Alsace Cycling Holiday
Start / FinishStrasbourg / Strasbourg
Distance160 miles/258 kms
Alsace, lying between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains in eastern France is one of Europe’s top spots for a leisure cycling holiday. The fertile valley is a treasure trove of idyllic medieval villages, set amid a sea of vineyards and connected by a network of quiet lanes. The food, the wine and the scenery are all sublime.
The tour leads you on a gentle loop from Strasbourg, a beautiful city with an enchanting, medieval core, through some of the most beautiful Alsatian wine villages. Gourmet and wine connoisseurs will be in their element as this is a region renowned for the quality of its food and drink.
Only 190 kms long and 50kms wide, Alsace is the smallest region in France but within its borders it manages to pack over a hundred enchanting villages, characterised by rows of colourfully painted, half-timbered houses and winding cobbled streets. No less than four of the villages you will visit have made it on to the list of The Most Beautiful Villages in France – Eguisheim, Riquewihr, Hunawihr and Mittelbergheim.
The cycling is leisurely and you’ll be averaging about 28 miles/ 45 kms per day. The first three days are pretty level and then as you head north along the base of the Vosges you will encounter a few hills. These are mercifully short however and you can always take a break or get off and walk for a bit. It’s worth noting we also offer electric bikes to rent on this tour.
Itinerary & Map
Day 1: Arrive Strasbourg
Make your way to your hotel in Strasbourg and check-in. The rest of the day is yours to explore this wonderful old city. The beautifully preserved centre is perfect for exploring on foot and must-sees include the imposing Notre Dame Cathedral with its intricate and mesmerising astronomical clock, the baroque style Opera House and Petite France. The latter is a picturesque area between the two rivers, crammed with half-timbered houses and narrow cobbled streets. In the evening we recommend preparing yourself for the following day’s exertions with a plate of Sauerkraut and sausages accompanied by a glass of fortifying Alsace beer.
Day 2: Strasbourg – Selestat area, 15, 22 or 34 miles/ 25, 35 or 55 kms
After breakfast you mount-up and bid Strasbourg au-revoir, cycling out of town beside the Rhone-Rhine Canal. A pleasant canal-side cycle path leads you through picturesque countryside deep into the Grand Ried. The Grand Ried is a low-lying region of meadows and woodlands that were prone to flooding before the Rhine River was finally tamed and canalised. The sediment from the river created a fertile landscape, rich in flora/fauna and cycling through it is a real pleasure. Your day ends in the town of Selestat or in one its pleasant surrounding villages.
Day 3: Selestat area – Colmar, 42, 36 or 24 miles/ 68, 58 or 38 kms
Your journey continues south today through the Grand Ried. The level landscape and quiet lanes make for easy cycling, allowing you to relax and enjoy the rural countryside as it drifts by. Small, well-kept villages appear at regular intervals providing plenty of opportunities for coffee/food breaks. Your destination today is Colmar, the main wine town of Alsace and a beautiful place to spend the night. Along the narrow streets of the old town around the Cathedral you’ll find plenty of charming, independent cafes, bars and restaurants serving Alsatian specialities. Here you’ll also find Maison Pfister, an elaborately painted and very photogenic 16th century residence.
Day 4: Colmar – Guebwiller, 20 miles/ 33 kms
A relatively short day’s cycling today but what the route lacks in distance it makes up for in scenery. You’ll cycle south on level terrain through a succession of picture perfect Alsatian wine villagess set amongst extensive vineyards. There’s plenty of time to explore the narrow, winding streets of these pretty little places before making your way to the town of Guebwiller, your home for the night. Guebwiller is a charming place nestled at the foot of the Vosges Mountains.
Day 5: Guebwiller – Riquewihr area, 29 miles/ 46 kms
Today you turn north and follow the wine road along the base of the Vosges Mountains. The route is undulating and probably the toughest day of the tour but the scenery is serene and peaceful so stop for a break whenever you like. There are more gorgeous Alsatian villages on the route today and Eguisheim; voted France’s Favourite Village in 2013, could well win your vote as the prettiest of them all. Wrapped around itself protectively, the colourful houses guard the maze-like streets within. You’ll also enjoy exploring the picture-perfect villages of Turckheim and Kaysersberg before stopping for the night in or near the delightful Alsatian wine village of Riquewihr.
Day 6: Riquewihr – Obernai area, 31 miles/ 49 kms
Today you keep following the wine road north through a sublime landscape of idyllic vineyards and quaint villages. There’s a beautiful village every 2 kms or so, and the hard bit is deciding which ones to cycle straight through and which ones to stop and explore further. Our personal recommendations are Hunawihr, Andlau Mittelbergheim. Tonight you will stay in or near the town of Obernai and as you would expect this is another beautiful old place with cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and a charming town square.
Day 7: Obernai area – Strasbourg, 23 miles/ 37 kms
Your last day’s cycling completes the circle back to the historic city of Strasbourg. You’ll pedal along country lanes through the village of Roshheim and the town of Molsheim to the Bruche Canal. You then enjoy a very pleasant and easy ride along the canal-side cycle path back to Strasbourg. The rest of day and evening is yours to relax and enjoy this charming old city. Why not celebrate your achievement with a lovely meal in one of old town’s many fine restaurants.
Day 8: Departure
After breakfast it’s time to checkout and head for home or your next adventure.
Dates & Prices
|2017 Arrival Dates|
|Arrival daily from 01 April to 30 September|
|Low season:||01 April - 28 April and 26 - 30 September|
|Mid season:||29 April - 02 June and 26 August - 25 September|
|High season||03 June - 25 August|
|Accom Type 3|
|Accom Type 4|
|Accom Type 5|
|Accom Type 6|
|Accom Type 7|
|Accom Type 8|
|Accom Type 9|
|Accom Type 10|
Board basis: Bed & Breakfast
Maps and route information
Bike hire (see supplements)
Tourist tax (payable locally)
Half board, superior (£195)
Bike hire, includes lock and pannier (£74)
Electric bike (£169)
Superior: 3 star hotels
Deposit per person £100
The bikes provided on this tour are modern alloy framed, 21-gear hybrid bikes with comfortable saddle and upright riding position. The bikes also come equipped with pannier, handlebar bag, puncture repair kit, spare inner tube and lock
Electric bikes are also available for hire. This popular option enables the rider to engage varying levels of assistance depending on the terrain.
Helmets are not provided and we therefore recommend bringing your own. Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet in France and we always advocate their use for riders of all ages.
On this tour you can choose between Comfort and Superior accommodation. Regardless of which you choose you will stay in a comfortable property and your room will have en-suite facilities.
Comfort: 5 nights in 3 star hotels and 2 nights in 2 star hotels
Superior: 3 star hotels throughout
Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night
Fly to Strasbourg or Basel. There are regular, direct trains between Basel and Strasbourg, the journey time is 1 hour and 20 mins.
- Date - 10/10/2016
- Name - Anonymous
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Excellent, all queries were dealt with swiftly.
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - Very well organised and great personal service from the Operator
- Flexitreks response - Many thanks for this short and sweet review!
- Date - 20/07/2016
- Name - Rena
- Service rating - 4.0
- Service comment - The agent was very informative and prompt. We had great service and information leading up to our trip.
- Product rating - 4.0
- Product comment - This region was beautiful and we enjoyed it very much. There were a few things that were a bit more difficult than we anticipated. Originally we were expecting somewhere between 3 - 5 hours of cycling a day so that would give us time to enjoy the area. In reality the cycling was closer to 6 - 8 hours a day, which was simply too much. What seemed to cause this was not the cycling itself so much but the lack of directions when we entered villages/towns and it was very difficult to get through the villages and find hotels. This always seemed to add on an hour or so of time at the beginning and end of each day. Also additional time navigating through and backtracking along the way. Also, sometimes the directions were lacking critical information or were simply wrong. Therefore, we learned by the 2nd day that we need to check our route by Google maps ourselves and map this out. The maps provided were not detailed enough in the villages. This could very simply be rectified with the information packet. I also think that perhaps some of the directions when translated to English were not checked. Additionally, there were some areas of the trip that were heavy highway traffic, which we were surprised about. I think this trip may have been a bit better starting from Colmar and going from there. The first 2 days were not overly scenic. All the accommodation was very nice, staff was always friendly and helpful. One other issue we encountered the first few days of the trip is that the restaurants at the hotels were fully booked and without a reservation we could not eat there. After a long day of cycling then having to find somewhere else to eat was sometimes not ideal. It would be handy to make folks aware of this in advance of the trip and recommend reservations to be booked in advance as part of the package.
- Flexitreks response - Many thanks for the comprehensive feedback Rena. Sorry you found the route notes a little hard to follow at times. They are checked regularly and for next year we will be introducing GPX tracks which can be uploaded to smartphones and GPS devices making navigation much easier. The sections on roads with heavy traffic are kept to a minimum and only used when no other alternatives exist. Thanks for the tip about restaurant reservations, we will be sure to advise future customers in the tour documents.
- Date - 10/06/2016
- Name - Allan
- Service rating - 5.0
- Service comment - Contact was very good arranged extra night at hotel
- Product rating - 5.0
- Product comment - There are a couple of mistakes in the route notes for example page 10 at 47.9 it says turn left towards Selestat and it is a right turn also could have pointed out tha 53.6 to 54.5 was not necessary to get to our hotel. Also often the instructions quoted a street name but the street name was no where to be found at the turn. So more Green Arrows would be helpful hotels were good except in Onernai it was aliterate far from the city centre when it is raining but nice hotel ...menues for half board were too limited in choices for the class of restaurant
- Flexitreks response - Thanks for the review and route note corrections Allan. The road book has already been updated and in addition, our local supplier is reviewing the route to see where green arrows may be a benefit to future riders.