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The Wine Villages Of The Alsace

Spend a week walking in the magnificent Alsatian countryside on the French-German border.

From£1,125

  • France

  • 7 nights
  • Culture & Natural History

    Rail & Walk

  • Jun

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 11050

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Ramble through picture-postcard villages dotted with ancient vineyards.
  • Follow the Sentier Vinicole des Grands Crus, linking charming Alsatian villages such as Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé.
  • Walks begin directly from the hotel.
  • Discover the enchanting towns of Colmar - birthplace of the designer of the Statue of Liberty - and Kaysersberg, home town of Albert Schweitzer
  • View distant Germany across the Rhine from wooded ridges.
  • Explore Colmar or Strasbourg on your free day.
  • Look out for white storks' nests high up on chimneys and rooftops

Alsace is where French and German cultures have intermingled through the centuries leaving fairy tale villages dotted amidst ancient vineyards as far as the eye can see.

Most of our walks start and end at our hotel in Kaysersberg, (voted France’s favourite town in 2017). Several follow the Sentier Vinicole des Grands Crus, linking other typical Alsatian villages like Riquewihr, Eguisheim and Ribeauvillé, with their red roofs, fountains, cobbled alleyways and half timbered buildings. Some walks undulate through the vineyards heavy with Gewürztraminer and Riesling grapes in the autumn. Others rise to the wooded ridges from where in the distance Germany is visible across the Rhine.

The cities of Colmar and Strasbourg lie a short distance away, possible destinations for a free day. In the evenings, you can enjoy Franco-German gastronomic pleasures such as Flammkuchen or Baeckeoffe in a local restaurant. It will also be possible to visit a local winery to enjoy a tasting of local wines

  • Return rail travel by Eurostar and TGV and hotel transfers by road
  • Half board accommodation with breakfasts taken in the hotel and dinners in local restaurants
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Our journey starts by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. We will then travel by metro (or walk) to the Gare de L’Est for the TGV to Mulhouse or Colmar and from Mulhouse or Colmar we will transfer by road to Kaysersberg.

Transfer Time = 30m

Day 2

Intro to Alsatian Countryside

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    9.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    510m

Our walk today serves as an introduction to the Alsatian countryside. We begin with an orientation walk through Kaysersberg and then walk through vineyards and woodland and across open hillsides with good views of the surrounding area. We return to Kaysersberg through the wine villages of Katzenthal and Ammerschwihr.

Day 3

Medieval Eguisheim

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    340m

We take hired transport to the picturesque medieval village of Eguisheim, birthplace of Pope Leo IX (St Bruno), the only Pope to come from Alsace. We ascend through woodland to reach the Donjons d’Eguisheim, three ruined castle keeps which we can explore. We return to Eguisheim through woodland and vineyards. There should be time for independent exploration of Eguisheim before we take hired transport back to our hotel.

Day 4

Free Day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today is a free day but you do have the option of visiting Colmar for the day. You can take the public bus to Colmar for a day of sightseeing. Colmar is the second largest town in Alsace with many picturesque houses and its fascinating Little Venice district. Strasbourg is also within travelling distance should you wish for another option today.

Day 5

Hilltop Castle

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    7 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    160/650m

Did you spot a castle while on the train heading into Colmar on day one? If you did you have an idea of where we are going today. If you didn’t it will be a pleasant surprise! Haut Koenigsbourg is a large hilltop castle, originally built in 12th C but totally rebuilt under Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1900 and 1909. After we have visited the castle we will take a woodland walk to the equally fascinating wine village of Ribeauvillé, stopping en route for a picnic near the tranquil village of Thannenkirch. There will be a chance to explore the village before returning to our hotel in hired transport. 

Day 6

Mountain Village

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    3.5 hours

  • Distance

    8 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    500/300m

Our walk takes today takes us from Kaysersberg to the picturesque mountain village of Freland, which is completely different from an Alsatian Village as its original inhabitants were Welche people, who spoke a Latin rather than a Germanic language. We will have a chance to visit a fascinating rural museum before returning to our hotel in hired transport. 

Day 7

From Kaysersberg to Riquewihr

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    410m

Today's walk truly represents the name of the holiday as we pass through several wine villages. It is the longest walk of the week but we take it at a moderate pace, stopping at times to reflect on aspects of recent history.

We walk from Kaysersberg to its sister wine village of Kientzheim, home to the organisation which controls the quality of Alsace wines. From there we climb the hill the reach the moving Nécropole Nationale cemetery and war memorial, from where there are extensive views of the surrounding countryside. We continue through vineyards and three more wine villages before reaching Riquewihr, one of the most picturesque villages in Alsace. We will have time to explore Riquewihr before walking back to the hotel.

Day 8

Time to Head Home

Meals

Breakfast

It is now time to leave. Our return journey to Colmar is by a private transfer vehicle then a train from Colmar to Paris Gare de l'Est. We will then board the Eurostar from Paris Gare du Nord to London St Pancras.

From (GBP)£1,125

Departure dates for your selected tour

13th Sep 2020 - 20th Sep 2020 (7 Nights)

4th Oct 2020 - 11th Oct 2020 (7 Nights)

6th Jun 2021 - 13th Jun 2021 (7 Nights)

12th Sep 2021 - 19th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

3rd Oct 2021 - 10th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return rail travel by Eurostar and TGV
  • London St Pancras - Colmar via Paris (possible en-route stop at Strasbourg in either or both directions), via Paris will involve a change in station.
  • Hotel transfers by road c. 30 minutes

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel les Remparts

On the edge of the historical town of Kaysersberg in Alsace, bordering forest and vineyards, the Hotel les Remparts offers you calm and comfort.

All rooms, located in two buildings, are ensuite with private bar, phone, TV and complimentary Wi-Fi (système WiTou).

The hotel also has a bar, sauna and leisure room (billiard, table tennis).

Nearby there are shops, a post office, restaurants, banks and a tourist office are just a short distance from the hotel. There is also a local market in town on Mondays and Fridays which is worth a look.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

The Alsace region is beautiful walking terrain. Our walks follow well-used and well way-marked paths, through forests, fields and across the vineyards. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve up to 750m of ascent and descent, warranting our Grade 5 stamp.  However, most of the walks entail much less ascent and descent. In this part of France during May, June and September, the weather is generally warm.  June is particularly warm, and this is perfect for growing the vines needed for the wine we are sure you will sample. The maximum altitude we reach on this holiday is 750m.  

Walks & Excursions

Kaysersberg is set amongst the vineyards on the lower slopes of the Vosges Mountains.  Our walking programme explores both the vineyards and the higher slopes of open woodland, both of which offer some outstanding walking with spectacular views, including some across the Rhine to Germany. 

We are walking along the grain of the land and as we walk through villages there are various places to stop for refreshments. 

We can also enjoy the higher slopes where the terrain is very different, walking amongst open pasture and woodland. Listen out for the different accent up here; the locals speak the regional Gallo-Romance Welche dialect. 

Adding to the variety we will have a day looking around the beautiful old centre of Colmar down in the valley, easily reached on public bus from Kaysersberg. We will also visit the Haut Koenigsbourg castle and the lovely small town of Ribeauvillé. It is possible to visit Strasbourg using public transport if you wanted a non-walking day. 

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Entrance Fees

You should allow £10-£15pp for entrance fees.

Currency in France

The currency in France is the euro. 

Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.

Holiday Currency

There are banks in Kaysersberg, with ATM machines. The hotel accepts credit cards but does not change cash or travellers’ cheques.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

Travel is from London St Pancras by Eurostar to Colmar via Paris or Lille.

Please note some dates may be via Lille rather than Paris in either one or both directions which would require a change at Strasbourg for the local train service to Colmar.

Please remember to pack as lightly as possible, as you will have to carry your bag some distance between railway stations/platforms or on the Paris metro.

From Mulhouse (45 minutes) or Colmar (20 minutes) we transfer by road to Kaysersberg.

Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?

If you wish to organise your own travel arrangements including rail to your holiday in France, 'land only' reductions are available. Please contact us for details.

Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.

If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.

Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join up with the group at any of the en route railway stations, depending on your travel plans, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. You will however have to book your complete journey to the holiday's final destination railway station. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details. 

Please note that your train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your train number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.

Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents

For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

General Passport Advice

It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.

Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

Brexit Passport Advice

You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.

If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.

You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.

Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance. 

UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.

The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules  which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.

In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit

Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.

Meals

Breakfasts and dinners are included with dinners being a chance to get to know the locals in their nearby restaurants. Breakfasts will be taken in the hotel. Lunches can be purchased at local supermarkets, bakeries, and cafes or restaurants en route meaning you can have the lunch you want.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

French Swimwear

Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Electricity in France

Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Some maps you may find useful for our holiday might be:

  • IGN Map 3718OT Colmar/Kaysersberg  
  • IGN Map 3717ET  Selestat/Ribeauvillé
  • IGN Map 3719OT Grand Ballon

You may find a visit to the French Tourism website useful at: www.franceguide.com

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for France

No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.

You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.

You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.

Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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Useful Information

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France

  • Capital

    Paris

  • Currency

    Euro; CFP Franc

  • Language

    French

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00

  • Flight duration

    1.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    4°C

    Avg. Rain: 65mm

  • February

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • March

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 55mm

  • April

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • May

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • June

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 58mm

  • July

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • August

    19°C

    Avg. Rain: 56mm

  • September

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 66mm

  • October

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 79mm

  • November

    8°C

    Avg. Rain: 76mm

  • December

    5°C

    Avg. Rain: 74mm

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