Our last trip to France was a total blast because of a few things — Disneyland Paris, experiencing lesser-known destinations in France during the springtime, and biking along the Alsace Wine Route.
This post is ALL about our experience biking the Alsace Wine Route!
The Alsace Wine Route, known as “Route des Vins d’Alsace” in French, is a picturesque wine trail in the Alsace region of northeastern France. Spanning approximately 170 kilometers (106 miles), this scenic route winds its way through the charming vineyard-covered hills and lots of historic villages of Alsace.
In my opinion, the absolute best way to experience the wine route is by bike! While planning this biking itinerary for myself, I was faced with an endless number of small towns and villages to choose from along the Route des Vins d’Alsace.
After doing extensive research, I settled on an itinerary that visits the following towns, starting from Colmar: Kaysersberg – Riquewihr – Ribeauvillé – Bergheim.
After attempting this biking itinerary and discovering EXACTLY how much there is to see within these towns, I made a decision to pare down the itinerary to just for you.
These two towns alone are jam-packed with wanderable streets, shops, wine bars, restaurants, and other things to do. There would be no way to truly enjoy all four towns if you tried to squeeze them all in just one day!
So without further ado, here is my step-by-step guide for this epic full-day journey of biking, eating, and exploring postcard-perfect villages along the Alsace Wine Route from Colmar to Kaysersberg and Riquewihr.
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Table of Contents
What Can You Expect In The Alsace Region?
Cuteness overload, colorful houses, pretzels, and LOTS of wine — that’s what! To give you a bit more background info:
The Alsace region is a treasure trove of charming villages, each exuding that old-world vibe that you mostly only ever see in movies. Strolling through cobblestone streets lined with half-timbered houses is all too common here!
Some of the towns we visited during our trip to Alsace include:
And we would have visited a lot more had it not decided to rain during our time in the area!
These other towns are also known to be drop-dead gorgeous as well, and though we didn’t have time to stop by, they were technically on our travel itinerary (darn the rain!). Oh well, there’s always next time for us.
Prepare your taste buds for a French/German-influenced adventure! Alsace is a haven for food enthusiasts, blending French finesse with hearty German flavors.
Treat your belly with foods that can only be enjoyed locally, such as tarte flambée, sauerkraut, gingerbread, nougat, macaroons, and choucroute garnie (sauerkraut). And let’s not forget the wines – Alsace is renowned for its exquisite white wines.
Countryside Charm and Vineyard Views
Rolling hills dotted with vineyards, plus a thing called the Alsace Wine Route that you can actually bike through — does that not make your heart scream with excitement???
Wine enthusiasts will find themselves in paradise with the renowned Alsatian wines! Really, if you enjoy wine, you won’t want to miss the chance to explore the region’s wine routes and savor the flavors of the local vineyards.
There are tons of wine-tasting opportunities within the little towns as well as at the countryside wineries.
What Can You Expect Along The Alsace Wine Route?
Enchanting Vineyard Landscapes: The Alsace Wine Route guides you through some of the most enchanting vineyard landscapes in Europe. The route unfolds against the backdrop of the Vosges Mountains, creating a quintessential European experience filled with rolling hills and picturesque vineyards!
Quaint Alsatian Villages: Along the route, you’ll encounter a string of cute little Alsatian villages, each cuter than the last! Expect to see lots of colorful half-timbered houses and narrow cobblestone streets, all of which invite you to explore local wineries, charming cafés, and artisanal shops.
Wine Tasting Heaven: The Alsace region is renowned for its wine production, and the Wine Route showcases just that! The wines that the Alsatian region is known for are predominantly white (Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, etc.). If you love wine, you’ll love the Alsace Wine Route!
Charming Castles and Medieval Town Squares: Beyond the vineyards, the route meanders past lots of historical and cultural landmarks such as old castles, medieval churches, and picturesque town squares. Honestly, it feels as if you’ve been transported to another time — in another world.. to a storybook universe!
Culinary Experiences: The Alsace Wine Route is not only a feast for the eyes but also for the palate! You’ve gotta take time to taste some traditional Alsatian dishes while you’re here! Try to pair local wines with regional specialties such as tarte flambée, choucroute garnie, and all the yummy pastries you can find here.
Cycling and Walking Opportunities: Personally speaking, I think the Alsace Wine Route is best experienced either on foot or by bike! The fact that the route is primarily free of cars provides the perfect opportunity to see the area by cycling or walking.
You won’t have to bushwhack your way through either. Well-marked trails and scenic paths parallel the route, allowing you to effortlessly enjoy the beauty of the region at a leisurely pace!
Alsace Wine Route Biking Itinerary: Colmar, Kaysersberg, and Riquewihr
Ready to experience the Alsace Wine Route for yourself? Here’s a step-by-step guide for the biking itinerary we did on our most recent visit to Alsace:
Depart from Colmar
Rent your bikes from any bike shop in Colmar. We rented from Lulu Cycles, which was situated super close to our hotel, PAUL & PIA – Welcome Home Hotel.
After putting down our deposit for the bikes, we headed out for Kaysersberg.
To find the start of the “veloroute du vignoble”, which translates to “vineyard cycle route”, you’ll want to pop in your destination (Kaysersberg) into your Google Maps and go to the bike route directions.
Try to follow it as best you can, but if you’re struggling to find bike-friendly lanes, ask someone for help! You can just ask them where the wine route is — someone should be able to point you in the right direction.
When we asked for help on getting out of town and into the countryside, another bike rider told us to ride towards the farmers market. On the other side of the market would be the road that would take us to the vineyard path!
The streets of Colmar are filled with bike lanes, so if you’re scared of driving next to cars (like I am), just know you won’t have to do too much of it.
Once you’re out of the city center, things get way easier because you can just look out for signs like this that’ll point you in the right direction:
Explore En Route
While you bike to Kaysersberg, you’ll encounter a couple of pit-stop opportunities including a little brewery/restaurant along the way. You could hop off here, grab a drink, snap some pics, and take a little stretch before continuing your journey.
On the way, you’ll pass by a very small village called Kientzheim. You can either skirt around the village, or go right through it. We decide to hop off our bikes and walk them through the quiet town of Kientzheim.
It was just about 9:30am when we passed through, which meant mostly everything was still closed. But it didn’t mean it was any less charming!
Since the bike ride to Kaysersberg took about 45 minutes, we stopped a couple of times to give our butts a rest while enjoying the countryside vibes!
During your ride, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the scenery! This is a clear case of “the journey is worth more than the destination”! (Well, sort of… because the destinations are pretty awesome too.)
The route from Colmar to Kaysersberg is surrounded by picturesque landscapes, including lots of greenery, vineyards, and rolling hills. Take your time to soak in the beauty of the Alsace region!
At some point, you’ll see Kaysersberg in the distance — ride toward town and get that bike parked so you can continue your exploration on foot!
Once you reach Kaysersberg, take a couple of hours to explore the town’s charming streets and historic sites, and enjoy a meal in one of the local restaurants.
Pop into the shops, try some pretzels, and get lost wandering through the unbelievably cute streets!
If you like glass-blowing, be sure to stop by Verrerie de Kaysersberg where you can witness a glass-blowing demonstration and browse through the glass shop.
Shortly after parking our bikes at the main parking lot of town, we started walking through town and it wasn’t long before we stumbled upon this random medieval festival called Festival du Jeu de Rôle de Kaysersberg (Role-Playing Game Festival).
I’m a sucker for all things medieval, so I almost died when I realized what was going on! What were the chances I would come across one of my favorite things in the world — in a town that actually looked like a medieval village?
It was small, but so amazing to see! Though mostly everything was in French, one of the guys who was explaining weapons from back in the day spoke English so he gave us a little shpiel about medieval swords in English.
While you’re in Kaysersberg, you could also check out Château de Kaysersberg, Alte Holzbrücke, and the Pont Fortifié area. For some wine tasting, check out nearby Domaine Weinbach.
Bike To Riquewihr
In terms of distance, Riquewihr and Kaysersberg are close neighbors, separated by approximately 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) of countryside. Ride for about 15 to 20 minutes to get to your next stop.
I thought Kaysersberg was cute, but when I saw Riquewihr? Riquewihr stole my heart!
Much like Kaysersberg, Riquewihr is full of colorful houses, old-timey village charm, and lots of locally-owned restaurants and storefronts selling everything from gingerbread, kugelhopf, Christmas ornaments, sauerkraut, cheese, pretzels, and more!
Return To Colmar
At this point, it’ll probably be late in the day. If it is, you may have to bike back to Colmar to return your bike before the rental shop closes.
If you’ve got more time, feel free to bike to another town (like Ribeauvillé or Bergheim) or spend more time in Riquewihr.
Tips For Biking The Alsace Wine Route
1. Plan Your Route: You’ll definitely want to use something like Google Maps or a cycling map to plan your route. Your app will probably give you two routes — one along the main road and another through the “backroads”, or the scenic route that’ll take you through vineyards, charming villages, and along the Alsace wine route! Go for the scenic route!
2. Rent Your Bike: We rented our bikes from Lulu Cycles, which was right across the street from our hotel, PAUL & PIA – Welcome Home Hotel. Opt for the e-assist bike because there will be hills along this route!
3. Start early and allocate extra time to find your way to the Alsace wine route. Morning rides will offer cooler temperatures and softer lighting, enhancing the scenic experience! I’d recommend starting about 1 hour before local businesses start opening. This will give you time to bike to your first destination in time for all the shops/restaurants/bakeries to begin opening up.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for directions. We sure did when we were trying to locate the biking path! And everyone we encountered was super friendly and helpful! If you’re starting in Colmar, you may need to ask for directions here and there until you reach the area where signs start appearing. After you’re outside of the city, finding your way gets quite a bit easier.
5. Follow signs for “veloroute du vignoble”, which translates to “vineyard cycle route”. By following these signs as well as the signs that point to the town you’re aiming for, it’ll be hard to get lost!
6. Pack essentials such as water, snacks, sunscreen, and a map (or a navigation map on your phone). Dress appropriately for the weather and wear a helmet for safety.
7. Respect Local Regulations: Be aware of local traffic regulations and always ride safely. Respect pedestrian paths and road rules.
Where To Stay To Experience The Alsace Wine Route
Since we wanted to explore a bunch of towns in the Alsace area, we chose to base ourselves outside of a larger city compared to that of Kaysersberg or Riquewihr.
We opted for a 3-night stay in Colmar, where there are lots and lots of hotels to choose from!
You could also stay in Strasbourg, which is a bit farther up north, but is a bit farther away from the route we did in this post. Nevertheless, you can find other parts of the Alsace wine route to bike that are close to Strasbourg here.
Below are my top choices for hotels in Colmar:
PAUL & PIA – Welcome Home Hotel ($): This is the hotel we stayed at! It’s so cute, colorful, and intimate. My favorite thing about this hotel was their free breakfast — we got to ‘feel’ like locals by gorging on a slice of kugelhopf every morning!
They also have a massive locker room for you to leave your suitcases in safely and securely should you want to continue exploring after your check-out time.
Hotel Le Colombier ($$): Located in the Little Venice district of Colmar town center, this warm and woody accommodation is such a cute design hotel!
L’Esquisse Hotel & Spa Colmar – Mgallery ($$ – $$$): For the luxury seekers! This is a 5-star boutique hotel and spa in the heart of the historic center located in the green haven of the Champ de Mars. There are a total of 62 rooms & suites with unparalleled comfort, the Spa by Clarins and a gastronomic experience at the JY’s restaurant.
Other Cute Towns To Visit Along The Alsace Wine Route
- Ribeauvillé – visit the three medieval castles overlooking the town—Girsberg, Haut-Ribeaupierre, and Saint-Ulrich—for panoramic views of the Alsace region.
- Bergheim – walk along the well-preserved medieval walls of Bergheim and explore the town’s historic center with its charming squares, fountains, and medieval architecture.
- Eguisheim – one of the “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France” (The Most Beautiful Villages of France)!
- Turckheim – experience the town’s unique tradition of the “Night Watchman Tour,” where a guide in medieval costume leads an evening tour recounting tales of Turckheim’s history.
Looking for more France travel tips? You may also like:
- 20 Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit Riquewihr And Kaysersberg, France
- 16 Fantastic Day Trips from Paris by Train
- 10 Best Castles in France You Must See For Yourself
- 7 Luxury Hotels In Paris With Views Of The Eiffel Tower
- 24 Best Things To Do In Chamonix In The Summer
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