A day trip less than 100 km from Strasbourg, exploring 2 iconic villages along the Alsace Wine Route (Route des Vins d’Alsace).
As we leave Strasbourg on a hazy autumn morning, the sun is barely peeking through the layer of low-hanging clouds. But in an instant the fog clears, as though someone has drawn back a heavy curtain.
After barely an hour’s drive, the rolling hills and golden vineyards of the Alsace Wine Route stretch out before us, leading us to Kaysersberg.
The P5 parking lot (about 1€ per hour) is located right outside the historical center of town.
Ambling through the streets of this picturesque little village with its colorful half-timbered houses is like walking into a different time. Kaysersberg was named “France’s favorite village of 2017” for a reason!
The local restaurants, confectioneries, cheesemongers, bakeries, tea rooms, delicatessens, artisan shops and workshops (glassware, pottery, textile) and Alsatian wine-tasting cellars all aim to show off the best of the region’s culture and gastronomy.
Don’t miss: the church (12th-15th century) and its wooden altarpiece, the fortified bridge from 1514 and the old houses along the river Weiss, the Badhus (Bath House) from 1600, and the Castle.
From the historic town center, by the Badhus, there is a path and a stairway leading up to the 13th-century castle. Our tip: once you reach the castle, continue up the stairs, then turn right. There, you’ll find an incredible view of the castle, with the vineyards, and the rooftops of Kaysersberg below. Once you’ve taken it all in, you can enjoy a walk through the vines back down to the village or go back the way you came.
After Kaysersberg, we continue our road trip along the Alsace Wine Route, the legendary asphalt strip winding through vineyards and villages, to Riquewihr.
Several parking lots (3-5€ for a few hours) are easy to find as you arrive in town. Just like in Kaysersberg, the historical town center of Riquewihr directly overlooks the vineyards. Riquewihr is smaller, but just as charming and colorful.
The archway under the town hall marks the entrance to the old town. As we slowly climb the hill up to the fortified city walls, the smell of nougat, local cookies (bredele) and coconut macaroons wafts out of tiny shops. Art lovers can have a look around one of the galleries, and wine enthusiasts can enjoy a tasting in one of the local cellars. On either side of the high street little side streets beckon, waiting to be explored. We’re left with the lovely feeling of walking around a postcard.
We take in the views and atmosphere of the Wine Route one last time before returning to Strasbourg, by driving through other well-known villages and famous vineyards, such as Hunawihr, Ribeauvillé, and Bergheim.