Wedged between Switzerland and Germany, Alsace is known for its pastel-painted villages, distinctive cuisine, and storied vineyards along France’s oldest wine route. This private tour, led by a driver-guide, offers you the chance to soak up the region’s charms while learning more about its culture and complicated history.
You’ll visit major highlights and lesser-known sights as you explore the area that’s often described as ‘France with a German accent’. Start in the capital of the wine region, Colmar, where half-timbered houses crowd cobblestone streets and winding canals. From there, visit Eguisheim and Riquewihr, two well-preserved villages known for their beauty. After lunch, continue along the wine route itself to admire vine-covered hills, villages with narrow streets, and flower-decked houses.
You’ll end your day at Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a turreted castle high on a hill with views of the Vosges, the Black Forest, and even the Alps (on clear days).
Your private driver-guide will pick you up at your Strasbourg hotel and begin your tour with an introduction to the long, complicated history of this small corner of France. The region has been passed back and forth between France and Germany at least five times and, as a result of this cultural blending, it has developed its own individual cuisine, wines, and even dialect — Elsässisch.
Your first stop is Colmar, widely considered the capital of the wine region. Its heart is a well-preserved 15th-century old town, crowded with the half-timbered houses that are typical of Alsace. Highlights here include the Renaissance elegance of Maison Pfister, the Gothic glazed tiles of the former customs house, and Petite Venise, named for its canals.
Continue on to two of the most photogenic villages in the region, Eguisheim and Riquewihr, both known for their historic cores. In warm weather, the villages’ half-timbered houses are bedecked with overflowing flower boxes. You’ll also pause for lunch in Riquewihr.
From there, travel along the Alsace Wine Route, the oldest in France. The 170 km (105 mile) route from Strasbourg to near Colmar will take you past chocolate-box villages, hilly vineyards, and views of both the Rhine Valley and the Vosges Mountains. If you’d like to include a wine tasting at one of the wineries along the way, please speak to your specialist.
Your last stop is Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg, a 900-year-old castle with turrets and crenulated ramparts. The fortress occupies a strategic location that let it protect (or control) important trade routes through the region. Your tour will include time to explore the castle and admire the panoramic views.