Alsace - 2 or 3 days

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Feb 8th, 2018, 03:01 PM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Grindelwald for just a day will whet your appetite for much more time later = to me an excellent place with older kids. But yes if funky weather a dud. For just a night I'd consider staying in Interlaken and day tripping to Grindelwald - if weather funky foresake the hills and day trip on lake boats on either lake r day tripping to Bern, Lucerne, etc.

I'd take a day off Lucerne and put it in Grindelwald.
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Feb 8th, 2018, 04:13 PM
  #22
 
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Hi. We are in northern California and you will have jet lag but it won't be that bad. We just plan to go to bed about 9 to 10 the first night and we're fine. Don't be afraid to rent a car if you want to visit any of the wine villages. There isn't that much traffic out in the boonies and the towns all have parking. We always rent an automatic because I (wife) do not drive a manual. Most airports will have an open car rental agency or you can wait and pick up a car for a just a day or two after you get to Strasbourg. We usually stay in Barr, a wine village, when we visit Alsace, but once spent a week in Strasbourg for the Christmas markets which I highly recommend some time when you can fit it in. The train station in Strasbourg is right in the center of town and there are lots of hotels in the area within a 10 minute walk from the station. You will need a full day for Strasbourg; it's a beautiful, diverse and very fun city. Check their web site. You do not need a car in Strasbourg. They have a great trolley system and you can walk nearly everyplace. Get the car for the day you visit wine villages.

Someone above suggested Oberni, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kayserberg, and Eguisheim which are all wonderful. Nearly all the wine villages are treasures. Eguisheim is my favorite of those and Obernai would come in next. Ribeauville is quite small and Riquewihr tends to be overrun with humanity. It's still lovely though. Obernai is the largest of the suggested places and would be most apt to have train connections so if you really don't want a car, that might be worth checking. It's quaint, picturesque, has wine and is still fairly large but walkable.

In Colmar, even if you don't like museums, visit the Unterlinden. It's not large so won't take that long. Then you can take a Lauch river trip on the gondolas of Colmar. It touristy but great fun. Lots of restaurants in La Petite Venise. BTW, they aren't really gondolas; they are more akin to rowboats but do have motors and are fun. Everything is covered with flowers and very picturesque.

I hope you can find the full 3 days for Alsace. It's so beautiful and very different from other parts of France. Do expect hordes of fellow tourists in the Cinque Terre on your dates. It's crowded at the best of times. It is beautiful but at least for us, more comfortable in the off season when it's not quite as crowded.

Have a wonderful time. Sounds like a great trip.
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Feb 8th, 2018, 05:11 PM
  #23
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Dambach la Ville, on the Route de Vin, is on a train line that goes to Strasbourg and Colmar. It's a lovely small village with several wineries and restaurants. No need for a car for a short trip to Alsace.
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Feb 8th, 2018, 06:39 PM
  #24
 
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First "reasonable" train from Colmar to Dembach departs at 10:02 & arrives at 10:48 with a train change in Selestat. Trains depart every 2 hrs.

Return trains are at 11:48 & 13:45. So you get to spend 1 hr there, or 3 hrs there, or 5 hrs there. Again, a train change returning.

This is why I like the freedom of a car. If Dembach does not appeal to me - I will head to the next village or some other nearby site - instead of being stuck in Dembach.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 9th, 2018, 08:50 AM
  #25
 
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Again check out tours or private drivers from Colmar if not into renting cars.
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Feb 9th, 2018, 09:02 AM
  #26
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How strenuous is a bike ride to the villages? We are reasonably fit and sort of love the idea of biking. But I also don't want to be a sweaty mess ha ha! Looking at still basing out of Colmar and visitng Eguisheim and Riquewihr, and using the train to Strasbourg. Is the bike path safe or are we on a main road?
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Feb 9th, 2018, 09:21 AM
  #27
 
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Biking is on the road until you get in and amongst the vines, then it is very easy to find back paths or even concrete roads in the vinyards. Most road are quiet except the route du vin itself which is full of coachs and cars plodding along but for much of the route there is a bike path. I find the area perfectly safe as roads are generally quiet but not empty.

The road from Colmar station to Eguisheim is easy apart from one littlee bit where you don't want to join the local large road. You need to look closely at google maps and don't drift from the D30 onto the D83. Bike hire companies come and go, Colmar Vélo ? Vélodocteurs | Atelier d?Auto-réparation de Vélo Gravage, Location et Remisage de Cycle is next to the station and easy to find. Bike: self guided Alsace Bike Guide route and overview France should give ou an overview. Sweaty.... well depends on the weather it was 35C last time we were there.
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Feb 9th, 2018, 09:25 AM
  #28
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bilboburgler Thank you for the info! What time of year did you visit? I remember last year in Paris a few days later than we are visiting this time in Alsace it was hot hot hot!
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Feb 9th, 2018, 10:43 AM
  #29
 
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The gite we stayed in near Riquewihr was on one of these small roads west of the Route de Vin. The Gite was part of a winery. There were bikes on the road constantly. There are signs everywhere indication kilometers & directions to the next village. Very easy. Just stay off the Route de Vin as much as you can.

Stu Dudley
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Feb 9th, 2018, 01:36 PM
  #30
 
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I've also biked Colmar to Riquewihr and as bilbo and others say a piece of cake - not that far so take your time but don't do too many samples at wineries!
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Feb 9th, 2018, 02:14 PM
  #31
 
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Originally Posted by ualauren View Post
Also, I should mention that since we are young, we are looking to do lots of things before kids, find what interests and draws us in the most, and then return to those places for longer periods of time as we get older. Right now we have only a set budget, and don't love the idea of committing the time, pto, and money on a vacation that we don't just adore. I'd rather leave a place wanting a bit more, than be eager to move onto the next!
Just so you know, when you return to those places when you're older, they will be quite different. Places we enjoyed immensely 20 years ago we no longer find terribly appealing, usually because of the crush of tourists and the loss of the unique charms that originally attracted us.
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Feb 10th, 2018, 02:10 AM
  #32
 
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last visit was Sept roughly 10th for a week, one day so hot we just stayed in our gite. But I've been in Alsace in Sept at 13C
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