Incorporating both Alsace's Route des Vins and the picturesque Vosges National Park, this 8-night walking holiday showcases the very best that the region has to offer. Your holiday starts in the heart of the wine country and takes you west through ancient forest and into the Vosges Mountains, straddling the French and German border. Here you'll discover the crumbling ruins of once-mighty hilltop castles and vivid reminders of Europe's wartime past.
You'll enjoy idyllic walking through fragrant pine forest and sprawling vineyards as you hop between the storybook villages and towns so typical of the Alsace region - think narrow streets filled with colourful, half-timbered houses and shops selling traditional, local wares (make sure you look out for the delightful Christmas shop in Riquewihr)! Connected by the world-famous Camino de Santiago, the places you visit are home to some of the region's finest wine producers and you'll have plenty of opportunity to stop for tastings.
Tearing yourself away from the Route des Vins, you'll head west into the Vosges Mountains, where you'll discover secluded woodland hermitages and the remains of once-grand hilltop castles. Here you have some truly inspiring 'rest day' options. A walk up to the incredible, 12th century Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg affords mesmerising views across the entire Alsatian Plain as far as the Black Forest, while following the Tete des Faux walking trail you'll pass abandoned WWI fortifications and witness the remains of the former front line between France and Germany. A bit of light relief then as you return to the vineyards and make your way back to idyllic Ammerschwihr.
Wine and food go hand-in-hand in the region of Alsace and all of the hotels we've picked for you offer great local cuisine along with superb wine lists! Your hotel in Ammerschwihr is only a short walk from several wine cellars in this typical Alsatian village. In Thannenkirch your hotel is nestled beautifully at the foot of the Taennchel Mountain, with an indoor swimming pool and spa; while your hilltop hotel in Lapoutroie boasts an impressive restaurant with panoramic views over the Vosges.
Peaceful walks mainly through forests, vineyards and meadows but walking boots are strongly advised. Terrain is rocky in places and there are climbs on almost every day but there should be no need of a head for heights.
Arrive at your hotel, the Abbaya d'Alspach, in time for dinner, which is included.
It's a gentle walk to the neighbouring town of Kaysersberg before heading along the Camino de Santiago and over to the spectacular medieval villages of Riquewihr and Ribeauville, where you'll stay at the Hotel de la Tour for 2 nights.
Explore the picture-perfect town of Ribeauville, pay a visit to some of the most respected wineries in the local area or, alternatively, enjoy a walk to the fortified village of Bergheim.
Climb into the Vosges Mountains to find the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre. Rejoin the Camino de Santiago to head to the village of Rodern and on to Thannenkirch and the Hotel Clos des Sources, for two nights. There's an impressive pool and spa, plus a high quality restaurant offering traditional Alsatian cuisine, where dinner is included.
Explore some of the 60km of walking trails around Thannenkirch, or follow the well-marked GR5 walkig path up to the incredible Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg.
Take a transfer (and a picnic) to start your walk in Aubure. Descend on ancient forest paths to enjoy superb views towards Hachimette and Lapoutroie, as you make your way to Freland. Quiet lanes lead you to the idyllic village of Lapoutroie and the Hotel Les Alisiers, where you'll find a wonderful restaurant (dinner included) with panoramic views over the Vosges.
Today's walk is a memorable one - follow the Tete des Faux trail through atmospheric forest, passing old WWI bunkers, and eventually reaching the front line between France and Germany.Spend another night at the Hotel Les Alisiers
Enjoy the undulating woodland, heading to the little mountain villages of Orbey and Labaroche and on tp Trois-Epis, the perfect place to picnic with spectacular views. Visit some chateau remains before returning to the Abbaye d'Alspach for your dinner in a local restaurant, which is included.
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.
NEARBY:Abbaye d'Alspach is located on the Alsace wine Route in the heart of the medieval town of Kientzheim. This former 11th century convent is beautifully refurbished with modern and traditional rooms.
NEARBY:Hotel De La Tour is was once a former winery and is located in the heart of Ribeauvillé’s medieval centre. The 31 unique rooms are comfortable and well equipped. There is a variety of restaurants close by where you can sample the delights of the Alsatian cuisine.
NEARBY:Opened in 1929 and situated in the Ballons des Vosges Regional Park, the Clos des Sources Hotel & Spa is conveniently located in the centre of the small village of Thannenkirch. Recently renovated, the hotel's rooms are presented in the style of a chalet and are decorated in a rustic-chic fashion using natural materials.
Room upgrades: Digitale room.
NEARBY:Sitting on a hillside overlooking the village of Lapoutroie is the small, modern Hotel Les Alisiers. Thanks to the enviable location, the impressive restaurant and several of the rooms offer panoramic views of the surrounding hills and countryside.
Room upgrades: Junior suite.
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.
This is a brilliantly situated hotel in a quiet side street just off the lively Place Gutenberg and a stone's throw from the Cathedrale de Notre Dame.
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 an overall rating and comments about their holiday.
Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.
A great insight into this little bit of the Alsace and at a time when the grapes in the vineyards are almost ready for picking
We’ve been on 12 previous Headwater holidays, most of which we’ve enjoyed immensely. This Alsace Vosges holiday was probably the one we have enjoyed the most. The walking and countryside were fabulous, the hotels ranged between good and excellent and the food was always great.
Our holiday was of the excellent standard we have come to expect from Headwater and was thoroughly enjoyable.
The holiday really does offer a contrast of the Alsace with beautiful villages, some challenging forest walks, castles both ruins and preserved and a very helpful rep. Jude was always available and helped when needed. Would highly recommend this trip. The included meals were a highlight especially hotel les alisiers and at the aux armes hotel.
A wonderful way to explore a beautiful and peaceful region of France. Interesting walks take you through forests and meadows. Beautiful towns and villages and nesting storks on buildings. Good food and local wine. The visit to Tete des Faux was a highlight - very beautiful and moving. Would recommend visiting Colmar by bus on the free day, it's a real gem with lots to see. We enjoyed an excellent lunch al fresco at Palmyre Syrian/Lebanese restaurant on rue de Canard.
We have done more than a dozen hotel to hotel walks, mainly in France, & this was certainly the best. The countryside was wonderful, the walks were varied, the Headwater Rep was very helpful without being intrusive & the hotels couldn't be faulted - even the breakfasts were excellent, which, in our experience of French hotels, is not always the case.
We had a great time. The choice of route was excellent and the hotel food superb. This is why we shall stick with Headwater. However we could have been badly let down by multiple errors in the route description, and wasted a lot of time, if we hadn't been closely following the map at every stage to ensure we stayed on track. We notified the route corrections to the local reps, and will send your central office an email giving further details on these problems and on the unavailability of baths.
Another great Headwater walking holiday in an area of France we did not know. The walks were excellent, the hotels superb and the whole experience was terrific.
This was my second Headwater holiday and once again it was fantastic. We loved the variety of hotels - each one unique but very high quality and comfortable. Hannah was extremely welcoming and friendly and always on hand if needed. The walks were a lovely mix and would definitely recommend doing the two extra walks on rest days as the Château Haut-Kœnigsbourg and particularly the Tete des Faux were highlights for us. Some of the climbs were a little challenging in the heat but nothing more than expected for the level of holiday. Would definitely recommend this holiday!
We couldn't fault any aspect of the accommodation. The overall housekeeping arrangements were excellent, and the catering was superb throughout. Hannah's positive approach and organisational skills made for a carefree holiday. The routes were challenging, but we were made aware of this when we booked, so it didn't come as a surprise. Alsace is a beautiful and unspoilt part of France, and the perfect destination for a walking holiday of this nature.
A very interesting place to visit. Border country is always interesting and this one particularly so in view of the history. An added interest was being in an area where growing grapes was so important. The walks had plenty of variety and we saw what made this part of France very different. An added bonus was great weather.
We really enjoyed this region - a part of France that we hadn't been to and offered excellent range of walking environments. Hannah was a fantastic guide and went over and above to help make our stay enjoyable
The efficiency of the organisation and the professionalism of the staff was evident right from the start of the booking process, making this one of the easiest and least stressful holidays we have ever planned. The walking itself provided a constantly-changing set of scenery and the notes were absolutely spot-on; in particular, this was due to the efforts of our rep, who went through the notes with us on arrival and highlighted any sections of particular importance to make sure we did not go wrong. The hotels were all of high standard, although Les Alisiers and Hotel Mouton were particular highlights for us due to the friendliness of the staff and the exceptional quality of the food. The view from Les Alisiers were outstanding, and really added to the experience when enjoyed over mealtimes.
Our rep, Hannah Godwin, was hugely enthusiastic from the start, and exuded the genuine love she has for the region in an infectious manner - we couldn't have asked fora better introduction to the holiday than the one she provided. Her introductary talk was incredibly helpful, not only regarding routes, but also in terms of the additional suggestions she made that allowed us to experience elements that we would otherwise have missed. She was unfailingly prompt and extremely professional, making it very clear that she was always available if we encountered any problems whatsoever; this left us free to relax and enjoy ourseleves. We believe that she is a genuine asset to your company and a fantastic ambassador for the region.
We would also like to mention Dionne Sidlauskas, who was extremely helpful during our selection of the holiday and made the booking process very smooth and easy indeed.
A challenging walk but extremely interesting variety of scenery, history, culture and terrain. Hannah is full of enthusiasm and was very helpful in her suggestions for the "off days". she had researched the options thoroughly and we really enjoyed the visits we made on those days. We will be back with you again.
Excellent holiday with superb support from our Rep, Hannah. Walks varied although quite a lot of forest walks.nHotels excellent.
Enjoyed it very much. Walking quite hard
Living where we are we required information re which airport it landed in, could we do other things ie stay in city we landed for a night before travelling on to holiday etc. Having spoke to two of the reps, which did not come back to me I tried email. This led to corresponding with Megan Wyatt.
Told her the situation and thought it would be best to speak over the phone. This she did within five minutes. Having spoke to her about the queries she asked if she could call back the next day as she had to find out the answers to these questions
Came back next day with all the questions i ask about near enough sorted out. She told me what headwater could do for us, sorted out dates, which airport would be best, what they could not do for us.. Having now agreed a plan of the holiday with slight changes to first request she came back the next day with everything sorted out and prices. Signed there an then.
As for the time between signing and flying head office kept us up to date with everything.
Had one query before flying to Basel as they said that we should go into the French departure and not the Swiss however as we were staying the night in Basel. E- mailed them to see if they were correct. They came back within two days to advise me that it was the Swiss side i should be leaving on.
Having arrived in Colmar the next day, with train timetable on the ball met Hannah Goodwin. She could not do enough to help us, however stayed away when not required.
As for the accomadation i cannot say enough about the food and helpfulness of the staff in all hotels.
All in all a brilliant holiday
This was an excellent two boot walking holiday with really good walks with the additional benefit of places to see as well including chateaux, villages and WW1 historical sites plus excellent food and wine/beer. The local representative was extremely helpful.
Hannah was excellent in both her support and recommending alternative routes and destinations
Lovely area with varied walking and historical interest. Also picturesque small towns and villages. Good standard of hotels.
An excellent way to experience France, with beautiful views, comfortable hotels and good food.
Lovely area of France with variety of walks in differing landscapes.
A great holiday if you like good food and wine but the walking was slightly disappointing. Although the views were sometimes good, there was too much walking on the roads.
Great contrasts in locations so holiday very accurately titled!
The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.
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.
This 8 night self-guided walking holiday includes:
Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of hotels
Continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
Services of your local Headwater Representative
Headwater Wine Collection Service
Route directions and maps
Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)
Luggage transfers between hotels
How to book:
|9th May||US$2479||Check availability|
|11th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|13th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|15th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|17th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|19th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|21st May||US$2499||Check availability|
|23rd May||US$2499||Check availability|
|25th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|27th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|29th May||US$2499||Check availability|
|31st May||US$2499||Check availability|
|2nd Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|4th Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|6th Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|8th Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|10th Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|12th Jun||US$2579||Check availability|
|14th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|16th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|18th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|20th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|22nd Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|24th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|26th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|28th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|30th Jun||US$2649||Check availability|
|2nd Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|4th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|6th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|8th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|10th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|12th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|14th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|16th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|18th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|20th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|22nd Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|24th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|26th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|28th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|30th Jul||US$2649||Check availability|
|1st Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|3rd Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|5th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|7th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|9th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|11th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|13th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|15th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|17th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|19th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|21st Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|23rd Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|25th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|27th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|29th Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|31st Aug||US$2649||Check availability|
|2nd Sep||US$2679||Check availability|
|4th Sep||US$2679||Check availability|
|6th Sep||US$2679||Check availability|
|8th Sep||US$2679||Check availability|
|10th Sep||US$2679||Check availability|
|12th Sep||US$2649||Check availability|
|14th Sep||US$2649||Check availability|
|16th Sep||US$2649||Check availability|
|18th Sep||US$2649||Check availability|
|20th Sep||US$2649||Check availability|
|8th Oct||US$2579||Check availability|
|10th Oct||US$2579||Check availability|
|12th Oct||US$2579||Check availability|
Please contact us for child prices.
Self-guided walking Managed locally by Headwater appointed rep.
Every two days from 9th May 2020 to 12th Oct 2020, for 8 nights. All dates are subject to availability, please contact us to check.
Continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Colmar train station at 14:00.
Due to the tailor-made nature of our holidays, we need a little more information in order for us to check availability for Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk. Simply complete the form below (fields marked * are mandatory) and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and an accurate price. Of course there's no obligation, but if you do wish to proceed with a booking they will be on-hand to assist you throughout the process.
Alternatively, you can call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 to discuss your requirements in more detail.