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Just starting our trip plans? Basic questions about Alsace area

Just starting our trip plans? Basic questions about Alsace area

Old Mar 8th, 2004, 06:48 AM
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Just starting our trip plans? Basic questions about Alsace area

We have just begun planning our 20th wedding anniversary trip to France. This is all preliminary so please bear with me. We are thinking the following:
Fly into DeGaulle, rent a car - or take a train(is there one from CDG) to Strasbourg.
2 nites in Strasbourg. Is this to much, considering the first day is kind of a waste, as we are tired from the flight etc.
2 nites Colmar - is this too much. The drive from Strasbourg to Colmar we figured we would stop in some of the small wine villages along the way and maybe get to Colmar sometime in the afternoon.
2 nites Beaune area - been here before and love it so we are OK.
1 nite Troyes or Auxerre - not sure. Any suggestions.
4 nites in Paris - of course.
With this plan we would leave NY on a Saturday and arrive in France on Sunday. The following Sunday would be travel day from either Troyes or Auxerre to Paris.
Any suggestions?
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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I think that your timings are good. Two nights in Strasbourg is not too much. You will probably spend the whole day between Strasbourg and Colmar, as there are so many interesting sights to see, so two nights in Colmar would be about right.

It will be more costly, but I would advise to take the train from Paris to Strasbourg and rent your car there, dropping it off in Paris. Otherwise it's a five hour drive after your flight, longer if you want to do any sightseeing in Reims, for example, and you'll be getting into an unfamiliar (I assume) city at the end.
There is no direct train connection between CDG and Strasbourg, however, You must take the train to the Gare du Nord and leave for Strasbourg from the Gare de l'Est. (The two are side by side).
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:15 AM
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I would look into flying directly into Strasbourg (connecting, of course, most likely in Paris).

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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Do not over schedule yourselves. I would recommend staying in one of the smaller Route des Vins towns rather than in Colmar.

If you are going in the off season, you could probably just "wing it" without reservations and see where you end up. I have done that in Alsace in August and found a nice B&B with the assistance of the lady in the tourist bureau.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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I think that Troyes is a better overnight stop than Auxerre. Make sure that you see the tool museum.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:34 AM
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thanks to all so far. Rex, you are right, we will most likely fly from CDG to Strasbourg since there is no train service. A five hour drive is not something we want to do after the long overnite flight.

Anyone else have suggestions?
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:51 AM
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I would agree with LaurenSKahn regarding a stay in Colmar. I would consider a stay on the route des vin, perhaps Ribeauville, Riquewihr, or Kaysersberg. All of these towns are in close proximity to Colmar but (IMHO) have much more charm and interest.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Hi,

I completely agree about Riquewihr - the countryside around Colmar and Riquewihr is beautiful!

Have a great trip!
Julia
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 11:11 AM
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If money is no object, stay overnight in Illhaeusern and dine at the Auberge de l'Ill (Michelin 3 stars). It will be cheaper than a comparable restaurant in Paris and worth every penny. After all, it is your anniversary.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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Suggestion for auberge de l'ill is good but if you keep your otion to drive from Beaune to Paris with one stop, you
can stop at JOIGNY à la Cote saint Jacques(jean michel Lorrain chief) :
hotel is wonderfull, table is great and you can abord Paris with confidence...
Erik.
NB : he is in the relais et chateaux, and they have a website.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 12:15 PM
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thanks for your assistance. We are hoping to dine at Auberge de L'ill while in Alsace. Many people have mentioned that we shouldn't stay in Colmar, stay outside and visit. We are considering that option.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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Near Colmar and in heart of wine county you have a small mediaval town KIENTZHEIM with a lovely "auberge", ancient carmel : abbaye d'alspach.
Website is abbayealspach.com
In the village thre are some wineries
and "our alsace's wine in our cellar"
comes from Kientzheim.
From here, Colmar is not far and you can drive through the lakes : there is
a "tour" with 3 lakes, with hikes around them which is really a must.
Erik.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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I definitely suggest against staying in Colmar--packed with people and although the town is beautiful, the experience in a smaller village along the Route des Vins would be more appealing. We stayed in Dambach and loved it.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 05:44 PM
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Here's another "don't stay in Colmar." We stayed in Ottrott and loved the small village atmosphere, but villages such as Ribeauville, Riquewihr, Obernai, or Kaysersberg are very similar and you will love them much more than Colmar.

Haut-Koenigsbourg is one of the "must see" in the area. Also, there is a place called Hohneck which is a high peak in which you can see for miles in all directions. Check it out on the map. It's well worth the drive up the mountain side.

Here's a link that was very helpful to us for lodging in the area:

http://www.visit-alsace.com/hotels/hotels_ang_3e.html
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 08:13 PM
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Last year we flew to Paris, rented a car at Charles de Gaulle and drove part way to Alsace the first (and jet lagged) day. A beautiful drive of a couple of hours,,,Small city of EPERNAY the first night..,lovely, and it's the center of the champagne "industry" . Then we drove on to Colmar (truly just a CITY as others have said) and fine for one night, but next time we would stay in one of the lovely "wine route" towns mentioned in the messages above. They have much more flavor. Friends stayed in Ribeauville, and we drove to and walked around it and the other 3 or 4 mentioned. All beautiful! Strasborg is a LARGE bussling, touristy city and we just drove through the center in a pouring rain so can't comment too much on it. We were then headed on up to Trier,Germ.. then through Luxembourg to Belgium....moving along fairly quickly as we usually do.(personal preference >)) But you will certainly enjoy your anniversary trip to France .
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 08:20 PM
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Another don't bother with Colmar post. It's a city, it's OK, it's nothing special, especially after the myriad wonderful Alsace villages (NOT Riquewihr, IMO - the "quaint maidens in native dress" at the fountain who want you to take their picture, for a fee, paint this particular village for me as one that is touristy beyond belief). Wander around the Route du Vin and the Route des Crêtes and enjoy this unique part of France.
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Old Mar 26th, 2004, 10:57 PM
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It really isn't too hard to train from Paris to Strausburg. If you do not feel comfortable taking the metro or rer to the train station...take a taxie. Staying in Colmar? There are better places..especially since you are staying in Strausburg. One of my favorite villages in the region is Keyersburg closely followed by Ribeuville. Both delighful! If you stay in that area find Egisheim on the map and follow the walking tour around the city...you will see buildings popularized in posters. The Alsace is wonderful. I lived near there for 17 years and never grew weary of it.
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