Enjoy exploring the Alsatian countryside by bike
Start the tour from stunning Strasbourg and encounter the delightful architecture of the region
You will stay two nights in the lovely town of Colmar
The quaint village of Eguisheim provides a welcome rest stop on day 4

Cycling Tour Alsace

Duration
7 days
Site savings
$29
From
$2,792 USD

Alsace is on the eastern border of France with Germany and is undoubtedly one of the world’s best wine destinations. However keen you are to experience the stunning wines, you can’t help but be struck by Alsace’s beauty. It has been awarded the title of World’s Best Region for Wine Tourism for good reason – it ticks all the boxes: natural beauty; quality & diversity of wines; amazing hotels & restaurants; historical & cultural attractions; dedicated cycling tour pathways – yes, yes, yes, yes & yes!

  • Category
    For Food Lovers
  • Type
    Fully Guided
  • Duration
    7 days
  • Culture Level
    Familiar
  • Skill Level
    2 - Novice
  • Activity Level
    4 - Challenging
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Mixed
operated by
Tour de Vines
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Quick Stats

  • Duration
    7 days
  • Main Destination
    Eastern France: Alsace & the Route des Vins
  • Elevation
    3 - Intermediate
  • Terrain
    Mixed

Route Map (click to view larger image)

Itinerary Details

  1. Day 1Arrival

    Pickups are from Strasbourg TGV station, Strasbourg airport or Baden-Baden airport. A short transfer takes you to the charming village of Ottrott, nestled at the foot of the Vosges Mountains. At your hotel in the heart of the village, the tour operator will set the bikes up making sure that everyone is perfectly fitted.

    An excursion takes you into the market town of Obernai with its picturesque market square and the 16th-century grain market. Those wanting a harder workout can tackle a climb to the convent of Mont Sainte-Odile — those wanting to conserve their energy can ride up in the minibus and rejoin their bikes at the top! The convent is a site of pilgrimage to the saint who legend says was born blind, but miraculously was able to see after being baptised. Work on the convent was started in the 12th century, but the visit is as notable for the stunning panoramas as for the convent itself. Back at the hotel, relax by the pool before a fabulous dinner with local specialties and a bottle or two of the local red wine.

    • Hotel in Ottrott
    • Dinner
  2. Day 2Roaming the Vosges Mountains

    You will start the day off riding through vineyards and one of the most picturesque villages of the region, Heiligenstein, before climbing into the lower wooded slopes of the Vosges mountains. An excursion on foot takes in the atmospheric ruined Spesburg castle hidden in the forest. Dropping through the woods you will come to the pretty town of Andlau for coffee. The route then follows the Route du Vin as it winds in and out of the forests of the Vosges foothills. There is a climb out of the Lieprevette valley to the Château du Haut-Koenigsburg (a big climb, there is an optional minibus transfer to the top!). From the gardens of the chateau the stunning panorama takes in the Black Forest across the Rhine to the east, and all around, ruined fortresses on the summits of the Vosges Mountains. A glorious descent brings you down to the plain before a short ride to your hotel for this evening in the charming village of Ribeauvillé nestling amongst the vines. The village is a fabulous place for a stroll before dinner, with timber-framed houses, cobbled squares and 13th-century church.

    • Hotel in Ribeauville
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  3. Day 3To Colmar

    More stunning landscapes today, but a shorter distance to recover (a little!) from yesterday’s excursions. The first section is a short but steep climb (don’t be ashamed to walk!) followed by a descent into to perhaps the most picturesque of them all, Riquewihr. Looking just as it did in the 16th century, set amongst vineyards, it is the home of the Dopff winemaking family — noted for sparkling Cremant. Keep an eye out too for the stork-wheels — cartwheels mounted horizontally on the roofs of houses to encourage storks to build nests (and thereby to bring good luck and fertility to the village). After rolling through the wine villages of Kientzheim and Ammerschwirr there is another climb to the spa town of Trois Epis. The effort is rewarded by sublime views and a regal picnic lunch. A second reward is 13 km (8 mi) of stunning downhill riding to the village of Turkheim – home to one of the best-reputed wine co-operatives in France. Naturally, you will be sampling a wide selection of the output, which includes all of the varietals of the region. After your tasting, there is a short and easy ride (thank heavens!) to your stopping place for the next two nights, the wonderfully Alsatian town of Colmar. Not to be missed in Colmar are the Unterlinden museum with some wonderful Rhinish art and the magnificent Retable d’Issenheim — a 24 panel altar piece painted by Matthias Grünewald at the beginning of the 16th century. The hotel has one of the finest restaurants in the town, serving Alsatian specialties with refined elegance.

    • Hotel in Colmar
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  4. Day 4Ride around Colmar

    No packing today as you are staying in Colmar. Today there are options for a longer or shorter ride. The ride takes you through the vines to a series of beautiful picturesque villages; stop for coffee in gorgeous Eguisheim, then climb past the ruined towers of the three castles above Husseren-Trois-Châteaux. Those who want a shorter day can head for home to spend more time in Colmar; otherwise, you will continue through cobbled Gueberschwirr into the vines then descend to the market town of Rouffach for lunch. Rouffach has a marvellous 11th century church and a 13th century tower, known as the Tour des Sorcières (Witches’ Tower) which was used as a prison. The afternoon ride is flat across the plains of the River Rhine before returning to Colmar through the hunting forests that lie to the east of town. You will eat out tonight at the renowned Maison des Têtes restaurant.

    • Hotel in Colmar
    • Breakfast and Dinner
  5. Day 5Crossing the river to Germany

    A flatter day today as you cross the Rhineland plain to arrive at the river. On the way, you will visit Neuf Brisach. This 17th century fortification was built by Louis XIV’s military architect Vauban, and the 8-pointed star structure is still intact. From Neuf Brisach a series of dedicated cycleways brings you to the river. After crossing the river to enter Germany, you will follow a riverside track, stopping for a picnic and to dip your toes if it’s a hot day! Back in France, an easy afternoon ride brings you to your hotel in the village of Ensisheim. Ensisheim was the site of a Neolithic settlement – a skeleton was found at a burial ground on the outskirts of town.

    A half hour in the hotel sauna or a dip in the pool would be a great way to get rid of the dust of the road before dinner in the hotel’s stylish restaurant.

    • Hotel in Ensisheim
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  6. Day 6The Grand Ballon

    Your last day in the saddle brings a challenge for those who are up for it – a climb up to 1,343 metres (4,406 feet) to the Grand Ballon. Don’t worry if the climb doesn’t appeal; the minibus can take the sting out of it! No such worries at the start of the day – the route takes flat cycle tracks through the villages of Feldkirch and Böllwiller, before arriving at the village of Hartmanswiller with its fortified cemetery dating from the 15th century; the church and its graveyard were fortified as a place of refuge for the villagers from bands of brigands following the Wars of Religion. The intrepid can then embark on the climb to the summit of the Grand Ballon. Ride as much or as little as you like, then get into the minibus when you’ve had enough of emulating the heroes of the Tour de France. A fantastic picnic will be awaiting you at the top, no matter how you have chosen to get there!

    After lunch, it is literally all downhill as you speed through sublime landscapes down to the village of Thann. Thann is renowned for its richly decorated collegiate church with coloured roof tiles and intricate fretwork gothic spire. After a coffee and maybe a cake, the route returns to flat cycle tracks the rest of the way to your final destination, the impressive city of Mulhouse. Boasting a pedestrianised medieval quarter, a fine arts museum, and a superb automobile museum in the Schlumpf Collection, it is worth an extra night at the end of your tour if you are not in a hurry to get home. Dinner will be the last feast of Alsace specialties to send you on your way!

    • Hotel in Mulhouse
    • Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
  7. Day 7Departure

    Time to exchange e-mail addresses with your new cycling friends before transferring to Mulhouse TGV or Basel-Freiburg-Mulhouse airport for onward journeys.

    • Breakfast