Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (2023)

Tips for a holiday in Alsace and the Vosges

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Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (1)

Alsace is a top destination for a short or longer holiday…

Alsace, ideal for a short break or weekend break

The regionAlsaceis known to us as theAlsace. It is a top destination for holidays and nice and close to the Netherlands.

Alsace is the smallestregion of Francewhich lies on the border with Germany and from south to north the Rhine runs through the border area in the east. On this page you will find our tips for a short or longer holiday in Alsace.

In history, the region has been the scene of heavy battles between Germans and French many times. You cannot ignore the fact that the region has been alternating Prussian and French territory in Alsace.

In many places there are reminders of the wars that were fought here. But the history of Alsace goes far beyond the Middle Ages.

roundAchenheimtraces were even found from prehistoric times. Celts were first encountered in Alsace about 1500 BC. In the Dieffenthal area you can even feel the Celtic influences. The Romans also left their mark on the region from 58 BC.

In the Middle Ages, fortresses, castles and fortified villages and towns were built. You stumble, so to speak, over the castles and fortresses.


Tip: view our page with fun activities hereto do in Alsaceand find out herebest campsites in Alsace.

Alsace offers a lot for the holidays!

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (2)

An impressive fortressHaut-Koenigsbourgnear the town of Selestat. It was beautifully restored at the beginning of the last century.

The location is just fantastic and you have a beautiful view of the surroundings. Another nice place to visit and enjoy the view is the Monastery of Mont-Sainte-Odile.

Furthermore, the colorful wine villages and towns are very nice to visit.Colmaris still our favorite for that matter. But also Kaysersberg, Riquewihr and other wine villages are more than worth it. Do not forget the beautiful city of Strasbourg with a very beautiful old center.

The Alsatians have a strong identity of their own. This is because people have a strong feeling for family and association life and also often speak their own dialect, the Alsatian Diet.

The residents are also proud of their own region and traditions and do everything they can to maintain this. They seem closed to outsiders, but when you talk to them, it turns out to be all about hospitality.

This region is ideal for a short holiday such as a long weekend or a week away.

Rent a holiday home in Alsace?

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (3)

There are wonderful onlineholiday homes and cottagesfor rent, which are often located in the middle of nature or near the vineyards.

The colorfulholiday park Clos d'Eguisheimfrom Center Parcs / Pierre et Vacances near the village of Eguisheim is an ideal base for exploring Alsace. For example, it is only 7 kilometers from Colmar.

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There will be more beautiful onestravel aroundoffered by travel organizations so you can enjoy a comfortable hotel in combination with walks and car trips to explore the region. You will find the tips for this below.

Do you want to know where Alsace is located? Then take a look at our map withregions in France.

Good travel companies to Alsace

Tip!You will mainly find walking and cycling holidays atSNP Nature Tours. You can find more information about cycling holidays in our Special aboutcycling holidays in France. Read more about our tips and informationtours in France


Wine in Alsace

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (4)

Alsace has excellent cuisine and, of course, excellent wines. A wine route of 170 km runs through theAlsacethat takes you to the most beautiful places and wine estates.

Must-see places are the specialRiquewihr,beautiful but crowded in seasonColmarand the nice placeKaisersberg.

But there are numerous nice towns and villages along the wine route and more than enough opportunities for beautiful walks.

All this together with a beautiful nature make Alsace a pleasant region to relax. Alsace has so much to offer not only in summer, but also in other seasons. Here you have the option to pre-order onewine tastingto arrange.

The most ideal way to discover the vineyards of Alsace is with a beautiful wine tour. These are organized tours with a wine theme. Highly recommended to see Alsace at its best! Did you know that the wine route celebrates its 70th anniversary this year! From April 23 to July 30, 2023, the towns and villages along the oldest wine route through Alsace will celebrate this anniversary. It's about the routeThe Alsace wine route.Fun wine tastings and workshops are organized along the route. Every Sunday there is a large wine festival in one of the vineyards of the more than 100 participating producers.

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An overview of the 70th anniversary of the wine route can be found here

Read more…

Discover nature in Alsace

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (5)

Although it is the smallest region of France, it does have 2 beautiful nature parks:

  • Ballons d'Alsace Natural Park, 300,000 ha in size, about half of which is in the Bas-Rhin department and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1989reserve of the biosphere
  • Vosges Natural Park, 122,000 ha in size and in the north of the departmentLower Rhine.

The landscape of theAlsaceis thus largely determined by forests.

Furthermore, themountain ranges of the Vosges, the vineyards and the valley of the Rhine are the determining factors of nature. The landscape is sometimes sloping and then hilly with considerable peaks. There are plenty of opportunities for walkers and cyclists in Alsace. And there is also plenty to enjoy here for nature lovers.

But Alsace is more than beautiful nature,hiking trailsincycling routes.

In the valleys there are villages that are sometimes so beautiful that you imagine yourself in a fairy tale. Of course you have to have the sun with you, but that shines often enough here. There is also relatively little precipitation. It is no wonder that the grapes in Alsace thrive. The wine production here is therefore at a high level. In autumn the vineyards are beautifully colored and fantastic for walking!

In the winter months it can get bitterly cold and the Alsatians have devised special stoves and stoves for that. Try to see if you can look inside a traditional house. They are true works of art!

De Elsace is only a 5-hour drive from Maastricht

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (6)

Alsace is actually only a 5-minute drive from Maastricht and is therefore a great destination for ashort holiday or a nice long weekendto spend.

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However, in high season and September / October (wine season), booking in advance is smart.

It is very attractive to go to Alsace in December. Then all villages and towns will be transformed into a very cozy Christmas atmosphere! The typical regional dishes of Alsace make your visit a feast.

After a strenuous day, it is a pleasure to make another 100% effort to eat an extensive chou-croute (sauerkraut dish).

There is a variety of nice towns and places where life is great. Strasbourg has a beautiful old town (traffic-free),Colmaris known for its wine and half-timbered houses and Mulhouse is known as the museum city. It is the French city that ranks 2nd in terms of number of museums

The Alsace region consists of the departments:

Lower Rhine(67)

Alsace: holidays in France | FranceHoliday country destinations (7)

Strasbourg is the capital, the border runs along the Rhine and the landscape consists of plains, mountain ranges and vineyards. There are about 5500 km of marked hiking trails.

Cyclists have about 700 km of cycle paths available. In the valley of the Rhine, cycling is easy. In this department you can visit about 50 castles!

Nature lovers can indulge themselves in the Parc Naturel des Vosges

Upper Rhine(68)

The capital isColmar. In the lower Vosges the climate is mild. There is little rain and there is relatively much sunshine. No wonder that this is the heart of viticulture.

You will also find the high Ballon d'Alsace (1424 m) here. In the south, the region borders Switzerland and the Jura. South of Mulhouse lies the Sundgau region. A hilly landscape with peaks of 300 to 500 meters.

It is rich in water and the carp is a popular fish. Both for the angler and for the gourmet.

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And if you want to know more, you will probably find something to your liking on the Alsace links below:


What country does Alsace belong to? ›

Alsace is a region in north-eastern France that borders Switzerland and Germany. In fact, it is so close to Germany that you can travel by tram from the regional capital Strasbourg, to Kehl, the nearest German city, in just 15 minutes. Although Alsace is part of France, its borders have not always been clear.

What countries are close to Colmar France? ›

It is bounded by the régions of Hauts-de-France and Île-de-France to the west and Bourgogne–Franche-Comté to the south. Belgium and Luxembourg lie to the north, Germany to the east and north, and Switzerland to the south. The capital is Strasbourg.

How many days do you need in Alsace France? ›

How to Plan Your Alsace Wine Route Itinerary. For the best experience, plan to spend at least 3 days on the Alsace wine route. This gives you enough time to day trip to the towns, dine on the Alsatian food, go on wine tastings, and truly experience this region. During our visit, we typically visited four towns per day.

Where do you fly to for Alsace? ›

Alsace has 2 major international airports: Basel-Mulhouse EuroAirport. Strasbourg Airport.

What language do they speak in Alsace? ›

Today, Alsace is shaped by bilingualism, with French is the official language of government, commerce and school instruction. The German dialects and Standard German are still spoken, albeit in sharp decline and mostly used by older generations and people in rural areas.

What is Alsace famous for? ›

Alsace is one of the most beautiful regions in France. It is known for its Christmas markets, its castles, its wine road and its proximity to Germany. It is also known for its high-quality gastronomy, especially its sauerkraut, its Flammekueche, and its white wines.

Is Strasbourg better than Colmar? ›

If you like a lot of culture… As I mentioned, Strasbourg certainly has more museums and restaurants and so wins hands down when it comes to deciding which city has more culture. If you're looking for a place to dedicate a whole weekend to exploring, then you should be sure to opt for Strasbourg over Colmar.

How long does it take to get from Paris to Colmar by train? ›

The fastest journey time by train from Paris to Colmar is 2 hours and 22 minutes.

Can you do Strasbourg and Colmar in a day? ›

Explore Colmar, a day trip less than an hour away from Strasbourg. This beautiful town, whose heritage spans from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, is one of the most prized gems of Alsace. Colmar is easy to reach from Strasbourg, either by car or by train.

What is the best time to visit Alsace? ›

The end of September is the best time to visit the Alsace for many reasons. The beautiful weather you will get at the end of the summer, the quieter areas during being out of peak season for the tourists and the best reason of all… it is wine festival time!

What is the best period to visit Alsace? ›

From April to June, spring in Alsace is beautiful. Nature is reborn, the villages are blooming, the vines are green again and it is not too hot. An ideal time to come to Alsace because you can enjoy all the activities that the region offers.

What is the most beautiful village in Alsace France? ›

The 9 most beautiful villages to visit in Alsace, France
  • 📍 Barr. You'll hardly ever see this village included in guidebooks or blogs, but it stole my heart. ...
  • 📍 Eguisheim. Many agree that Eguisheim is the most beautiful village in Alsace. ...
  • 📍 Riquewihr. ...
  • 📍 Ribeauvillé ...
  • 📍Kaysersberg. ...
  • 📍 Colmar. ...
  • 📍 Bergheim. ...
  • 📍 Saint Hyppolite.

Do you need a car in Alsace? ›

Other means of transport than the car are possible in Alsace, the main tourist sites of Alsace can be discovered by bus or train! The Fluo website allows visitors to prepare their itinerary in Alsace and to find all the possibilities for bus, coach, tram and train journeys in the region (routes – timetables – prices…).

Do you need a car in Alsace France? ›

Visit Alsace without a car, it's possible! We don't always realize it, but many visits and activities are accessible by public transport.

What is the main town in Alsace? ›

The economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg, which sits on the contemporary German international border. The city is the seat of several international organizations and bodies.

What is the ethnicity of Alsace? ›

Technically part of France, Alsace historically spent long periods under German rule and is sometimes seen as a culturally German. Immigrants from Alsace identified either French or German. The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

When did Alsace become part of Germany? ›

Alsace-Lorraine was the name given to the 5,067 square miles (13,123 square km) of territory that was ceded by France to Germany in 1871 after the Franco-German War.

Is Alsace-Lorraine its own country? ›

Alsace-Lorraine, Area, eastern France. It is now usually considered to include the present-day French departments of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin, and Moselle.

Do they speak French or German in Strasbourg? ›

Strasbourg is the home of the European Parliament which is directly elected by the European Union and the seat of several international institutions. Historically, the city was German speaking but French is now the dominant language amongst a worldwide audience.


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