The Alsace Wine Route or Route des Vins, is an area near the French border stretching as shown on the above map, from north of Strasbourg winding down to Thann on the southern edge. You do not have to be a wine lover to enjoy this route of charming villages, rolling hills with vineyards and wineries, great food and beautiful scenery. Even though we were based just over the border in Germany at this point, our hearts were calling us back the short drive over the river to explore more of the French Alsace region. The above map is from http://www.alsace-wine-route.com where you will find lots of other great information about the area.
We started this rainy morning heading to the Chateau du Haut-Koenigsberg which is a medieval castle near Selestat, France. Above driving through the colourful village before taking the winding road up the castle hill.
The low lying clouds made for some gorgeous views as we neared the top. The chateau is one of the most visited sites in this region and for the views alone it is worth it.
It was hard on this day to get a full view of the medieval castle but here is a portion of it seen from the top and some of the interior below.
More views of the valley and villages as the skies are starting to clear.
You can’t go wrong no matter what villages you visit on the route. They all have similarities but each one has it’s own individual character.
This is the village of Bergheim at the entrance.
The fountain in the town square with the gorgeous trailing geraniums.
Back in the countryside on to the next little gem.
Many of the villages have a little tourist train you can take for a tour if you want a break from walking. It wouldn’t be a bad idea at this stop in Ribeauville as it is very long and narrow from one end of the village main street to the other and back again. At least 2 miles round trip.
A bear blowing bubbles from his honey pot from a shop window greets you at the start of your walk.
Shops, cafes, restaurants all with regional specialties amongst the medieval architecture as you make your way along the cobblestone streets.
There are two important gothic churches in the town and the patterned tiled roof is another characteristic you will see in areas of France.
We had walked quite a ways through the village and thought we must be near the end when we came to this square with the town hall and the medieval tower decorated with the bright pink banner. We couldn’t quite believe it when we saw a sign that said you are now entering the historic area!
A beautiful square with a fountain at the center.
There are remains of three historic castles near the town and you can see one on the hill in the distance. We visited several more villages on the wine route including Colmar on our trip. I have a ton of photos I could show you, but for now, I think you surely have gotten the message about the Alsace region and all the beautiful villages, half timbered houses and fab flowers everywhere. I may revisit those villages later but for the next post I will move on to Switzerland which was our next stop at Interlakken.