Cycling the Vineyards of Alsace

  • 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. The rides are beautiful, the villages delightful and the combination of French and German food perfect for cyclists.
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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. Lodging: Hotel Maison Rouge-Strasbourg

    2. Day 2: Ride to Haguenau

      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. We'll take the scenic route to Hagenau as we pedal through a very unique part of the Alsatian countryside, Le Kochersberg, which is one of nature's richer areas filled with a patchwork of vineyards, sunflowers, hops, wheat, tobacco, soybeans, and other crops. This agricultural belt is populated with traditional farm estates and numerous small villages each equipped with its own Romanesque church. Our destination is the town of Haguenau home to the imperial family in the 12th century. You'll be free to visit the town later this afternoon before we gather again for dinner together. Daily Mileage: 45-55km (28-34 miles). Lodging: Europe Hotel

    3. Day 3: Visit the Haguenau market, loop ride to the Maginot Line

      Highlights: Market day in Haguenau, the Maginot line

      This is market day in Haguenau so that will be our first stop on today's ride. Later this morning we take a ride north to the Maginot line and through picturesque villages like Hunspach, one of the "most beautiful villages" in France. With its white-washed half-timbered houses, it truly is a village from the Middle Ages. Our ride continues through the Haguenau Forest on a loop back to our hotel. Dinner is on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 67-77 km (42-48 miles).Lodging: Europe Hotel

    4. Day 4: Bicycle to Saverne, Foothills of Parc Naturel des Voges

      Highlights: Bouxwiller, Issenhausen, Saverne

      We pedal west today over rolling hills through several beautiful villages including Bouxwiller and Issenhausen where you'll want to stop for some pictures and perhaps and 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 and now the residence of the bishops of Strasbourg. After admiring the quaint streets and half-timbered architecture we'll enjoy a special Alsatian dinner together tonight. Daily Mileage: 45-55 km (28-34 miles). Lodging: Chez Jean

    5. Day 5: Ride the bike path to Molsheim and beyond to Obernai

      Highlights: Marmoutier, Molsheim, Marlenheim and Pedaling the 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. We'll stop along our route for a group wine tasting of some reputed Alsatian wines. Enjoy a picnic this afternoon in the vineyards on your own or stop for a hearty meal of Sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. We'll be in Obernai tonight. Daily Mileage: 52 km (32 miles) plus hill rides for those who wish.

      Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier

    6. Day 6: Rest day visiting Obernay 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. Dinner is on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 37-58 km (23-36 miles) Lodging: Hotel Le Colombier

    7. Day 7: 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 while Thannenkirch is famous for its wood working). The villages have populations that range from 400 people to the 5,000 in the town of Ribeauvillé. Dinner is together. Daily Mileage: 51-71 km (32-44 miles)

      Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

    8. Day 8: Pedal the Rhine Plain today or into the Vosges Mountains

      Highlights: The festive villages of the Alsace Wine Road

      We are in the same hotel again tonight so you can choose your ride again today. We'll mark an easy route to Turckheim. Those wanting a more challenging ride will continue on into the mountains, visiting Munster (famous for its cheese) and climbing to spectacular views up around Les Trois Epis. An exhilarating downhill takes us through Ammerschwihr and back to Riquewihr. Dinner on your own this evening. Daily Mileage: 32-62 km (20-38 miles) Lodging: Hotel Le Shoenenbourg

    9. Day 9: Ride across the Rhine River to Germany and to Colmar

      Highlights: Pedal from France to Germany and back to France

      As long as we are in the neighborhood we thought it might be fun to pedal across the Rhine River today and into Germany. Just across the river is the "Kaiserstuhl," low-lying hills northwest of Freiburg. Plan on a lunch stop here and we'll head back to Colmar, in France by mid-afternoon. We enjoy a final dinner together this evening near our hotel in the heart of historic Colmar. Daily Mileage: 74-91 km (46-56 miles)Lodging: Hotel St Martin-Colmar or Hotel Le Rapp

    10. Day 10: Tour Ends in Colmar

      Highlights: Colmar and the Wine Road

      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!

    • Highlights

      Walled town of Haguenau, Market day, Parc Regional des Vosges du Nord, Saverne, The Wine Road, Colmar, Maginot line, Pedal from France to Germany and back to France
    • Includes

      10 days, 9 nights accommodation, 5 dinners with Alsatian wine & 9 breakfasts plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Strasbourg / Colmar
    • Arrive/Depart

      Strasbourg Int'l Airport (SXB) or Paris: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Orly Airport (ORY)
    • Total Distance

      420-600 km (265-375 miles)
    • Daily Distance

      40-100 km (25- 62 miles)
    • Rating

      201-301 This tour is rated 201 with longer 301 options available on most days.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * 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

    • Alsace - The Inaugural Journey

      A rider tells about her experiences. Also features a slide show of the area.

    • France Trip Planner

      Read up on country customs, airport information, culinary specialites, and more!

    • French Rail Map

      Rich Young recommends a map of the rail lines in France.

    • Helpful web sites about France

      Here is a list of URLs compiled by our staff to help you plan your travels to France.

    • Purchasing French Train tickets from the US

      Our own John Giebler contacted SNCF (the French National rail system) to inquire about the best way to get train tickets in advance from the USA. Here's what he found

    • Pre-tour training

      ExperiencePlus! has contracted with national fitness expert Joe Friel to create customized, day by day, training programs to ensure you are ready for your biking tour.

    • Restaurant Basics in France

      Ordering, meal times, and customs at the restaurant in France

    • Small Hotels in Paris

      Travel and Leisure recommends affordable small hotels in Paris. Enjoy one pre or post-tour!

    • Wine & Cheese Pairing Chart

      Our friends at Wine Inquirer have put together a great chart to help you figure out what to serve with the wine you enjoyed on tour!

    • 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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