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Alasace Biking tour with Andiamo Adventours
Alsace Bicycle Tour
 
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TRIP QUICK FACTS

2017 Dates:
May
6-12,
13-19,
20-26,
June 3-9,
10-16
Sept 2-8,
9-15,
16-22,
23-29,
30 - Oct 6

Tour Price: $2,950
Duration: 7 Days

Terrain: Easy to Moderate
Accommodations: 3, 4 & 5-star

Meet/Depart: Strasbourg/Obernai


Highlights include:

  • Wine tastings & tours
  • Medieval hamlets & historic market towns
  • Haut Koenigsbourg Castle
  • Colmar City Tour
  • Convents & Castles
  • Eco Museum
  • Optional Cooking class
  • Idyllic Landscapes & Villages
  • Le Struthof
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Alsace Biking Tour — Trip Overview
“Le Route du Vin”

Days 1-2: Westhalten & Grand Crus
Pedal to a beautiful medieval village of timbered houses and cobbled streets. Tour the Eco-museum then loop along the small roads of the Grand Cru vineyards as views of the Vosges & Black Forest Mountains serve as our backdrop to quaint jewels such as Westhalten and Soultzmatt.

Days 3-4: Albert Schweitzer & Papacy
Pedal past the endless vineyards surrounding tiny fortified villages, en routevisit Murback Abbey; then explore the impeccable Eguisheim, home to Pope Leon IX. We then pass the home of Albert Schweitwer during our ride to Colmar and its maze of cobbled streets depicting a bygone age.

Days 5-7: The Pagan Wall, Convents & Castles
So much to do: city tour of Colmar and optional cooking class, a scenic ride along the “Le Route du Vin” to the fortified villages of Bergheim and Dambach-la-Ville. Pine forest, vineyards, majestic castles and rolling meadows deliver you to the mysterious “Pagan Wall” surrounding the convent of Sainte Odile. A smomber visit to le Struthof concentration camp before a long descent back to Obernai and a grand farewell feast.

Inclusions:
  • 3, 4 & 5-star accommodation with breakfast
  • Four full course dinners and 1 lunch
  • Winery Visits & tasting
  • Private City Tour
  • BIKE RENTAL of quality upright 27-speed touring bikes equipped with handlebar bags (your clipless pedals can be mounted; but remember to bring your shoes, bike gloves and shorts…) Quality road bikes are available upon request at an additional charge
  • Route note, maps and marked routes
  • All tour transfers including meet/depart, van support and luggage transfer
  • Multi-lingual guide(s)
  • All entrance fees mentioned in itinerary

Not included: Airfare, beverages, trip insurance (strongly recommended), personal items, guide tips.

Alsace Biking Tour —Detailed Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Rhine River, neuf Bisach and the Eco-Museum

Strasbourg, if you are not already staying here on your pre-trip, is easily accessed from Paris or Frankfurt by train. Our route moves from south to north and back near to Strasbourg. Thus, you can plan on seeing this great city on your own before or after your tour. We will gladly help you with selecting a hotel in the medieval center to enhance your stay. Upon meeting, you will need to be ready to ride as you will immediately be fitted for with your bike and then engage in a warm up ride that starts in the fascinating fortressed town of Neuf Bisach. It was built in 1698, to plans drawn by Vauban, a military engineer at the service of Louis XIV. Vauban died in 1707 and this, his last work, was completed by another. The fortifications are Vauban's final work and the culmination of his 'Third System' that you will get a chance to examine before setting out. It was useful in its purpose to guard the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire and, subsequently, Germany.

A friendly flat bike route takes us across the Rhine River and momentarily into Germany before returning to France to visit the bicycle path into Westhalten.

Westhalten hosts some 15 small producers, many very skillful. We stop for a tasting and tour at least one of the charming smaller vintners such as Agathe Bursin. The wines from here are reputed. Or we may stop at Diringer, who have a long history in the village. At the center of this charming city, which was fortified in 1257, we finds the remains of the fortified castle that was constructed in the 13th century by the Duke of Alsace, and the nephew of Saint Odile.

Lodgings: A beautiful 4 star Chateau in Rouffach

Dinner: At Chateau

Alsace

Day 2: Abbey of Murbach, Eco Musee d’Alsace

Today we set off on a loop through some of the more impressive Grand Cru wines of the region. On the west side of Westhalten we find the imposing Grand Cru Zinnkoepflé. With its peak at 420 meters, it reaches higher than any other of the 51 Grand Crus of Alsace. Zinnkoepflé has a unique and characteristic, violent acidity that provides the backbone to Gewurztraminer, but also puts a requirement on Riesling to mature for at least 5 years. In this region there is a geologically unique formation, a strain of sandstone rich in lime that runs from south to north along the western rim of Westhalten. Many growers in Westhalten have land in this region.

One noteworthy stop on our ride takes us to Soultzmatt. The name of the Soultzmatt village is derived from "Sulz " or " mineral spring ", and from "Matte " or "meadow." As of the 13th until the 16th century, several vassals' families of the bishop built up to seven different castles: the cemetery and the village were probably fortified moreover. Six mineral springs were discovered there in the 15th century. Today Soultzmatt's water is marketed under the label "Eaux de Table", or table water. Everything anyone would ever want to know about mineral water can be discovered here. We continue to the Abbey of Murbach, founded in the 8th Century and at the time one of the most important intellectual centers of the Upper Rhine Valley. The setting in the lush foothills of the Vosges Mountains is gorgeous.

Pedal through the market village of Guebwiller to the Thur River and follow the bike path to the EcoMusee Alsace, which comprises of almost 70 authentic rural homes, dismantled in their original village where they were due for demolition, and rebuilt it here brick by brick. From the chimeneys the storcks watch you discovering the rural life of Alsace during the 19th Century. Through sleepy, flower decorated villages we return to Westhalten.

Lodgings: Same as previous night.

Dinner: In the village of Rouffach

Route des Vins

Day 3: Route des Vins, Eguisheim and Local Delicacies

Our morning ride takes us first to Eguisheim. The uniqueness of this village, which dates back to the Middle Ages, lies in the winding streets which are abundant with flowers as well as in the beauty of the surrounding countryside we will have ridden.

To fully enjoy our visit to this ancient town, we will explore its fascinating history.
The remainder of our route takes us through charming small villages of the wine route. In 1049 Bruno of Eguisheim was born here; he would become Pope under the name of Léon IX and was partly responsible for the reform of the Church in the Middle Ages. He was later canonized. From a totally different point of view, Eguisheim is considered to be the cradle of Alsatian wine-making in the 4th century. The expansion of this industry took place during the Middle Ages as the bishops of Strasbourg and certain Abbeys owned and developed their vineyards. The reputation of the marvelous wine that came from this region soon traveled. Wines from Eguisheim were found on the royal tables of England and Holland. Later, Voltaire, who stayed in a nearby region, would declare his preference for these wines and acquired certain domains.

We take time to explore some of the many castles, villages and vineyards along our ride through this storybook landscape. Taste the home made Jams and Patisserie of Christine Ferber, let Mrs Klur pour you a taste of all the wines her sons are crafting and stroll through charming Kientzheim before reaching our destination, Colmar.

Lodgings: 5-star In Colmar's medieval center

Dinner: night free

Colmar

Day 4: Colmar

Mostly spared by the destructions of the French Revolution and the 20th century wars, the cityscape of old-town Colmar is homogenous and renowned among tourists. The area crossed by the canals of the River Lauch, and which formerly served as the butcher's, tanner's and fishmonger's quarter, is now called "Little Venice" (La Petite Venise). Colmar's the town offers visitors an exciting glimpse of 1000 years of European history. What's more, Colmar retains a 'country town' atmosphere which contributes so much to its charm. Wonderfully preserved from the ravages of time, its homogenous historical center is classed as a 'protected area' and has benefited from careful restoration and ongoing improvements for more than 20 years.

In the morning, our guide Stéphane will take you on a privately guided walking tour of Colmar and share his love and knowledge of his home town with you. We dedicate an afternoon to beautiful Colmar. With its lively squares and superb half-timbered houses, the village offers a delightful picture postcard setting. Today is a perfect day to take off the bike, however if you wish to bicycle we offer you a ride out to the Rhine River and the German border before our optional cooking class.

Lodgings: same as precvious night

Dinner: In Colmar’s little Venice or cooking class

Haut – Koenigsbourg

Day 5: Haut – Koenigsbourg, Dambach la Ville and Obernai

Our scenic rides along the “Le Route du Vin” leads to the fortified villages of Bergheim and Dambach-la-Ville. Pine and Chestnut forests, vineyards, majestic castles and rolling meadows deliver you to our home for the next two nights, Obernai.

We transfer out of Colmar back to Riquewihr, where we get on the bike. Between the Vosges Mountains and some of the most famous vineyards in Alsace we continue north along small, quiet country roads. Japanese may find it familiar as it served for the design of an animated film "Howl's Moving Castle”... Our first destination is Haut -Koenigsbourg. Although built relatively recently, the castle has remained true to the spirit of medieval architecture and one of the most visited castles in France. Inside the building, the sheer refinement of the rooms is extremely impressive, with their wall paintings, Renaissance furniture and enormous cast iron stoves. Perched at a height of almost 800 m, this famous medieval fortress looks down majestically across the Alsatian plain. From the top of its towers, the castle offers an unbeatable view across the Vosges, the Rhine River, and the Black Forest and even across the Alps.

Our destination is the beer and wine making town of Obernai. It is home to France's best known beer, Kronenberg, and the historical wine of the city is called the Vin du Pistolet in reference to a local legend. In an authentic and warm, friendly setting, 11 winstubs will delight you with their regional specialties, such as the traditional sauerkraut, baeckeoffe and tartes flambées. At the center of this charming city, which was fortified in 1257, we find the remains of the fortified castle that was constructed in the 13th century by the Duke of Alsace, and the nephew of Saint Odile.

Lodging: 2 nights in medieval center of Obernai

Dinner: Free night

Alsace Pretzel shop

Day 6 & 7: Rosenwiller, Mt Ste-Odile and Struthof

During our final day's ride we loop out to pilgrimage site and most famous Alsatian cathedral outside of Strasbourg, Mte Sainte-Odile. Within these grounds we examine the Pagan Wall and the mystery behind its huge construction of ten kilometers long which encircles Mont Sainte Odile. It is composed of about 300,000 blocks, with some claiming that it is a 3,000 year old druid construction.

The sleepy village of Rosenwiller features for centuries Alsace’s largest Jewish cemetery, situated in a peaceful meadow. Enter Rosheim, once one a powerful, prosperous community, through one of the four late medieval city gates. The Maison Romane is one of the few examples of a Romanesque home in Europe. Rosheim’s church is probably the most beautiful and perfect church built during Romanesque period in the Alsace.

Before returning to Obernai you might like to pay a visit to the memorial site of Struthof, the only concentration camp of its kind on French soil.

On day seven we say our good-byes after breakfast and help you get to the train station or airport as previously arranged.

Dinner: At our favorite Winstub

Transportation Logistics

The following is a list of train schedules for transportation to and from the tour start and end locations. Train departure times and tracks are subject to change, so verify before boarding.


*Meeting your tour by train if not staying in Strasbourg:

Trains from Frankfurt to Strasbourg (tour start): ~2 hours
Frankfurt .....10:50am; arrival Strasbourg.... 12:59pm

From Stuttgart: ~2 hour
Stuttgart.... 11:11 am; arrival Strasbourg.... 12:59 pm

From Paris: ~3 hours
Paris Est....7:48am; arrival Strasbourg.....11:43 pm