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Villages & Vineyards of Historic Alsace

Villages & Vineyards of Historic Alsace

      from 42 reviews

Villages & Vineyards of Historic Alsace

  • Easy walking through vineyards, ancient oak forest and unspoilt flower-filled gingerbread villages
  • Romantic castles, Gothic churches, mediaeval villages; Riquewihr and Colmar, the 'Venice of Alsace'
  • Blend of French and German influences
  • Great views of the Black Forest and Vosges Mountains with stone castles standing proud on panoramic crags
  • Wildlife in abundance: storks, butterflies, orchids and birds of prey
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From $1455 per person, tour only
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Every two days from 20 Sep '17 to 24 Sep '17
  • Continental breakfast and 2 evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 80%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers


We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 , or email info@breakaway-adventures.com

This unique part of France provides a fantastic step back in time - an absolute must for the history buff and those who appreciate a good glass of wine.

Having been fought over for centuries by Germany and France, this rolling, wine-growing heartland is now heavily characterised by an eclectic mix of cuisine, language, architecture and customs. Pristine German and French cemeteries offer a moving reminder of Alsace's history.

Our holiday offers a leisurely walk alongside the Route des Vins, using sections of the world-famous Camino de Santiago trail, through delightful mediaeval villages and ancient neatly-groomed vineyards, passing east-facing ruined castles.

Along the way you will pass through some of the most beautiful villages in France; Kaysersberg and Riquewihr, with their brightly-coloured, half-timbered buildings decked with window boxes spilling with geraniums and traditional ornamental features. Alsace is a well-known white wine region boasting several Grands Crus vineyards, and every village, no matter their size, will have a 'cave' or 'degustation' to visit. The people are welcoming and helpful and keen for you to sample their produce!

For those who wish to take on a more challenging terrain, there are 2-Boot walking options attached to three of the four walking days. These take you up into the forests of the Vosges and provide a wonderful contrast to the undulating trail through the vineyards. You can visit the tiny Chapel St Alexis or The Galtz monument with its viewing platform or even have a walk around the ruins of the chateaux of Ribeauville.

Each September Ribeauville town celebrates one of the oldest festivals in Alsace; the Fete des Menetriers (Festival of the Minstrels). In the C8, Ribeauville was passed to the Lord of Rappolstein (the protector of the wandering minstrels). If you look carefully, you will see evidence of the Piper.

Historic Riquewihr is a highlight of the tour, an enchanting mediaeval village nestled amongst sloping hills of vines that produce the exceptional aromatic Riesling wine.

We have selected traditional, family-run hotels for your stay, including the stunning Hotel des Deux Clefs in Turckheim whose building dates back to the C16 and is officially classed as a monument historique. Turckheim also has a town crier who, at 10pm, walks the streets telling of the day's events and bidding the local people a 'good night'. Hotel a l'Oriel in the heart of Riquewihr has a cosy winstub and a pretty internal courtyard. Its beautiful beamed decor is stunning and quaint.

Day-by-day itinerary



Walking information

Gentle walking, mainly through vineyards, woodland and heavily scented pine forests. No particularly challenging sections; however some paths are stony so protective footwear is advised.


Day 1 - Arrive at Turckheim

Your first night is spent in a friendly Alsatian hotel in the heart of the village. With so many restaurants on your doorstep, we've left you free to choose where to dine this evening.(Staying at Hotel des Deux Clefs, Breakfast only)

Day 2 - Turckheim to Kaysersberg 10km/6.5mi/2hr or 21km/13.5mi/4hr

Today it's time to explore Turckheim's Renaissance church and mediaeval gate where storks still nest. Your walk through the vines takes you past flower-filled Niedermorschwihr and Ammerschwihr where you can taste the local vintage, Kaefferkopf, in cosy wine cellars. It's then on to the fortified town of Kaysersberg, voted prettiest town in France 2017, and your hotel on a quiet cobbled street in the old town. (Staying at Hotel Constantin, Breakfast only)

Day 3 - At Kaysersberg

In the morning why not stroll up to the ruins of the mediaeval castle for a bird's eye view over Kaysersberg's half-timbered houses decked with geraniums along the River Weiss? Afterwards, perhaps follow a valley trail to Kientzheim or visit Colmar, only 25 minutes by local bus. Known as the 'Venice of Alsace', it's a honeycomb of pretty canals and gorgeous pastel-coloured houses. (Staying at Hotel Constantin, Breakfast only)

Day 4 - Kaysersberg to Riquewihr 11km/7mi/2hr or 12km/7.5mi/3.5hr

A gentle climb to the French cemetery above the village of Sigolsheim, with its panoramic views of the Alsace plains and the Kayserberg Valley. Descend through the vineyards to the Renaissance houses of Riquewihr, the 'Pearl of the Vineyards'. (Staying at Hotel A L'Oriel, Breakfast only)

Day 5 - At Riquewihr

The town of Riquewihr is so enchanting it's been declared an historic monument in its entirety. You'll be fascinated by its cobbled alleys, galleried courtyards, fountains and colourful signboards. The pretty 'Christmas Shop is worth a visit. (Staying at Hotel A L'Oriel, Breakfast only)

Day 6 - Riquewihr to Bergheim 11km/7mi/2hr 10min or 19km/12mi/4hr

You pass through the heart of mediaeval Alsace via the Riesling vineyards nestling at the foot of the mountains. Hunawihr has a fortified church and stork sanctuary; you'll also find otters, butterflies and orchids in the reserve. Three ruined castles of the once-powerful Counts of Ribeaupierre loom overhead as you walk on through the vines to Bergheim.(Staying at La Cour Du Bailli, Half Board)

Day 7 - At Bergheim

This colourful and ancient market town was a mediaeval refuge where criminals on the run were safe from persecution. There are lots of beautiful timber-framed houses and a decorated fountain in the old square. Be sure to take a short taxi ride or do the longer optional walk to the amazing Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle; it's a gentle downhill walk back too! (Staying at La Cour Du Bailli, Half Board)

Day 8 - Bergheim to Chatenois/Turckheim 12km/7.5mi/2.5hr or 14km/9mi/3hr

You continue parallel to the Route des Vins to a poignant WW2 German military cemetery with panoramic views over the famous restored castle at Haut-Koenigsbourg. At St-Hippolyte there's a Gothic church and fountain, whilst the ruined court of mediaeval Kintzheim Castle is the setting for spectacular flying displays by birds of prey. At Chatenois, where the walk finishes, we give you a lift back to Turckheim.(Staying at Hotel des Deux Clefs, Breakfast only)

Day 9 - Leave Turckheim

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Hotel des Deux Clefs, Turckheim (***)

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The 3* Hotel des Deux Clefs is absolutely stunning. The hotel building dates back to the C16 and as such, is officially classed as a monument historique. It's easy to see why: it is an authentic Alsatian construction with timbered walls, oriel windows and lintels. Flower bedecked balconies complete its picture perfect exterior.

Inside, the hotel is traditionally furnished with wooden panelled walls, and tasteful red furnishings, making it instantly feel cosy and welcoming - especially in the sitting room where you can savour a drink before dinner. The bedrooms however are fully equipped for the demands of the C21 traveller; all are en suite and feature satellite tv.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior room
13/05/2017 - 01/10/2017 £17

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Supplements prices are per person per night (based on two people sharing). Superior rooms are larger than the standard rooms and come with either bath or hydromassage shower.

Dates Single room Double room
13/05/2017 - 01/10/2017 £90 £68

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Extra nights prices are per person per night including breakfast.

Hôtel Constantin, Kaysersberg (***)

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The Hôtel Constantin boasts a prime location in the heart of the historic and quintessentially Alsatian town of Kaysersberg. The building is actually a former wine grower's house which was converted into a hotel over 20 years ago by the Kohler family; it is now a perfect stopover for any stay in Kayersberg, with its 20 comfortable rooms, all of which are en suite and well appointed.

M and Mme Kohler are keen for you to discover everything that their charming town has to offer and are always on hand to offer any assistance or information you may require.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hôtel à l’Oriel, Riquewihr (***)

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Hôtel à l'Oriel is located right in the centre of historic Riquewihr. The building is centred around a central courtyard and is painted a cheerful yellow with wooden timbered balconies burgeoning with flowers.

The cosy interior has been beautifully renovated to retain its traditional Alsatian style: the bedrooms, many with wooden beamed ceilings, are decorated with bright patchwork quilts and solid wooden furniture.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior Suite
13/05/2017 - 01/10/2017 £20 £38

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Supplements prices are per person per night (based on two people sharing). The superior rooms are larger than the standard rooms. The suite is a larger room with seating area.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel La Cour du Bailli, Bergheim (***)

Swimming Pool Icon NEARBY:

The Halbeisen family and their team will welcome you to Alsace. Local wine growers since 1737, the family has converted the old wine growers farm, surrounded by their vineyards into a 3 star hotel.

The hotel features a mediaeval decor with a pretty courtyard and all en suite rooms are traditionally decorated. La Cour du Bailli also offers a spa centre with an indoor pool and hot tub.

The restaurant offers locally sourced produce with plenty of Alsation specialties and a full line of the best wines from the familial winery estate as the perfect accompaniment to your meals.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel des Deux Clefs, Turckheim (***)

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The 3* Hotel des Deux Clefs is absolutely stunning. The hotel building dates back to the C16 and as such, is officially classed as a monument historique. It's easy to see why: it is an authentic Alsatian construction with timbered walls, oriel windows and lintels. Flower bedecked balconies complete its picture perfect exterior.

Inside, the hotel is traditionally furnished with wooden panelled walls, and tasteful red furnishings, making it instantly feel cosy and welcoming - especially in the sitting room where you can savour a drink before dinner. The bedrooms however are fully equipped for the demands of the C21 traveller; all are en suite and feature satellite tv.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Superior room
13/05/2017 - 01/10/2017 £17

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Supplements prices are per person per night (based on two people sharing). Superior rooms are larger than the standard rooms and come with either bath or hydromassage shower.

Dates Single room Double room
13/05/2017 - 01/10/2017 £90 £68

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Extra nights prices are per person per night including breakfast.

Extending your stay

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Le Senat , Paris (****)

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The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a five-minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates Deluxe double
01/01/2017 - 31/12/2017 £26

All prices shown above are valid from 21/06/2017. Supplements are per person per night based on 2 sharing. Deluxe rooms are larger with a sitting area. Some also have a small terrace.

Dates Superior double/twin Superior for single use
09/03/2017 - 03/01/2017 £98 £178
04/04/2017 - 15/05/2017 £106 £196
16/05/2017 - 19/05/2017 £158 £300
20/05/2017 - 18/06/2017 £126 £236
19/06/2017 - 25/06/2017 £158 £300
26/06/2017 - 15/07/2017 £126 £236
16/07/2017 - 04/09/2017 £94 £182
05/09/2017 - 18/09/2017 £126 £236
19/09/2017 - 21/09/2017 £160 £316
22/09/2017 - 25/09/2017 £126 £236
26/09/2017 - 04/10/2017 £160 £316
05/10/2017 - 31/10/2017 £126 £2236

All prices shown above are valid from 21/06/2017. Prices are per person per night including breakfast.

Hotel St Louis, St Omer (**)

NEARBY:

A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Dates

All prices shown above are valid from 09/06/2017.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Gutenberg, Strasbourg (****)

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This is a brilliantly situated hotel in a quiet side street just off the lively Place Gutenberg and a stone's throw from the Cathédrale de Notre Dame.

The 42 rooms are a good size and individual in style. All rooms are en-suite, with hairdryer, flat screen television and free Internet access in each room.

There is no bar or restaurant, except for the little breakfast room next to reception; however, you have a good choice of places to eat and drink on right on your doorstep.

Find out more on the hotel website and read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Room upgrades are not available at this hotel.

Dates Single room Standard Double Room Privilege Room
01/05/2017 - 30/09/2017 £119 £85 £90

All prices shown above are valid from 25/05/2017. Extra nightrices are per person per night including breakfast.
Single rooms are double rooms for single use.
The Privilege rooms are larger than standard rooms and also have tea/coffee making facilities and an Ipod docking station.

Travel

Transfers included from Colmar train station at 15:05 Mon-Fri, 16:04 Sat & Sun and back to Colmar at 13:00.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.


Mrs Elliot
08/08/2017

This was a very enjoyable holiday, Alsace is particularly lovely and unspoiled and the people were very welcoming. This is also an easy walking holiday and is extremely relaxing with opportunity to do some slightly more energetic walks if you wanted.


Ms Andrews
01/08/2017

A wonderful and surprising holiday - a glimpse into a way of life in villages which are among the best conserved and most beautiful in France, and through vineyards and woodlands which have hardly changed in centuries. It is an area of stunning beauty and history - as well as wonderful food and wine.


Mr Forward
14/07/2016

we appreciate all the information and support provided and i look forward to travelling with headwater again.


Mrs Gardner
28/06/2016

We had a lovely holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the walking from one hotel to the next. The route notes were very detailed and easy to follow (especially as we had the maps too). Also the folders in the hotels with customers comments were useful especially for finding restaurants. We particularly appreciated the wine carrying service. It was great being able to buy wine on the way and then find it all in our hotel room at the end. Our rep, Hannah, was very friendly and helpful especially in findi... read moreng a restaurant for our first night in Turckheim when most restaurants seemed to be shut. We did all the suggested longer walks (even in the rain) and have arrived home feeling very fit! All in all it was an excellent holiday - many thanks to Headwater and to our rep Hannah for her help and encouragement.


Mr Brady
16/06/2016

The first thing to say is how friendly, welcoming, dependable and helpful we found Hannah. We are also aware of the amount of time and effort she put in to assist our fellow travellers after the lady injured herself.

We took all the longer walking options and experienced some weaknesses in the route descriptions, which we passed on to Hannah so that she can check them out.

We can understand why you chose the hotels that you did, but, while it was interesting to visit Turckheim, Kay... read moresersberg and Riquewihr, all of which are beautiful, we would prefer to have stayed in locations that were not so thronged with tourists. For example, hotels in Kientzheim and Sigoldsheim, very close to Kaysersberg, had English speakers and offered evening meals.

Erratic opening times of shops, restaurants and cafes is also a bit problematical as you are setting off not knowing whether or not it is necessary to carry provisions. The cafe in Trois Epis and the restaurant at St Alexis Chapelle are cases in point. In the case of the latter, we would strongly recommend booking in advance. I'm sure Madame in Hotel Constantin would oblige.

All in all, we had a good time, enjoyed the local delicacies and wine, the beautiful and varied countryside and, in particular, the lovely unspoilt little villages that we walked through. We now look forward to our next trip with you to Menorca.


Mr Salisbury
15/06/2016

Great holiday in beautiful location. Headwater team were excellent throughout.


Mrs Honey
08/06/2016

Fairy tale ancient towns, which were lovely to explore. The wine, of course was delicious although we did not visit the vineyards on walks but indulged in the evening . The nesting storks were one of the highlights of the holiday. Do try to visit the stork breeding centre it was lovely with a lot to see as well as the storks themselves..


Mrs Hartley
26/05/2016

We never imagined walking through vineyards could be so varied and interesting; the countryside was beautiful and the villages charming. The hotel staff all looked after us very well. Our Headwater rep was absolutely delightful and could not have been more friendly and efficient. We did not see a see any UK cars nor heard any other British people but most people we spoke to replied in good English when we spoke to them in our basic French.


Mrs Preston
24/05/2016

From the moment we received our holiday information pack we were excited as it really whetted our appetites. We also had a post card from our Rep, Hannah saying that she hoped we would have a good trip and she looked forward to meeting us at the station in Colmar and giving us her mobile number in case we needed her. This was a very thoughtful gesture. So, even though I had a bad back and had to be transported around by Hannah instead of walking, the overall holiday was wonderful.


Mrs Daniels
20/09/2015

This was such a very well organised package holiday that we felt that we were independant travellers, but with the safety net of a rep, if required. We managed the pace, stops and route ourselves and had a truly excellent break.


Mrs Guthrie
19/09/2015

Apart from the rail debacle, the content of the holiday was stunning. The nature of the medieval villages was quite breathtaking and more reminiscent of Walt Disney cartoons or even pantomime scenery. The vineyard walks were very enjoyable, as were the visits we made to the wineries! In addition the Riquewier 'Council' offer conducted vineyard walking tours, together with wine cellar visits every Friday throughout the summer until harvest time in September WITHOUT CHARGE!! (BUT possibly only in... read more French and/or English). Another Vineyard 'special' (which I don't think you are aware of) is the 'Spirit of the Vines' a line of seven groups of wooden statues representing a modern interpretation of mankind's integration with the vines over the centuries. This is a surreal eye-catcher, not to be missed and is just outside the village of Bergheim. Best to get directions from the local Tourist Office.


Mrs Maddison
24/08/2015

Most enjoyable holiday, great walks, beautiful scenery and lots of wine tasting along the way.


Dr Darke
27/09/2014

The joy of not using a car for 8 whole days was amazing! The walking was lovely, the grape harvest in full swing, the hotels EXCELLENT with good breakfasts and all arrangements extremely convenient and clear. Flying from Bristol is such fun compared with the toil of Heathrow/ Gatwick. Staying in Paris for the first night makes good sense, and the TGV is superb! There is only one snag...not having a car to bring home all the excellent wines! The Co-op at Turckheim is surely one of the best in France.


Mrs Maddison
22/09/2014

This must have been one of our most enjoyable holidays. There was never a dull moment. Fascinating region , great walks and great towns and villages to explore


Mrs Barker
18/08/2014

We really enjoyed our hioliday. The rep gave us everything we needed, but compared to our other 2 headwater holidays, he perhaps wasn't quite as attentive. Three of the hotels were great, but the Constantine was not anywhere near the same quality and disappointing. We recommend Hotel Schwendi in Kintzheim, a 20 minute walk from Kaysersberg.



We look forward to our next Headwater holiday.


Mr Sidey
10/07/2014

Overall summary is that we thought the walks were excellent with a variety of scenery. The hotels were generally very good and the staff as well as local people were friendly and helpful. It is a beautiful area with lovely villages and towns being part of the walking route.


Mrs Taylor
26/06/2014

Disappointing

We paid £2082 of this holiday. During the trip we ascertained that the accommodation (and yes I have included the upgrades and breakfasts) were valued on booking.com as £911. Plus the two dinners at chez Norbert, say £100, then £1011. This means we have paid £1071 for transfers of baggage (we only paid 80 euros for a taxi from Turkheim to Basel), two maps and appalling route notes. Assuming you had a commission from the hotels based on your bulk buying power then yo... read moreu are rip off merchants. Why the dinner at Chez Norbert included? The choice was a not written but only a verbal one choice (pretty appalling option). We paid almost as much just upgrading to the normal menu as we could have eaten out at a local restaurant without . Is this philosophy to make you look generous because I can assure you it didn't work with us. The restaurant was closed on Tuesdays but no-one told us reception was also closed. They only gave us wifi codes for 24 hours, so we were without internet access for a day. My husband still works and needs internet access at all times. I realise I should have cross checked prices before booking and therefore blame myself for being ripped off, however this will most certainly not happen again. When the rep picked us up in Chatenois, he asked about our arrangements for onward travel - we told him we were intending to get train from Colmar to Basel late in

the day. He failed to tell us trains were on strike - left us to find out for ourselves and book a taxi to airport. What is the point of a rep who cannot give the most

simple advice. My advice to your future clients is 'don't be gullible -you can do better yourselves'

Headwater response:
Dear Mrs Taylor, Thank you for taking the time to complete our online questionnaire following your recent holiday to Alsace. Please be assured that all of the feedback we receive whether complimentary or critical is valuable in helping us to continue to improve and develop our holidays for the future and is always well received. We were sorry to read that your holiday did not meet with your expectations; this was disappointing to hear as this holiday is normally a firm favourite with our customers. However, please be assured that we realise how important it is to maintain our high standards of accommodation and service, and we do appreciate we cannot afford to let our standards slip. Therefore all of your feedback has been passed on to the relevant UK and overseas departments and steps will be taken to improve where necessary. In closing we would like to thank you for your constructive comments and hope that despite the issues you have reported you had an enjoyable holiday overall. Yours sincerely, Headwater Customer Service


Mr Eyton-Williams
16/06/2014

The area was ideal for walking and very interesting. The hotels, service and locations chosen were good, but the route notes need updating as at times were confusing to the extent that all members of the group got lost at a couple of points during the week. Maps (IGN) supplied were excellent. It was the maps that enabled us to find our way. Suggested visits on rest days were most helpful and the Stork Center is well worth a visit

Overall we did enjoy our holiday and would happily visit the region again!


Mr Brown
07/06/2014

This holiday is to be recommended for those enjoying exercise and the wines of Alsace. The latter is important as much time is spent in and around the vineyards.


Mr Fendall
02/06/2014

This was a first time using Headwater.It was an 8 day 'walking' holiday but only 4 days of designated walking and therefore 4 days to 'do your own thing'. Suggestions were made in the guidebook but apart from more walkng or visiting vineyards the villages of Alsace offer little in the way of 'other' activites. I feel that at least 5 (or even 6) days of designated walking would be more appropriate.Overall I enjoyed the experience as Alsace is an area liken no other in France.


Mrs Taylor
02/06/2014

The holiday overall was well planned and the location was beautiful .The Alsace villages that we visited were most attractive with the old buildings and the history associated with them. As two fit octogenarians we were fully capable of managing the walks.


Mr Stokes
28/09/2013

A week that was both invigorating and relaxing in good walking country in the Vosges mountains - with pretty but touristy villages offering a good variety of places to sleep, eat and drink.


Mrs Anzarut
21/09/2013

We found the towns visited quite charming and the accommodation was good. This is a very leisurely and easy walking holiday.


Mr Jackson
16/09/2013

We chose this holiday because it was advertised as the easiest grade of walking in an area that looked very attractive in the brochure. We suspected, from looking at the altitude chart, that the second walking day might be more challenging than the grade implied, and we were right!



The shorter walk distances were fine for us, the directions were clear and the maps helpful, although we could have managed without them, as the walking notes were so good. We did have occasional probl... read moreems finding the waymarks, particularly on Day 2, when we assume they had been on trees which had fallen. The villages we stayed in were very picturesque, the hotels were welcoming and the arrangements all worked very efficiently.



We have been on many Headwater holidays over the past 30 years and always enjoyed them, although we are choosing the easier grades nowadays. I would recommend this holiday, with the proviso that it is definitely NOT flat walking. Most days had a fair number of uphill and downhill stretches, and the second day in particular was a very lengthy uphill effort, with a couple of steep pulls, followed by some fairly tricky downhill walking through forests with fallen trees in places. We found our walking poles very useful, particularly on Day 2.

Headwater response:
Dear Ms Thompson, Thank you for taking the time to complete our on line questionnaire and for your feedback regrading the grading of the walks , please be assured that all of the feedback we receive is valued by us and is used to help improve and develop our holidays for the future. It was great to read that you enjoyed your holiday to France. Although, I am sorry that you found some of the walks more challenging than you expected. This year we introduced a new grading system of soft/leisurely/moderate/challenging. In previous years we have used a ‘boot’ rating. However, we have received mixed feedback regarding this new grading system and a number of people have told us they feel the old boot ratings gave a clearer indication of what was involved. We have therefore decided that from Nov 2013, we will be reinstating our previous system, in order to avoid any future problems. We will therefore be rating this holiday as a 1 boot which I hope you will agree is a suitable rating. I am also sorry that you found discrepancies with some of our waymaking points, this is checked at the beginning of the season and then throughout as necessary, I have passed your comments on to our local rep, he will be re checking the routes before the start of the new season and will check out your feedback to ensure it is corrected. Thank you once again for your constructive comments and for your loyalty over the years, we do hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future. Yours sincerely, Lisa


Mrs Bale
14/08/2013

We really enjoyed our holiday. It was a lovely area with some hearty food but fabulous wine. It was great to be able to taste the wine and then for Chris to transport it for us. I would have been happy to walk every day as the walks were not strenuous and we were at the next place by lunch time giving time to explore in the afternoon. We felt that it would have been useful to have known beforehand that each hotel had free wifi and also to have known that shampoo was not provided.


Mr Webb
12/08/2013

Beautiful small towns and villages, beautiful scenery and captivating history. Hotel accommodation was generally good and Chez Norbert's air conditioning was most welcome with temperatures in the mid to high 30's.

At Bergheim on chef's night off we were relocated for dinner to the Weinstub up the street. The lady in charge was most reluctant to provide a menu at the sum Headwater had allowed. Two of our party accepted the 'no choice' modest three course meal and we chose a'la carte. Foo... read mored was indifferent and the wine overpriced.

At Turkheim food was not offered in Hotel des Deux Clefs, we enjoyed good food in town where there's plenty of choice. (so please disregard the 'poor' rating in questionnaire)

Apart from Chez Norbert, ventilation was inadequate in the hotels, fans were not always available and other clients complained that Headwater guest's rooms were usually located in the roof and were in consequence, unbearably hot. Our upgraded room in Turkheim was fine!

We missed the initial briefing which was a pity. Although our expected arrival time was late afternoon, we were actually in the hotel when Chris arrived with his clients from Colmar. A shame he didn't check.

This oversight did not detract from our holiday experience as our friends briefed us. When we eventually met Chris he impressed us as helpful, efficient, and friendly.


Ms Cole
12/08/2013

The Alsace Wine Trail was one of the very best holidays I have ever taken. The region was unknown to me and was delightful in all ways. The wine was excellent, my only regret is that it wasn't longer.


Mr Christley
05/08/2013

Excellent experience. Able to walk at our own pace. Very intersting area to travel in.


Mr Drea
24/07/2013

This is a self-guided walking holiday staying in small hotels in small towns or villages and requires a certain amount of tolerance, flexibility and common sense particularly when routes don't work out as they seem.

We were disappointed to have two of our hotel/restaurant meals deleted (we were provided with cash to fend for ourselves!). This meant that we had only two meals during the holiday arranged for us by Headwater instead of four as noted in the guidance.

This and some mis... read moresing or bad forest signage were the only miner blips in an otherwise excellent and enjoyable holiday.


Mr Barrett
12/06/2013

Very relaxing holiday as able to walk at own pace and stop for wine tastings along the way. Independant walking was very easy as the directions and maps provided were excellent and the paths well signed to match the maps. A beautiful area to explore.


Mr Mellish
30/10/2012

An excellent week of walking, wine drinking and beautiful scenery in the Alsace, staying in wonderful little villages. A great week to choose if you enjoy wine and walking, but don't want to walk everyday and do long tiring walks.


Mrs Hurley
24/09/2012

Easy walking with fantastic views . Learnt a lot about wine.

Surprises came every day from orchids,wild sweet peas black squirrel, donkeys in the forest, chatty locals ,auberges on the edge of the forest and amazing food in the hotels.


Mr Rodger
24/09/2012

I am aware that some people wish the freedom to choose where they eat but I prefer the system where the meal is provided in the hotel or associated restaurant as there is the excitement of not knowing what delicasies might be offered.

In the above part of the survey "Meals" are included in the Hotel surveys when, in fact, this only applied to one hotel.

(Hotel Chez Norbert)


Mrs Tulloch
03/09/2012

good walking distances with alternatives to do extra if wanted.

pretty villages and lovely food.


Mr Belfield
23/07/2012

Thoroughly enjoyable. Chris was very helpful.


Mrs Johnson
11/07/2012

It was an excellent holiday except for the issue below and the smallness of the rooms and proximity to town clock at Turkheim amd the smallnes of the room and heat in the room at Riquewhir, the room being located in the eaves.


Mr Bowden
11/07/2012

Enjoyed a very different part of france. Eating out good and easy, but might be different in July/Augustesp in Riquwihr.


Mr Dixon
07/07/2012

Alace was a great location for a walking holiday.With lovely villages only 2 / 3 km apart we were able to stop for breaks and lunch in little cafes.The locals all friendly being still country peolpe seeing strangers as visitors to be made welcome.

All the hotels were good and we would consider staying in them agian particularly Chez Norbert in Bergheim.

It was a great holiday and we enjoyed it very much.


Ms Butterworth
23/06/2012

Very good, excellent organisation


Mr Walmsley
23/06/2012

interesting and relaxing in a new area of europe


Mrs Whitter
16/06/2012

Extremely enjoyable holiday


Mr McIntosh
11/06/2012

We have been with headwater twice before, and on these occasions we realised that these types of holidays were rather expensive, but also felt we got value for money. On this occasion we felt corners had been cut. We got this impression because of the following -

1) On arrival at Turkheim we were taken aback to be told we were on the 3rd floor but there was no lift, nor offer of help with our cases. It was an attic room that was cramped and scarcely relaxing. Arriving a day early booked b... read morey yourselves, we spent 2 nights there. The food at the tied restaurant was excellent, and on the return to the same hotel at OUR REQUEST we were accommodated on the first floor of the new wing at no extra cost.

At Kaysersberg the room was clean but dark and of a minimum standard. The local restaurants were excellent.

At Riquewihr the bedroom was immaculate, and produced for the first time good towels, but the room was too warm, with no means of cooling it except by opening all windows. The restaurant in the same street La Grape d'Or was excellent.

At Bergheim, Chez Norbet produced an excellent breakfast, and nothing was too much bother. However the nearby by restaurant Sommelier - produced a cut price - cut value menu for Headwater clients - on their own admission as I overheard the waiter explaining in French to other clients - and that he wouldn't offer it to them! 'It was only for the English!' When we overheard this, and noted it was chicken, we chose from their normal a la carte menu - but the standard of the lamb of which we eat a lot in Scotland was abysmal. We would not recommend this restaurant to anyone, as even having complained that we could not eat it the bill was exorbitant. By that time in the holiday we had experienced far better quality for less. The following night we were offered the 'Headwater menu' at Hotel Norbet - but it was chicken again - and though it was nicely presented for those with a good appetite after significant exercise it would not have been enough.

Overall we didn't let these issues spoil the holiday, as we thoroughly enjoyed the variety of the locations, and the well planned walking through the ancient rural villages. Because we were on out own, we took the opportunity to communicate with the les indigenes.

Headwater response:
Dear Mr McIntosh, thank you very much for taking the time to contact us following your holiday in the Alsace. Further to our conversation we can confirm that for future departures we will only book Headwater guests on to the lower floors in Hotel des Deux Clefs. We were appalled to hear about the restaurant 'Sommelier'. As we mentioned we have never had this feedback before, but this is now being monitored on every departure, and should we receive any further comments, we will not hesitate to look into an alternative restaurant. We genuinely value your feedback and hope to welcome you on another Headwater holiday in the future.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday. Find out about The Headwater Price Promise to ensure you're getting the very best value for money.

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

If you'd like to enquire about dates and prices for 2018 departures, please call our knowledgeable sales team on 1-800-567-6286, or use our enquiry form.

The prices quoted for each individual departure supercede those published in our current brochures. Air prices are subject to change and we advise early booking to obtain the best prices. Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information.

Holiday details

Children
Please contact us for child prices.

Holiday type
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.

Departures

Meals
Continental breakfast and 2 evening meals

Tailor-made travel

Tour only
Transfers included from Colmar train station at 15:05 Mon-Fri, 16:04 Sat & Sun and back to Colmar at 13:00.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or complete our holiday enquiry form.

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Independent customer reviews and ratings

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We've been creating high-quality relaxed activity holidays since 1985 and our wealth of experience means we're able to build the perfect tailor-made tour for you. Our 'Gold Trusted' rating on Feefo, the independent review site, underlines our exceptional levels of customer service, and our ATOL bonding and ABTA membership guarantees your holiday is safe with us.


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