With soothingly green vineyards extending as far as the eye can see, the Route des Vins d’Alsace or Alsace Wine Route is definitely one of the most picturesque drives in France. Established in 1953, this tourist route stretches over 170 kilometers from north to south, passing through some of Alsace’s most beautiful wine-growing villages.
For the last 68 years, the Alsace Wine Route has contributed to the fame and success of the regional wine. From Marlenheim to Colmar, this 170km-route winds through the sloping valleys along the Vosges’ foothills, crossing about 70 wine-growing regions.
It allows visitors to catch a glimpse of this land of tradition, revealing its lush green vineyards, medieval châteux, and some of Alsace’s most charming hamlets, including Riquewihr, Hunawihr, and Colmar. The route also offers visitors, neophytes and connoisseurs alike, a wide range of activities related to wine and the vineyard.
If you are a fan of “Beauty and the Beast”, you might fall in love with Riquewihr. With a maze of twisting lanes, colorful half-timbered houses, and hidden courtyards embellished by old wells and fountains, the village resembles Belle’s hometown in many details.
For centuries, the gem of Alsace has managed to preserve its authentic character behind its medieval rampart. There are several attractions in the town, including the Dolder, a former defensive gate, and the 16th-century Winemaker’s house.
When visiting a souvenir shop in Strasbourg or anywhere in Alsace, you will probably see white storks, in various shapes and forms. Believed to bring luck (as well as babies), this graceful bird has been featured in Alsatian folklore for many centuries. It is Alsace’s most beloved symbol.
After spending winter in Africa, they return to Alsace during warmer months, feeding in the marshes and building/repairing their nests. One of the best places to spot white storks is Hunawihr, a peaceful hamlet just two kilometers from Riquewihr.
Bright and colorful, Colmar looks for all the world as though it has come straight out of a children’s storybook. The capital of the Alsace wine region is famous for its historic center, the Petite Venise, where half-timbered houses in pastel colors line cobblestoned streets and bridge-laced canals.
In spring and early summer, the whole area is turned into a flower carpet as countless bouquets of dahlia or marigold bloom, leaving most visitors in a permanent daze of neck-craning and photo-snapping.
Tips for visting the Alsace Wine Route
- Both regional trains and TGV (fast trains) run frequently between Strasbourg and Colmar. It takes approximately 30 minutes. Regional trains also stop at Selestat.
- Self-driving or cycling is the most convenient way if you want to explore the Alsace Wine Route thoroughly as many towns are uncovered by public transport.
- Bus 106 is an alternative if you only want to catch a glimpse of the Alsace Wine Route. The bus runs between Colmar and Ribeauvillé, passing several beautiful towns such as Hunawihr and Riquewihr. The ticket can be bought directly at the bus driver.
13 thoughts on “On the Beautiful Wine Route of Alsace”
Love all those vibrant buildings!
Thank you! 😉
What pretty French small towns! But to me Colmar really stands out for its vibrant colors, temptingly fresh produce, and colorful blooms. Yet another interesting post that makes me explore parts of France I’m not too familiar with.
Thank you, Bama! Colmar is indeed a beautiful town. Did you know that the town is one of the Top 5 destinations for Christmas 2017? I think it landed at the 2nd position, after Zagreb in Croatia 🙂
Actually I didn’t. That’s a very strong reason to go then!
You pictures are at treat for the eyes, Ken and your description does absolute justice to them.
Beautiful photos as always! Thank you for bringing me to this idyllic paradise, this town looks amazing. Should really plan to visit this place.
Definitely! You should plan visiting these towns during Christmas. They have some of the best Christmas markets in Europe 🙂 Autumn is also a good time because it’s the harvest season.
I’m sighing longingly as I read your post and look at your gorgeous photos. This is such a beautiful region…like being in a fairy tale. We stayed in Hunawihr and loved seeing the storks.
Không biết tiếng Pháp đi chơi đây có trở ngại lắm không cháu?
Dạ ko khó đâu cô. Colmar, Riquewihr hay Strasbourg đều là địa điểm du lịch nên mọi người hầu như đều biết nói tiếng Anh. Train information cũng đều được viết và thông báo bằng cả tiếng Pháp và Anh. Bus driver trên tuyến Alsace Wine Route cũng biết vài từ tiếng Anh, nhưng mà very limited 🙂 Nếu đi bus thì chủ yếu canh theo cái timetable thôi.
Cám ơn cháu. Cô đến Nhật rồi và bây giờ đang suy nghĩ nên trở lại Nhật hay đi thăm nước khác. Trang của cháu làm cô mơ ước đi mãi đến những chân trời xa.
Nước Nhật đẹp và sạch quá đúng không cô. Châu Âu đẹp cổ kính nhưng facility thì khó có thể so sánh được với Nhật. Nếu có dịp cô đi thử những vùng khác xem. Hokaido hay khu vực Chubu cũng đẹp lắm, nhưng cháu chưa có cơ hội đi 🙂 Nếu chán Nhật rồi thì có thể qua Hàn Quốc, cũng có nhiều thứ để xem và facility cũng rất tốt. Chỉ thua Nhật một xíu thôi.