This gentle seven-night cycle follows Alsace's incredible 'Route des Vins' (wine route), on a linear ride through medieval villages and vineyards, between the great Rhine river and the timeless Vosges Mountains. Bordered by Switzerland to the south and Germany to the east, Alsace offers a delicate balance of French and German, which combine to give it its own unique culture and a truly fascinating history.
All breakfasts and 1 evening meal included. Although traditional Alsatian cuisine is originally a peasant cuisine featuring potatoes, cabbage, beef and pork as the main ingredients, there are now some 30 Michelin starred restaurants in the Alsace region, offering visually spectacular and delicious, locally sourced, dishes. With two ‘starred’ restaurants in Kaysersberg, one in Riquewihr and one in Ammerschwihr, along with several others featured in the Michelin guide, there is plenty of top quality dining to choose from along your route. The cuisine features a lot of different pies, long simmered or stewed dishes like the traditional baeckeoffe. There is also the famous tarte flambée (flammekeuche in Alsatian dialect), a thin dough covered in cream, chopped onions and diced bacon. The influence of German cuisine and food habits is mainly marked in the important consumption of pork products and charcuterie. ‘Winstub’ is a traditional Alsatian restaurant. Originally it was a public space where the Alsatian wine-makers used to come to present and sell their wine. They used to serve traditional simple dishes to their customers, to accompany their tasting.
Arrive in Colmar and transfer (25 mins) to the village of Rouffach on Alsace's famous Route des Vins. *(Staying at Hostellerie A La Ville de Lyon)*
Set off along the 'Wine Route' through the vineyards, enjoying spectacular views. Stop in beautiful and ancient Eguisheim, officially one of the most beautiful villages in France, and holder of the prestigious 4* ville fleuri award (the highest award) for its town garden planting. Explore the narrow streets before heading on to pretty, mediaeval Turckheim and picking up the Camino de Santiago to Kaysersberg. *(Staying at Hotel les Remparts)*
Spend the day exploring the mediaeval streets and take a stroll up to the ruins of the old fortress. Alternatively, take a taxi to Colmar whose historic old town and riverside 'Petite Venise' area feature half-timbered, half-painted houses, offering a picture of Alsace as it was hundreds of years ago. *(Staying at Hotel les Remparts)*
Highlights today include Riquewihr, still enclosed by its mediaeval walls; Ribeauville, with its Renaissance fountains and hillside ruins (the most impressive being the crumbling Chateau St Ulrich, offering spectacular views) and home to many of the region's best wine producers; and Kintzheim, dominated by the remains of its C13-C15 castle, once property of the Merovingian kings, now home to numerous eagles, falcons and vultures. *(Staying at Hotel Vaillant)*
Explore the mediaeval streets of this one-time Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire, taking in the wonderful architecture, listed buildings and traditional shops, as well as the Selestat Humanist Library - the greatest of its type, one of the three treasures of Alsace and a site inscribed in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. There is also the option to take a taxi to mighty Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle for a visit along with some unforgettable views. *(Staying at Hotel Vaillant)*
Following tranquil lanes through the vineyards, stop for coffee in pretty, mediaeval Dambach-la-Ville and visit the Chapel of St. Sebastian, parts of which date to C12. For lunch, Barr makes a perfect place to stop, full of impressive half-timbered houses, typically dating from the C16-C18. *(Staying at A La Cour d'Alsace)*
Take some time to explore the fascinating town of Obernai that sits between the three main features of Alsace; the vineyards, the Vosges mountains and the Alsatian Plains. The town's numerous historic architectural features are well worth investigating but for spectacular views take a ride (perhaps by taxi) up Mount St Odile to Hohenburg Abbey. *(Staying at A La Cour d'Alsace)*
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.
Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.
Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.
Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!
When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.
Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.
At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.