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8 ideas for a road trip in Alsace

8 ideas for a road trip in Alsace

From the popular capital of Strasbourg to lesser-known towns such as Turckheim, Musement shares 8 destinations to visit during a road trip in Alsace.

Alsace contains many interesting places to visit. With a variety of landscapes and a surprising heritage, Alsace warrants a road trip through its charming towns. Below you’ll find some suggestions for your route.

The region of Alsace is located in the northeast of France, bordering Germany. Because of its geographical location, it has been caught the brunt of several conflicts between the two countries throughout history—at the same time, it has taken from both cultures, which is reflected in its architecture and cuisine. Famous for its wine, half-timbered houses, and fairy-tale castles, today Alsace is a prosperous region that acts as a bridge between the north and south of Europe. This is confirmed by European institutions in Strasbourg, the capital of the region.

1. Strasbourg

Despite being the capital of Alsace and the seat of the European Parliament and Council, Strasbourg still preserves a good dose of medieval charm. In fact, its old town, called Grande Île, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and has sites such as a Gothic cathedral, the Barrage Vauban bridge, Petite France, and the Ponts Couverts that should not be missed. You will experience a true French-German mix through its varied cultural offerings. And don’t miss Alsace during the holidays, as it’s home to one of Europe’s top Christmas markets.

2. Colmar

Colmar, the Alsatian wine capital, emanates the magic of old Europe, always placing on “the most beautiful towns in Europe” lists. Colmar also stands out for its diversity with traditional and colorful half-timbered houses and beautiful Gothic architecture. After strolling through the old town, take a boat ride through the picturesque canals of La Petite Venise (Little Venice) to end the day on a romantic note.

3. Mulhouse

Located in the south of Alsace on the border of Switzerland and Germany, Mulhouse, which means “windmill house,” is often considered the creative capital of Alsace. Its industrial past evolved, transforming Mulhouse into an enriching, culturally diverse artistic center that it is today. The city’s technical museums and the textile factories juxtapose with the beautiful Mulhouse Zoological and Botanical Park, the colorful market and the Ecomuseum of Alsace, where you can learn more about Alsatian traditions.

4. Eguisheim

Eguisheim forms part of the Wine Route and also tends to show up on “the most beautiful towns in France” lasts. This magical place features half-timbered houses and wooden balconies adorned with flowers, narrow cobblestone streets, and a fairy-tale castle in the town’s main square. Don’t miss Rue du Rempart, one of the town’s most emblematic streets. If you want to visit castles, Hohlandsbourgh, Pflixbourg Castle and others sit on the outskirts.

5. Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle

This impressive 12th-century chateau, one of France’s most-visited sites, is located in Orschwiller at around 2,460 feet high. Strategically placed, the castle’s function was to guard the wine, wheat, silver and salt routes. Although it has been reconstructed a number of times, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle maintains its original design, surrounded by a double wall with, bastions, a courtyard, and a distinct tower. Renaissance furnishings and murals adorn the inside while the basement displays a variety of original weapons from the Middle Ages.

6. Turckheim

Turckheim, another little Alsatian gem, is one of the Wine Route’s lesser-known towns… which is exactly why you should visit. Enjoy the tranquility of its beautiful streets and the authenticity of a true Alsatian town. The medieval walls with the Door of France, Munster Door and the Door of the Brand are especially interesting. Go to Turenne square as well where you will find buildings such as the town hall and Church of St. Anne. From Turckheim, you can also go on various hiking routes in the Vosges Mountains.

7. Ribeauvillé

If you do the Wine Route, one of your stops will be Ribeauvillé, a little town that had passed through the hands of Germans and Austrians before it became French territory. Today it’s known for producing and selling white wine. Walking through the city will give you the opportunity to contemplate medieval remains and to admire a rich architectural heritage such as the Butcher’s Tower and the House of Ménétriers.

8. Riquewihr

They say that postcard-perfect Riquewihr is the most beautiful town on the Alsatian Wine Route. The enchanting town features cobblestone streets aplenty, wooden houses, terraces, flowers, and vineyards, where you can get excellent wines aged in the town’s various bodegas. There’s a reason that this town’s nickname is the pearl of the vineyards!

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