Riquewihr: the pearl of the vineyards
Nestled in the hollow of a valley between the Vosges crests and plain of Alsace in the area of Ribeauvillé, this small medieval village enchants visitors with its architectural unity. Ramparts, paved courtyards with old wooden wine casks and gigantic presses, watchtowers and charming half-timbered houses: everything is admirably well preserved. And the surrounding vineyards contain the trail of the grands crus, one of the most famous in Europe.
Zellenberg: a perched cocoon
One not to miss! Perched on a hill in the middle of the vineyards, Zellenberg can be seen from afar. The vines run to the foot of the houses, built in typical local style and snuggled against each other. A pretty cocoon from which to admire two towers, ruins of the old chateau. The first, at the entrance to the village beside the beautiful Baroque church, is topped with a nest. The storks have good taste because the view is stunning.
Mittelbergheim: the taste of tradition
On a hillside near Obernai and Mont Saint Odile, Mittelbergheim contrasts sharply with its neighbours. Here there is no half-timbering, but elegant Renaissance houses in pink stone alongside a carefully maintained heritage. The oil mill and presses tell of a vivid wine tradition, as does the ‘Weinschlagbuh’, a registered manuscript which has chronicled the vineyards and price of wine since 1456. Unique in Alsace!
Andlau: the village of the bear
In its green valley surrounded by vineyards, Andlau is famous for its imposing abbey, its three great Riesling vintages – the moenchberg, the kastelberg and the wiebelsber – and also an intriguing bear goddess, from the time when the village is said to have been a Celtic place of worship. Les Ateliers de la Seigneurie, explaining the local heritage and Alsatian traditions, will also interest visitors.
Eguisheim: a round of flowers
Flowers, flowers, everywhere... like all the villages along the Alsace Wine Route, Eguisheim, a few kilometres from Colmar, is bedecked in floral decoration. And it’s difficult to beat! In the alleys that circle the charming squares, the coloured doll-like houses are arguably more handsome here than elsewhere. And there are wine cellars so welcoming that you’ll willingly stick around.
Bergheim: back to the past
Ancient walls still intact, adorable winding streets lined with old flowery houses, and legends of witchcraft… Bergheim goes back deliciously to the past. A bucolic wine trail completes the picture of this incredible little village, seemingly untouched by time.
Hunawihr: a nest in the vineyards
It’s fun to get lost in the vineyards around this village, one of the most typical in Alsace with its old dungeon church, fortified cemetery and vinegrowers’ houses with gables and paved courtyards. It tells the story of the holy washerwoman Huna, who poured fountain wine at a time when the grapes were failing. You can visit the informative Naturoparc where storks – emblems of Alsace and considered lucky charms for houses where they choose to nest – hold the spotlight.
Kaysersberg: imperial grandeur
Voted the favourite village of the French in 2017, Kaysersberg could become yours. Energetic visitors can climb up to the ruins of the imperial chateau and be rewarded by the view. Straddling the Weiss, the old fortified bridge, built in the pink sandstone of the Vosges, offers the same viewpoint. From one bank to the other, the elegant half-timbered houses with sloping roofs compete for your attention. The Constantine Fountain and the Holy Cross Church, with its beautiful Romanesque portal, add to the magic of the place.