Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Alsace Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • Easy walking between picture perfect Alsatian towns and villages.
  • Wonderful views of the Vosges Mountains, Rhine and Black Forest.
  • Enjoying the marvellous vins d'Alsace and regional specialities in each village.
  • Stumbling across medieval Chateaux’s at almost every twist and turn of the trail.
  • Charming and friendly traditional hotels and auberge.

Enjoy a gentle wander through the vineyards of Alsace. Medieval villages of gingerbread houses, hilltop castles, charming hotels and wonderful food and wine.

As you walk between the picturesque towns of this region you will discover the best of Alsace. The perfectly kept vineyards, welcoming cellars, gourmet restaurants, quiet forest trails and sweeping views of the Vosges mountains. A relaxed walking holiday in Alsace is perfect if you enjoy your walking combined with the good things in life.

Tucked away in the eastern corner of France between the Vosges Mountains and the German border Alsace retains a rich Germanic character, a hangover from the many times that it has been under German control. The architecture, food and wine are more German than French in character. Vine covered hillsides generously sprinkled with picturesque villages, castles and churches make Alsace a delight to explore on foot.

DAY 1: Arrive in Sélestat

The charming city of Sélestat is home to the humanist library, one of Alsace’s great treasures. Sélestat was for a time at heart of Alsatian culture and there are numerous interesting sites to visit.


Sélestat is on the Strasbourg - Colmar railway line and trains run hourly. Strasbourg or Bale/Mulhouse Euro Airport are the most convenient.


Overnight: Hotel Vaillant***, Sélestat


A conveniently located 3* hotel just 5 minutes’ walk from the train station. Rooms are comfortable and amenities include an onsite fitness room, sauna and restaurant. Free Wi-Fi and English is spoken.


DAY 2: Walk to Thannenkirch

After a 20 minute bus ride to Liepvre you have a choice of following the GR532 through the forests of the Vosges Natural Park to Thannenkirch or alternatively the longer route goes via the mythical mountain of Taennchel, whose red sandstone was believed by the resident druids to be “energising”.


Thannenkirch, the village of the carvers, lies nestled amongst the forest at the foot of Taennchel and offers a splendid panorama over the plain of Alsace and the Black Forest.


Walk: 8 km or 13km


Overnight: Auberge de Melkerhof ** or Hotel La Meunière**, Thannenkirch


The rustic Auberge de Melkerhof enjoys a tranquil setting in the heights of Thannenkirch. Corinne and Thierry restored the 1832 farm house, which boasts nine individual rooms and a lovely restaurant, which specializes in authentic regional cuisine featuring the freshest of produce.


Located in the heart of the village the recently refurbished Hotel La Meunière has a traditional atmosphere and great views of the Rhine and Black Forest.


DAY 3: Thannenkirch circular walks

Today’s loop from Thannenkirch visits the impressive medieval Château du Haut Koenigsbourg (entrance fee). The 12th Century pink sandstone castle was restored in 1908 by German Emperor Wilhelm II. It offers a journey back through 9 centuries of history and wonderful views.


Walk: Choice of 3 walks. 11 - 15km


Overnight: Auberge de Melkerhof ** or Hotel La Meunière**, Thannenkirch


DAY 4: Thannenkirch to Ribeauvillé

Following the GR5 as it contours through the peaceful forests of the Vosges foothills you pass the ruins of the three castles of Ribeauvillé (Haut-Ribeaupierre, St Ulrich & Girsberg). Just before reaching Ribeauvillé you can visit Notre-Dame de Dusenbach. A small chapel and convent nestled in a tiny hidden fold of the mountain, which have been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times.


Ribeauvillé is a picture perfect town of colourful overhanging houses and narrow streets overlooked by three castles dating from the 12th and 13th centuries.


Walk: 11 km


Overnight: Hotel de la Tour***, Ribeauvillé


Located right in the center, of town the 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, tennis court and rental bikes


DAY 5: Ribeauvillé circular walks

Choose from two lovely walks through the vineyards around Ribeauvillé. The first goes via the ruins of Reichenbery castle to Bergheim. The second shorter walk visits the stork park east of Hunawihr. In the afternoon you can perhaps enjoy a wine tasting of the local vins d’ Alsace.


Walk: 5/10 or 14km


Overnight: Hotel de la Tour***, Ribeauvillé


DAY 6: Ribeauvillé to Kaysersberg

A delightful walk through some of the prettiest countryside in Alsace as you follow the “chemin de Santiago de Compostela” to Kaysersberg. The walk passes through beautiful vineyards to the village of Hunawihr. Be sure to visit the fortified church.


Your route continues to the picturesque village of Riquwihr, where there are several small museums, to reach the town of Kaysersberg.


Kaysersberg is dominated by a ruined castle which serves as reminder of its strategic importance and violent past. Today it is considered by many to the most beautiful city in Alsace. Stroll past the colourful half timbered houses, visit the Albert Schweitzer or wine museum or enjoy one of several lovely walks in the surrounding countryside.


Walk: 12 km


Overnight: 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 contemporary rooms, a sauna, games rooms and dozens of excellent restaurants within strolling distance.


DAY 7: Kaysersberg Circular Walks

Today you are spoilt for choice with three outstanding circular walks from Kaysersberg. The easiest visits Kientzheim and its wine museum. The medium walk wanders through the forest to St Alexis Chapel and the Hunter’s Inn, returning to Alsace via a pretty river. The longest, most scenic option, starts from Orbey and visits the lovely Lac Blanc and Lac Noir.


Walk: 10,11 or 16 km

Overnight: Hotel Les Remparts***, Kaysersberg

DAY 8: Kaysersberg to Turckheim

The low route follows the route de Compostela through vineyards to Turckheim, whilst the high route goes via the Les Trois Epis mountain resort and Galz monument. Both are splendid and which you choose depends on how much time you wish to spend wine tasting en route.


Turckheim retains its authentic historical character, with fortified towers and medieval houses. Famed for its Brand wine, which is among Alsace's finest the ancient fortified town attracts gourmets from around the world.


Walk: 9/16 km


Overnight: Auberge du Brand***, Turckheim


The warm and friendly Auberge du Brand has 9 comfortable rooms and an outstanding restaurant. Run by the delightful Celine you will love it.


DAY 9: Onward Travel

There are frequent bus and train connections from Turckheim to Colmar and onto the airport.


Additional Nights and Extensions

You can add additional nights at any point along the walk. You might also like to add an additional few nights in Colmar,also known as petite Venice, which has so much to see and do.

Accommodation

We specifically select your accommodation in local, family run 2* and 3* hotels and inns to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay in France. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Detailed descriptions of the accommodation is included on the itinerary tab.


Alternate accommodation

During high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations which are not listed in the description. Any alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard as those described.


Single Rooms

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


Solo Walkers

This holiday is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning and dinner is included on 1 night. Many of the inns have excellent restaurants and each night you will be spoilt for choice of local restaurants. Every village has a patisserie so you can buy lunch before you set off or stop en route.

Availability

This trip is available to start on any day from April to October. However there is no availability between 12-17 September, 2017 due to a patchwork quilting show in the area.


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 colours are wonderful.


Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.  This holiday is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.


Grade & Fitness

This walking holiday is graded Easy. Daily walks are a mixture of country paths and forest trails. Daily distances range from 4 to 22 km and you have a choice of walks each day as well as optional rest days.


Navigation

Most walks are way marked and we provide you with detailed route notes and maps for you to follow.


Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation when you change hotels. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg 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 ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants),sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to Sélestat

Alsace has two airports. Strasbourg Entzheim (SXB) and Bale/Mulhouse Euroairport (MLH or BSL), which is served by low cost carriers.


From Strasbourg Airport catch the train to Strasbourg Main Station. From here trains leave hourly from 6h51 until 20h51 to Sélestat (17 min trip), on the Strasbourg to Bâle line.


From Bale/Mulhouse Euroairport a convenient shuttle bus leaves from the French side every 15 to 30min to Saint-Louis Train Station. From here board a train to Sélestat. For more information on trains and schedules please visit the SNCF website.


Alternatively the TGV from Paris to Strasbourg takes 2h20 and a few trains go directly from Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport to Strasbourg (and reverse).


Getting from Turckheim

Regular local trains connect Turckheim to Colmar where you can catch a train to either airport Strasbourg or Bale/Mulehouse Airport.

Getting to Sélestat

Alsace has two airports. Strasbourg Entzheim (SXB) and Bale/Mulhouse Euroairport (MLH or BSL), which is served by low cost carriers.


From Strasbourg Airport catch the train (9min/2.30€/3 per hour) to Strasbourg Main Station. From Strasbourg main station, trains leave hourly from 6h51 until 20h51 to Sélestat (17 mn trip), on the Strasbourg to Bâle line. Price : 8.20€, sold at the desk or from machines.


From Bale/Mulhouse Euroairport a convenient shuttle bus leaves from the French side every 15 to 30min for the train station of Saint-Louis and costs 2€. From Saint-Louis to Sélestat : on weekdays, trains leave hourly to Sélestat (47mn trip), on the Bâle-Strasbourg line. On week-ends, they are less regular and you may have to change train in Mulhouse. At the moment the last direct train leaves Saint-Louis at 20h00 on Saturdays and 21h30 on Sundays but this is subject to change. Price : 14.80€


Alternatively the TGV from Paris to Strasbourg takes 2h20 and a few trains go directly from Paris Charles-de-Gaulle airport to Strasbourg (and reverse).


Getting from Turckheim

Regular local trains connect Turckheim to Colmar where you can catch the train to either airport.

Included

  • Accommodation for 8 nights in a mix of hand picked 2 - 3 star auberges and country hotels
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner
  • 2 Wine tasting opportunities
  • Luggage transfers
  • Detailed route notes, maps and pre departure information pack
  • 24-hour telephone assistance from our local representative.

Excluded

  • Getting to Selestat
  • Getting from Turckheim
  • 7 Dinners
  • Lunches
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Single room supplement(s) if applicable
  • Solo walker supplement
  • Airport transfers
  • Additional nights during the holiday and extensions.
  • Colmar extension

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as Alsace is extremely popular, especially in the summer months. Please note you can start this holiday on any day of the week except Monday. Even if you are booking last minute we will always try and accommodate your plans so do give us a shout.

How fit do I need to be?

The walking is graded easy to moderate. There are choices of different length walks on most days. It is still an active holiday and we suggest you do some training prior to the trip and are comfortable walking an average of 10 - 12 km (6-7 miles) each day.

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 limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots, comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack, warm clothing in the early/late part of the year and hats etc during the summer. We supply a detailed packing list with your information oack.

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 colours are wonderful.

Which is the best airport to fly to?

Strasbourg has a slightly shorter journey time but Bale/Mulhouse Euroairport may have more reasonable flights. Both are only a short transfer by rail/shuttle.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?

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

Great fun with friends

5

Our second hiking trip with friends. I needed to find a trip that would be easy for one of the group who has bad knees. This trip pretty much fit the bill. Nice that there is an option to rest or hike every other day. The trip was "moderate" and that fit the description for most of the days. A few were a bit more challenging for our friend but she made it! We enjoyed the variety of hiking in the mountains and in the vineyards. Each town was charming in it's own way. I will seek another trip with MacAdventures in the future.

Colorado Girl

Centennial, CO

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A great way to discover a wine destination.

4

Read the provided tour guide description for marker points all the way through each section. Partial reading of a paragraph will produce poor guidance for your walk. When you make a mistake reverse to the last known good marker point, read the next section completely and find your way once again.

PPK

Upper Hutt New Zealand

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A great walk in the Alsace

5

The best thing about the walk in Alsace was the surprises; you never quite know what you will find at each village, and what you'll see on the way. The route notes were very good; occasionally mystifying but always accurate. It was great combination of exercise, wine, interesting accommodations and castles. Overall a pleasant experience and a well-organised holiday.

Bob

London

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Great way to explore castles villages of Alsace

4

Everything fell into place as we had hoped, reservations were correct and our luggage was waiting after the transfers. All we had to do was walk from A to B and explore as much as we wished en route. Only one wrong turn in a week - shows the route notes were good. There were few people around and it felt like we had the area to ourselves.

Mrs K, an orienteer.

Midlands

true

wow what a trip

5

Our Alsace wine route trip was amazing. The instructions fabulous, accommodation varied but was in line with the towns. That said, there were some accommodation gems that you just don't expect! The hardest thing was remembering to stop and smell the roses, because there was always more round the next corner.

Amanda

Sydney

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Wonderful countryside and very beautiful villages!

4

Wonderful scenery and very beautiful villages. Able to maintain our own pace and start whenever we liked. Started early most days due to heatwave in France. Temperatures up to 40 degrees. One hotel was not up to expected standard. Had to drag bags up three floors, however most adequate and a several very good. Loved the freedom of walking in the Alsace country side which was a mix of forests, mountains and rolling vineyards.

Babyboomer walkers

Sydney Australia

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A well structured walk

4

It was good stuff we would recommend it to anyone wanting a leisurely walking holiday. The walks vary from day to day, but stay well away from roads except for minor stretches on minor roads.

William and Rosemary

Brisbane, Australia

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Riesling worth walking for!

4

Before we left for our walking trip, we thought the directions were so detailed they seemed a bit ridiculous. Then we started walking and numerous times were impressed with how accurate the directions were. Thanks Mac's Adventure for making our trip easy to navigate - at every turn! Upon completion and a bit of reflection, we enjoyed our meander through Alsace. Walking in October we had the trails to ourselves almost all the time. The grapevines were turning golden making for wonderful scenery. Our hotel rooms were excellent and our hoteliers were marvelous. What a luxury to have your luggage transported from hotel to hotel and we just had to carry lunch. The walking was accurately described as easy to moderate - enjoyable rambles around the Vosges Mountains. Overall we had a wonderful time with great scenery and wonderful hotels.

Occasional Traveller to Europe

USA

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Alsace Wine Route

4.4 8

100.0

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