Alsace to chamonix by car - route help

Old Apr 6th, 2018, 07:38 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alsace to chamonix by car - route help

Hi All,
My family will be traveling to France in the second half of August for two weeks. After seeing Paris, we plan to train to Alsace, rent a car and stay there for a few nights to see the area and the towns. Then we will drive from there to Chamonix. Do you all have a recommended stop for two or three nights in between these locations?
I've heard Montreux or gruyure are worthy destinations? Other ideas?
Thanks!
granolagb is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 07:42 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 21,547
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by granolagb View Post
Hi All,
My family will be traveling to France in the second half of August for two weeks. After seeing Paris, we plan to train to Alsace, rent a car and stay there for a few nights to see the area and the towns. Then we will drive from there to Chamonix. Do you all have a recommended stop for two or three nights in between these locations?
I've heard Montreux or gruyure are worthy destinations? Other ideas?
Thanks!
You could travel through the French Jura which has interesting towns and beautiful countryside. The first half of this trip report covers the area from Basel to Geneva: Trip Report: Basel, Jura, Dordogne, La Rochelle, Paris

And here are the pictures, starting with Ronchamps to the end of the series: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7624529919999/

You might also want to take a good look at the Burgundy/Jura Michelin Green Guide

I can't get rid of the underline, sorry.

Last edited by moderator8; Apr 6th, 2018 at 08:21 AM.
Michael is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 08:32 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Michael. Some lovely pics and beautiful towns! My one concern is taking this route to chamonix would be much longer no? And how does this compare to traveling via Basel through montreux to chamonix?
granolagb is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 10:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When you try google maps between Strasbourg to Chamonix, they show 2 routes, the one you mention near montreux and then a more westernly route skirting the Jura taking you closer to Lausanne and skirting around Geneva. We have done that route, and for comparison, google maps shows that route at 5h02m compared to the one near montreux at 4h39m. Since I haven't taken the montreux route, I can't compare for you, but the route we took was very scenic. The only thing to watch might be traffic around Geneva depending on your timing.

Here is a NYTimes article about the Jura from a few years back:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/t...onderland.html

You will see from a map in the article if you stick to the "straight route" from Strasbourg to Chamonix along Lac Leman you will just sort of go near there-not really up into the heart of the area.
jpie is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 10:14 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So - you plan to spend some time in Paris, Alsace, and Chamonix/Mt Blanc. That sounds like a 2-3 week trip to me. We've vacationed for over 2 weeks in Alsace, 1 week in Chamonix/Mt Blanc, 3 weeks in the Jura, and 3 weeks in Annecy.

I would skip anything between Alsace & Chamonix & get to Chamonix ASAP. The Jura is nice - but a lot of small & slow roads. Besancon would be a good stop along the way - but I would still get to Chamonix ASAP. Same with Annecy.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 10:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes I would agree with Stu-with "just" Paris, Alsace (which covers a fair amount of territory) and Chamonix, you will have plenty for 2 weeks. And ditto about the small roads in the Jura. You don't say if you are flying back home from Paris but hopefully you can do it open jaw from some place like Geneva.....

And I don't see you mention Annecy-but it is definitely lovely if you have the time.
jpie is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 10:44 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here are the sections of my Alps itinerary that includes Mt Blanc & Annecy.

On to Mt Blanc

Take the N94 northeast of Briancon, cross the Italy border, and then the R23, S24 north to the A32 to Modane. Take the A43 west, then north to the A430 to Albertville. Briancon to Albertville should take 2 hours.

We actually stopped along the way from Albertville to Mt Blanc to visit the very scenic Beaufort area**. We mostly drove through this region & got out of the car a couple if times to walk through a town (Hautluce), or to just admire the views. Conflans* next to Albertville is an interesting village to explore. Then take the D925 northeast to Beaufort. We didn't wander through Beaufort - but it looked interesting. Then take the D218 south to Areches (another interesting looking town we didn't walk through), and then on to Boudin to admire the views**. We then returned to Beaufort, and took the D218B to Hautluce and we wandered in town and admired the view of Mt Blanc. Then we continued on the D218B to Flumet, then to D1212 through Megave and then to Sallanches and then the D1205 to Domancy.

As I stated earlier, we've rented 66 gites in France, so far. The Gite in Domancy had the best views of any of them. https://en.gites-de-france.com/holid...74G103018.html

Finding the Gite in Domancy is easy. Take the D1205 from Sallanches and get off at the Domancy exit and head uphill past some sort of automobile or truck rental place (the only commerce in Domancy) and the follow the main road to the Gite. On the Gites de France Web page for the gite in Domancy, the very first picture is what the gite looks like from the road you take to get to the gite. There is a green Gites de France sign on the side of the building that faces this access road. Park in front of the gite. There is actually a smaller/quicker road from Megave to Domancy - but take the D1205 from Sallanches to Domancy when you first arrive at the gite. If you need to go to or from Megave later in your stay, then use this other road (the D199).

We dined at several Michelin starred restaurants in this region. Some were quite expensive, and a little too pretentious. A good choice in Chamonix is Atmosphere, which sits on one of the rivers flowing through town and is quite popular (reserve ahead). We also liked 1920 in Megave - which is a Michelin two star restaurant, and Le Serac in St Gervais - a Michelin 1 star.


Things to do & see. Use map 328

1. Montenvers mountain railway***. Train up to the foot of Mt Blanc (not to the top of Mt Blanc). See the Green Guide for a description of this train. Also this site Train à crémaillère du Montenvers Mer de Glace - Mont-Blanc Natural Resort . Take the first train up - which departs a little after 10:00. This is a very scenic train ride. You can get breakfast at the train departure station. See the green guide for the location of the train departure station in St Gervais. Many other people on the train will be loaded with gear to climb Mt Blanc - but don't be intimidated (but take a warm jacket with you). When you get to the top, wander around a bit and then take the next train back or the second train back (which we took). If you take a later train to Mt Blanc, they will hand out "tokens" at the top that you'll need to use to "queue up" for trains back to St Gervais. You may have to wait longer than you would like - that's why I recommend that you take the very first train from St Gervais.

Lifts to viewing stations - in order of preference.

2. Le Brevent*** pg 260. This was fabulous!!!. There is an outside restaurant at the top of this lift. We had both breakfast and lunch at this restaurant. The views were breathtaking. Only do this on a clear day (same with all trains & lifts in the area). It was hard for us to leave. We got to the lift at 9:00 and didn't depart until 12:45. See the Green Guide to determine where to catch the lift to Le Brevent.

3. Aiguille du Midi Cable Car***. This is "THE" lift up to Mt Blanc (but we enjoyed the Le Brevent more). This goes up in two stages. We took it about 10 years ago - and I don't think there is a large viewing area with concessions like there is in Le Brevent. See the Green Guide and the "upper" map to determine where to catch this lift.

4. Aiguille des Grandes-Montets*** . This departs from Argentiere - which is on the other side of Chamonix close to the Italy border. This lift probably had the best views. But it was freezing the day we went up there (after a snow). Dress warmly.

5. Le Bettex** . There is a "back way" to get to this lift - without going through St Gervais. Head towards Megave on the D199/D1212. Then take the D909 road toward St Gervais.

Non-mountain lift activity.

6. Chamonix is actually an interesting town to wander though. It's a relatively "new" resort - so there is no "old world charm". We had dinner there, and it was enjoyable to get to Chamonix around 6:30 to watch the evening activity in town.

7. St Gervais is also an interesting town - and older. We drove through it several times to get to restaurants & start of lifts - but never really explored it thoroughly.

8. Hauteluce is a little over 1 hr from Domancy, and Beaufort is 10 mins from Hauteluce. So you could visit this scenic area if you missed it on the way to Domancy from Briancon.

9. Other interesting villages near Domancy are Cordon*, Combloux*, and Megave. But we concentrated on the Alps in this area - not the "cute little villages" - so we did not visit them.

Annecy

The most scenic way to get to Annecy is to take the D1212 through Megave to Flumet. Then take the D909 northwest through the Gorge de l'Arondine, over the Col des Aravis**, then take the very lovely D16 west through Manigod to Thones. Then the D909 to Annecy. We drove this route to Manigod from Domancy, and also while we stayed in Annecy several years ago.

The Annecy market is on Sunday morning– one of the best in France according to the Green Guide - but we've visited much better ones elsewhere in France.

Gorges du Fier** see the Green Guide open 9:15-5 www.gorgedufier.com

Tour 1– do on clear day and get an early start (8-9am) so the sun won’t be in your face for the most scenic part.
Take the N508 southeast from the south part of Lake Annecy. Go to Ugine. Take the D109 northeast from Ugine to Flumet. Now the most scenic part starts. Take the D909 northwest from Flumet over the Col des Aravis**. If you want to hike, the Col des Aravis would be a good place for one. Just past the Col, take the D16 west through Manigod to Thones. Then back to Lake Annecy on the D909. Once on the lake, take the lake road clockwise. Stop & visit Talloires (it is on the east side of the lake). Then continue clockwise back to your Gite.

Tour 2 – Route de la Forclaz*** see the Green Guide. Do this on a clear day and in the morning. It will only take a half-day
Head southeast on the N508 again. Take the D42 (just past Doussard) north over the Col de la Forclaz. Stop at the Col for great views. Continue north & follow the road back to the lake. Head clockwise, and visit Talloires if you have not visited it yet. The views from the east side of the lake are better in the morning.

Tour 3 – best in the afternoon. Perhaps visit Annecy in the AM
The Semnoz** . Follow the route in the Green Guide

Other things you might want to do:
- Boat trip on the lake – but you can see everything from the shoreline.
- Drive around the lake – but you will probably do this going & coming from your tours
- Chateau de Menthon* close to Annecy. We enjoyed this chateau. Nice views.

We visited Lake Annecy in '06 and stayed in a gite in Tailloires for 2 weeks (Gite is no longer available). We've also stayed at Le Cottage in Tailloires on a multi-day visit, and also at a "business" hotel in Annecy itself. In '06 our best meals were in Annecy at La Ciboulette, and Auberge de Savoie.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 10:54 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here is something I wrote about the weather in Mt Blanc.

Mt Blanc area weather
Several times each year, people on Fodors plan short trips to visit the Mt Blanc area, and inquire about the "normal" weather in the region, and whether they will be able to see & enjoy Mt Blanc - or will it be covered in clouds. The responses (guesses, usually) are normally vague.

We just returned from a week's stay in a Gite close to Mt Blanc, on a hillside in the village of Domancy - within the Sallanches Basin. Domancy is about a 25 min drive west of Chamonix. We've stayed in 65 gites in different regions in France, and this one was perhaps the best gite we've stayed in so far. Probably the most comfortable and certainly the best views. The Gite had floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides with spectacular views of the Sallanches Basin and a "postcard" view of Mt Blanc - when it wasn't covered in clouds. On Thursday this week (July 21) a stage of the Tour de France goes through Domancy on a time-trial leg of the race. The TdF will be in the region on July 22 & 23 also.

https://www.gites-de-france.com/loca...74G103018.html

This trip was our fourth visit to the Alps, for a total of 5 1/2 weeks. It's our observation from prior trips that the weather is normally less cloudy in the morning than in the evening.

Here is what we experienced:

Saturday July 9 - we arrived around 4PM and Mt Blanc was visible - with a few clouds covering the face. We checked the weather forecast on the internet, and it was expected to be mostly sunny on Sunday, partly cloudy on Monday - with a thunderstorm in the evening. Tuesday through Thursday were to be mostly cloudy with rain & thunderstorms. We decided it might be best to take some "lifts" in the area on Sunday & Monday - before the rains started.

Sunday July 10. We left our Gite early and took the 8:40 departure on the Tramway to Mont Blanc from the St Gervais station (10 mins from our gite). This is a normal mountain train that goes to the Nid d'Aigle. We had good views of Mt Blanc with just a few clouds. The entire trip (with a 1 hr "look-around" at Nid d'Aigle) took 3 hours. When we returned to our gite around 1:30PM, Mt Blanc was perfectly clear with no clouds at all. We took lots if pictures from the gite.

About 4PM we took the Mont d'Arbois cable car from St Gervais up to Mt Arbois. Mt Blanc was completely covered in clouds as were most of the high peaks around the Sallanches basin.

The temperatures were in the low 90s F in Domancy today. We dined outside on our deck at the gite - admiring what we could see of Mt Blanc (very little).

Monday July 10. The weather looked pretty good - so we left our Gite at 8:15am and were on the Le Brevent lift in Chamonix at 8:45. The weather was excellent - good visibility, but a few clouds "running by" to make the pictures more dramatic. We had a hot chocolate at the cafe on top, and then lasagne and wine for lunch at 11:30. We spent around 2 1/2 hrs wandering around Le Brevent. By the time we departed, Mt Blanc and the other peaks in the area were almost 100% hidden behind clouds.

This night we had dinner in Chamonix and Mt Blanc was mostly hidden in clouds. As we returned home from dinner - it was raining heavily.

Tuesday July 12. Rain all day. We rarely saw Mt Blanc. By 6PM, there were many low clouds and we could not see Mt Blanc at all, nor any of the peaks in the Sallanches basin around us.

Wednesday July 13. Very low clouds & fog. We could not see Mt Blanc, the other peaks, and even St Gervais. Rain started around 3PM, and it was 55 F for a high in Domancy.

Thursday July 14. Extremely foggy with low clouds in the AM - lower than yesterday. You would not even know that you were in the Alps. Very poor visibility. Rain at 1PM. Low fog lifted a little - but we never saw Mt Blanc. High temps in Chamonix today was 44F. Tomorrow's forecast is to be somewhat better.

Friday July 15. Weather looked OK, so we got an early start and drove through Chamonix (temp 41F) to Argentiere and took the Aiguille des Grands Montets lift. It had snowed sometime in the past 2-3 days and the temperature at the top of the lift was minus 8C, and there was 13CM of fresh show. We were cold - but the views were spectacular. Mt Blanc was mostly clear with a few clouds for dramatic effect. We spent around 2 1/2 hrs engaged with this lift - having lunch at the mid-level stop - where it was somewhat warmer.

Starting around noon - Mt Blanc was in & out of clouds. When we got back to our gite in the early afternoon - Mt Blanc was entirely hidden in clouds.

Saturday July 16. Mt Blanc weather was perfect - the morning we departed (naturally). The weather forecast for the following week called for perfect sunny weather - and warmer. For the upcoming Tour de France.

In summary, we were there for around 6 1/2 days and had three half-days where we could see & enjoy Mt Blanc and four days which we could not.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 02:32 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I would say that Montreux would make an excellent stop for 2-3 days - lots of neat places to visit by car or lake boat - Gruyeres would make a great day trip - and the drive to Chamonix via Martigny is awesomely scenic - more so IMO than coming from Geneva or France. It parallels largely one of Europe's most scenic train lines - the Martigny to Chamonix line. Awesome views over Rhone Valley as you climb and then a major barrage or damn of some name to visit and by glaciers down to Chamonix. Now French way is scenic too but IMO not nearly as awesomely scenic.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 6th, 2018, 03:05 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,530
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
From Alsace, take the Ballon d'Alsace road along the crest of the Vosges as they merge into the Jura. Gex is a good place to stop for the night. Actually, as you come down from the Col de la Faucille, La Mainaz is a magnificent hotel overlooking Gex with a beautiful nighttime view of Geneva and Mont Blanc in the distance. Actually, I had a voucher for 2 free nights there including breakfast. I am not sure that I would be able to pay the normal rate, but there are more economical hotels in the area.

https://www.la-mainaz.com/en/hotel-gex-jura

Here is what Chamonix looked like a couple of years ago in the first days of September: http://anyportinastorm.proboards.com/thread/7852/chamonix-summer

I
actually stayed at the Ibis in Sallanches on points -- Chamonix itself can be quite expensive.
kerouac is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 07:42 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow lots of great suggestions, thanks all!
seems like my three options are:
1 stay in Alsace all six nights (too much?)
2 consider my original idea of a couple nights in Montreux area on way to chamonix
3 take a western route through the Jura for a few days avoiding Switzerland. Where would we basecamp for option 3? And I'm still a little confused on the recommended route.
I'd love accommodation recommendations for option 2 and 3!
Thanks everyone!
granolagb is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 09:29 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Option 4 (recommended by me & jpie) Take the autoroute from Alsace to Chamonix and spend all your nights in Paris, Alsace, and Chamonix for the 2 weeks (is that only 13 nights?). This may be your option 1.

If I had 14 nights, I would allocate them:
- 5 nights Paris - 1 night to get oriented & recover from jet lag.
- 4-5 nights Chamonix
- 4-5 nights Alsace.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 09:54 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,530
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
I would not spend so many nights in Chamonix unless you are serious trekkers or other style mountaineers. Since you have a car, unless you are totally overloaded with baggage, I would wander around the area a bit more and sleep in different places. I personally find Lausanne quite charming although this seems to be a minority opinion.
kerouac is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 11:12 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Stu and Kerouac,
Thanks for your comments. We will have 15 nights total and I have four nights already booked in Paris and five in Chamonix. I am a trail runner and am doing a race there so Chamonix may end up being the highlight for me and I'm not worried about having five days there.
Stu- I'm starting to think you may have the best idea, add one night in Paris (if I still can) and then just stay perhaps in Colmar? for five nights and day trip to all the towns/castle/etc.
Any other final thoughts?
thanks everyone!
granolagb is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 12:24 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Colmar would be a good base. Here is my Alsace itinerary;

Alsace


Alsace is one of the most beautiful places in France. In fact, the “Wine Spectator” ran a large expose on Alsace many years ago and called it the most beautiful wine growing region in the world. I would probably include the Mosel in this category, but Alsace has gobbled up more of my film per square mile than almost anywhere else in France (we spend 2 months every year in France). It’s kinda like Vermont with vineyards – dozens of picture postcard villages with church steeples sticking up above the houses, surrounded by vineyards, and backdropped by the Vosges mountains. There is also the very pretty town of Colmar, which I would have to rank in the top 5% of all the medium sized towns I’ve visited in France (perhaps #1 even), Strasbourg is one of my favorite large towns in France. We spent a week in a lovely Gite near Riquewihr last year and we’ve visited Alsace on 3 other occasions for a duration of 3-5 days on each visit. If I have any complaint about Alsace, it’s that there is not as much variety to the sites, villages, and countryside as I’ve seen in other areas of France. The villages in Alsace are almost too pretty to be real, but there are a lot of similarities to them. The Vosges are nice, but nothing like the Alps, Pyrenees, or the Cevannes. I would go there in early September, so that the geraniums that are everywhere will be in full bloom. One time we were there the last week of August, and we had no problems with crowds (I hate crowds).

We’re lucky enough to dine in France at least 30 times per year. We found the restaurants in Alsace to be excellent, in most cases. It’s very easy to avoid the pork & kraut, if that’s not your style. If you look at the red Michelin guide, there are more starred restaurants in Alsace than anywhere else in France (except Paris).


If you overnight in Strasbourg, we’ve stayed at the Gutenberg twice, and loved it. It’s small, centrally located, and not that expensive. It’s difficult to park nearby, however, since it’s on the fringe of the “pedestrian only” section. Take the walking tours described in the Michelin guide. I previously said I’m not a pork fan, but we dined at Chez Yvonne twice and enjoyed it. It’s a very popular brasserie serving traditional Alsace food in a rustic décor – reserve ahead. We’ve also dined at Maison Kammerzell, which is more upscale and located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Strasbourg. It was a Michelin 1 star, and the food was OK (we’ve had much better meals at other restaurants), but the main draw at this place is the décor.


The charm of Alsace is the countryside & cute villages. We’ve stayed in Oberni, Kayserberg twice, and in a Gite near Riquewihr. I would recommend that you stay in the Kayserberg/Riquewihr/Ribeauville area & take day trips from there. These villages are very close together & the area around the villages is stunning. The Route du Vin is a good road to use to visit all the villages, but it gets a lot of heavy truck traffic & there’s a little too much not-so-scenic commerce on it. There is a prettier and less traveled road that goes from village to village just west of the Route du Vin. It’s actually a very well marked bike route that is much more scenic than the Route du Vin. It probably doesn’t traverse the entire length of the Route du Vin, though. There are a lot of signposts along this route that indicate the direction to the next town, distances, etc. The best way to find this route is to go to Riquewihr & walk or drive around the perimeter of town until you find one of these signposts – it’s actually quite easy to find this route.

Villages not to miss are Oberni, Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Kayserberg, and Eguisheim. There are ramparts around Bergheim and its fun to walk on the top of them & circle the village, looking down into everyone’s back yard. There is a very nice lookout in the town of Zellenberg. Go up into the village & try to find it. There is a viewing table there that’s a little hard to locate, but worth the effort. There is also a very scenic lookout in a cemetery just outside of Sigolsheim – it’s marked on the Michelin map. Hike up to the old Chateau above Kayserberg in the early AM or late PM to get some wonderful views. Visit Haut Koenigsbourg. We really enjoyed the Ecomusee d’Alsace, although I’m usually not a fan of this “Williamsburg” type of stuff. It’s a collection of old houses that gives an insight into housing in the different periods & rural areas of Alsace. There are a lot of storks nesting on the roofs of the buildings in this Ecomusee. The Beauville linens factory & 2nds store is just west of Ribeauville on the road to Ste Marie aux Mines, but expect no bargains.

As I said earlier, Colmar is a gem. Follow the walking route indicated in the Michelin green guide. My wife purchased some wonderful lace in this town. We enjoyed the Musee d’Unterlinden. Spend a ½ day at least in Colmar. It’s easy to drive in & out & parking is no hassle. Stores may be closed on Sunday and Monday.

Here’s a pretty drive through some villages, and then into the Vosges. Head south of Colmar going through the villages of Eguisheim (spend several hours in this village – one of our favorites), Husseren, Hattstat, Gueberschwihr, Rouffach, Westhalten, Bergholtz, and then Guebwiller (visit). Then drive to Murbach to see a nice church in a pretty setting. Take the D430 west through Lautenbach and further until it hits the D27. Take the D27 north over the Col du Platzerwasel toward Munster. Continue on to Munster (D27 changes to D10). Stop & wander around in Munster (of cheese fame). Continue on the D10 to Turckheim (visit).

A farther away trip:
Visit Wissembourg and take the walking tour described in the Michelin Green guide. Then follow drive #3 described in the VOSGES DU NORD section of the Michelin guide. This will take you to Chateau de Fleckenstein, Lembach, Hunspach, & Seebach. In these latter two villages, the houses are half-timbered & painted white – it’s quite a contrast from other villages in Alsace. If you want to see how France attempted to defend itself from the Germans and Russsians after WWI, visit a section of the Maginot line at Four-a-Chaux just outside of Lembach. We enjoyed the tour of underground fortifications, hospitals, barracks, etc.




Restaurants.
Maximilien at the base of Zellenberg was our favorite. The ambience was very relaxed (we had to talk in a whisper) and the setting was lovely. This is a Michelin 1 star restaurant and the food was superb. We did not like Table du Gourmet, also in Riquewihr (also a 1 star). I had a very sloppy presentation of overcooked Sandre on a bed of scalloped potatoes (very unimaginative). My wife’s dish also did not please her. We dined at Auberge de Norbert in Bergheim, which was excellent. In Colmar, we dined at the Maison des Tetes, which is one of the most photographed buildings in the City. Our dinner was only so-so and the service was painfully slow (we usually spend at least 2 ½ hrs at dinner).

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 12:36 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,530
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
Speaking of the Moselle region, you can even go wider and see the lovely Luxembourg wine country.

Luxembourg wine country | Any Port in a Storm

Once you start looking for places to visit, there are just more and more of them.

As for Obernai, it was practically the only place in Alsace to which my grandparents from Lorraine drove for a magnificent sauerkraut meal a few times a year. This continued for at least 40 years, but unfortunately "our" restaurant no longer exists. However, the town remains as lovely as ever, although it should perhaps be avoided on weekends if possible as it is overwhelmed by German tourists on those days. If you go to Obernai, you absolutely must not miss the nearby Mont Sainte Odile convent site. It is perched on perhaps the most magnificent panorama point of the Bas-Rhin. You can see the Black Forest from there as well as much of Alsace. It can be noted that Sainte Odile is the patron saint of Alsace and Odile remains an extremely common name for girls of the region, a bit like Marie used to be for the rest of France.
kerouac is offline  
Old Apr 7th, 2018, 12:48 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 1,934
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We actually loved basing in Strasbourg in Alsace, but we are more city people and generally find the "cute little towns" a bit too kind of artificial for our taste. But that is entirely a personal opinion-so may not be all the case for you.

In terms of routes, I had mentioned the route that goes west around Lac Leman around Geneva, but it sounds like the more easternly route may be more scenic and it deosn't sound like you want to really go into Geneva itself, so that might be better.
jpie is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2018, 10:33 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One more question to ask you all. For five nights in Alsace, would you recommend a place in Colmar or in one of the villages to basecamp?
I found a nice place is kaysersberg for example and I am thinking perhaps staying in a small village will be a nice change of pace after Paris.
But obviously I realize colmar will have more to offer in terms of activities and restaurants.
Thoughts?
granolagb is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2018, 11:05 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 15,337
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Both options are good. Kayserberg will get you closer to the Route du Vin villages. And closer to vineyards also. Colmar has museums & is larger. We've stayed in Kayserberg twice for about 3-4 nights each time, and close to Riqhewihr for a week in a gite. Colmar will feel completely different from Paris. Colmar will have more restaurants in town, but Kayserberg has a Michelin 2 star, a 1 star, and 2 Bib Gourmand restaurants (according to last year's Red Guide)

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is offline  
Old Apr 8th, 2018, 11:08 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,530
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
Even the cities of Alsace will not compare to Paris, so I don't think you have to worry about "city" or "village" in terms of Alsace unless you are really looking for a place that is totally dead starting at 19:00 where even hearing a dog barking at dusk is an event.

(Can you tell that I am a city person? -- having grown up in a tiny town that bored me to tears.)
kerouac is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:35 AM.