Alsace is located in northeastern France, that actually straddles (geographically and culturally) Germany and Switzerland as well. Boasting a wealth of extraordinary art and architecture, the region is equally known for its wine and culinary offerings (There are more Michelin starred restaurants here than anywhere else in France). Through medieval villages with half-timbered houses, along quiet waterways and over vineyard covered hills, Alsace is an idyllic region waiting to be discovered by bike.

Only Great Explorations

· Small groups, extraordinary guides, and authentic experiences
· Ride the bike path along the Loire River, a ride you will never forget
· A sumptuous picnic on the grounds of one of the grand chateau
· Order off the menu at restaurants you won’t find in guidebooks
· Distinctive, charming hotels too small for larger groups
· We design and operate our own trips so there are only good surprises

Location

Strasbourg

Starting Location

Ottrott

Ottrott, France

Day 2-3

Illhaeusern

Illhaeusern, France

Day 4-5

Colmar

Colmar, France

End Location

What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?

INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP

Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
6 nights lodging
All breakfasts
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off (see arrive/depart cities)
Great Explorations City Guide to Paris.

Particulars

EVENT DATES

2019

June 2-8
July 7-13
Sep 8-14
Sep 15-21
Sep 22-28

2020

June 7-13
July 5-11
Sep 6-12
Sep 13-19
Sep 20-26

Self-guided and custom trips also available and can start any day. Call or email for details.

TRIP SIZE

8-16 participants

TOTAL DAYS

7 days/ 6 nights with 6 days cycling (arrival night hotel is included)

ARRIVE / DEPART

Strasbourg

ACTIVITY LEVEL

Moderate

Van supported

TERRAIN

Moderate

COST

Land Cost (current year):
US $2550

Single Supplement:
US $650

Bike Rental:
US $180

Please note: Final itinerary is subject to revision; any changes made are done so in an attempt to provide the best possible trip given route conditions and available services. Due to the nature of our business and exchange rates, prices are subject to change. All prices quoted are U.S. dollars but we gladly accept payment in Canadian dollars also. Due to cancellations and waiting lists, trip availability fluctuates daily. If you have any questions or would like to confirm space on this trip before making your reservation, please contact us at info@great-explorations.com or by telephone at 604.730.1247

1

Day 1

Arrival in Strasbourg

The NY Times describes Strasbourg as follows: “a fetching Franco-Teutonic core of cobbled traffic-free lanes, canals, half-timbered houses and spires where you can fill both your belly (with copious rustic Alsatian dishes) and your brain (with impressive art museums). Toss in the seat of the European Parliament, a lively bar scene and some winningly repurposed historical buildings — now elegant hotels and gastronomic havens — and you have an international city with year-round appeal.” Museum lovers will appreciate the 18th century Palais Rohan and or the Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporain. After filling yourself with culture, head to Restaurant 1741, with its Michelin star and Baroque boudoir style and enjoy a remarkable meal. On your walk home, consider stopping in at Wawa, one of the hip lounges that has recently opened and popular with locals.

2

Day 2

Strasbourg to Ottrott

Ride south from Strasbourg along dedicated cycle paths along the Bruche canal which was built to bring the red sandstone of the Vosges for the construction of forts in Strasbourg. In Molsheim join up with the Alsace wine route through charming villages including Obernai and Ottrott.
Distance: 48 km, elevation gain 300 m

3

Day 3

Ottrott loop

Starting from Ottrot our longer option climbs to Mont St. Odile where the views will reward your effort. Enjoy the descent through Obernai, filled with interesting shops and galleries followed by a flat and moderately rolling afternoon through smaller villages back to your hotel.
Distance: 33 km, elevation gain 225 m or 50 km, gain 850 m 

4

Day 4

Ottrott to Illhaeusern

Riding south from Ottrott, the route through vineyards and along the edge of the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park will be a favourite. Have lunch in the village of Kintzheim at the Auberge St. Martin, renowned for its tarte flambée, a regional specialty here composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly in the shape of a rectangle or circle, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons. Afterwards, glide into the charming village of Illhaeusern. For foodies, don’t miss an opportunity to dine in the 3-star Michelin dining room of Auberge de L’Isle for dinner.
Distance: 51 km, elevation gain 700 m

5

Day 5

Illhaeusern loop

Should you wish to dip into Germany, you have the chance on this day to explore the Kaiserstuhl wine region along the Rhine River (the sunniest region of Germany), with idyllic wine villages such as Achkarren and its wine museum, and the towns of Bickensohl and Burkheim. Should you want a century ride staying on the French side of the Rhine through farmlands and along the Rhine river, this option is available.
Distance: 57 km, elevation gain 350 m or 100 km, 350 m

6

Day 6

Colmar

Ride to the charming villages of Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr – both are listed as members of the les plus beaux villages en france (the most beautiful villages of France). Along the way you can visit the Bott Frères family winery described by Francine Prose in the NY Times: “The winemaking machinery – vats and bottles, dials and tubes – is not only ingenious but beautiful, even fantastic, like the equipment one might find it a grown-up version of Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory.” Haut Koenigsburg is also an option should you wish to climb up – this imposing castle boasts views over the surrounding countryside. Arrive to Colmar, known for its old world charms and recently, a museum renaissance. Unterlinden is leading Colmar’s transformation into France’s latest destination for modern art and architecture, thanks to a three-year, 44 million-euro renovation and expansion by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. This lead to NY Times rating Colmar as one of the top 52 Places to visit in 2016. We agree!
Distance: 30 km, elevation gain 285 m or 55 km, gain 860 m

7

Day 7

Depart from Colmar at your leisure. Trains to Paris (Paris Est station) depart throughout the day and take 2h30.

Hotel Hanong, Strasbourg

The 4-star hotel artfully combines designer touches with a blend of styles, including a majestic wooden staircase with broad landings, guest rooms with original parquet floors renovated in contemporary style, a “1930s” lounge and intimate, modern terraces.


L’Ami Fritz, Ottrott

Built entirely in stone, the first building dates from the 18 th century. Once a bourgeois winegrower house, it was converted into a wine store in 1895 to sell wine of the proprerty, and finally into a hotel and restaurant in 1970. This family-owned property offers comfortable guest rooms and excellent restaurant in this charming village.


Hotel Restaurant Au Lion, Ribeauville

This modest yet charming family owned and managed hotel is comfortable and welcoming. It has an excellent location in the centre of Ribeaville, the guest rooms are large and the breakfast excellent.


Hotel Le Colombier, Colmar

The 4-star Hotel Le Colombier is located in the historic centre of Colmar, in the 'Little Venice' district. This takes its name from the orientation of the houses that are located directly on the River "Lauch". The style is contemporary and upscale.



			

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