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The Alsace Wine Route Must-sees

The fortified châteaux of Alsace's Wine Route

Alsace's fortified châteaux offer an original perspective on the villages along Alsace's Wine Route.

The majestic Haut-Koenigsbourg is certainly the most famous and offers a wide variety of events all year round as part of its cultural programme. The nearby Kintzheim château plays host to some of Alsace's most unusual inhabitants: birds of prey from La Volerie des Aigles. Dominating their villages, heirs to the living memory of stone and witnesses to a tumultuous past, the châteaux of Ortenbourg in Scherwiller, of Haut-Andlau and Spesbourg in Andlau, of Landsberg in Heiligenstein and Berstein in Dambach-la-Ville are also not-to-be-missed.

Towards the south of the region, make the most of the walking paths around the Saint-Ulrich, Girsberg and Haut-Ribeaupierre châteaux above Ribeauvillé; the Three Châteaux of Eguisheim, which overlook the plain of Alsace; the fortress of Hohlandsbourg near Colmar, which plays hosts to numerous activities during the summer; the Wineck châteaux looking down on Katzenthal; and the amazing ruin of the "The Witch's Eye" in Thann.

These towering medieval ruins provide some magnificent views over Alsace....

Notre sélection

The iconic villages of Alsace's Wine Route

Take the opportunity to see as many of the most typical villages as possible, with their preserved cobbled streets, fortifications, historic courtyards, colourful façades, traditional half-timbering, sculpted windows and balconies full of flowers. Each village has its own personality!

Andlau

Both a historic town, thanks to its religious heritage and remarkable castle, and a centre for wine and food, with its three Grands Crus - Kastelberg, Moenchberg and Wiebelsberg - Andlau is cradled in a beautiful setting of vineyards and forests. Ideally located on Alsace's Wine Route, it is a popular tourist stop.

Barr

Barr is well-known as one of the leading wine-making towns in Alsace! It is therefore a required stop for all those who love great wines, particularly during its mid-July wine fair, the Foire aux Vins, and the Grape Harvest Festival on the first weekend in October. Barr is renowned for its Grand Cru Kirchberg and its seven grape varieties produced by the vineyards that cover the slopes of the Kirneck Valley. Don't miss the vineyard trail when you visit: it will give you an opportunity to discover the history of both the vines and their wine.

Dambach-la-Ville

Located in the Piémont des Vosges, within its medieval walls, Dambach-la-Ville is the largest wine-producing village in Alsace in terms of the number of wine-makers. Its wines are known for their Grand Cru Frankstein and granite soil. As well as its vineyard trail, don't miss the festivities of the Nuit du Vin held every year on the first Saturday in July.

Eguisheim

Ranked as one of the "most beautiful villages in France", Eguisheim has been awarded many prizes for its flowers. Birthplace of Pope Leo IX, this village is wrapped in concentric circles around its château and organises a famous Wine-growers Festival every year on the last weekend in August.

Guebwiller

Guebwiller, near Thann and Mulhouse, is home to a historical jewel: the Convent of the Dominicans of Upper Alsace. This historic convent is now the enchanting setting for a large number of concerts, near the Grand Ballon, the highest point in the Vosges Mountains.

Hunawihr

Hunawihr is a wine-growing village ranked among "the most beautiful villages in France" and is home to the Centre of Stork Reintroduction where you can learn about the habits of these iconic birds that nest on top of the region's bell towers.

Itterswiller

Crossed by an ancient Roman road, this village extends across a sun-drenched slope of the "Emmebuckel" (Mountain of Bees) and is a prestigious gastronomic stop with a superb view. As well as its fruity wines, such as the "Fruehmess", Itterswiller can be proud of holding the highest distinction in the national flower competition, having been awarded the 4-flower classification.

Kaysersberg

Kaysersberg, the birthplace of the Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, is home to an authentic Christmas market. Every year the illuminated village comes to life around its church and fortified bridge. Yet another unforgettable side to Alsace.

Kintzheim

Kintzheim is proud of its Grand Cru, the Praelatenberg! It is home to a unique terroir where Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Alsace Muscat and Pinot Gris are cultivated to perfection. All this takes place beneath unflinching gaze of the fortified castle of Kintzheim, which houses the famous Volerie des Aigles birds of prey centre, and is at the foot of the Montagne des Singes (Monkey Mountain), where a stroll through a community of Barbary macaques is a must.

Marlenheim

Marlenheim is proud to bear the title of "Gateway to Alsace's Wine Route." A charming village that is part of the vineyards of the "Couronne d'Or" (Golden Crown), it is not far from Strasbourg. The reputation of its wines, Rouge de Marlenheim and Grand Cru Steinklotz, as well as that of its festivals, the Wedding of Ami Fritz on 14 and 15 August (a traditional Alsatian wedding) and the Grape Harvest festival in October, adds to its tourist appeal.

Mittelbergheim

Ranked as one of the "most beautiful villages in France", Mittelbergheim is the stronghold of Grand Cru Zotzenberg Marked by its wine-growing culture, the village is full of architectural treasures: narrow streets lined with Renaissance wine-growers' houses that open out onto large courtyards and old presses. Visit its vineyard trail or take part in its Fête du Vin on the last weekend in July....there's plenty of fun to be had!

Molsheim

Rich in architectural and religious heritage and surrounded by its medieval walls, it is well known for its Grand Cru du Bruderthal and its vineyards that are ranked among the very best in Alsace. It was also in Molsheim that Ettore Bugatti decided to settle in the early 20th century where he assembled the famous Veyron. The Bugatti Festival takes place in September, while the Fête du Raisin is held in October.

Niedermorschwihr

Famous for its spiral bell tower, Niedermorschwihr is home to some superb 18th-century wine-makers' houses made from half-timber or stone, nestled among the vines. Local jam production is well-known all over the world.

Obernai

A major centre for wine tourism in Alsace, at the foot of the famous Mont Sainte-Odile, the charm of Obernai comes from its ramparts and traditional half-timbered houses. Not to be missed: the Town Hall, the Corn Exchange, the Belfry, the Six Buckets Well, and a visit to the Schenkenberg vineyard trail. In October, the wine-makers of Obernai pay tribute to the new vintage at the Fête d'Automne.

Ribeauvillé

Ribeauvillé, among vines, hills and châteaux, has an unrivalled medieval setting that is brought to life by its large-scale popular entertainments such as the Pfiffertaj, a large medieval festival that takes place on the first Sunday in September.

Riquewihr

Riquewihr, ranked as one of the "most beautiful villages in France" stands out thanks to its fortifications dating from 1291. This fairytale village with small cobbled streets is practically unchanged since the Renaissance. The Maison Hansi exhibits works by the famous Alsatian illustrator J.J. Waltz.

Rouffach

Rouffach is located in the heart of an ancient vineyard and lush landscape, halfway between Colmar and Mulhouse. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the village: festivals of local produce, the traditional Nuit du Tourisme, the famous Festival of the Witch and the Musicalta Festival, which brings music to life in a rural setting.

Thann

Southern gateway to the Wine Route, stroll along the banks of the Thur by Thann's oriel windows, towers and 14th and 15th-century fortifications. The collegiate church of St Thiébaut, a jewel of Gothic architecture, and the ancient corn exchange add to the village's charm.