Best Local Wines in Alsace
Alsace has ample appeal as a cycling holiday destination. Fresh air, dramatic landscapes and welcoming local people all make for a winning combina...Read more
Full of quaint riverside villages with patio cafes and painted shutters, Alsace is a charming region in eastern France. Kaysersberg, one of the jewels in the French crown, has just been voted its prettiest village. It’s a perfect stop-off point on our Alsace Route du Vin cycling holiday. Here are three things you’ll love about this medieval French town.
Kaysersberg is distinctive for its beautiful half-timbered houses dotted with geranium-filled window-boxes, typical of the Alsace region. It’s also home to a number of historical buildings, the Sainte-Croix church houses an impressive altarpiece by Jean Bongart. Incredibly intricate, the piece depicts religious scenes and is thought to date back to the 16th century.
The grand Château de Kaysersberg overlooks much of the town. Built in the 13th century, it takes the form of a formidable, cylindrical keep with four-metre-thick walls. Admire the unusual and colourful gothic windows of the castle, or take the 100 steps up to the top to discover panoramic views of Kaysersberg.
Fantastic food and wine are the cornerstone of local life here. Be sure to sample the delicious wines, including Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. After cycling, drop in at any one of the cafes and restaurants lining the streets of this medieval town for some authentic Alsatian delicacies.
Begin at the Caveau du Schlossberg to try pork cheeks braised with beer in a Pinot Noir sauce, then tuck into a classic apple strudel with plenty of ice cream. It’s the perfect cycling fuel. Or, head to the Hassenforder restaurant to enjoy a rustic menu surrounded by an authentic 17th-century interior. Here, you can fill up on hearty dishes like Coq au Riesling and duck breast with honey.
Kaysersberg is in Alsace and encompassed by vineyards. Postcard-perfect Ribeauville and Riquewihr are a short cycle from here and well worth a visit.
Ribeauville is one of the oldest towns in Alsace and just 45 minutes from Kaysersberg by bike. Dating back to the Middle Ages, lose yourself in historical architecture - it's still home to three atmospheric and well-preserved castles. Haut-Ribeaupierre castle is the highest and most impressive at an altitude of 640 metres, and features a distinctive round keep. The town also still has a number of original town halls and defence towers, which are now surrounded by lively restaurants, cafes and bars.
Riquewihr is just over an hour’s cycle away, and is well worth a visit; it enjoys a lush and verdant location between the plains of Alsace and the Vosges Mountains. Riquewhir’s narrow streets have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries, and some of the half-timber houses still boast their original 16th- and 17th-century features - take the Nailmaker's House, where male figures have been carved into the posts. Don't miss the Winemaker’s House, which still retains many of the original tools used in the 16th century wine trade.
Find out more about our Alsace cycling holidays here.
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