The Alsace Wine Route
The region of Alsace, in the northeast of France, has a reputation to uphold. It’s funny how you never tend to spend much time traveling in your own region, so as a resident of Alsace, I decided to spend a day exploring the Alsace Wine Route. Among the French community, this is one of the top routes to take if you are a) a wine lover and b) love great scenery. This route is known for its many vineyards and beautiful villages and is a must-see when visiting the region of Alsace.
Alsace is known for its white wines, and its extremely dry Riesling. Being born in Strasbourg, I never truly appreciated all the beauty that was at my doorstep. And honestly there is so much to see that I was only able to fully enjoy and explore three of the towns on the route: Colmar, Kaysersberg, and Riquewihr.
To make the most out of your drive, start by the most southern point of the Alsace Wine Route: Colmar. It is the Haut-Rhin’s capital (and second largest city in Alsace after Strasbourg), and mostly known for its beautifully flowered streets. The city centre is easily walkable, and you can enjoy a morning coffee by the beautiful central cathedral, relaxing to the sound of the bells chime on the hour. Head over to the “Little Venice” and reminisce your childhood Disney movie “Beauty and the Beast”, inspired by the coloured half-timber houses in this neighbourhood. Another great time to go from the end of November to end of December, the whole area is filled with markets, sounds and smells of Christmas. Don’t forget your camera, otherwise you’ll be missing out on some of the most photographed places in the Alsace region!
Kayserberg France’s favourite village
Recently named “France’s favourite village”, Kaysersberg (top photo) is well worth spending a few hours in. Exploring the tiny streets will make you feel like you are in a fairy tale town. Enjoy the “fanfare” while walking around, and you must find the hidden path to hike up the fortress that dominates the village. From up there, climb up the narrow spiral staircase that leads to the beautiful views over the village and vineyards. You will truly feel like you are in another century, and of course, King of the Castle.
Step back into medieval times to explore yet another fortress-surrounded town, Riquewihr. With its Dolder Tower (above) standing at the north end of the village as the “former defensive gateway from the 13th century”, and the coloured half-timbered houses (typical housing around the region), you will feel as though you have gone back in time. Peaceful and welcoming, the town also boasts pretty wells, quirky little shops, and the old city walls still stand, protecting it from time.
The Alsace Wine Route is truly a magical course, where you can go to explore or relax in the quaint Alsatian villages. If you enjoy wine, beautiful architecture, colourful flowers and peacefulness, then this should be on your next French itinerary.
Passionate about exploring, Kelly is a French traveler who shares her destination tips at: tinytripsandtips.com