The Alsace Wine Route
The Alsace Wine Route is a renowned and exceptional itinerary. From Marlenheim to Thann, with another stop in the north of the region, the wine route passes through more than a hundred flower-filled towns and villages with plenty of picture-postcard landscapes along the way: ruins of medieval castles, Romanesque abbeys, undulating vineyards, welcoming winstubs, and more. From valleys to hillsides, the route follows the eastern foothills of the Vosges Mountains for more than 170 km.
The Alsace Wine Route, a few facts and figures:
An area with the “Vignoble et Découverte” label
53 AOC wines (Protected Designation of Origin):
- AOC Alsace 72% of regional production (by volume)
- AOC Alsace Grands Crus 51 defined territories
- AOC Crémant d’Alsace 24% of regional production (by volume)
1953 inauguration of the Alsace Wine Route
51 Grands Crus
4,340 winegrowers, including 860 vinters and merchants with bottles available for purchase
Area of the Alsatian vineyard: 15,600 hectares
7 famous grape varieties that have forged the reputation of the Alsatian vineyard: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir
45 wine trails marked with information panels
The Vineyard Cycle Route, a 131 km cycling itinerary
The Crest Road
The Crest Road was built during the First World War. It played a strategic role in terms of communication, logistics, and the defence of the Vosges Front. The peak of Hartmannswillerkopf, also known as Vieil Armand, bears witness to this period.
The more than 70-km-long panoramic route connects Cernay to Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, passing by the Markstein, the Grand Ballon (the highest point of the Vosges Mountains), the Hohneck, and the Schlucht mountain pass. The itinerary is accessible from the different valleys of the Vosges: the Doller, Thur, Florival, Munster, Kaysersberg, and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.
The ridges boast breathtaking views of the characteristic landscapes of the Vosges: mountain passes, peaks, lakes, and upper mountain pastures; as well as distant views of the Alsace Plain, the Black Forest, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Mont Blanc.
A well-loved hiking route, the Crest Road passes by the farmhouse inns of the summits. These establishments combine agricultural activities with farm hospitality for overnight stays in the mountains and hearty meals. On the menu: the famous Marcaire meal, Munster cheese, and bilberry pie! The road is closed during the winter, generally from mid-December to the end of March.
The Romanesque Road
The Romanesque Road of Alsace follows plains, mountains, and vineyards along a north-south path highlighting the region’s prestigious Romanesque art. This heritage consists of 120 sites, from Wissembourg to Feldbach, including 19 “privileged” locations that make up the main stages of the route. The prestigious monuments include the famous St. Léger Abbey in Murbach and the churches of St. Pierre-et-Paul and St. Ulrich in Wissembourg. The architectural beauty of these churches and abbeys is matched only by the richness of their historical heritage.
Explore the route with a musical soundtrack in perfect harmony with these fascinating witnesses of the Romanesque period. Every year, the Voice and Romanesque Road Festival brings together music and heritage to resonate in unison, organised by the Voix et Route Romane association.
The Rhine Route
The legendary Rhine River takes its source in the Swiss Alps and flows to the North Sea. A navigable waterway starting in Basel, the river is one of the busiest routes in the world. The Rhine borders Alsace from Basel to Lauterbourg and forms a natural border between France and Germany for almost 200 km. The Rhine Route crosses the Rhine Plain, exploring diverse forests and unspoiled landscapes along the way.
The Northern Vosges Route
The Northern Vosges Route boasts a diverse range of sites and landscapes:
- The Hanau region: the Royal Palace music hall in Kirrwiller, the Pays de Hanau Museum, and the Judeo-Alsatian Museum in Bouxwiller
- Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park: Lichtenberg Castle, Fleckenstein Castle, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and a European Destination of Excellence (EDEN)
- Alsace Bossue: The Villa, a heritage interpretive centre
The Central Vosges Route
The lower summits of the Vosges Mountains peak at an elevation between 900 and 1,100 m. A developed road network makes it easy to get to the mountain passes, upper mountain pastures, forested summits, and deep river valleys.
There are plenty of traditional visits on offer in this region of wide-open spaces, as well as options for sports and outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking circuits, and downhill or cross-country skiing.
Fried Carp Routes
Fried carp is an unmissable speciality in the south of Alsace, so much so that restaurant owners have joined forces to create the Routes de la Carpe Frite (Fried Carp Routes), which have been awarded the Site Remarquable du Goût (Outstanding Taste Site) label.
The gourmet route is signposted… follow the carp! 🐟
The Potters’ Route
Beyond the Haguenau Forest lies the Outre Forêt region. This country of valleys and forests is bordered by the Rhine River to the east and stretches into the first foothills of the Northern Vosges on its western side. Its major tourist attractions are:
- picturesque villages: Hunspach and Seebach
- potters’ villages: Betschdorf and Soufflenheim
- spa towns: Niederbronn-les-Bains and Morsbronn-les-Bains
- fortified castles: Fleckenstein and Vieux-Windstein
- the Maginot Line: the Schoenenbourg Fort, the Four-à-Chaux Fort, the Esch Infantry Bunker, and the Shelter Museum in Hatten
The Joffre Route
Like the Crest Road, the Joffre Route was used for communication during World War I.
It connects Masevaux to Thann, with magnificent panoramic views of the Thur and Doller valleys as well as of the Grand Ballon (1,424 m), the highest point of the Vosges Mountains.
crédits photos : T. VUANO, B. FACCHI, B. SALMANSKI, BEST JOBERS, LEZ BROZ, N.BRONNER, ENTRE 2 POLES, C. DUMOULIN, F. VOILEAU