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With wonderful local wines, delicious food and picturesque villages, the Alsace region of France is already a fantastic destination for a holiday. But there’s more! Alsace is also home to a brilliant network of cycle paths making it a cyclist’s paradise!
Long disputed over by France and Germany, Alsace has inherited characteristics from both cultures and countries and has blended them together to create its own special world. We certainly think that discovering this world by bike is the best way to do so.
On this journey you will pedal your way from the multilingual city of Strasbourg, ride through vineyards and some of the most famous and stunning timber clad villages along the Wine Route and culminate in the charming Swiss city of Basel.
Make sure to stop on the way to taste some of the locally grown wines: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir to name but a few! If you want to ride a bit further each day then it is also possible to provide extra loop rides from each day’s destination or within the route.
Arrive into Strasbourg at your leisure. The city is relatively easy to access as it has its own international airport with connections to other European cities and is also easily accessible by TGV from Paris (in just over 2 hours), and from airports in cities such as Basel, Switzerland and Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. Strasbourg is a multilingual city given its proximity to the German border and is also home to the European Parliament. Allow enough time to wander the cobbled streets of the historic centre – the Petite France district – where you will surely be blown away by the beauty of these 16th and 17th century houses lining the waterways. Tomorrow you begin the first stage of your tour to Basel.
Today’s itinerary sees you following the Canal de la Buche, one of the prettiest cycling paths in the Alsace region. Riding along what was formerly a tow path for horses to pull barges along the canal it is the perfect warm-up ride to get well acquainted with your rental bikes! Along the way you will pedal past rolling hills and vineyards and pass through Molsheim, where you can enjoy gazing at fantastic examples of traditional Alsatian architecture from a range of centuries.
Further on you will ride past the 12th century St Peter and St Paul’s Church, the most complete and most typical Romanesque architectural monument in Alsace! Continue on to Obernai situated on the eastern slopes of the Vosges mountains and your destination for this evening.
Your route for the day will take you on well-paved roads across the vineyard region. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you as the villages here are simply stunning! Indeed, you will be riding through Mittelbergheim, Dambach la Ville, Ribeauvillé, and Riquewihr, all of which are amongst France’s most beautiful villages and filled with half-timbered houses and colourful window boxes. Observe the finely preserved medieval architecture of Dambach la Ville, or maybe catch a tune from the traveling musicians in Ribeauvillé! Relax at the end of the day at your hotel in Riquewihr, perhaps with a glass of local Alsatian wine. Perfect!
An optional loop ride is possible from Orschwiller (on the route) to lengthen this ride by 32 km/20 miles.
Following the Wine Route and its stunning chain of villages, today’s gentle ride will lead you to Colmar, the Alsatian capital of wine and art. Turckheim and Eguisheim are two gorgeous villages you will pedal through on your route today Arriving into Colmar, make sure to visit “Little Venice”, an artisinal quarter located on the canal. Colmar has also been home to some famous names in the art world, such as Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty, and Renaissance painters Martin Schoengauer and Mathias Grüneweld. To learn more about Renaissance art, you may like to visit the Unterlinden Museum of Renaissance Art whilst in Colmar. Don’t panic, tomorrow’s ride is optional so you should have plenty of time to fit everything in!
Today you have the option to continue exploring Colmar and visit the sights that you haven’t yet had the chance to see. If you are itching to get back in the saddle then fear not, as there are loop ride options available too! The shorter option sees you follow the path of La Fecht river to the south-west of Colmar down to the town of Munster. The longer option takes you initially along the route you will be riding tomorrow to the UNESCO heritage site Neuf Brisach, before looping back round through small villages to the east of Colmar.
You will head east from Colmar this morning to Neuf Brisach, a fortified town which was built following the Treaty of Ryswick in 1697 to guard the border between France and the Holy Roman Empire. Today it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. From Neuf Brisach the route heads south, through the town of Ottmarsheim. Take the time to visit the octagonal church in Ottmarsheim which dates back to the early 11th century. Continue pedalling on through the Hardt Forest before linking up with the Huningue Canal which will lead you into Mulhouse where you will be staying tonight.
The initial part of your final day’s ride follows the Eurovelo 6 cycle route to Illfurth. Pedal along the cycle path running alongside the Canal du Rhône au Rhin, through the Ill Valley and passing through the historic village of Zillisheim. At Illfurth you will leave behind the Eurovelo route and you will ride through small charmming villages in the Sundgau region towards your final destination, Basel. The city is renowned for its many museums as well as its lively quays down by the Rhine river, the perfect spot to enjoy a drink or a meal and reflect on a great cycling trip from Strasbourg to Basel!
After breakfast, depart from Basel at the time of your choosing.
7 nights’ accommodation (3 and 4-star hotels)