Riquewihr in the region of Alsace is a photographer’s dream town.
Colourful, quaint and quirky – a labyrinth of winding little streets lure the visitor on to enjoy the architecture, colours and sights.
Alsace is in eastern France and shares a border with Germany and is very different from other regions with a strong Germanic influence.
Riquewihr is a medieval town and looks just as it did in the 16th century in its plot between the Vosges Mountains and the vineyards which produce some of the most famous wine in France.
It is undoubtedly a tourist magnet and in the peak summer months you will find yourself joining crowds wandering through the streets gazing at the colourful houses and fabulous window boxes with their bright floral displays. It is also very busy in December when the Christmas market is held and the whole region celebrates Christmas in style.
Wander off the main route of the town to discover narrow streets of colourful houses in every shade, huge gates to secret courtyards, ancient wells and pulleys set into the walls. Many of the people here decorate their windows which adds to the fairy-tale image that the town has.
There are plenty of wine tasting opportunities in Riquewihr; some require you to book in advance so check directly with them (almost all of them will have an English speaking member of staff) or at the tourist office. Some of the wine tasting cellars have steep steps from the road, easy to get down, not so much to get up if you have too many glasses of wine.
Even though it can get really busy here, you will find that after 6.00 pm many of the tourists depart as day trippers and coach trips move on to their next destination. If you have the opportunity, spend the evening here and enjoy dinner and a glass of local wine. At night Riquewihr is lit up by the lively cafés and restaurants as well as “Winstubs” which is the Alsatian word for “wine lounge” and is a traditional country style restaurant serving Alsatian food and wine.
Riquewihr is beautifully preserved, largely pedestrianised (but there is plenty of parking available just outside) and makes for a perfect day trip in the Alsace region being less than 10 minutes by car from Colmar.