Discover the magic of autumn in Alsace during a 5-day road trip
Autumn is an exceptional season for exploring Alsace.
We didn't hesitate for long and changed destinations the day before departure (a great advantage of road trips in a van!).
We spent 5 incredible days discovering and exploring Alsace, between Colmar and Strasbourg while taking our time to explore every little corner and village. We will definitely return because there are still many things to discover in this beautiful region of Alsace and the Vosges.
|Day 1: Colmar, the little Venice of Alsace|
Colmar is nicknamed the "Little Venice of Alsace" because of its picturesque canals. It is famous for its cobbled streets, colorful half-timbered houses and delicious cuisine.
We spent the day strolling through the little streets of Colmar and admiring the traditional architecture of Colmar.
We recommend you :
- The Little Venice district: one of the most emblematic places in Colmar. Its canals lined with picturesque half-timbered houses create a romantic atmosphere.
- The Colmar covered market : The ideal place to taste fresh and local products (and for lunch!). There you will find cheeses, cold meats, pastries and of course, Alsatian wine.
- The Tanneurs district: a very charming district of Colmar. Its narrow streets, well-maintained half-timbered houses and small squares make it a pleasant place to stroll. You can also discover art galleries and artisan shops.
Colmar is of course the ideal place to discover local specialties such as tarte flambée (flammekueche), sauerkraut and pretzel (we won't tell you how many we ate!). You can also taste delicious white wines including Gewurztraminer and Riesling
Day 2: Discovering the historic villages (by bike?)
Alsace is full of pretty historic villages , each with a unique charm.We decided to discover these wine villages by bike (around 30-40 km over the day), taking the paths among the vineyards. It was also easier to “park” in the villages and we were able to enjoy a section of the Alsace wine route.
We visited 3 villages, among the most typical and best preserved. With their cobbled streets, their colorful half-timbered houses and floral decorations, they offer a magical atmosphere and a warm and welcoming atmosphere. An ideal day to discover Alsatian culture and its history!
- Riquewihr : This medieval village is often considered one of the most beautiful in all of Alsace (and indeed, it is truly magnificent!). For wine lovers, you will also find numerous cellars to enjoy a glass of local wine. Riquewihr Tourism Office
- Eguisheim: Eguisheim is a typical Alsatian village with its circular houses and narrow streets. It is surrounded by vineyards, making it an ideal starting point for exploring the Alsace Wine Route. Perched above the village is the Château Saint-Léon (not to be missed!). Eguisheim tourist office
- Kaysersberg: Nestled at the foot of the Vosges mountains, Kaysersberg is another gem of Alsace. Its ruined castle offering a panoramic view of the region, and its peaceful atmosphere. Kaysersberg Tourist Office
J our 3: Hike around Lac Blanc
Lac Blanc , nestled in the Vosges mountains, offers a spectacular setting, especially in autumn with its forests of a thousand colors, and nothing better than a hike to fully enjoy the autumn colors.
The hiking trails around the lake allow you to admire the reflections of the colorful trees in the calm water of the lake. You can choose from several hiking loops, from short strolls to longer hikes for a full day in the great outdoors.
Little tip: Bring a picnic to fully enjoy your day and have lunch by the lake.
Find all the information about Lac Blanc
For the evening, do not hesitate to contact La ferme-auberge du Chérimont (Ban-de-Sapt) : this farm welcomes vans, converted vans and camper vans and offers pitches in a peaceful setting. You can taste regional dishes and enjoy the surrounding nature
Day 4: Visit to Château Haut-Koeningbourg + walk in the Illwald forest
Medieval castles dot the region and allow you to immerse yourself in history while enjoying the panoramic view from the ramparts.
In the morning, you can explore the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg which offers a panoramic view of the region and is particularly impressive in autumn when the leaves of the trees change color.
We were lucky enough to be able to take a guided tour of the castle. This allowed us to better understand its history and its secrets. If you have the opportunity to take a guided tour: go for it!
Official website of Château Haut-Koeningbourg
And after a well-deserved lunch break, the Illwald forest, located near Sélestat, is the ideal place for an afternoon walk.
The Illwald forest is a nature reserve where fauna and flora abound. The trails through the forest are very well maintained and it is even possible to observe the diversity of wild life, including birds and deer.We recommend the Île aux Épis trail to go deeper into the forest!
J our 5: Strasbourg, the European capital
Finally, explore Strasbourg , the capital of Alsace, famous for its picturesque canals , half-timbered houses and Strasbourg Cathedral , a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
Here are our favorites for a day in this pretty city, even if, we must admit, we would have liked to stay there longer!
- Notre-Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg: This Gothic cathedral is an architectural masterpiece. Climb up to the observation deck for stunning views of the city and surrounding areas. The interior is just as impressive, with its stained glass windows and astronomical clock.
- La Petite France: This picturesque district is one of the most charming in Strasbourg. Colorful half-timbered houses line the canals, creating a romantic atmosphere. Stroll the cobblestone streets and explore the shops and restaurants.
- The European Parliament: Strasbourg is home to the European Parliament, one of the seats of government of the European Union. You can take a guided tour to learn more about the European institutions and the history of the Union.
- Place Kléber: This large square in the heart of the city is the site of numerous events and festivities. It is surrounded by shops, cafes and the giant Christmas Tree during the Christmas market period.
- The Museums of Strasbourg: The Alsatian Museum offers an overview of Alsatian culture. The Historical Museum of the City of Strasbourg is also an interesting place to learn more about the history of the city.
Practical information: Where to sleep?
Many farms and vineyards welcome vans, converted vans and motorhomes. We really enjoyed staying in a “homestay”. This allowed us to meet great people and taste delicious regional products.
Here are some suggestions for vineyards and farms around Colmar to spend a lovely evening among the vineyards.
(! We always recommend contacting them in advance to find out if they are still open and to book if necessary.)
- Domaine Albert Mann (Wettolsheim) : This renowned family vineyard offers wine tastings and has an area where motorhomes can park. This is a great option for wine lovers.
- Klur Vineyard (Katzenthal) : This biodynamic vineyard not only offers wine tastings, but also the opportunity to spend the night with your vehicle on their property.
- Domaine Barmès-Buecher (Wintzenheim) : A wine estate that sometimes offers campervan sites to visitors who want to explore the Alsace wine region.
- Ferme du Lavoir (Eguisheim): This farm offers pitches for motorhomes in a rural setting. You can experience farm life while exploring the surrounding area.