Regions — Eastern France — Alsace
Region at a glance
Major City: Strasbourg
German influence in language, architecture and cuisine. Picturesque half-timbered houses with flower boxes along canals. Fortress-like castles. Wine route with many medieval villages to visit along the way.
Alsace is like a fairy tale; half-timbered houses adorned with flowers, gabled roofs, and chimneys topped with stork nests. The majestic forests and peaceful lakes of the Upper Vosges are perfect for hiking or biking. The famous Wine Road winds its way through 75 miles of storybook villages. Other theme itineraries, such as the Romanesque Road or Rhine Road make exploration easy.
Strasbourg is not only Alsace's capital, but is the heart of United Europe. Yet away from its modern buildings, down canals and pedestrian alleyways is the enchanting medieval section known as "Petite France." Colmar, a lovely Renaissance town is home to the extraordinary Unterlinden Museum. A restored 13th Century nunnery, the Unterlinden's square courtyard is flanked by its former chapel where the Isenheim Altarpiece now hangs. In Mulhouse, visitors find a museum dedicated to the automobile. Five hundred classic cars, including many rare Bugattis, are preserved inside.
Former fortresses like Riquewihr and Kaysersberg have been bypassed by history, survivors of the wrecking ball that has brought progress to larger cities and towns. Their streets and turreted walls once meant to repel invaders now invite children to discover that history is more than just museums.
Places of interest
Colmar Bartholdi, Unterlinden Museum
Le Grand Ballon Highest peak of the Vosges with beautiful views
Guebwiller Quaint village located along the wine road
Haut-Koenigsbourg Restored castle
Kayserberg Village on the wine route with old houses, bridge and renaissance architecture
Lembach Chateau de Fleckenstein, Four à Faux
Le Mont-Saint Odile Religious pilgrimage site, beautiful view of the Alsatian plains
Mulhouse Automobile Museum, Railway Museum, Fine Arts Museum, Fabrics Museum, Wallpaper Museum
Obernai Marketplace, City Hall, Chapel Tower
Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé Two medieval cities known for their wines and architectural treasures
Saverne Château des Rohans, Archeological Museum, Museum of Art and Histor
Sélestat Old town and world famous Humanist Library
Strasbourg European Parliament,Court of Human Rights, Cathedral with astronomic clock, Museum of L'Oeuvre Notre Dame, Kammerzell House, Alsatian Museum, the "Petite France" historical district
Trois Epis WWI memorial
Wissembourg Church of St. Pierre & Paul, Bruch Quarter, Museum Westercamp
Technical tourism and sports
The wine route of Alsace winds for 75 miles along the eastern side of the Vosges, across hillsides and deep valleys sprinkled with châteaux and half-timbered houses.
Tobacco and beer factories.
Skiing, cross country skiing, biking, hiking, barging
One of the most celebrated regional dishes is choucroute, made with fluffy sauerkraut, ham and sausage, but keep in mind some of France's most treasured pâté de foie gras come from Alsace's farms. The fresh trout or partridge redefine the meaning of "the fare of the country," and a tarte flambée, a pizza-like dish baked with fresh cream, is considered vital to one's health and general well-being. The pleasures of the table are usually capped off by colorless but potent fruit brandies known collectively as l'eau de vie, the water of life.
Alsatian white wines, dry and rich in bouquet, are sold under the name of the grape from which they are made. Among the most famous, all entitled to "appellation d'origine controlée" (meaning they must come from a specific area), are Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Muscat d'Alsace, Tokay Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer.
Travel Discounts for France