Feefo - Independent reviews

News | E‑news | Brochures | Blog | Contact us

Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk

Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk

      from 10 reviews

Miss Osborne says...
Enjoyed it very much. Walking quite hard
Read reviews »

Contrasts of Alsace and The Vosges Walk

  • Walk along the world-famous Camino de Santiago
  • Authentic mediaeval villages on the Alsace Wine Route including France's 2nd most beautiful village, Riquewihr
  • Off-the-beaten-track walking in the picturesque Vosges National Park
  • Ancient forest and awe-inspiring hilltop chateaux
  • Sweeping vineyards (some with Grand Cru status) and some of the region's finest wine producers
  • Stay in one of France's oldest Auberges in Ribeauville
  • Holiday typeSelf-guided walking
  • Duration8 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Activity level
  • Excellent for
  • From $1705 per person, tour only
  • Holiday details
  • Departs Every two days from 13 May '18 to 24 Sep '18
  • Continental breakfasts and all evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

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

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, C12 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 whilst the hotel in Ribeauville is one of France's oldest Auberges and a classified monument. 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.

Day-by-day itinerary

Walking information

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.

Day 1 Arrive in Ammerschwihr

Arrive at your hotel in time for dinner. (Staying at Aux Armes de France, Half Board)

Day 2 Ammerschwihr to Ribeauville 13km/8mi/4hr

An opportunity to warm your legs up, today starts with a gentle walk to the neighbouring town of Kaysersberg, one of the finest and fastest growing wine areas in the Alsace with beautiful views of the Vosges. After an easy climb to the remains of the town's C13 chateau, you'll join the world-famous pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago, and traverse glorious vineyards to the mediaeval villages of Riquewihr and Ribeauville. It's worth spending some time in both as the former is France's 2nd most beautiful village whilst the latter is home to some of the region's best winemakers, including the Bott Freres - make sure you stop at the wineries for a tasting! Straddling the French and German border, Alsace is a region steeped in tradition with a lot to offer walkers. This holiday incorporates both sides of Alsace to reveal the sun-soaked, vineyard covered Route des Vins as well as the picturesque, atmospheric Vosges National Park. (Staying at Hotel du Mouton, Half Board)

Day 3 At Ribeauville

You have several options today but we suggest spending time in the picture-perfect town of Ribeauville, on the Route des Vins. Explore the brightly coloured streets and squares decorated with Renaissance fountains or pay a visit to some of the most respected wineries in the local area including the Maison Trimbach, Domaine Andre Kientzler, Jean Sipp and the Cave de Ribeauville - the oldest wine cooperative in France. Alternatively, enjoy a walk to the fortified town of Bergheim and discover its fascinating witch-trial past, or perhaps take a bus to Selestat, a city of art, history and exceptional architectural heritage. (Staying at Hotel du Mouton, Half Board)

Day 4 Ribeauville to Thannenkirch 16km/10mi/5.5hr

Today starts with a fairly steep but thoroughly rewarding climb into the Vosges Mountains where you'll find the majestic ruins of the Three Castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre - Saint-Ulrich, Girsberg and Haut-Ribeaupierre which offer incredible views over Ribeauville and the surrounding plains. Rejoining the Camino de Santiago you'll arrive in the charming wine village of Rodern, renowned for its excellent Pinot Noir wines and an ideal place for a leisurely lunch and spot of tasting. Continue on to Thannenkirch and enjoy the relaxing spa facilities at your hotel. (Staying at Le Clos des Sources, Half Board)

Day 5 At Thannenkirch (optional 10km/6.5mi/3.5hr)

You have the opportunity to explore some of the 60km of walking trails which surround Thannenkirch today, but we highly recommend following the well-marked GR5 walking path up to the incredible Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg. It's easy to get lost in this imposing chateau which is perfectly located above the Alsatian plains, with the Route des Vins and Germany to the east, and the Vosges Mountains to the west. For something a little less strenuous, you could always spend the day relaxing in your hotel spa. (Staying at Le Clos des Sources, Half Board)

Day 6 Thannenkirch to Lapoutroie 13km/8mi/5hr

After breakfast, we'll transfer you (25 mins) to the start of your walk in Aubure - you might want to pick up some supplies in Thannenkirch or Aubure as there are plenty of scenic picnic spots on today's walk! Descending on ancient forest paths you'll enjoy superb views towards Hachimette and Lapoutroie, as you make your way to Freland, home to the Maison du Pays Welche museum, a fascinating insight into the history, traditions and customs of the local people. Quiet lanes and footpaths lead you to the idyllic mountain village of Lapoutroie and your hotel, Les Alisiers, where you'll find a wonderful restaurant with panoramic views over the Vosges! (Staying at Hotel Les Alisiers, Half Board)

Day 7 At Lapoutroie 15km/9.5mi/5hr

Today's optional walk is a memorable one. You'll follow the Tete des Faux walking trail through atmospheric forest, passing old WWI bunkers and infirmaries now reclaimed by nature, to the remains of the front line between France and Germany. It was atop the summit of the Tete des Faux that the two sides engaged in a bloody stalemate just 30 metres from each other during the First World War - the graveyards for each are currently listed as national historical monuments. You may wish to walk down to Le Bonhomme for a spot of lunch afterwards, before walking back to Lapoutroie. (Staying at Hotel Les Alisiers, Half Board)

Day 8 Lapoutroie to Ammerschwihr 19km/12mi/5.5hr

It's all about the idyllic scenery today, starting with an undulating woodland walk down to the little village of Orbey, nestled in the picturesque Vallee de Kaysersberg - here you'll find several cafes and shops where you can stock up on provisions for the day! Atmospheric woodland and pretty meadows take you to the little mountain village of Labaroche and on to Trois-Epis, the perfect place to pick up some traditional Alsatian pastries. Perhaps enjoy them with a superb view over the Vosges, after a walk up to the Galtz Monument just outside the village! Don't miss the striking hilltop remains of the Chateau du Wineck in Katzenthal before winding your way through the vineyards back to Ammerschwihr; how about a spot of wine-tasting to celebrate your walking achievements? (Staying at Aux Armes de France, Half Board)

Day 9 Leave Ammerschwihr

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.

Aux Armes de France, Ammerschwihr

Hair dryer icon

Here you stay at the traditional Aux Armes de France hotel in the centre of the village of Ammerschwihr. With just 10 rooms (all with ensuite), it's a small but very much family affair, father Pierre originally founded the hotel although his son, Philippe, has now taken over the day to day running of the hotel.

The hotel's restaurant is of some repute locally and in good weather, their excellent cuisine is served on the flower bedecked terrace.

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

Dates Suite
13/05/2018 - 30/09/2018 £5

All prices shown above are valid from 25/10/2017. Supplement prices are per person per night (based on two people sharing). Suite - 2 separate rooms: the bedroom and a sitting room

Dates Double Room Single Room
13/05/2018 - 30/09/2018 £78 £98

All prices shown above are valid from 25/10/2017. Extra night prices are per person per night including evening meal.

Hotel du Mouton, Ribeauville

Hair dryer icon NEARBY:

Located in the centre of old Ribeauville, home to some of the region's best wine producers, the Hotel du Mouton can trace its history back to 1392. Even then it was an auberge and today part of the hotel is classified as a monument and registered as one of France's oldest auberges.

Each room is decorated in a typical Alsatian style and some offer views of the mediaeval square where shepherds once met, at the water fountain, before leading their flocks to pasture (hence the name of the hotel).

The restaurant provides a cosy and relaxing environment offering a variety of authentic cuisine, and an extensive wine list as one would expect in such a centre of wine production.

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

Dates Suite
13/05/2018 - 30/09/2018 £5

All prices shown above are valid from 20/11/2017. Prices are per person per night based on two people sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Clos des Sources, Thannenkirch

Swimming Pool Icon Hair dryer icon 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.

The high quality restaurant provides traditional Alsatian cuisine as well as other French inspired dishes and breakfast is a well-stocked continental style buffet.

Of particular note for guests is the impressive swimming pool and spa, recently completed, which offers such things as hot-tub, steam room and saunas, as well as a range of additional treatments at extra cost.

Note: there are no twin-bedded rooms at this hotel however 'Austrian Twins' can be created - 2 separate mattresses and covers in the same king size bed frame.

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

Dates Digitale room
13/05/2018 - 30/09/2018 £22

All prices shown above are valid from 18/11/2017. Prices are per person per night based on two people sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

Hotel Les Alisiers, Lapoutroie

Hair dryer icon 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.

Once a farm, the hotel was recently renovated and now has the feel of an up market chalet with each room furnished in a warm traditional style with lots of wood.

Hosts Caroline and Mathias offer a friendly welcome and their restaurant provides a fine selection of contemporary regional cuisine from its ever changing menu as well as an excellent wine list.

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

Dates Junior suite
13/05/2018 - 30/09/2018 £10

All prices shown above are valid from 18/11/2017. Prices are per person per night based on two people sharing.

Please contact us for extra night prices.

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 Gutenberg, Strasbourg

Hair dryer icon

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.

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.

Please contact us for extra night prices.


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.


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.

Miss Osborne, 15/09/2017

Enjoyed it very much. Walking quite hard

Mr Murison, 28/08/2017

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

Mrs Day, 16/08/2017

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.

Mr Summers, 21/07/2017

Hannah was excellent in both her support and recommending alternative routes and destinations

Mr Wildsmith, 07/07/2017

Lovely area with varied walking and historical interest. Also picturesque small towns and villages. Good standard of hotels.

Mr Pritchard, 21/06/2017

An excellent way to experience France, with beautiful views, comfortable hotels and good food.

Mr Hallam, 16/10/2016

Lovely area of France with variety of walks in differing landscapes.

Mr Jones, 01/10/2016

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.

Mrs Cameron, 18/09/2016

Great contrasts in locations so holiday very accurately titled!

Dr Bainbridge, 13/06/2016

The balance of vineyard and forest was good. The towns and villages and castle were varied and interesting.

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.

  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
May 2018 Tour only Availability
13th May US$1705 Check availability
15th May US$1705 Check availability
17th May US$1705 Check availability
19th May US$1705 Check availability
21st May US$1705 Check availability
23rd May US$1765 Check availability
25th May US$1765 Check availability
27th May US$1765 Check availability
29th May US$1765 Check availability
31st May US$1765 Check availability
Jun 2018 Tour only Availability
2nd Jun US$1815 Check availability
4th Jun US$1815 Check availability
6th Jun US$1815 Check availability
8th Jun US$1815 Check availability
10th Jun US$1815 Check availability
12th Jun US$1815 Check availability
14th Jun US$1845 Check availability
16th Jun US$1845 Check availability
18th Jun US$1845 Check availability
20th Jun US$1845 Check availability
22nd Jun US$1845 Check availability
24th Jun US$1845 Check availability
26th Jun US$1845 Check availability
28th Jun US$1845 Check availability
30th Jun US$1845 Check availability
Jul 2018 Tour only Availability
2nd Jul US$1845 Check availability
4th Jul US$1845 Check availability
6th Jul US$1845 Check availability
8th Jul US$1845 Check availability
10th Jul US$1875 Check availability
12th Jul US$1875 Check availability
14th Jul US$1875 Check availability
16th Jul US$1875 Check availability
18th Jul US$1875 Check availability
20th Jul US$1875 Check availability
22nd Jul US$1875 Check availability
24th Jul US$1875 Check availability
26th Jul US$1875 Check availability
28th Jul US$1875 Check availability
30th Jul US$1875 Check availability
Aug 2018 Tour only Availability
1st Aug US$1875 Check availability
3rd Aug US$1875 Check availability
5th Aug US$1875 Check availability
7th Aug US$1875 Check availability
9th Aug US$1875 Check availability
11th Aug US$1875 Check availability
13th Aug US$1875 Check availability
15th Aug US$1875 Check availability
17th Aug US$1875 Check availability
19th Aug US$1875 Check availability
21st Aug US$1875 Check availability
23rd Aug US$1875 Check availability
25th Aug US$1875 Check availability
27th Aug US$1875 Check availability
29th Aug US$1875 Check availability
31st Aug US$1875 Check availability
Sep 2018 Tour only Availability
2nd Sep US$1815 Check availability
4th Sep US$1815 Check availability
6th Sep US$1815 Check availability
8th Sep US$1815 Check availability
10th Sep US$1815 Check availability
12th Sep US$1765 Check availability
14th Sep US$1765 Check availability
16th Sep US$1765 Check availability
18th Sep US$1765 Check availability
20th Sep US$1765 Check availability
22nd Sep US$1765 Check availability
24th Sep US$1765 Check availability

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

Please contact us for child prices.

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

Every two days from 13th May 2018 to 24th Sep 2018, for 8 nights.

Continental breakfasts and all 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.

We are ATOL registered We are an ABTA member
Independent customer reviews and ratings

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 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 1-800-567-6286 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.

Add more passengers

We can often obtain preferential rates with our travel partners.

We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. During busy periods we cannot always guarantee a specific call time but we promise to try our very best.

Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or other questions. If you’d like to travel by an alternative method, i.e. Ferry / Eurotunnel etc. please give details here so we can advise you on appropriate options.

Headwater may use the information you provide for marketing and promotional purposes. By clicking the 'Enquire now' button, you confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy and consent to our use of your information.

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.

You may also like