Located in the north-east of France, Alsace is home to stunning mountain scenery, vine-clad slopes and, of course, beautiful villages. Here are our favourite Alsace villages that everyone should visit.
This is one of the most southerly villages on the Routes des Vins and is a great place to begin a cycle or walking tour of this wine-growing area. The village’s main claim to fame is its vineyards, which produce one of the region’s finest Alsatian wines: the Grand Cru Vorbourg.
Turckheim sits at the base of the stunning Vosges Mountains and is well-known for its Gewürztraminer wines. The village lies within impressive medieval walls, which have three doors or portes; the Munster door, which opens out onto the Munster valley; the door of the Brand, which takes you onto the Route des Vins, and the door of France, leading out to the railway station and the roads to Colmar. The village’s Place Turenne is where visitors end up first, and it is also the most picturesque part of the old town.
Take a look at this village today and it’s hard to see that much of it was destroyed by bombing raids during the Second World War. In the 50s and 60s, villagers joined forces with architect Gustave Stoskopf to restore Ammerschwihr to its former glory, and today the village is a pretty mix of half-timbered buildings and cobblestone lanes that lead up into the vines.
You can’t get more quintessential Alsace than Eguisheim. A Plus Beau Village, Eguisheim is shaped like a cinnamon swirl bun, with winding cobbled lanes that slowly reveal flower-bedecked, higgledy-piggledy houses and lead to the village centre that is the fountain-filled Place Saint Leon. The showstopper has to be Rue de Rempart Sud, where an oh-so-quaint dovecote sits slap bang in the middle of a narrow street and is the perfect place for a selfie.
This quaint village is said to have changed hands more than anywhere else in Alsace, especially during the turbulent period from 900 to 1300. The cobbled main street reveals gingerbread-style houses in pastel colours and an attractive church and town hall. Bergheim is also home to a World War Two cemetery housing the remains of hundreds of unknown German soldiers, a poignant reminder of this area’s turbulent past.
For many, this large village is top of the list of enchanting places on the Alsace route des vins. Its charming centre runs down the side of a gentle hill and is a maze of Instagrammable cobbled lanes, hidden courtyards and brightly coloured, half-timbered buildings. Unsurprisingly, Riquewihr attracts many groups of tourists and, for a peaceful visit, is best explored in the early morning.