Incorporating both Alsace's Route des Vins and the picturesque Vosges National Park, this 8-night walking holiday showcases the very best that the region has to offer. Your holiday starts in the heart of wine country and takes you west through ancient forest and into the Vosges Mountains, straddling the French and German border.
Day 1: Arrive in Kientzheim Arrive at your hotel, the Abbaye d'Alspach, in time for dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Kientzheim to Ribeauville 12km/7.5mi/4hr 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, where you'll stay at the Hotel de la Tour for 2 nights.
Day 3: At Ribeauville Explore the picture-perfect town of Ribeauville, pay a visit to some of the most respected wineries in the local area or, alternatively, enjoy a walk to the fortified village of Bergheim.
Day 4: Ribeauville to Thannenkirch 19km/12mi/5hr Climb into the Vosges Mountains to find the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre. Rejoin the Camino de Santiago to head to the village of Rodern and on to Thannenkirch and the Hotel Clos des Sources, for two nights. There's an impressive pool and spa, plus a high quality restaurant offering traditional Alsatian cuisine.
Day 5: At Thannenkirch (optional 11km/7mi/3.5hr) Explore some of the 60km of walking trails around Thannenkirch, or follow the well-marked GR5 walking path up to the incredible Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg.
Day 6: Thannenkirch to Lapoutroie 14km/9mi/4hr Take a transfer (and a picnic) to start your walk in Aubure. Descend on ancient forest paths to enjoy superb views towards Hachimette and Lapoutroie, as you make your way to Freland. Quiet lanes lead you to the idyllic village of Lapoutroie and the Hotel Les Alisiers, where you'll find a wonderful restaurant with panoramic views over the Vosges.
Day 7: At Lapoutroie 15km/9.5mi/4.5hr Today's walk is a memorable one - follow the Tete des Faux trail through atmospheric forest, passing old WWI bunkers, and eventually reaching the front line between France and Germany.
Day 8: Lapoutroie to Kientzheim 20km/12mi/5.5hr 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 final dinner.
Day 9: Leave Kientzheim
British Airways Heathrow to Basel 08:35/11:10 then rail Basel St Louis to Colmar 13:23/14:00 then transfer to hotel 15 minutes. Return: Transfer to station 15 minutes then rail Colmar to Basel St Louis 13:26/14:01 then British Airways Basel to Heathrow 18:40/19:20.
Abbaye d'Alspach (3 star) The famly run Abbaye d'Alspach is located on the Alsace Wine Route in the heart of the medieval town of Kientzheim. This former 11th century convent has been beautifully refurbished with modern yet traditional rooms. The hotel also benefits from a sauna (pay locally), bar and lounge, and a shady garden. Please note that the rooms at the Abbaye d'Alspach only have double beds or Austrian style twins.
Hotel de la Tour (3 star) Hotel de la Tour was once a former winery and is located in the heart of Ribeauvills medieval centre. The 31 unique rooms are comfortable and well equipped. There is a variety of restaurants close by where you can sample the delights of the Alsatian cuisine.
Hotel Clos des Sources (3 star) Opened in 1929 and situated in the Ballons des Vosges Regional Park, the Clos des Sources Hotel Spa is conveniently located in the centre of the small village of Thannenkirch. Recently renovated, the hotel's rooms are presented in the style of a chalet and are decorated in a rustic-chic fashion using natural materials. The high quality restaurant provides traditional Alsatian cuisine as well as other French inspired dishes and breakfast is a well-stocked continental style buffet. Of particular note for guests is the impressive swimming pool and spa, recently completed, which offers such things as hot-tub, steam room and saunas, as well as a range of additional treatments at extra cost. Note: there are no twin-bedded rooms at this hotel however 'Austrian Twins' can be created - 2 separate mattresses and covers in the same king size bed frame.
Hotel Les Alisiers (3 star) Sitting on a hillside overlooking the village of Lapoutroie is the small, modern Hotel Les Alisiers. Thanks to the enviable location, the impressive restaurant and several of the rooms offer panoramic views of the surrounding hills and countryside. Once a farm, the hotel was recently renovated and now has the feel of an up market chalet with each room furnished in a warm traditional style with lots of wood. Hosts Caroline and Mathias offer a friendly welcome and their restaurant provides a fine selection of contemporary regional cuisine from its ever changing menu as well as an excellent wine list.
Add 378 single supplement.
Continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
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