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'd like a longer tour, check out our Cycling the Vineyards of Alsace Plus! the Black Forest tour, which extends this itinerary by 5 days.***

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Tour Style: Classic 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 / 252 - 343 km (156- 212 miles)
  • Avg. Distance / 42 57 km (26 - 35 miles) per riding day
  • Tour Level & Tour Style / 2.5 Classic
  • Countries / France
  • Begin/End / Strasbourg / Colmar
  • Price / From USD$4050
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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, Saverne, Colmar, Wine tasting
  • Includes
    8 days, 7 nights' accommodation; 5 dinners with wine, 7 breakfasts; Gruyere cheese tasting; 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
    Strasbourg Int'l Airport (SXB) or Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY)
  • Overall Tour Level
    2.5 difficulty level 2.5
  • 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
    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: Trip ends in Colmar

Highlights: Colmar

Our ride ends today in the wonderful town of Colmar. Famous as a market and wine center since the 13th century, Colmar has rich art and architecture. If you have the time you may wish to spend an extra day to enjoy the rich, historic city center. Trains will take you from Colmar to Strasbourg or Geneva or Zurich where you can catch your international flight. Alternatively, you may wish to pick up a rental car and head on to the Black Forest just across the Rhine. Bon voyage!

  • 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 8: Departure Information

Trip ends in 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.  

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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