Alsace is located in northeastern France, but actually straddles (geographically and culturally) Germany and Switzerland also. Boasting a wealth of extraordinary art and architecture, the region is equally known for its wine and culinary offerings (more Michelin starred restaurants than anywhere else in France). Riding through medieval villages with half-timbered houses, along quiet waterways and over vineyard covered hills 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

Strasbourg, France

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, 2 lunches, 5 dinners
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)

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 $2950

Single Supplement:
US $750

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

Arrive in Strasbourg and meet your bikes

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 Les Haras, Strasbourg

This 4-star hotel occupies the former National Stud Farm, classified as a historical monument and now a luxurious hotel by designer-architect Jouin-Manku. The guest rooms take their inspiration from the history of the property and there is a superb brasserie/restaurant, managed by Marc Haeberlin.


Hostellerie des Chateaux, Ottrott

In a 17th century chateau with modern wings, this hotel and spa retains original features such as pitched ceilings and exposed beams. There is a spa and indoor pool and an upscale restaurant.


Hotel des Berges, Illhaeusern

This 5-star intimate hotel is situated in the heat of the small village and has just 8 guest rooms and of course, the onsite restaurant, Auberge de L’lll which is one of only 27 3-star Michelin restaurants in France. Having had the good fortune to dine here, we can say it is well worth the splurge!


Le Marechal, Colmar

This 4-star property was built in 1565 and is one of the most iconic buildings in Colmar, with 30 romantic rooms individually decorated. Breakfast is served in the restaurant overlooking the canal. Member, Chateaux & Hotel Collection



			

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