Grand Bicycling Tour of Alsace and the Black Forest

Grand Bicycling Tour of Alsace and the Black Forest

Cross borders and sample a colorful combination of cultures as you cycle through France, Germany, and Switzerland. This unique corner of the world is home to stunning natural landscapes, from thick pine forests to crystal clear lakes nestled under the Alps. Enjoy peaceful rides past French vineyards and find yourself in charming towns with historic architecture unharmed by WWII bombings. Take a tour of cultural crossroads where French finesse meets German gusto meets Swiss sophistication - a perfect balance of architecture, nature, and gastronomy. Join us as we explore the wine roads and villages of Alsace, the colorful towns and lush forests of southern Germany, and the vast natural beauty of Switzerland. The rides are beautiful, the villages delightful and the combination of French, German and Swiss cuisine is perfect for cyclists.

Sounds great but don't have 14 days? Join us for the first 8-days Bicycling the Vineyards of Alsace, or check out our 8-day tour Bicycling the Black Forest to Lake Constance.

Tour Dates & Prices

Date
Price
Private Room Fee
Note
Jul 1-14, 2021
USD$5995
USD$750
Book Now and Save $200!
Aug 8-21, 2021
USD$5995
USD$750
Book Now and Save $200!

* 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 / 14 Days
  • Total Distance / 671 km (417 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 56 km (35 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 3.0 Classic
  • Countries / France, Switzerland, Germany
  • Begin/End / Strasbourg/Constance
  • Price / From USD$5995
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 and beer tasting, Freiburg, border crossings, fairy-tale scenery, medieval towns, Constance
  • Includes
    14 days, 13 night's accommodation, meals as noted in itinerary, Munster cheese tasting, wine tasting, brewery visit, guided bike tour of Freiburg

    Learn more about what is included and what to expect on your Classic tour at the Classic Tour Style page.
  • Arrive / Depart
    Strasbourg (SCB)/Zurich (ZRH)
  • 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
    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
    61km / 502m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.5
    9
    46km / 957m
    Mountainous
    difficulty level 4.0
    10
    72km / 1313m
    Very hilly
    difficulty level 4.5
    Shorter optional ride available
    11
    72km / 471m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 2.0
    12
    51km / 325m
    Mostly flat
    difficulty level 1.5
    13
    61km / 512m
    Rolling hills
    difficulty level 2.0
    Shorter optional ride available
    14
    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 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: Ride to Freiburg

Highlights: Freiburg

Freiburg is arguably one of Germany's most beautiful cities with its impressive cathedral and colorful houses lining its streets. You will also 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. During the summer, the running water provides a natural form of air conditioning and offers a pleasant sound of running water. 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

Today we explore Freiburg by bike on a guided city tour. Known for its multiple forms of well-integrated public transportation and its commitment to renewable energy, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own after the tour. For those who want to pedal and climb, we will have the perfect extra ride for you to tackle on your own.

DAY 10: Bike the Black Forest to the highest brewery in Germany

Highlights: Titisee, Schluchsee, Rothaus Brauerei with guided visit

Today’s ride takes you through stunning natural areas with very few tourists. Climb through the dense pine trees of the Black Forest up to the village of Titisee and enjoy the crystal clear waters of the Titisee and Schluchsee lakes. Or, if you’re in the mood to relax, jump on the Höllentalbahn - a train that passes through the impressive “Hell’s Valley.” No matter how you choose to get there, we will finish our day enjoying a guided visit of Germany’s highest brewery located right next our hotel in Rothaus. From our hotel you also have the option to take a 2 km hike to an isolated lake if you’re in the mood for a swim.

  • Distance: 72km (45mi)
  • Gain: 1313m (4307ft)
  • Terrain: Very hilly
  • Day Level: difficulty level 4.5
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 11: Bike from the Black Forest to the Rheinfall

Highlights: Schlüchten gorge, Rheinfall, Schaffhause city of the orlies

This morning you’ll enjoy quiet roads descending through the stunning Schluenchten Gorge to the Rhein. This is actually referred to as the “Uping Rhein" since it’s still a small river and not the wide river most think of then they think of the Rhein. We will cycle right next to the breathtaking Rhein waterfall, supposedly the largest waterfall in Europe. If you’d like to stop by the Laufen Castle along the way you can overlook the falls for another stunning perspective. We will end our day in Schaffhausen, Switzerland. This beautiful town was untouched by WWII so you will be able to admire the town’s pristine history. As you stroll through the “City of Bay Windows” enjoy this charming medieval town ornately decorated with oriel windows and extravagantly painted facades.

  • Distance: 72km (45mi)
  • Gain: 471m (1545ft)
  • Terrain: Mostly flat
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 12: Young Rhein

Highlights: Crossing Germany and Switzerland borders, Diessingen wooden bridge

Today you’ll weave across the German and Swiss border about seven times as you take in the fairy-tale scenery and medieval towns. When you arrive at the point where the Rhine River becomes Lake Constance you’ll feel like you’re traveling back in time as you cross the wooden bridge into Stein am Rhein. Famous for its Old Town and the well-preserved monastery of St. Georgen, this town’s scenic streets and colorful history are sure to delight.

DAY 13: Constance Loop

Highlights: Insel Mainau – island of flowers, Island Raichenau

Bisected by the Rhine River, sidling up to the Swiss border and outlined by the Alps, Constance sits in one of the most idyllic settings you could dream of. Spared from WWII bombing, this town has the mark of Roman emperors, medieval traders and 15th century bishops - a delightful backdrop to the lively buzz brought on by today's university culture. Today you can enjoy a loop ride along quaint roads and rolling hills between Überlingen and Gnaden. If you prefer a day off the bike, enjoy the town’s lakefront views as you stroll its tree-lined promenade or take a boat trip to the island of Meinau, or Flower Island, named for its spectacular flower gardens. We will enjoy our final dinner together tonight in the Dominikaner Beer Garden.

  • Distance: 61km (38mi)
  • Gain: 512m (1679ft)
  • Terrain: Rolling hills
  • Day Level: difficulty level 2.0
  • Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  • Lodging:

DAY 14: Bon Voyage! - Constance

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

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 14: Departure Information

Bon Voyage! - Constance

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 Zurich Airport (ZRH).

From the ending hotel to the Zurich Airport:

  1. Taxi from the ending hotel to the Konstanz/Constance train station (10 min/EUR 10)
  2. Train from Konstanz/Constance to ZRH Zurich Airport (1 hour to 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!

3–6 Months Prior to 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. As you make your plans refer to the Getting To and Away sent to you in your booking confirmation email it provides meeting times and the starting and ending hotels and shuttle information when applicable.
  • Book your pre and post-tour hotel nights. Please refer to the Getting To and Away sheet you received in your Reservation Confirmation Email.
  • 12 weeks before your tour begin your training program www.experienceplus.com/training.
  • Final payment is due 90 days prior to the tour start. Please refer to your Deposit Payment Invoice and the Final Payment Reminder e-mail you have received for detailed instructions.

6 Weeks–2 Weeks Prior to Departure

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.

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Map

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