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Hidden Gems of Alsace and The Black Forest

Hidden Gems of Alsace and The Black Forest

Old Mar 12th, 2022, 03:32 AM
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Hidden Gems of Alsace and The Black Forest

Hi Everyone!

We (me and my husband) are planning a road trip to Alsace and Black Forest Region with our 2 years old daughter. We are planning to land at Stuttgart, then rent a car and make a round trip around Alsace and the black forest, and depart from Stuttgart. We made an itinerary as you see below, it is open to your suggestions.

I would like to ask you about Hidden gems of Alsace and the Black Forest. I mean thanks to Google and former forum discussions we all know well the small towns like Ribeauville, Kaysberg, Riquehwihr, etc., or Freiburg, Gutach Open Air Museum, Lake Titisee, Triberg. Actually, I am looking for more insider/local tips. And some interesting points that are not mentioned in every travel blog (like Ronchamp Chapel, it is 1-hour car ride away to Colmar, but worth visiting while we were already there)

The second question is about accommodation. We are planning to stay;

-first 4 nights at Obernai (It seems like it is a practical base point to explore both Strasbourg and Route des Vins)
  • 3 nights at one of the working farms near Freiburg. We want our 2 years old to experience farm life and farm animals. I need advice about farms.
-the last 2 nights near Baden-Baden. Maybe at one of the German towns like Gengenbach, Bühl?

DAY 1- 29 April Friday (Staying at Obernai)
Landing Stuttgard at 11 a.m.
Going to Karlsruhe zoo for our 2 years old 😊
Arriving at Obernai

DAY 2- 30 April / Saturday (Staying at Obernai)
Day Trip to Colmar, if we have time we can visit Montagne de Signes

DAY 3- 1 May / Sunday (Staying at Obernai)
Ribeauville, Riquewihr , Eguisheim
if we have still time we can visit Ronchamp Chapel (Notre Dame du Haut)
*** Does sunday is a bad idea to visit these towns?

DAY 4- 2 May/ Monday (Staying at Obernai)
Day Trip to Strasbourg

DAY 5- 3 May/ Tuesday (Staying at a farm near Freiburg)
Going to Freiburg and visit the old town center, maybe visiting one of the small towns near Freiburg on the way

DAY 6- 4 May/ Wednesday (Staying at a farm near Freiburg)

Day Trip to Basel (Maybe we skip this, and enjoy the farm throughout the day)

DAY 7- 5 May/ Thursday (Staying at a farm near Freiburg)

Lake Titisee (is it too touristy or worth to visit?) , Hinterzarten or Feldsee, Feldberg waterfalls

DAY 8- 6 May/ Friday (Staying near Baden-Baden or at a german town)

Sight visit to Triberg, cuckoo clock shop then
Open Air Museum Vogtsbauernhof, Gutach

DAY 9- 7 May / Saturday (Staying near Baden-Baden or at a german town)

Visiting Baden-Baden (and maybe mummelsee lake on the way)

Day 10 - 8 May/ Sunday (Departure Day)
Our flight is at 3.50 pm, so we have a couple of hours before hitting on the road to the airport. Maybe a 1-2 hour visit to Gengenbach or any other town
elvanhazal is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2022, 04:17 AM
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Day 3 is pretty busy and most 2 year olds will become tired.

The Chapel is especially dull for small people.

I'd only visit two of your towns proposed and eguisheim would be one I would include as a bit more approachable
https://www.haut-koenigsbourg.fr/en/ might be a good visit. Go there early in the day as parking works on a first come first served road that leads up to the castle. On a busy day and you have a long walk. But the views are great. You can snack here or go onto the Ballon d'alsace which is a big field with views on the Alps and some flammkucken bars, a fair drive but very much a special area on the route des crêtes
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 04:46 AM
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Thank you bilboburgler for your recommendations!
Because I am an architect, the Chapel was my favorite point of this trip (it is one of the important works of Le Corbusier, and there is also a building designed by Renzo Piano)
I'll take into consideration Haut Koenigsbourg and Ballon d'alsace.
Maybe, we can visit the Chapel on DAY5 before heading to Freiburg, and a short visit to Freiburg...
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 07:03 AM
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Yes I like the chapel too, but it is a bit southerly from Alsace and you need to travel south to head up to it. I'm an engineer so the structure is interesting to me, but for a 2 year old it is just a lawn with a building on it.

Freiburg might work out better

Colmar day, just an opinion but the old centre is pretty small and while it is pretty really only a 3 hour visit.

Maybe Obernai is too far north?? The wine route is pretty slow often with slow moving coaches and tractors on it, while the motorway to the east of Colmar is v fast and the way to get around. I tend to plan my visit on that motorway (well really just a duel carriageway), take care most junctions are 4 way (on off north and south) but a few around Colmar are not.

Last edited by bilboburgler; Mar 12th, 2022 at 07:07 AM.
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 07:30 AM
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A bit of a hidden gem is the Lalique museum in Wingen Sur Moder. https://www.musee-lalique.com/en

Not sure it is somewhere for a two year old though .

Titisee is very touristy, but for a reason. I wouldn't spend too much time there. I assume you mean Todtnauer for the waterfall? Or the Triberg? The paths for the Triberg falls aren't suitable for buggies or pushchairs.
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 08:20 AM
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yep Lalique is a good visit, again a bit off the beaten track. Parking in central Strasbourg can be fun.
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Yes I like the chapel too, but it is a bit southerly from Alsace and you need to travel south to head up to it. I'm an engineer so the structure is interesting to me, but for a 2 year old it is just a lawn with a building on it.

Freiburg might work out better

Colmar day, just an opinion but the old centre is pretty small and while it is pretty really only a 3 hour visit.

Maybe Obernai is too far north?? The wine route is pretty slow often with slow moving coaches and tractors on it, while the motorway to the east of Colmar is v fast and the way to get around. I tend to plan my visit on that motorway (well really just a duel carriageway), take care most junctions are 4 way (on off north and south) but a few around Colmar are not.
Thank you for the heads up on the Wine Route...we were planning to day trip the wine route, but all that traffic Oh mon dieu! We only have one day to drive, so does the Colmar route include charming villages & wineries (without the tour buses). Is it far out of the way from Strasbourg (vs the wine route)?
All suggestions welcome.
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperment View Post
Thank you for the heads up on the Wine Route...we were planning to day trip the wine route, but all that traffic Oh mon dieu! We only have one day to drive, so does the Colmar route include charming villages & wineries (without the tour buses). Is it far out of the way from Strasbourg (vs the wine route)?
All suggestions welcome.
Regarding the "Colmar Route" do you recall the highway you recommend (D45?).
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Day 3 is pretty busy and most 2 year olds will become tired.

The Chapel is especially dull for small people.

I'd only visit two of your towns proposed and eguisheim would be one I would include as a bit more approachable
https://www.haut-koenigsbourg.fr/en/ might be a good visit. Go there early in the day as parking works on a first come first served road that leads up to the castle. On a busy day and you have a long walk. But the views are great. You can snack here or go onto the Ballon d'alsace which is a big field with views on the Alps and some flammkucken bars, a fair drive but very much a special area on the route des crêtes
We are traveling to Alsace in May-have only 3 nights. Curious about the route des crêtes: appears this features great views while driving. Is the Castle of Koenigsbourg located on this route? Any other spots worth a stop? Lunch etc? Is this route too out of the way from Colmar route (noted below) or the Wine Routes (which I'm thinking would have too much traffic).
Bottom line: could the Colmar & routes des crêtes be a better choice than the wine route (especially given just a one day-trip)?
Thank you!

Last edited by pepperment; Mar 12th, 2022 at 10:35 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 01:57 PM
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The route de crêtes is s tatty road along the spine of the Vosges mountains, in part there are ski de fond places or long distance walking routes so very slow. D45 I think is the fast road ( Google it on maps). There are no cute wine towns on this fast road, you need to be on the side of the Vosges slopes where the angle of the land maximizes the sun on the grapes but below where the trees grow hence the route du vin. But it can be slow. So pick your towns carefully and use your time carefully. After all most vignerons stop work for lunch.

Mure is down on the d45 and doesn't close for lunch pre-covid. But the wine is very expensive.
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Old Mar 12th, 2022, 04:07 PM
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Don’t miss the Alsatian Pizza
https://www.seriouseats.com/how-to-m...-style-classic
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Old Mar 13th, 2022, 03:12 AM
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Originally Posted by bilboburgler View Post
Yes I like the chapel too, but it is a bit southerly from Alsace and you need to travel south to head up to it. I'm an engineer so the structure is interesting to me, but for a 2 year old it is just a lawn with a building on it.

Freiburg might work out better

Colmar day, just an opinion but the old centre is pretty small and while it is pretty really only a 3 hour visit.

Maybe Obernai is too far north?? The wine route is pretty slow often with slow moving coaches and tractors on it, while the motorway to the east of Colmar is v fast and the way to get around. I tend to plan my visit on that motorway (well really just a duel carriageway), take care most junctions are 4 way (on off north and south) but a few around Colmar are not.
You're right, we should rethink Obernai and maybe move our base towards the south.

Originally Posted by hetismij2 View Post
A bit of a hidden gem is the Lalique museum in Wingen Sur Moder.

Not sure it is somewhere for a two year old though .

Titisee is very touristy, but for a reason. I wouldn't spend too much time there. I assume you mean Todtnauer for the waterfall? Or the Triberg? The paths for the Triberg falls aren't suitable for buggies or pushchairs.
Thank you! I think we will skip the museums on this trip with our little one (even though I am a museum person!) but I checked the museum website and think that this is valuable information for those who will read this post!

Originally Posted by deladeb View Post
Don’t miss the Alsatian Pizza
I just added it to the list, thanks for the suggestion!
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Old Mar 13th, 2022, 08:13 AM
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Don't miss the Mont Sainte Odile near Obernai. It is a convent on a hilltop with a fabulous panoramic view (all the way to the Black Forest). And if you don't mind something more somber, you can visit the Struthof-Natzweiler Nazi death camp not far from there, but also in a very lovely setting (to die for). It was the only death camp on French soil.
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Old Mar 13th, 2022, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by deladeb View Post
You will find it called by the German Flammenkuchen in much of Alsace. Also a classic but not for the faint hearted is choucroute - https://www.seriouseats.com/choucrou...sausage-recipe
Massive portions!
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Old Mar 14th, 2022, 05:00 AM
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The spatburgunder (pinot noir) in Germany is worthy of exploring - all the better if you can sample it with local cuisine. A few tips from one of my visits "home" for more specifics.
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Old Mar 14th, 2022, 05:19 AM
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Alsace is one of those crazy places where they make wine by single variety and for once it works. There are some 7 basic grapes plus a few also runs and a single blend allowed. Mainly white there is also one red (the afor said pinot noir). Wines from Alsace and often seen as better than say those bits of Germany just across the Rhine, they are not especially but they are different. I can recomend tastings in Alsace if you want, I can do the same for Pfalz and Mosel but not other parts of Germany as I don't know enough.
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