The region of Alsace Lorraine is in the North East of France on the border with Germany. It has changed hands so often that it now offers a real mixture of cultures that makes for a unique holiday experience. The Alsace area offers the tourist a wide variety of landscapes ranging from forests and valleys to plains and peaks and includes the little explored mountain range of the Vosges which is a great destination for winter and summer sports. The Alsace region truely is a spectacularly pretty region and many of the little villages with their half-timbered house could be straight out of a film set. Have that camera ready!
Alsace Lorraine is a renowned wine producing area with the waymarked 'Route des Vins' or wine road taking you through from just South of Strasbourg, South towards Mulhouse through vineyards and pretty little villages such as Obernai and Riquewihr where you will have the opportunity to taste and buy Alsace wine (Gewurztraminer and some very fine Riesling wine, mainly) direct from the producers
Christmas is a special time of year in the Alsace Lorraine region which is where the traditional Christmas markets originate. Christmas in Strasbourg brings this city of 248,000 to life. From the 24 November to the 24 December, the Christmas market in Strasbourg takes place in the central Place Broglie and along rue de la Comédie. Christmas chalets tempt you with traditional Alsace gingerbread biscuits, sweets, honey, glazed apples and mulled Alsace wine. You can buy gastronomic specialities such as wine, schnapps, Christmas beer and foie gras. Arts and crafts chalets sell Christmas decorations, candles, holly, mistletoe, Nativity scenes, figurines, tablecloths, glassware, wooden toys and much much more. Nearby, at Place de la Gare, you mustn't miss the biscuit market. Soak up the atmosphere of the Christmas lights and the seasonal revellers - not to be missed! The towns of Colmar and Mulhouse also host renowned Christmas markets.
If you are visiting Strasbourg outside of the Christmas season, be sure to visit the historic La Petite France area of the city which is a wonderful collection of little cobblestone lanes, fine restaurants and medieval buildings. This is the place to come for some serious gastronomy in Alsace and also if shopping is your thing.
Whilst you are on holiday in Alsace Lorraine, you must also visit the famous Chateau de Haut-Koenigsbourg, the Abbey of Ste Odile and of course Colmar, the birthplace of Bartholdi, the artist who created the Statue of Liberty.
If you are on holiday with children in Alsace, there is lots to keep them occupied. The Parc Zoologique et Botanique at Mulhouse is a fabulous day out for the whole family as is the Montagne des Singes at Kintzheim. If you are visiting the Chateau de Haut Koenigsbourg, just 10kms away the Volerie des Aigles also at Kintzheim will impress you with its wide collection of birds of prey which includes eagles, vultures, owls and a condor
If an active holiday in the Alsace region of France tempts you, you will be pleased to hear that sporting possibilities in Alsace are many and varied
- for a golfing holiday in France, the 18 hole Golf d'Ammerschwihr Trois-Epis golf course between the vineyards and forests of the Alsace vineyards close to Colmar and Strasbourg is well worth a visit as is the 18 hole Golf Club d'Alsace at Rouffach with the Vosges mountains of Alsace as a backdrop - stunning!
- for a walking holiday in Alsace, the possibilities are endless. You will find walks and hikes for every level - short, easy family walks, half day circuits, full day hikes, walks through vineyards, walking in the forests of Alsace or hikes in the Vosges Mountains of Alsace.
- a mountain biking holiday in Alsace is a great way to spend your free time. There are over 100 waymarked mountain biking circuits in the Alsace region covering over 900km of paths and tracks, all maintained by the Fédération Française du Cyclo Tourisme (FFCT for short). They depart from 13 dedicated mountain biking sites all over Alsace.
- a horse riding holiday in Alsace is a dream for many adults and children alike. There are many equestrian centres throughout Alsace from where you can hire horses to explore the tracks and trails that meander through vineyards, woodland, fields and the foothills of the Vosges mountains.