Walking the Alsace Wine Trail - Self-Guided

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Trip code: 
W08AS
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Point-to-point Trips
Min age:
8
Group size:
1–6

Alsace is the best of Germany and France combined

The Alsace has swung back and forth between French and Germanic rule for centuries, including during the German occupation of the region in WW2. This rolling, wine-growing heartland is now heavily characterised by a unique blend of French and German influences giving it a cultural distinctiveness and an eclectic mix of cuisine, language, architecture and customs.

Highlights

  • Walk through vineyards, ancient oak forest and unspoilt flower-filled gingerbread villages 
  • Try the regional wines
  • Visit romantic castles, Gothic churches, Mediaeval villages; Riquewihr and Colmar, the 'Venice of Alsace'

Key information

8 nights in 3-star accommodation

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Visa's & vaccinations

4

Terrain:

Gentle walking, mainly through vineyards, woodland and heavily scented pine forests. No particularly challenging sections; however some paths are stony so protective footwear is advised.

Day by day breakdown
Day 218.0km/11.0miles
Day 410.0km/6.0miles
Day 617.0km/10.0miles
Day 818.0km/11.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Turckheim
to
Turckheim
  • Day 1

    Arrive at Turckheim

    Your first night is spent in a friendly Alsatian hotel in the heart of the village. With so many restaurants on your doorstep, we've left you free to choose where to dine this evening.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 2

    Turckheim to Kaysersberg

    Today it's time to explore Turckheim's Renaissance church and mediaeval gate where storks still nest. Your walk through the vines takes you past flower-filled Niedermorschwihr and Ammerschwihr where you can taste the local vintage, Kaefferkopf, in cosy wine cellars. It's then on to the fortified town of Kaysersberg and your hotel on a quiet cobbled street in the old town.



    Two options: 10km/6.5mi/3hr or 18km/11.5mi/5.5hr
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    At Kaysersberg

    In the morning why not stroll up to the ruins of the mediaeval castle for a bird's eye view over Kaysersberg's half-timbered houses decked with geraniums along the River Weiss? Afterwards, perhaps follow a valley trail to Kientzheim or visit Colmar, only 25 minutes by local bus. Known as the 'Venice of Alsace', it's a honeycomb of pretty canals and gorgeous pastel-coloured houses.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Kaysersberg to Riquewihr

    A gentle climb through oak and beech forest leads to Chapelle St Alexis hidden in the woods and with a great auberge for lunch. Your route then descends in and out of pine forest and before long, you get your first glimpses of the showcase of Renaissance houses that earn Riquewihr its nickname, 'Pearl of the Vineyards'. An easier route through the typically Alsatian villages of Kientzheim and Sigolsheim take you up to a war memorial with incredible panoramic views of the Vosges plains, then pick up the Camino de Santiago into Riquewihr. 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Riquewihr

    The town of Riquewihr is so enchanting it's been declared an historic monument in its entirety. You'll be fascinated by its cobbled alleys, galleried courtyards, fountains and colourful signboards.
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Riquewihr to Bergheim

    You pass through the heart of mediaeval Alsace via the Riesling vineyards nestling at the foot of the mountains. Hunawihr has a fortified church and stork sanctuary; you'll also find otters, butterflies and orchids in the reserve. Three ruined castles of the once-powerful Counts of Ribeaupierre loom overhead as you walk on through the vines to Bergheim.



    Two options: 10km/6.5mi/3hr or 17km/11mi/5.5hr
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    At Bergheim

    This colourful and ancient market town was a mediaeval refuge where criminals on the run were safe from persecution. There are lots of beautiful timber-framed houses and a decorated fountain in the old square. Be sure to take a short taxi ride or do the longer optional walk to the amazing Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle; it's a gentle downhill walk back too!
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    Bergheim to Chatenois/Turckheim

    You continue parallel to the Route du Vin to a poignant WW2 German military cemetery with panoramic views over the famous restored castle at Haut-Koenigsbourg. At St-Hippolyte there's a Gothic church and fountain, while the ruined court of mediaeval Kintzheim Castle is the setting for spectacular flying displays by birds of prey. We give you a lift back to Turckheim. 

    Two options: 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr or 18km/11.5mi/6hr
    Standard hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Leave Turckheim

    If you have pre-booked a transfer, we will take you to Colmar train station in time for your journey home.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

France

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

Continental breakfasts and 2 evening meals are included in this trip.

Traditional Alsatian cuisine is originally a peasant cuisine: potatoes, cabbage, beef and pork are the main ingredients. The cuisine features a lot of different pies, long simmered or stewed dishes like the traditional baeckeoffe.dough). There is also the famous tarte flambée (flammekeuche in Alsatian dialect), a thin dough covered in cream, chopped onions and diced bacon. The influence of German cuisine and food habits is mainly marked in the important consumption of pork products and charcuterie.

‘Winstub’ is a traditional Alsatian restaurant. Originally it was a public space where the Alsatian wine-makers used to come to present and sell their wine. They used to serve traditional simple dishes to their customers, to accompany their tasting.

Weather

Alsace offers an ideal climate for walking, with pleasant temperatures and high levels of sunshine. The warmest month to visit is July, with an average temperature of 20 degress. The region is much drier than some of the neighbouring regions, Colmar is France's second driest town. The wettest month to visit in is May, so remember your waterproofs.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level: 2 (Leisurely/Moderate)

Our relaxed walking route runs parallel to the central part of the famous Route du Vin where every delightful village has its own vineyard and east-facing ruined castle. The walks follow the sentiers viticoles (paths through neatly-groomed vineyards) and shaded forest tracks, with countless opportunities to taste the local wines along the way. Almost every village has its own cave where the friendly Alsatian vignerons will insist you sample their entire range! In the beautiful villages awash with half-timbered buildings, often painted in pretty colours, geraniums spill from the window boxes and balconies. Historic Riquewihr is a highlight of the tour, an enchanting mediaeval village, nestled amongst sloping hills of vines that produce the exceptional aromatic Riesling wine.

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. Please bear in mind that although this is a self-guided holiday, the atmosphere in the hotels tends to be quite social and they will sometimes place walkers together at breakfast and dinner. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

Accommodation

Hotels

All of the hotels are in atmospheric half-timbered villages that are typical of this region, including the stunning Hotel des Deux Clefs in Turckheim whose building dates back to the C16 and is officially classed as a monument historique. The beautifully converted C16 Hotel a l'Oriel in the heart of Riquewihr has a cosy winstub and a pretty internal courtyard, where, weather permitting, breakfast can be taken.

 

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration.
For a solo traveller there is an adttional charge to cover transfer costs.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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