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Cycling in Alsace

Find all informations for cyclists in Alsace on the official website

Regional circular cycle trails

Tour de Strasbourg

Bike tour through Strasbourg - EuroVelo 5 & 15

Starting at the railway station, after crossing the Ill, the circuit takes the cyclist into the heart of the Petite France where the Maison des Tanneurs (Tanners' House) stands, reminding us of the former activity of this neighbourhood. Passing through the pedestrian area of the city, the route leads to the island ellipse where the cathedral stands, an architectural jewel with a spire 142 metres high. A succession of 18th century buildings lines the road as far as Schiltigheim, the brewery town. The road takes you to the château of Pourtalès, following the banks of the Aar, then the Marne-Rhine canal.

Then you come to the Orangerie park, and the German quarter built between 1870 and 1918.The trail is punctuated by numerous areas of greenery, such as the botanical gardens or the Citadel park laid out around the fortifications built by Vauban.

Beyond the docks of the port, you reach the Pont de l'Europe bridge and the bridge of the Jardin des deux Rives, which allow an incursion into Kehl. Return via Strasbourg railway station, passing alongside the railway tracks. Just before the station, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art is a must for a final stop.

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Des bords du Rhin au canal de la Marne-au-RhinFrom the banks of the Rhine to the Rhine-Marne canal

Going through the suburb of Robertsau, known for its market gardens, the trail runs on the Rhine cycle route - EuroVelo 15 along the edge of the grounds of the Château de Pourtalès to lead to the high water dyke which runs parallel to the Rhine. After La Wantzenau, renowned for its old half- timbered houses and its restaurants, the cyclist then finds himself going through a succession of villages. Then, he returns to the banks of the Rhine via the site of the big locks at Gambsheim and Offendorf, a typical boat-men's village, before bearing west. The route then goes through the towns of Bischwiller and Haguenau, as well as the famous Marian pilgrimage site at Marienthal. After Brumath, the return route to Strasbourg follows the Marne-Rhine canal. At the end of the trail, a visit to the Fort Rapp at Reichstett is possible.

 

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Les villages de potiers et la forêt de HaguenauThe potters’ villages and the forest of Haguenau

Between the Haguenau Forest and the banks of the Rhine (EuroVelo 15), the route takes the cyclist through green countryside before turning off to the west. After Sessenheim, where Goethe experienced a romantic idyll, you come to the 'Outre- Forêt' (the other side of the forest), a slightly undulating plain, with its typical villages such as Betschdorf, a centre of traditional pottery.

The road is open until Walbourg, where it enters the Haguenau Forest, one of the biggest in France. This remarkable expanse of woodland is hikers' territory, with the best known trail leading to the great oak of Saint-Arbogast, which has a circumference of seven metres. The route then leads to Soufflenheim, another town renowned for its pottery, where the famous Kougelhopf moulds are made.

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Les bords du Rhin et la vallée de la LauterFrom the banks of the Rhine into the valley of the Lauter

The canalised Rhine river ends in Beinheim where it returns to its natural course. We can ride along the river on the high-waters embankment on the EuroVelo 15 while going through the Rhineland forests and natural reserves up to Lauterbourg. The animal and plant lives are really diversified: grey herons, wild geese, sparrowhawks, peduncle oaks, and English elms.

On the circuit leading from Lauterbourg to Wissembourg, the petrol pumps represent the remnants of a petrol industry that was prosperous in the region up to the middle of the twentieth century. From Wissembourg to Beinheim, the cyclist will discover some of the most beautiful typical villages of Alsace.

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Villages pittoresques et vignoble de CleebourgPicturesque villages and the wine region of Cleebourg

It is a hilly road that leads from Soultz-sous-Forêts to Hunspach, which is classed as one of the most beautiful villages in France. It winds its way through fields strewn with blockhouses and remains of the Maginot Line. After Steinseltz, from the Geisberg, you can survey the town of Wissembourg with its fortifications. The town's old houses and the river which runs through it, the Lauter, give it a great deal of character. The route route is via the piémont of the Northern Vosges. The trail passes through the Cleebourg vineyards and forest, leading the cyclist through the open countryside, well off the beaten track. At the end of the trail, through the vegetation that covers them, you can pick out the slag heaps of the old asphaltic sand mine at Merkwiller- Pechelbronn and some pumps which are still in use.

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La vallée de la Sauer et les stations thermalesThe valley of the Sauer and the spa towns

A hilly road links the thermal spa towns of Niederbronn-les-Bains and Morsbronn-les-Bains. The route follows the old Maginot Line railway line which leads to Lembach after passing through Woerth, a historic site where there was fighting in the 1870 war. Lembach is the beginning of the route of the fortified castles. There are at least ten of them within a 10 km radius, including Fleckenstein Castle.

At the far end of the Steinbach valley, the route swings into the Wineckerthal valley, then that of the Jaegerthal, along which can be found the first forges of the De Dietrich company, which is today located in Niederbronn-les-Bains.

 

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Du Val de Moder au pays des houblonnièresFrom the Moder dale into the hop’s fields

After Haguenau, renowned notably for its museums and the Fishermen's Tower, the route follows an easy forest road through the Haguenau Forest.

After leaving Pfaffenhoffen, seat of the Museum of Popular and Painted Alsatian Imagery (Musée de l'Imagerie populaire et peinte alsacienne), the road then allows you to discover the agricultural villages of the Hanau country, whose typical architecture mixes red sandstone and half-timbering. Hills, forests and cereal crops make up the countryside. The arrival in Hochfelden, a brewery town, marks a change of scenery. After crossing the Zorn valley and the Marne-Rhine canal - EuroVelo 5, the cyclist then finds himself amidst hopfields. Particular attention should be paid to the village of Hohatzenheim, a place of pilgrimage, where there is a remarkable 12th century church.

 

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Du Pays de Hanau aux Vosges du Nord

From the region of Hanau into the Northern Vosges

From Pfaffenhoffen, where there is a synagogue built in 1791, to Zinswiller, the road goes through a hilly landscape. Then it skirts along the piedmont of the Northern Vosges before entering Ingwiller, whose synagogue's main feature is an oriental style bulb-shaped tower, in the pretty Mittelbach valley. It then comes out at La Petite Pierre, which is the high point of the trail. The village, perched on a rocky headland, has a 13th century castle and an unusual museum dedicated to the Alsatian seal (Musée du Sceau alsacien).

The route continues towards the west in the direction of the long Zinsel valley, which is lined by red sandstone. It goes through Neuwiller-les-Saverne, whose picturesque Church of St. Peter and St. Paul is well worth a visit, and Bouxwiller, where the former synagogue now contains the Judeo-Alsatian Museum.

 

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Tour de l'Alsace BossueThrough the “Alsace Bossue“ area

From Asswiller, the green valley of Eichel leads to Herbitzheim, a village that has an interesting neoclassical-style catholic sanctuary. The village streets that are typical of the «Alsace Bossue» follow each other up to Sarre-Union, capital of this region. After Harskirchen, the itinerary circuit follows again the EuroVelo 5 and crosses the woods of Bonnefontaine while bordering the Sarre Canal to reach Wolfskirchen. Not far from there, the pick of Kirchberg, crowned by a singular white chapel, offers a beautiful view over the «Alsace Bossue».

The circuit ends in a hilly countryside through pasture landscapes. On the fringe of the circuit, the archaeological site of Dehlingen and the Roman villa of Mackwiller deserve also special attention.

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Eglises romanes et AckerlandRomanesque churches and the “Ackerland“ area

The Northern gateway to the Wine Route, Marlenheim opens the trail which then skirts round a series of mountains. The Stephensberg can be recognised by its television transmitter. Beyond Willgottheim, the landscape is undulating and covered by cereal crops, which accompany the cyclists through the Ackerland, the Kochersberg hinterland until the Bastberg, in the heart of Hanau country. After Bouxwiller, the road winds along the edge of the forest and leads in turn to the Romanesque edifices of Saint-Jean Saverne and Marmoutier.

The route then crosses the Zorn and the Marne-Rhine canal (EuroVelo 5). Saverne and the Château des Rohans, then Wasselonne and its historical town centre, are the highlights of the end of the trail. The last section links Wasselonne and Marlenheim via the narrow Kronthal gorge from where the red sandstone blocks used for the building of Strasbourg Cathedral were extracted.

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Les vallées des Vosges centralesThe valleys of the middle Vosges

From Molsheim to the Col of Westhoffen, vines and orchards mark out the circuit. Several villages, like Wangen and Westhoffen, have kept their medieval surrounding walls. Beyond Wasselonne, the Mossig valley narrows. The road climbs toward WangenbourgEngenthal and opens into a dense and thick forest. The itinerary-circuit winds up between the Hasel Valley and the Bruche Valley to reach Schirmeck overlooked by the remnants of its castles.

We then reach Grendelbruch and its stubble fields before going back down to Mosheim while going through Mutzig - the birthplace of Chassepot - whose rifle is displayed at the Municipal Museum. The Charterhouse located in Molsheim has a museum, of which a part is dedicated to Bugatti, whose cars were once upon a time manufactured in this Alsatian city.

 

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La haute vallée de la BrucheThe upper valley of the river Bruche

After leaving Schirmeck, the route goes through a series of hamlets before arriving in Salm, whose farms illustrate the lifestyle of the Mennonites, a community of remarkable 18th century farmers. The road then runs along the north side of the upper Bruche valley. At Saâles, a village situated at the extreme west of the Département, turn east. The route then goes through Ranrupt, whose sawmill, a structure unique in Alsace, is a listed rural building. We go on towards the Champ du Feu, the highest point of the region, from where there is a superb panoramic view over the middle Vosges and the Plain of Alsace. The Struthof camp, which has become a place of meditation, marks the descent towards Schirmeck via the peaceful Rothaine valley. At Neuviller-la-Roche, don't miss the Heritage Museum (Musée du Patrimoine) which is located in a typical Bruche valley style house.

 

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Entre Mont Sainte-Odile et Haut-KoenigsbourgFrom Mount St Odile to the Haut-Koenigsbourg

To the south-west of Strasbourg, spread the hills, vineyards and the prosperous villages of the Barr country. A steep road leads the cyclist from Barr to the Mont Sainte-Odile, an important place of pilgrimage. Down below, the village of Le Hohwald welcomes you in a vast clearing before you ride up the Kreuzweg pass (col du Kreuzweg). It opens onto the Val de Villé valley, the land of fruit brandies. Descending the Liepvrette valley leads you to the superb Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle (755 m), with its grandiose panoramic views. At the foot of the castle, the village of Kintzheim is famous for its Eagle Centre (Volerie des Aigles) and the Montagne des Singes monkey reserve.

At Châtenois, stop off in front of the Witches' Tower (Tour des Sorcières). The return journey is a peaceful one through the vineyards. A stop in Andlau is a must to admire the abbey church, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, and to make a worthwhile visit to the heritage interpretation centre.

 

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De la Route des Vins au «Ried» 	From the Wine Road to the “Ried“ area

The trail begins with an incursion into the vineyards.

From Kogenheim, head west. A ride through a forest opens up a pretty panoramic view of the vineyards. Hillsides and wine-growing villages alternate until the foot of the HautKoenigsbourg.

Further on, Sélestat, the seat of the famous humanist library, marks the entry into the great Ried, Matelote (fishstew) country. Here, the landscape is unique. Marshlands, reeds, damp meadowland and copses make a characteristic mosaïc pattern of shapes and colours across the Ried country. The road leads as far as the banks of the Rhine, where you turn back towards Kogenheim via the Rhine cycle route - EuroVelo 15 along the Rhone-Rhine canal.

 

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Chou, vigne et tabacVineyards, cabbage and tobacco fields

From Eschau to Rosheim, which offers one of the most beautiful romanesque churches of Alsace, the circuit crosses wide areas of cultivated sauerkraut cabbages.

These are the lands where most of the national production is harvested. After riding along cabbages, the cyclist rides along vines. Obernai is worth a visit, the Market place, in particular, has kept a beautiful Renaissance-style architecture. From Barr to Eichhoffen, the itinerary circuit offers authentic vine-producing villages where you will feel very welcome. Then you come across the culture of tobacco, which is quite developed in Benfeld, important tobacco centre. Finally, Erstein, the sugar capital of Alsace, marks the way back to Eschau via the Rhine Rhone canal (EuroVelo 15).

 

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A travers le «Kochersberg»Through the “Kochersberg“ area

The route which links Wolfisheim and Mittelhausbergen runs alongside the fortified ring of the Alsatian metropole. Beyond Pfulgriesheim, begins the Kochersberg, the "grainstore" of Alsace. The large expanses of land covered by crops are punctuated by round hills. Numerous villages are scattered around this region, which is also known as '"tarte flambée" country. They have preserved some handsome rural buildings from the 16th and 19th centuries. The vines appear from Osthoffen-Dahlenheim onwards and stretch over the Mossig hills, on the slopes of Mont Scharrach. Numerous plain castles line the Val de Bruche valley: at Ernolsheim-sur-Bruche, Kolbsheim, Breuschwickersheim, ... The return route to Wolfisheim follows the banks of the Mossig, then the Bruche Canal built by Vauban to carry the stones necessary for the construction of the citadel of Strasbourg.

 

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La piste des fortsThe Forts Trail

The Forts Trail (Piste des Forts) is a Franco-German cycle route combining heritage and nature in and around Strasbourg. Over 85 km, on both sides of the Rhine, cyclists can sample delights ranging from the Hausbergen hillside to the Ortenau countryside, the Rhineland forests of Illkirch-Graffenstaden, and the Wantzenau woodlands, while at the same time discovering the 19 fortifications making up the “Ring of Forts”. A bit of history...

Strasbourg’s many walls and fortifications bear witness to the city’s important role as a stronghold. After 1870, as a replacement for the Specklin and Vauban fortifications, deemed obsolete, two new lines of defence were erected: an 11 km city wall, and a ring of 19 advanced forts (16 in France, 3 in Germany).

Built while Alsace-Lorraine was part of the German Empire under Wilhelm I, the forts initially bore the names of key German politicians and military leaders, until they were re-named after 1918 in honour of French generals and marshals.

The different forts, fortified structures, shelters and casemates are camouflaged under a canopy of trees like black locust, chestnut or walnut. Over the years, most of the forts have become completely overgrown, and only 4 are now open to the public, Fort Rapp (Moltke), Fort Frère (Baden), Fort Kléber (Bismarck) and Fort Ducrot (Podbielski). Exploring these forts combines history with pleasure, a path of discovery that is both fascinating and fun.

 

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Vignoble et montagneEast - West cross country cycle trails

Between the Route des Vins (the Wine Road) and the Pays Welche, the itinerary takes the cyclist alonga quiet hillside road, then turns toward the West to enter into a valley marked by Celtic, Roman, and Medieval history as well as boasting architectural wonders from the Rhineland Renaissance. Even if the Alsace dialect is usually spoken in the vineyard, the Roman dialect is still heard in the Pays Welche.

You can also visit the Albert Schweitzer Museum in the heart of Kaysersberg, city where the Nobel Prize was founded in 1875 or the Pays Welch house in Fréland. As for Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr they reveal the beauty and generosity of Alsace wine-makers, whereas in Hunawihr, the most beautiful village in France, has other attractions such as the park of storks and otters as well as fortified church!

 

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Les 6 cols - Le bonhomme - LapoutroieThe six passes - Le Bonhomme - Lapoutroie

A ride reminiscent of being in the Alps with no less than 6 passes and 1000 metres of incline.

So this is a ride reserved for experienced cyclists who’ll be rewarded by their efforts by magnificent landscapes! At the Bagenelles Pass for example, take a few minutes to admire the beautiful view with on one side the Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines Valley and on the other, the bottom of the Kaysersberg Valley. Have a fun trip!

 

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Colmar, du Canal du Rhône au Rhin à MunsterColmar, between the Canal du Rhône au Rhin (Rhône Canal to the Rhine) and the Munster Valley

In Colmar, wine, good food, festive traditions and ancestral heritage is a lifestyle transmitted through generations. The prestigious past of the city is captured within its walls and then forming a genuine outdoor museum. From Colmar, take the direction of the Munster Valley by Turckheim and Zimmerbach. The varied landscape of the Munster Valley is one of the most beautiful in Massif des Vosges boasting rounded peaks, high-growing stubble, steep mountainsides and lakes originating from glaciers. The Munster Valley also has some great places for hiking, with paths lined by welcoming farm-inns.

Once back in Colmar, give yourself a well-earned break sitting outside on the Place de la Cathédrale Saint-Martin restoring your energy to then continue along the Colmar Canal, where you’ll be spoilt by incredibly quaint and rustic decor. As of Artzenheim, and if your legs will let you, you can take the Rhine Véloroute (EV15) up until Andermatt in Switzerland!

 

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Les 2 valléesThe Two Valleys

Bordered in the south by Sundgau, the Doller Valley starts in Burnhaupt. When you leave to discover it, you access a natural estate where even beavers are allowed! The Sentheim Geology Museum gives you a sample of the wonderful surprises which await you - mountain lakes, protected fauna and flora ... you’ll be enchanted by the varied landscapes in this valley!

You’ll be riding on the Tour de France roads with this itinerary with three very well-known passes on the menu - the Hundsdrück Pass, the Ballon d’Alsace Pass and the Bussang Pass. The final part of the Hundsdrück pass sets the tone for these wondrous mountain paths. The Ballon d’Alsace is much longer and you’ll be climbing the slope renowned for its difficult climb. When leaving Bussang, and before you return to Alsace, don’t forget to drink a bit of water from the Marie source which offers water with decent iron-content to help you recuperate!

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Une virée au HartmannswillerkopfA trip to Hartmannswillerkopf

Plain and mountain riding are on the menu for this trip which will be particularly appreciated

by hikers wanting to try out their walking skills over a long mountainous distance. For the second half of the trip, the road goes up to Hartmannswillerfkopf, on a steep foothill which overlooks Cernay and the Thur Valley and which was also a strategic point during the bloody battles of 1915.

At the top there is the lit cross of the national monument which dominates the military relics.

Today this once war-filled panorama is a place of contemplation and when the sky is clear, you can admire the Alsace plain, the Vosges Massif mountain range, the Black Forest and the Alps!

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Itinéraire vélo Route des VinsWine Route

Rouffach is overlooked by the Isenbourg Castle, its Granary Market and the Witch Tower, and even more so by its vineyards. Today, the latter are an endlessly eye-pleasing part of the landscape! The south-west part of the city opens up onto the picturesque Vallée Noble which proudly boasts vineyards as well as the Soultzmatt mineral water sources. You’ll reach Guebwiller where the Saint-Léger church is one of the most beautiful remaining specimens of Roman Art in Alsace.

An itinerary dotted with Roman church bells, decorating these well-known Alsace wine-growing villages!

 

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Aux bords du RhinOn the banks of the Rhine

From Rouffach, you’ll discover the Alsace plain up until Fessenheim, located on the Route des abolitions de l’esclavage et des Droits de l’Homme (Road of Abolition of Slavery and Human Rights) and the home of the Schoelcher family. Any cyclists yearning for a little cultural stop can go visit the local museum Maison Schoelcher – Hardt Museum. For a technical break, make a stop at the Maison des Energies EDF (House of energies), located on the banks of the Rhine, where you’ll discover all the latest innovative technologies.

Ride over the Grand Canal d’Alsace (Alsace’s Grand Canal) dam and then along the Rhine to return to the Neuenbury/Chalampé bridge. Take some time to breathe in the fresh air on Rhine Island which will make you nice and fit to take off again towards Ensisheim where you can visit the Régence Museum, a showcase of, among other things, the Alsace potash mining activity. Then leave to return to Rouffach by the villages of Réguisheim, Merxheim and Gundolsheim.

 

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Sur les traces du Tour de FranceOn the «cycle-circuits» of the Tour de France

In 2000, Lance Armstrong finished the Tour de France with a last «time trial» crossing the Rhine plains, more precisely between Fribourg and Mulhouse. This itinerary lets you follow in the footsteps of the Tour de France bike riders.

The parking area located at Pont du Bouc, between Ottmarsheim and Rixheim is where the itinerary begins. From there you ride quickly through Alsace villages on asphalt roads to return to Neuenburg am Rhein, riding along the Rhiisträßle (L134) around Fessenheim/Hartheim. After Neuenburg, you’ll go back to Pont du Bouc by the Rhine Bridge.

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Le long des voies navigables de FranceAlong the French Waterways

Water, water and more water - such is the leitmotiv of this circuit which crosses two countries and runs along four very different water courses, which make this ride so visually pleasurable.

It’s time to take a moment to observe water birds

along the Rhine banks, used as a «stopover» during their migration to the south, being a home to over 20,000 species during the winter months.

 

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Autour du canalAround the Canal

Located to the extreme south of Alsace, between the Vosges and the Swiss Jura, Sundgau is scenic, relaxing and also boasts delicious culinary delights. Besides it’s striking yet gentle landscape, Sundgau reserves for any visitor a whole range of delectable pleasures with the restaurant-owners along LA ROUTE DE LA CARPE FRITE - Site Remarquable du Goût – which invites your to share this exquisite speciality!

This itinerary boasts varied landscapes outlined by the Sundgau hills. The itinerary runs along the EuroVélo 6 Nantes-Budapest cycle path, which goes along the Canal du Rhône au Rhin (Rhône Canal to the Rhine) and up to Illfurth, blessed the entire trip by an outstanding view of the Vosges Massif.

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Haute Vallée de l'IllUpper Ill Valley

Sundgau has loads of exceptionally-diverse hiking possibilities. Let yourself be guided along the Ill Valley where a string of half-timbered houses with flowered balconies will lead you along this varied region of ponds, forests, chapels and windmills. You’ll pass by Waldighoffen, the homeland of the poet Nathan Katz, then by Oltingue and its Paysan Museum, before arriving at Ferrette, a city of counts tucked away at the feet of the Alsace Jura!

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