Le Gouverneur Hotel, Obernai
Located just inside the ramparts in the centre of the pretty town of Obernai about 30km south west of Strasbourg, Le Gouverneur (though rated as only 2-star) is a stylish and comforable hotel, completely renovated from an historic coaching inn dating back to 1550. Facilities here include a breakfast room and comfortable newly-refurbished bedrooms with private bath or shower, TV and telephone. PLEASE NOTE: There is no lift but 5 rooms are located on the ground floor.
There is not a bar or restaurant at the hotel but the hotel is situated in the centre of town with a bar directly across the street and a host of restaurants within a few minutes' walk. For gourmets, Obernai is blessed with not one but two Michelin-starred restaurants, one less then 50m from the hotel but there are a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Obernai itself is a lovely town for a pre- or post-dinner stroll - a walk around the ramparts will certainly build up an appetite!
OUR VIEW ON THE HOTEL
This hotel belies its 2-star status and is a stylish and comfortable hotel, completely renovated from an historic coaching inn dating back to 1550, with rooms arranged around a lovely courtyard. There is no lift as stated but there are 5 rooms on the ground floor and is not air-conditioned though this is not usually a problem here. As well as its historic setting, the hotel's other great asset is the lovely town of Obernai with its host of bars and restaurants within 3 or 4 minutes' walk.
Pre-tour accommodation is available at the Premier Inn, London Kings Cross St Pancras, about a 5 minutes walk from St Pancras International, at an approximate rate of £120 per room. Bookings can be made direct with the hotel on 0871 527 8672 or visit their website.
Among the vineyards at the foot of the sacred mountain of Mont-Ste-Odile, Obernai is the epitome of an Alsace wine village with crumbling walls and ancient, narrow streets lined with timber-framed houses. In the Place du Marché stands the 15th century town hall, 16th century corn hall and Tour de la Chapelle. A walk around the medieval ramparts offes an excellent overview of the town.
Colmar and Riquewihr
Colmar is the town that quintessentially captures the character of Alsace with its immaculately preserved town centre that boasts high-gabled timber framed houses that front the charming streets and squares. Outstanding are the galleried Old Customs House, the Maison Pfister adorned with frescos and medallions and Colmar’s own“Little Venice”, the picturesque Krutenau district. Other highlights include the Musée d’Unterlinden where Grunewald’s masterpiece, the Issenheim Altarpiece, is displayed; the Dominican Church and Collegiate Church of St. Martin. Dating from 1049, Riquewihr owes its considerable prosperity to the wine industry and boasts a wealth of sumptuous houses and public buildings. Highlights include the Gothic Church of Our Lady, the Dolder Tower and Porte Superieure.
The stunning city of Strasbourg is (in)famous as the headquarters of the European Parliament but is also a wonderful medieval city. Highlights include the towering Gothic cathedral, known as “the great pink angel” that also boasts a 19th century astronomical clock that draws the crowds for its midday performance, Chateau Rohan, the delightful “Petit France” district - the oldest part of the city dating from the 1100’s, Rhine Palace, the Palais de l’Europe and lovely cobbled squares flanked with timber-framed houses.
Freiburg and the Black Forest
A wonderful day of scenic and historic beauty as we head into Germany, first of all to one of the country's most beautiful and historic cities, Freiburg. Sights of this important university town include the university quarter, Rathausplatz, the Cathedral, and old town market square and morning market. After lunch we head to the stunningly beautiful Black Forest with an afternoon stop at picturesque Triburg, capital of cuckoo clock artisans and home of a wonderful cascading series of waterfalls.
Baden-Baden and Northern Alsace Villages
An elegant spa town, since the 19th century Baden-Baden has been one of the most fashionable resorts in Germany with splendid Belle-Epoque architecture, and a casino that is claimed to be the most beautiful in the world. It is a delightful place that retains the feeling of a more unhurried, leisured age.
Valid passport required by all, except:
(a) EU nationals holding valid national identification cards;
(b) Holders of national identification cards issued to nationals of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Switzerland.
Are not required by EU citizens. All other nationalities should enquire at the French consulate (PO Box 57, 6A Cromwell Place, London SW7 2EW
Tel: (020) 7838 2000/1. Information Service: Tel: (0891) 887 733. Fax: (020) 7838 2046. Opening hours: 0900-1130 (and 1600-1630 for visa collection only) Monday to Friday (except French and British national holidays).
As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Lille, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform. Porters are sometimes but not always available at St Pancras. The Eurostar and French trains are very long (18 carriages in the case of Eurostar and nearly 400 metres long) so there can be quite lengthy walks from the station entrance to your seat. On all legs of the journey you have reserved seat and carriage numbers which are shown clearly on your ticket.
LUGGAGE TO YOUR HOTEL
Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890
HEALTH & INSURANCE – EHIC CARD
Please note that EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) only allows access to the same state-provided healthcare as a resident of the EU country they are temporarily visiting. It is NOT an alternative to travel insurance and will not provide the same level of cover as a travel insurance policy. The EHIC will not cover any private medical healthcare or the cost of things such as repatriation to the UK or lost or stolen property. It is also important to note that each country’s healthcare system is slightly different, so the EHIC might not cover everything that would be generally free on the NHS. On the EHIC application website, there is a section called Access to Healthcare Abroad which clarifies all the conditions and inclusions. We strongly recommend that you take out an appropriate travel insurance policy when you travel abroad.
Day 1: Travel by Eurostar from St Pancras or Ebbsfleet to Paris and onwards to Strasbourg by TGV. On arrival, transfer by coach to Obernai (approx. 20-30 minutes) and Le Gouverneur Hotel.
Day 2: Full day tour to Colmar and Riquewihr. Colmar captures the quintessential character of the Alsace, its charming streets, squares and small canals lined with crooked and colourful half-timbered houses – a wanderer’s paradise. A must see is the 500 year old Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, housed in the Unterlinden Museum. One of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, Riquewihr owes its historical prosperity to wine – Riesling in particular is produced here. Full of lovely historical architecture, Riquewihr looks much as it did in the 16th century and one of the few towns in the area to escape being badly damaged in WWII.
Day 3: Full day in Strasbourg. The city of Strasbourg offers a stark contrast of old and new. At its heart you’ll find a medieval town of atmospheric narrow streets, half-timbered houses and the awe-inspiring pink-sandstone Gothic cathedral. Surrounding this is a thoroughly modern and progressive city including the headquarters of the European Parliament. A boat ride on the Ill River is an excellent way to see both sides. The charming ‘Petite France’ district, dating from the 1100s, is a must see.
Day 4: Full day to relax and explore Obernai at your leisure. Set amongst vineyards on the eastern slopes of the Vosges Mountains Obernai was the birthplace of Alsace’s patron saint Odile. A delightful town, you can stroll the medieval ramparts and cramped lanes lined with half-timbered houses and visit the Place du Marché and Tour de la Chapelle.
Day 5: Full day to Freiburg and the Black Forest. One of Germany’s most beautiful and historic cities, Freiburg is a vibrant university town based around the magnificent Gothic Münster (cathedral) built in red sandstone. The centre, which fans out from the Münster is delightfully quaint and historic, is easy and lovely to explore. Freiburg is a gateway to the Black Forest, and we will spend the afternoon revelling in the natural beauty and traditional air of the area, with an afternoon stop at Triburg, capital of the cuckoo clock.
Day 6: Full day tour to Baden-Baden. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden spent the 19th century being Germany’s most fashionable resorts and this elegance remains in the splendid Belle-Époque architecture including a casino that is lauded as the most beautiful in the world. Travelling the Black Forest panoramic road we will pay a visit to Lake Mummelsee before returning to Obernai.
Day 7: Transfer by coach back to Strasbourg station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Paris, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Offering a wide range of extended tours and cultural short breaks for the discerning traveller, Travel Editions was established in 1994 and is now one of the leading specialist independent escorted tour operators in the UK. The company started with the idea of creating itineraries that were not readily available on the high street, and the team still remains focused on offering escorted tours that appeal to travellers rather than tourists.
Over the years, Travel Editions has developed and diversified its range of escorted tours to include rail tours, air tours, history tours, Christmas tours and even specialist interest tours that have specific appeal for walkers, foodies, art lovers, music addicts and flower enthusiasts. From enjoying wonderful walks and tasty local cuisine in Crete to visiting the art nouveau buildings of Milan and exploring the architectural gems of the Netherlands, Travel Editions creates amazing tours to suit every budget and interest.
As rail transport is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel, the company has carefully developed nearly 30 exciting escorted rail tours that include trips to France, Spain, Brussels, Arnhem, Luxembourg and the Italian Riviera. Travel Editions believes that the journey becomes part of the holiday, and is why this specialist tour operator also offers a range of tours by air, such as Delphi and Mount Pelion in Greece, the beautiful Italian city of Florence, and Paphos, Nicosia and the Troodos Mountains in Cyprus. Whatever the escorted tour or the destination, Travel Editions provides holidays that are packed full of cultural and historic treasures, as well as plenty of free time to relax and soak up the local atmosphere and the regional food and wine.
One of the best things about Travel Editions is that the team can tailor-make all tours to your group’s budget and specification, be it shopping till you drop in New York or tasting the most delicious gastronomic delights of Sicily. Not only can the activities be tailored to meet your requirements but so can the travel options, hotel selection (three, four or five-star hotel) and the whole itinerary. Alternatively, you can simply pick one of the many carefully curated escorted tours listed on the Travel Editions website.
In almost all cases, daily excursions are included in the price of a trip, and all excursions are taken by private coach. The size of the group varies depending on the escorted tour, and Travel Editions limits some holidays to lower numbers to suit the nature of the specific holiday. Walking, culinary and special interest tours are limited to approximately 20-30 passengers, and the Europe by Rail and Europe by Air holidays are limited to a maximum of 35 passengers. Then there’s the UK British Heritage Tours with a maximum capacity of 49, however, some are much less than this. No matter which tours you choose, you will never feel as though you are in a big group.
Travel Editions is passionate about delivering a personal service every step of the way, and its team of experts will arrange your holiday with minimum fuss and maximum effort. Customer service and attention to detail are at the heart of everything they do, plus you will always be treated as an individual and get the benefit of affordable prices by travelling as a group. Another bonus is that Travel Editions is ABTA and ATOL protected, which means your money and your holiday will be protected from the moment you book.
In addition to offering extended tours and cultural short breaks, Travel Editions offers a large range of special events in the UK that bring the culture and history of the United Kingdom to life. These events can be found in the Art & History Abroad programme and include expert speakers, entertaining concerts and impressive dinners in historic locations.
You can contact Travel Editions directly by: