Itinerary Highlights

  • Stroll past pastel-colored half-timbered houses in Colmar
  • Visit the Unterlinden Museum
  • Take a day trip to the wine town of Kaysersberg
  • Enjoy biodynamic wines at family-run wineries
  • Hike to ruined castles and scenic views
  • Relax at 5 Terres Hôtel & Spa
  • Eat at Michelin-starred restaurants
  • Explore the walled city of Obernai

Follow in Our Footsteps

Editor's Itinerary

Duration: 9 Days

For years, we recommended only two hotels in Alsace, both of which were in Strasbourg. I’m pleased to say that on my recent trip to this region in France’s northeast, I discovered two other charming inns, one in a village at the northern end of Alsace’s line of grand cru vineyards, and the other in Colmar, a delightful small city farther south. With these properties, it’s possible to put together a lovely driving tour.

This region draws mostly French and German tourists, but few Americans. It is a shame, because Alsace ranks among the world’s prettiest wine regions, with vineyards terraced into the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, well-preserved half-timbered villages and the romantic ruins of castles that once protected them. And the wines themselves will delight any connoisseur. Riesling and Gewürztraminer reach great heights, and red-wine lovers will find much to praise in Alsace’s Pinot Noirs.

I recommend starting in Colmar and working your way up to Strasbourg, Alsace’s capital, which still has my two favorite hotels in the region. Note that when the European Parliament is in session, accommodations in Strasbourg fill up, making it important to secure reservations there far in advance if you’re traveling during that period.

The busiest season in Alsace is not summer, or even the fall harvest season, as one might expect. It’s December, when cities and villages glow with festive Christmas markets. January to March is the slowest period, before spring arrives and the vineyards are still dormant.