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      our holidays > Cycling Holidays > France > Other Regions > Alsace Discovery

Alsace Discovery

Villages, vineyards & forested hills
Starting point:

Arrive at the Hostellerie de la Ferme du Pape in Eguisheim for your first night’s stay.

Day 1 – cycling
Eguisheim to Kaysersberg: 25km
Shorter option: 22.5km

First explore the beautiful village of Eguisheim – the birthplace of winemaking in Alsace – whose magnificent cobblestone streets of 16th and 17th-century timber-frame houses radiate out from the village square in concentric rings. Then embark on a delightful riverside cycling route leading you into the centre of historic Colmar, a beautiful city with a network of canals lined with pastel-coloured houses adorned with spectacular flower displays. Again, take time to explore, before continuing through vineyards and handsome villages to reach Kaysersberg and the Hotel Les Remparts, where you stay for two nights. If you have spent a long time visiting Colmar, you may like to follow our shorter, more direct route from here to Kaysersberg.

Day 2 – walking
Circular walk via St Alexis: 13.5km, 4.5hrs

Today’s walking circuit begins with a gradual ascent of forested slopes to emerge in a delightful pasture clearing where you will find an ancient chapel and Auberge St Alexis, whose terrace overlooking a flower garden makes a fine stop for lunch. Your return to Kaysersberg takes in an excellent viewpoint, a formidable oak tree in a charming forest clearing and an impressive rocky outcrop before you reach Kaysersberg Castle itself, resplendent on its hilltop, from where you enjoy a final descent into the village.

Day 3 – cycling
Kaysersberg to Bergheim (recommended option): 19km
Shorter option: 16km
Longer option: 31km

Leaving Kaysersberg on your bike, you set out along quiet country lanes, enjoying lovely views to the west across rolling vineyards towards the Vosges Mountains beyond.
Our preferred option passes through vineyards and the wine villages of Bennwihr and Beblenheim to reach Hunawihr, where you can visit a stork sanctuary and butterfly house. Alternatively, for a very easy day, you could take the direct route; or, for different scenery, take the longer option which includes a meander through the dappled forest of Colmar before reaching the pretty riverside village of Illhaeusern – the perfect spot for lunch. Your destination is the fortified town of Bergheim, where you stay for the next three nights at La Cour du Bailli, a working domaine viticole.

Days 4 & 5 – walking & cycling

During your two full days in Bergheim, you have a choice: walking, cycling or a bit of both. You also get to enjoy an included gourmet meal in the restaurant and a tasting in the excellent winery during your stay.

Walking options
• HAUT-KOENIGSBOURG CASTLE: 18km, 6hrs

Take a taxi (pay locally) to visit the most prominent and best-restored of the region’s castles before walking back to Bergheim along a forested track that offers a number of viewpoints, passing a thought-provoking German military cemetery and a haven for wildflowers along the way.

• ST HIPPOLYTE & ITS WINES: 11.5km, 3hrs

A gentle circuit from your hotel which offers an opportunity for wine tasting in pretty St Hippolyte – the village is famous for its pinot noir (red) wines, which is something of a rarity for Alsace, although it also produces some excellent whites. Your return takes in a fine viewpoint above Bergheim and the German military cemetery.

• KINTZHEIM & ITS CASTLE: 10km, 3hrs

Walk to the village of Kintzheim and up to the castle which has excellent birds of prey displays, before catching the bus back to Bergheim (pay locally).

• AMAZING TAENNCHEL: 20km, 6.5hrs

Take a taxi to Thannenkirch (pay locally), from where you can embark on a very rewarding walk through the evocative and mysterious area around the summit of Taennchel. Although it represents the longest distance – and reaches the highest point (950 metres) – of the holiday, this route comes highly recommended and takes in some amazing rock formations. The area is home to a ‘pagan wall’ and is strewn with curiously named outcrops imbued with a special kind of magic – telluric waves of magnetic charges that are said to have a spiritual quality but which lend the landscape an undeniable stillness.

Cycling options
• DAMBACH-LA-VILLE: 35km

The easier two-wheeled option is a leisurely there-and-back ride north to the flower-filled town of Dambach-la-Ville, cycling beneath imposing castles perched on rocky outcrops. Take time to relax and, perhaps, stop for a lunch of local game and Munster cheese accompanied by a chilled Gew√ľrztraminer or Tokay Pinot Gris. On your way back, you may wish to visit the castle at Kintzheim which holds spectacular demonstrations of free-flying birds of prey.

• GIESSEN VALLEY: 44km

For those who would like to stretch their legs (and lungs) even further, continue up beyond Dambach-la-Ville to the highest point of the holiday before a well-earned downhill stretch overlooking the very pretty Giessen Valley, after which you follow an ancient Roman trading route (now a cycle path) through woodland.

Day 6 – cycling
Bergheim to Kaysersberg: 18km

Your final route is a fitting climax: a bike ride that takes you into the very heart of the Alsatian vineyards where you earn the great views with some short, steep climbs. Pass through Ribeauvillé, with its three ruined castles, as well as medieval Riquewihr, perhaps the most renowned and beautiful of all the villages and towns on la route des vins. You eventually return to Kaysersberg and the Hotel Les Remparts, anticipating a final, memorable meal at a restaurant of your choosing, no doubt accompanied by another glass or two of ambrosial Alsatian wine.

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  - Moderate cycling - Grade 2 Cycle
Local Map
More about your rented bike
Type: hybrid
Gears: 18
Tandem? no  
Helmets? yes (request at time of booking)
Electric bikes? yes (see price panel)
Accessories: waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; lock
GPX tracks available
If you would like to follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure.