If you want to combine the pleasure of the eyes with the pleasure of the palate, you will love this route!
Let yourself be lulled by the Alsace wine route in the east of France!
It allows you to discover the vineyards of the region and to taste the delicious local wines. But even if you are not interested in wine, the road is still interesting. Indeed you will cross splendid landscapes as well as picturesque Alsatian villages.
Where is the Alsace Wine Route located?
The Alsace Wine Route is a touristic itinerary that runs through the wine region to discover local wines and their production.
The Alsace wine route, inaugurated in 1953, the oldest wine road in France, extends over more than 170 kilometers and 73 municipalities, through the departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin. Its emblem is the white wine.
It is an economic activity that is part of wine tourism, where it can be practiced by different modes of travel such as car, bicycle, or walking.
You can situate the itinerary of the road on the map just below:
Stages on the route:
From Strasbourg to the south of Colmar, here are some ideas for stops on the touristic road:
Start your wine route by visiting Strasbourg, the European capital and capital of Alsace. This city is the seat of the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. The city has a rich historical and cultural heritage and you will be able to visit many monuments such as its famous cathedral, the Kammerzell house, the old customs house, the boatmen’s quay, the covered bridges, and many others.
The Petite France district will also seduce you with its romantic atmosphere and the authenticity of its half-timbered houses from the 16th and 17th centuries.
20 minutes from Strasbourg, go to the town of Marlenheim, nicknamed the “gateway to the Alsace wine route” because it is the starting point of the wine route.
A few minutes south of Marlenheim, you can start your first visit of the wine route by visiting the surrounding domains.
If you like small charming villages, then you will love Gertwiller. Come and discover its small colored houses, nestled between plains and wine hills. Gertwiller is the gingerbread capital of Alsace, and a gourmet break is a must during your discovery of the Alsace wine route. Two local companies still produce gingerbread today: La Maison du Pain d’épices at Lips and Le Palais de Pain d’épices at Fortwenger, enough to delight your taste buds!
The village of Scherwiller is located in the heart of Piedmont, a few kilometers from the famous Wine Route. The main attraction: the Riesling, which is the most voluminous endemic grape variety of the place. The 370 hectares of vineyards in the village make it the third-largest in terms of wine-growing area in the Bas-Rhin department.
Apart from its vineyards, Scherwiller is also worth a visit for its authenticity. A real immersion a few centuries back in time, take a walk in the village to look for its hundreds of wash houses. Indeed, crossed by the Aubach river, the village is dotted with small stone bridges, ancient vestiges, and of course, emblematic half-timbered houses
The city of Colmar is surely THE capital of the wine route. Stop and admire the beauty of this city nicknamed the “Little Venice” because of the alignment of the houses on both sides of the river. Nestled in the heart of the Alsatian vineyards and at the gateway to Germany and Switzerland, the city offers tasty gastronomy, a typical Alsatian atmosphere, famous wines, and of course a unique architecture dating mainly from the Middle Ages to the 18th century.
Discover the “Little Venice” district, the Tanneurs district with its large houses with white facades, the half-timbered houses, and the bourgeois houses, the Maison des Têtes dating from the 17th century.
Finally, go to Thann, the last village on the wine route, located 25 minutes from Orschwihr. This town is one of the “Most Beautiful Detours of France” and you will not be disappointed by the authenticity of its alleys, fountains, houses, and fortifications. Thann is also the only town in Alsace to have all of its vineyards classified as Grand Cru. You can admire the vineyard and the city by going to the Rangen mountain, the only volcanic rock area. Then go to the castle of Engelbourg, and its famous “eye of the witch”, so-called because it reminds us of an eye open on the valley, which watches the houses and roofs of the city.
A preview of the itinerary:
If you are planning your road trip to the Alsace wine road, you can watch this Youtube video to have an idea of stages on the road:
You have understood it, by following the Alsace wine road, you will cross pretty stone villages, bell towers, castles…
And of course, you will have the possibility to discover the local gastronomy. Only one rule to follow: don’t take the car when you have drunk!
So if you are looking for an itinerary in Alsace by car or by motorcycle or even by bike, this is for you!
Pictures credits: By Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa) – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3178634 / By Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia Commons – cc-by-sa-4.0, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=98590129 / By Gabriele Delhey – photo taken by Gabriele Delhey, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1376009 / By Ji-Elle – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22537757 / By © Ralph Hammann – Wikimedia Commons – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37320214 / By Office de Tourisme de Colmar CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73751146 / By Florival fr – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15740309
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