Start: Kientzheim Finish: Kientzheim
Physical rating: Leisurely / Moderate
Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements
Tour code: W08AL
8 to 99
Tour operated in:
Extra tourhub saving: $39
Your holiday starts in the heart of the wine country and takes you west
through ancient forest and into the Vosges Mountains, straddling the French
and German border. Here you'll discover the crumbling ruins of once-mighty
hilltop castles and vivid reminders of Europe's wartime past.
Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner. (Staying at Abbaye d'Alspach)
It's a gentle walk to the neighbouring town of Kaysersberg before heading along the Camino de Santiago and over to the spectacular medieval villages of Riquewihr and Ribeauville. (Staying at Hotel de la Tour)
You have several options today but we suggest spending time in the picture-perfect town of Ribeauville, on the Route des Vins. Explore the brightly coloured streets and squares decorated with Renaissance fountains or pay a visit to some of the most respected wineries in the local area including the Maison Trimbach, Domaine Andre Kientzler, Jean Sipp and the Cave de Ribeauville - the oldest wine cooperative in France. Alternatively, enjoy a walk to the fortified town of Bergheim and discover its fascinating witch-trial past, or perhaps take a bus to Selestat, a city of art, history and exceptional architectural heritage. (Staying at Hotel de la Tour)
Meals: breakfast, dinner
Today starts with a fairly steep but thoroughly rewarding climb into the Vosges Mountains where you'll find the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre - Saint-Ulrich, Girsberg and Haut-Ribeaupierre which offer incredible views over Ribeauville and the surrounding plains. Rejoining the Camino de Santiago you'll arrive in the charming wine village of Rodern, renowned for its excellent Pinot Noir wines and an ideal place for a leisurely lunch and spot of tasting. Continue on to Thannenkirch and enjoy the relaxing spa facilities at your hotel. (Staying at Auberge de la Meuniere)
You have the opportunity to explore some of the 60km of walking trails which surround Thannenkirch today, but we highly recommend following the well-marked GR5 walking path up to the incredible Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg. It's easy to get lost in this imposing chateau which is perfectly located above the Alsatian plains, with the Route des Vins and Germany to the east, and the Vosges Mountains to the west. For something a little less strenuous, you could always spend the day relaxing in your hotel spa. (Staying at Auberge de la Meuniere)
After breakfast, we'll transfer you (25 mins) to the start of your walk in Aubure - you might want to pick up some supplies in Thannenkirch or Aubure as there are plenty of scenic picnic spots on today's walk! Descending on ancient forest paths you'll enjoy superb views towards Hachimette and Lapoutroie, as you make your way to Freland, home to the Maison du Pays Welche museum, a fascinating insight into the history, traditions and customs of the local people. Quiet lanes and footpaths lead you to the idyllic mountain village of Lapoutroie and your hotel, Les Alisiers, where you'll find a wonderful restaurant with panoramic views over the Vosges! (Staying at Hotel Les Alisiers)
Today's optional walk is a memorable one. You'll follow the Tete des Faux walking trail through atmospheric forest, passing old WWI bunkers and infirmaries now reclaimed by nature, to the remains of the front line between France and Germany. It was atop the summit of the Tete des Faux that the two sides engaged in a bloody stalemate just 30 metres from each other during the First World War - the graveyards for each are currently listed as national historical monuments. You may wish to walk down to Le Bonhomme for a spot of lunch afterwards, before walking back to Lapoutroie. (Staying at Hotel Les Alisiers)
Enjoy the undulating woodland, heading to the little mountain villages of Orbey and Labaroche and on to Trois-Epis, the perfect place to picnic with spectacular views. Visit some chateau remains before returning to the Abbaye d'Alspach for your dinner in a local restaurant, which is included. (Staying at Abbaye d'Alspach)
8 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 6 dinners.
Continental breakfasts and 8 evening meals.
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Extra TourHub Saving: $39