- Unique mix of French and German culture
- Fine Alsatian cuisine and regional specialities
- Fascinating military history from both World Wars
- Wines of the region
- Picturesque villages with half timbered houses and cobbled streets
Alsace offers distinctive cultural, viticultural, and gastronomic experiences developed through centuries of ping-pong domination between France and Germany.
Today, the unique historic blend provides the walking visitor with unsurpassed richness and diversity from fairy-tale landscapes including pastel-painted villages, Europe's highest concentration of feudal castles to the distinctive Franco-Germanic cuisine and wines.
We walk along part of the famous Alsace Wine Trail, visit a medieval fortress with spectacular views to the Black Forest in Germany, and trek along forest tracks near Obernai and the Vosges Mountains, wining and dining along the way with the finest produce this fascinating area has to offer.
Sunday Overnight: Hotel A la Cour dAlsace
Monday Overnight: Hotel A la Cour dAlsace
Following a charming valley we leave Obernai to go to Boersch, a typical Alsacian fortress community. On the way we visit an handicraft marquetry studio. Heading through vineyards and pastures we arrive in Rosheim for lunch.
In the afternoon, we visit the 12th century church before walking back through forests and vineyards to admire the view of the Alsace plain above the city of Obernai before returning to our hotel for dinner.
Tuesday Overnight: Hotel Le Clos Saint Vincent
This morning we visit the mountain-top sanctuary of Mont Ste-Odile, a spiritual shrine much loved by the Alsatian people. The access to the monastery is through the only gateway, above which is written: Here, in the days of yore, Holy Prioress Odile was living and forever she reigns over Alsace like a mother ".
We can admire the panoramic views of the Rhine Valley beneath us. Crossing the majestic Vosgienne forest we descend to Barr, another Alsatian "kitch" village for our lunch.
Our afternoon trail varies between woody hills and vineyards, and takes us to Bernardville for a wine tasting. We transfer by bus to our next hotel in Ribeauvillé and have dinner in a traditional "winstub" in town.
Wednesday Overnight: Hotel Le Clos Saint Vincent
We start the day with a visit to the great castle of Haut Koenigsberg, one of Europes most important medieval fortresses, restored in the 19th century by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
We enjoy the far-reaching views to Germanys Black Forest and then walk down through the forest to our lunch in a chalet in a mountain resort village. Continuing along the same path in the afternoon, we discover the ruins of three castles of the Ribeaupierre family. Leaving forest and castles, the undulating vineyard slopes lead us back to our hotel.
Thursday Overnight: Hotel La Maison des Tetes
We walk down from the hotel into Ribeauville, one of the most beautiful villages in France, along the celebrated Alsace Route de Vins, through vineyards of Reisling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer grapes.
In Riquewihr, a village acclaimed for its beauty, we have lunch before walking on to another fortified village, Kientzheim, still nestled within its powerful ramparts. On the way we pass the WWII memorial remembering the soldiers from many different nations who gave their lives in the bloody battle of La Poche de Colmar.
After a short transfer, we stroll through Colmar to our 17th century hotel.
Friday Overnight: Hotel La Maison des Tetes
We take to the Vosges Mountains on shaded forest paths and walk beside the regions two most prominent lakes the White and the Black.
We will visit the Museum and Memorial at "Le Linge", scene one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War. The battlefield is situated at the top of a rocky hillock, dotted with a few trees and lined with trenches dug out of the sandstone.
The bunkers and barbed wire which crisscrossed the area have been retained. A very moving memorial site, the battlefield contains numerous black-and-white crosses marking the final resting place of French and German troops.
After lunch in a typical local auberge and an opportunity to taste the tasty Munster cheese, we wind our way down past cooling mountain streams and across meadows.
We may have time to briefly step inside the Unterlinden Museum and view the famous masterpeice, the Isenheim Alterpiece, before returning to our hotel and our Farewell Dinner.
(Single Supplement $655.00)
Hotels - Where we stay
A la Cour dâ€™Alsace
Hotel Le Clos Saint Vincent
La Maison des TÃªtes
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What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation
- Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
- A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
- Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
- Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, cutlure, peoples, flora and fauna
- Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
- All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
- Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
- First-class accommodations with culural and historical interest
- All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
- Wine with dinner
- On-trail snacks and refreshments
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants