Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Alsace Vineyards
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Highlights

  • Discover the treasures of the Alsace wine region in north-eastern France.
  • Walk between picture-perfect villages of Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé and Eguisheim
  • Enjoy extensive views over rolling landscapes dotted with medieval castle ruins
  • Try Alsatian delicacies like Tarte Flambée and Kugelhopf
  • Relax at the end of the day on a sunny terrace with a glass of aromatic Riesling

Walk through the unique French region of Alsace, from the tranquil village of Thannenkirch to the lively village of Eguisheim, one of the ’Plus Beaux Villages de France’.

Alsace retains a rich Germanic character; which can be traced back to when it was under German control. It now exudes a unique culture, taking the best of French and German influences; evident in its beautiful architecture and delicious food and drink.

Spend your mornings on the trail, and the afternoon relaxing and exploring. As you walk between the picturesque towns and villages, you will truly experience the best Alsace has to offer. Enjoy carefully maintained vineyards, welcoming wine cellars, gourmet restaurants, peaceful forest trails, fairy-tale villages and sweeping views of the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest. You are sure to relish our special walking adventure in this exceptional region of France.

Day 1: Arrive in Thannenkirch

Arrive at Sélestat train station (20 mins by train from Strasbourg) from where you will be transferred to Thannenkirch (20 mins).Thannenkirch is a peaceful village, nestled in the green rolling hills of Alsace, a few hundred metres above the plain and vineyards. Adorned with handmade woodworks and carvings, wander through this beautiful village and take in the peace and quiet. Enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening (included) and prepare yourself for your first day of hiking.


Dinner & Overnight: Thannenkirch


Day 2: Walk to Ribeauvillé

Your walking adventure begins with a beautiful walk to Ribeauvillé. Ascend steadily on a pleasant path through the forest. Arrive at the ruins of the ‘Trois Châteaux’, three medieval castles which make up an impressive part of the Alsace landscape. Enjoy the panorama from the third castle, views over the town of Ribeauvillé and a sea of vineyards open up. Descend to the town, taking your time to soak in the views.


Ribeauvillé is a lively, picturesque town brimming with pretty half-timbered houses, medieval towers and churches. Why not visit the ‘Cave de Ribeauvillé’ to learn more about the local wine production?


Walk: 7 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +170/-393m


Overnight: Ribeauvillé


Day 3: Walk to Kaysersberg

Today you’ll be walking through the heart of the Alsatian vineyards. The trails are undulating and the scenery beautiful; surrounded by lush green vineyards and picturesque villages whose spires dot the horizon. Arrive in Riquewihr, a walled medieval town which has been amazingly preserved. Half-timbered and brightly coloured buildings host a range of shops, restaurants and museums. Continue through vineyards and onto a balcony path above Kayserbserg which leads to the Chateau de Kaysersberg. Descend into the town which was voted ‘France’s Favourite Village’ in 2017.


Walk: 11 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +293m/-292m


Overnight: Kaysersberg


Day 4: Walk to Lac Noir and Blanc or Free Day Kaysersberg

Take a local bus to the village of Orbey, nestled in the heart of the Vosges Regional Park. This optional walk is strenuous but one of Alsace’s classic walks. Follow the trail through alpine-like pastures before ascending through the forest to reach a panoramic path high above Lac Blanc, a picturesque lake at 1,100m above sea level. Descend to Lac Noir, before a gentle amble through hamlets and dairy farms brings you back to Orbey.


Alternatively, take it easy today and spend the day at leisure in Kaysersberg. Wander the streets and take in the medieval architecture of the town. Enjoy a leisurely evening meal at one of Kaysersberg’s many restaurants. Local specialities include tarte flambée, coq au Riesling, choucroute, cordon bleu, munster cheese and pretzels. All to be washed down with a glass of local white wine of course!.


Walk: 19.5 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +864m/-864m


Overnight: Kaysersberg


Day 5 Walk to Turckheim

Follow the Chemin de Compostelle through vineyards and some shady forest sections. Walking through the authentic villages of Ammerschwihr, Katzenthal and Niedermorschwihr give a glimpse into the everyday lives of the Alsatian inhabitants. Evidence of the wine production and trade is prevalent, and the vineyards you walk through will likely be being tended by the winemakers.


Arrive in Turckheim, another historical delight. The nightwatchman makes his rounds through the town every night at 10pm (May-October) as in the olden days, singing in the Alsatian dialect. Keep an eye out for nesting storks on the tops of the half-timbered houses.


Walk:  10 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +185m/-204m


Overnight: Turckheim


Day 6: Walk to Eguisheim

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast including French classics such as pain-au-chocolat and croissants. Here in Alsace, you will also find ‘Kugelhopf’ in the breakfast buffet, a soft sponge cake with sultanas and nuts which the locals like to dunk into their morning coffee.


A steep but short incline takes you out of Turckheim and into the woods. The rest of the day’s walk is spent between calm forest trails and open vineyard paths. On a clear day, enjoy views of Germany’s Black Forest on your left and on your right a smattering of ruined castles perched high on the hills. Eguisheim is one of France’s ‘Plus Beaux Villages’ and it’s easy to see why. Beautifully ornate, its fountains, traditional houses and colourful flower boxes are a real treat.


Walk: 12 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +168m/-199m


Overnight: Eguisheim


Day 7: Loop Walk or Free Day Eguisheim

Today you have the option of a loop walk or a day of leisure in the town. The loop walk takes in four of the castles that sit high on the hills surrounding Eguisheim.


Alternatively, spend the day in Eguisheim, enjoying the atmosphere of the village, sampling one or two of the local wine producer’s wares. Eguisheim has a range of traditional restaurants to choose from. Be sure to enjoy a fine evening meal to mark the end of your Alsace walking adventure.


Walk: 14 km


Elevation Gain/Loss: +544m/-544m


Overnight: Eguisheim


Day 8: Onward Travel

From Eguisheim, a private transfer to Colmar train station is included (10 mins). From Colmar, you can reach a number of French and European destinations by train. If you have more time to explore the area, why not consider one of our adventures in the nearby Black Forest?

Accommodation

Spend 7 nights in high-quality, handpicked 3* hotels. We regularly use the following properties but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available. However, they will be of a similar standard.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.


We also welcome solo walkers on this tour, again a supplement is payable.


Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. Lunch is not included. On some of the walking days it will be essential to take a packed lunch as there are no cafes or restaurants en route (your route notes will give you these details). However it will be very easy to buy a baguette, fruit, drinks, etc from a local bakery or a sandwich shop. 1 Dinner is included at your hotel in Thannenkirch. This will be a three course meal based on regional and French dishes, using fresh local ingredients.  For all the other dinners there are plenty of local restaurants to choose from.



 

 

 




Auberge La Meunière - Thannenkirch

This 3 star family run hotel is beautiful on the outside and in. Dinner is included this evening at the on-site restaurant, whos head chef has previously worked in 3 Michelin star restaurants, bringing high-quality to Thannenkirch’s down to earth setting.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel de la Tour - Ribeauvillé

Located in the centre of town, Hotel de la Tour is a bright and cheerful hotel faithful to the generous Alsatian traditions of hospitality. The hotel has 31 individually decorated rooms, a small bar, sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi and even a tennis court.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Les Remparts - Kaysersberg

Within walking distance of the historic old town the Hotel Les Remparts offers you calm and comfort. The hotel has 44 modern rooms, a sauna, games rooms and dozens of excellent restaurants within strolling distance.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hotel Les Deux Clés - Turckheim

This hotel is one of the most beautiful buildings in Turckheim, dating back to the 15th century and is full of tradition and charm. Enjoy a refreshing glass of Riesling in the peaceful garden terrace.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Hostellerie du Château - Eguisheim

A friendly and warm welcome is waiting from Phillipe and his team at this 3* hotel. The hotel benefits from a fantastic location in the main square in Eguisheim, next to the former Château (now a church) and its ubiquitous nesting storks. Rooms are individually decorated.


 

 

 

Time of Year

You can start this walking tour anytime between the beginning of April and the end of October. Please be aware that the loop walk from Orbey may not be walkable in April/May or October. Due to its altitude, there may still be snow on the trail.


Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded ‘easy-moderate’ overall. The walking days are fairly short, but the trails are undulating with some steep sections. The optional loop walk from Orbey (Day 4) could be considered moderate-strenuous due to the ascent/descent and length. The second optional loop walk (Day 7) could be considered moderate, due to the ascent. You should be in good shape to get the most from this tour. The terrain is a mixture of forest trails, grassy vineyard paths, and paved country lanes and quiet country roads.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

The routes are waymarked to varying degrees. We also provide you with detailed turn-by-turn route notes and maps. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go!


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care


General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all the necessary items, for example. proper rain gear, sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has detailed advice and a kit list on what to take. This includes good waterproof gear, walking shoes/boots, and lots of other useful bits and bobs.

Getting to Sélestat

There are a number of different options available when getting to Sélestat. You can fly into Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg, Strasbourg Airport or even Paris

Take a train from any of the above airports to Sélestat; approx. 1.5 hours from Basel airport, 1 hour from Strasbourg airport and 3 hours from Paris CDG. From Sélestat, you will be collected by taxi and taken to your first hotel in Thannenkirch. Train timetables and ticket prices can be found at www.sncf.com/en Please check the SNCF website for more details on schedules and prices.


Getting from Colmar

You will be collected from your last hotel in Eguisheim and taken by taxi to Colmar train station. From Colmar, you can take the train back to the above mentioned airports, or a wide range of other French/European destinations.



Included

  • 7 Nights accommodation in 3* hotels and B&B’s
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner
  • Luggage transfers
  • Train station transfers on Day 1 and Day 8
  • Detailed information pack, route notes and access to our App
  • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office

Excluded

  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Lunches
  • 5 Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo walker supplement if applicable
  • Additional nights before, during and after the walk

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Alsace is a popular holiday destination.

How fit do I need to be?

This tour is graded easy to moderate. The trails are a combination of dirt trails, gravel tracks and tarmac country roads. The walking routes are a mix of surfaces, but please note that there will be tarmac walking at times as it is unavoidable. This tour is suitable for walkers with good physical fitness. There are rolling hills in this area and it will also be necessary to walk up some short but steep stretches.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.

When is the best time of year?

The best months for walking are in the summer months between June and September when the weather is fair. Spring and autumn are also very good times for walking as the air is a little cooler for walking and the wild flowers are in bloom.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport or a local taxi to continue to your next overnight stop.

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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