Out of all the beautiful places in France, it is believed that Alsace will give you the most warm welcome. I have always been received wherever I have been, but there is something special about this region and the friendliness of its people. Here you will find a land full of vineyards and chateaux but also with natural beauty; mountains, forests and rivers. The culture and cuisine here is distinctive because of its location on the German border and because of other historic influences. Try choucroute (sauerkraut) with local sausages, a juicy ham-hock, a poached perch in white wine and the delicious spicy gingerbread. Alsace also has a unique dialect, the mighty Rhine River flows through it and they are world pioneers of wine tourism, but where you can also get a great foamy beer! The reasons to travel to Alsace are many, even before you get to the wine route.
Alsace's Wine Route is the oldest in France and stretches over 150 miles, with more than one thousand vineyards offering free wine tastings. If you are there in September and October, you can even join the wine harvest if you wish.
The route also takes you through many of the famous Alsace villages like Riquewihr and Eguisheim. There are also plenty of chateaux or old abbeys to visit, such as Mont Sainte-Odile from the 7th century which is now a hotel. There's a gingerbread museum in Gertwiller and plenty of Michelin star restaurants too.
Yet another reason to travel here is the Vosges Mountains, which often feature on stages of the Tour de France. Here the crowds thin-out and there are lakes, waterfalls and forests on view. It certainly is a walker's paradise.