I’ve been wanting to explore the Alsace region of France for a while, especially at Christmas, but the timing hasn’t worked out until now. During the planning process, Hubs and I went back and forth on how to get there most efficiently and with ample amount of time to actually explore without feeling rushed. Eventually we came to the conclusion that flying into Stuttgart, Germany and renting a car was the winner. You’ll need a car to visit the multitude of places and the freedom to roam around for as long or little time as you please. Our AirBnB was about 15 minutes away from Strasbourg – which is the capital city in the Alsace region. It was the perfect location for touring the region for our five day visit.
Strasbourg and Colmar are the well known villages in the region, but it’s the other, lesser known, villages that are the gems! Hubs and I explored 9 or 10 and definitely have favorites among them. Seeing these villages were like stepping into a Grimm fairy-tale scene. They are extremely cute and picturesque. And don’t forget to look up at the top of buildings, you might spot a stork nest or two. If you’re into wine, these villages are along the “Route Des Vins D’Alsace” and many people hop from one village to another tasting wine from local purveyors. Hubs and I are not wine drinkers, so we can’t say if they are good or not. The area is known for their white wine, if that helps. We tried some local specialties of fleischnacka and flammekueche (les tartes flambées) and Hubs some of the local beer.
Alsace has gone back and forth between German and French control for several hundred years. Therefore, it wasn’t too surprising to see the blending of French and German architecture, especially prevalent in the small towns. Most, if not all, of the small towns we enjoyed visiting clearly have their town names from German origins. Some of the small towns we liked to visit were: Riquewihr, Kaysersberg and Eguisheim . In Obernai we visited a bakery called ‘Gross Patisserie’ – clearly a German family name. On the wall there were pictures of the Patisserie from years gone by. While under German control the bakery was called Gross “Konditorei” – the German word for bakery. The region is really fascinating for it’s history, or baggage as some people say.
Strasbourg is only a two hour TGV ride from Paris and should definitely be near the top of your list when planning a trip to France. Just don’t forget to get a car when you get there to take in the Alsace countryside and villages.
Route Des Vins D’Alsace
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