    8
    Last day

    Tour Level Note:

Terrain Legend

Gently rolling Gently rolling hills

Rolling hills Rolling hills

Hilly Hilly

Very hilly Very hilly

Mountainous Mountainous

Daily Itinerary
Download Itinerary

DAY 1: Meet in Strasbourg

Highlights: Strasbourg, Capital of Alsace

We gather in Strasbourg this afternoon for a bike fitting at our starting hotel. As host to many of the European Union's institutions, this town is bustling with activity and has been recognized by UNESCO for its historic city center. A crossroads between Germany and France, we encourage you to arrive early to visit this politically fascinating town. The famed Notre Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral was built in 1015 A.D. 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. Beyond its many architectural gems, Strasbourg is full of quaint neighborhoods such as La Petite France with its revolving bridges, canals 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 pedal out of Strasbourg today via side streets, bike paths, and the peaceful 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 cycle through several beautiful villages including Bouxwiller and Dettwiller. Be sure to stop and take some pictures in these towns and perhaps enjoy an Alsatian lunch in a quaint cafe. Our route then leads us to the charming town of Saverne, laced by canals and the Zorn River. Saverne boasts an impressive neoclassical chateau which was once a fortress and the residence of the bishops of Strasbourg.

  • Distance: 68km (43mi)
  • Gain: 562m (1843ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.5
  • 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 pasturelands of the north. First we pass through the village of Marmoutier with its 12th century Romanesque church and then head to Marlenheim and Molsheim. The majority of our ride today is on a bicycle path along the famous Alsace Wine Route. You will have ample opportunities to do tastings 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 Sainte-Odile

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

We'll return to our hotel in Obernai tonight so spend the day following our recommended cycle route to Mont Sainte-Odile or wander around the town at your leisure. The ride takes you high into the Vosges Mountains with spectacular views. If you prefer to enjoy a day off the bike, Obernai has a beautifully preserved medieval city center that dates back to the Renaissance and 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 dive into in the heart of Alsace today, exploring its festive villages in the midst of vineyards, Renaissance house facades, expansive views across the Rhine River Valley, and the Haut Koenigsbourg castle. Take some time to visit the castle and then explore any number of the sixteen villages (Bergheim is probably the best preserved) of the local consortium on the way to our hotel in the center of Riquewihr. Take note of the different charms of these villages with populations ranging from 400 people to 5,000 in the town of Ribeauvillé.

  • Distance: 60km (38mi)
  • Gain: 970m (3182ft)
  • 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

Don’t worry about packing up this morning as we’ll return to our hotel tonight. Choose your own adventure this afternoon as we'll mark a beautiful ride going up into the mountains. You'll continue on to the Col du Linge for a visit to the memorial of this World War I battlefield, a testimony to the "war of the trenches." An exhilarating downhill takes you through Orbey and back to Riquewihr.

  • Distance: 56km (35mi)
  • Gain: 1083m (3552ft)
  • Terrain: Mountainous
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Lodging:

DAY 7: Ride to 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. Here the monks used their cheesemaking skills to create one of the most famous cheeses in France, Munster cheese. We'll stop at the Maison du Fromage and learn how this distinctive 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: Bon Voyage! - Colmar

Highlights: Enjoy the city

Our tour ends after breakfast today enjoy the rest of your travels around Europe or have a safe trip home!

  • Meals: Breakfast
Travel Information

Travel Information

Day 1: Arrival Information

Meet in Strasbourg

Lodging: Hotel Maison Rouge

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 8: Departure Information

Bon Voyage! - Colmar

Your trip ends on the final day after breakfast.

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

We recommend flying out of the Strasbourg Airport (SCB). Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is a 3.5-4.5 hour train ride away.

From the ending hotel to the Strasbourg Airport:

  • Taxi (1 hour/EUR 100)

Or public transportation:

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Colmar train station (10 min/EUR 15)
  2. Train from Colmar to Strasbourg Gare (no pre-purchase needed) (30 min/EUR 15)
  3. From Strasbourg Gare to Strasbourg Entzheim International Airport Train Station (9 min/EUR 2.50)

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.  

What's Included

For a full list of what's included before, during and after your bike tour, visit our What's Included page.

Pre-Trip Planning Checklist

To do right after you booked!

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

Day of Your Flight

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

What to Expect on Tour

Bicycles

Your bike will be equipped with: a men's or women's saddle, a quick release style seat post adjustment, rear rack and expandable pack, pump, patch kit, spare tube, cable lock, cyclometer, rear lights, a water bottle cage (or two), one water bottle , and a bell. If you would like to bring your own pedals and shoes we recommend doing so—your tour leaders will install them during the bike fitting. We have flat pedals with or without cages available. For safety and hygiene reasons you are responsible for bringing a helmet.

Daysheets

Each day you'll receive a daysheet with information on the day's activities, meals and ride. These also include Tour Leader phone numbers, hotel information and interesting historical and cultural information about sites that you may want to stop and see along the route. Your Tour Leaders will also post daily announcements in the hotel lobby with information about sightseeing in town or restaurant recommendations for dinners on your own as well as important information about breakfast, luggage down and "arrows down" time.

Navigating on Tour

Each day we will provide you with a route map with the day's ride highlighted route. Of course, we also mark the route every day with our signature chalk dust arrows. Our arrows make navigating very easy—you may never need to look at the map! The arrows also allow you to ride at your own pace. There is no need to "keep up" with the group—this is your ride!

But what if it rains? What happens to the arrows? In a light rain, the arrows actually "set up" and become more permanent. In a heavy rain, they do wash away. If that happens, we'll re-group to cycle together for those who want to continue cycling while those who prefer to stay dry can shuttle.

For the tech-loving riders out there we offer the opportunity to download GPS tracks of most tour routes to your personal GPS device using RideWithGPS.com.

Van Support

The van carries luggage and supports cyclists. It also has water, fruit and snacks. Though the van has snacks, we encourage you to stop and enjoy markets and find your own favorite local specialty.

Hotels

We have carefully chosen all of our accommodations for their charm and location. They are typically small, family run hotels that offer you a glimpse into the local culture.

We prefer hotels near interesting sites in the center of town located along the best cycling route in the area. Because many of the hotels are small not all of the rooms will be exactly the same. We keep this in mind and do our best to distribute rooms fairly by the end of the tour. Our itinerary lists our primary hotels. On rare occasions, listed hotels are subject to change.

Meals and Restaurants

Breakfasts: we work hard to arrange complete breakfasts but some hotels still serve continental style breakfasts; cycling is energy intensive so we do recommend you plan for a morning or mid-morning snack on the road at a local café or market.

Water is OK in almost all hotels and in country fountains; if there is a problem, we will advise you.

We'll recommend lunch locations en route and most itineraries include a few group picnics. We limit the number of picnics so you don't feel pressured to be at a certain place in the middle of your ride.

Dinners together are often pre-planned and pre-ordered. We'll ask you prior to your trip if you have special dietary requirements. Preplanned meals allow us to provide a variety of regional specialties and facilitate efficient service. Water, wine and beer are included.

Tipping Your Tour Leader Team

If you feel your tour leader team has demonstrated great expertise and service, common practice within the travel industry is to tip. Tipping is voluntary and greatly appreciated, and gratuity amounts vary widely. Should you decide to leave a tip, as a guideline, we suggest 5% of the tour cost per traveler – this for the entire tour leader team, not each Tour Leader. If you’d like to show your gratitude for your Tour Leaders’ excellent service you can give the tip to any member of the tour leader team, as they share it evenly. In order to avoid social tensions, we encourage you to tip as individuals and not as a group. If you feel your Tour Leaders did not quite meet your expectations, then we would like to know about it. You will also have the opportunity to leave your comments in our evaluation survey which we email to you after your trip.

Photos

By reserving space on tour, you agree that ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours may use, re-use and reproduce any images, photos or videos that you send to us, or that are taken by our guides and/or other travelers of you individually or in a group, in any medium, including but not limited to print, electronic media, or Internet, free of charge and without your right to inspection, for promoting and publicizing our travel products and services worldwide. If you do not want us to use any images of you that are taken by us or other participants during the tour, you must inform us or your tour leader in writing at the start of the tour.

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