Alsace is often overlooked. For most travellers the famous South of France is so much more appealing. This narrow strip of north-eastern France. Jammed between the Rhine River and the peaks of the Vosges. Is distinctly different from the rest of the country.
This is a slightly weird experience because I always found France awfully French. With its croissants for breakfast and ‘r’ which is impossible to pronounce. But not here!
The Alsatian people have their own language. Cuisine. Art. Music. Architecture and way of life which have been influenced by a unique blend of German, Swiss and Flemish factors.
Alsace’s Wine Route
The main attraction of Alsace is the spectacular Wine Route. 170 km along the eastern foothills of the Vosges Mountains.
Famous for its exceptional natural beauty. It takes you on a journey across rows of undulating vine-covered hills. Through quaint villages with charming churches. And flower-decked houses with lovely window shutters. Raw. Colourful. Unique.
This is a wine region with more than five hundred medieval castles. Most of them are nothing more than ruins. Their silhouettes perched on top of the hills are part of the countryside and unforgettable vistas of Alsace!
We have chosen to do only the real pearls of the region. Starting a few kilometers before Colmar. We drove through Riquewihr to Haut, the Koenigsbourg Castle. Resting at 747 meters high. Dominates the Rhineland Plain and still evokes respect and admiration.
Colmar is an extremely well preserved town in the heart of Alsace. Reputed for its timber-framed architecture. Strolling around the Old Town. Especially the ‘Little Venice’ District. Takes you back in time with its medieval houses and their carved gables. Lavish woodwork and Gothic Saint Martin Church with its outstanding stained glass.
Riquewihr is a real pearl of the Alsatian vineyards. It is a truly beautiful village with countless half-timbered houses in red, blue and bright yellow which create a very picturesque panorama. The signature of the city.
The main road leads to the belfry of the ‘Dolder’. A remarkable 25-meter high construction whose timbered, pink sandstone used to be an integral part of the fortification serving as a watch tower. I could explore the side alleys and charming backyards for hours but I got distracted by a nearby pastry shop. Sipping coffee while watching people passing by was just as pleasing.
Unfortunately, this time we couldn’t drive through the whole Wine Route of Alsace. I’m due to fly to Jordan next week. Surely one day I will be back here, as it is the most scenic route in France.