Alsace - Fairytale France

Visit France’s acclaimed Alsace region, known for its enticing blend of German and French traditions and fascinating heritage

Solo friendly tour!  No added fees for solo travelers. 

Sept. 11-19, 2021
From $3,745 per person plus airfare
Land tour with AHI Travel. See our co-branded website here

Brochure

Tucked between the magnificent Vosges mountains and the Black Forest lies a region brimming with dramatic beauty, incredible gastronomy, a distinctive Franco-Germanic culture and old-world villages, each endearing and romantic. This is France’s acclaimed Alsace region, known for its enticing blend of German and French traditions and fascinating heritage.

Stay for seven nights in charming Colmar, the heart of the region with scenery plucked from a fairytale. Each day, journey through a varied landscape to whimsical Alsatian communities, including Kaysersberg, Riquewihr and Eguisheim. Visit eco-friendly Freiburg, multicultural Basel and dynamic Strasbourg, home to one of Europe’s greatest Gothic treasures. Sip superlative wines along the storied Alsatian Wine Route and savor divine culinary experiences, including lunch in a winstub, an authentic Alsatian wine room. Plus, delve into the region’s proud identity and illustrious past. This small-group adventure features a first-class hotel and a generous meal plan.

Day 1 
Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Zürich, Switzerland. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: ZRH.

Day 2 
Zürich, Switzerland | Colmar, France
 
Grand Hôtel Bristol 

Arrive at Zürich Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you. 

Transfer to the Grand Hôtel Bristol in Colmar, France. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Gather with your fellow travelers to enjoy a Welcome Reception, followed by a Welcome Dinner.

Day 3 
Colmar

Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | L
Enrichment: History of Alsace. Gain insight into the fascinating history of the Alsace region, which has changed hands between France and Germany many times.

Discovery: Colmar, the Alsatian Wine Capital. With its interlocking waterways, flower-filled window boxes, decorative shopfronts and tucked-away cellar restaurants, Colmar is host to indisputable charms. On a walking tour, gain insight into the city’s rich history and view architecture that reflects centuries of French and German co-existence. See the eye-catching Fisherman’s Quay; the exuberant Pfister House with its octagonal turret, ornate frescoes and beautifully carved balcony; and the 15th-century Customs House. The remarkable Maison des Têtes is a photo-worthy highlight. This unique façade, built on behalf of the wealthy merchant Anton Burger, is embellished with 111 head sculptures. Also see the Unterlinden Museum. (Moderate)

Over lunch, begin your discovery of hearty Alsatian cuisine, a mix of French and German influences.

Enjoy a photogenic canal cruise along the Lauch River. Glide through “Little Venice,” passing traditional winstubs and houses adorned with germaniums and painted in delightful shades of blue, lemon and apricot. Most of the houses date from 1350 to 1609 and have been beautifully restored.  (Moderate)

Free Time: Craft your own path through Colmar. Walk to the Place de l’Ancienne Douane to see the Schwendi Fountain with its statue of Bartholdi, or stroll Colmar’s maze of cobblestones. 

Day 4 
Kaysersberg | Riquewihr | Eguisheim 

Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | L 
Discovery: Journey through the Alsace Wine Route. Take a journey through the picturesque, undulating landscape of one of France’s most famous wine-tourism areas. Established in 1953, the storied Route des Vin (Alsace Wine Route) stretches over 105 miles between Marlenheim and Thann, passing through the foothills of the Vosges Mountains and sun-soaked vineyards. There are over 70 villages along the Alsace Wine Route, and each offers a special appeal and personality. Enjoy visits to the fairy-tale communities of Kaysersberg, Riquewihr and Eguisheim, filled with half-timbered houses, cobbled lanes, wine taverns and flower-bedecked alleys. Eguisheim and Riquewihr are included among Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (The Most Beautiful Villages of France).

Continue to a winery to sip fine vintages. Wines in Alsace are mostly whites, including dry Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris varietals. Engage with a local wine producer who discusses Alsace’s biodynamic viticulture, a form of organic agriculture when grapes are grown in a manner that respects the Earth’s magnetic fields and the rhythms of the sun, moon and planets. Cap off your journey through the Alsace Wine Route with lunch at the winery. (Moderate)

Enrichment: Alsace’s Franco-Germanic Culture. Gather for a discussion about Alsace’s distinctive blend of German and French cultures, traditions, languages, history and religions. 

Day 5 
Basel, Switzerland

Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | D 
Discovery: Basel. Atmospheric Basel, the capital of the half-canton of Basel-Stadt, has long been a significant transport hub and gateway to Switzerland. Nestled at the meeting point of Germany, Switzerland and France, Basel spreads along the banks of the Rhine River and boasts a rich multicultural appeal. It is the home of the world’s most popular contemporary art fair and is host to over 40 museums, Switzerland’s oldest university, a thriving arts scene and attractions such as the Tinguely Fountain, constructed in 1977 by one of Switzerland’s greatest sculptors. During a walking tour, see some of the city’s landmarks and gain insight into how the city’s unique history and heritage have shaped the Basel of today. (Moderate)

Enjoy dinner in Colmar. Dig into hearty, home-style Alsatian dishes that reflect French and German traditions. During your stay in Alsace, you may enjoy typical dishes such as rich game stews, fish, sauerkraut, smoked meats and the popular tartes flambées (savory tarts).

Day 6 
Freiburg, Germany | Neuf-Brisach, France
Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | L
Discovery: Freiburg and Neuf-Brisach. Linger in Freiburg, the jewel of the Black Forest that celebrated its 900th birthday in 2020. Freiburg dates to 1120 and boasts myriad ancient gates and colorful medieval houses. It is also known as one of the world’s most sustainable and livable cities. Witness the lively Münsterplatz, lined with historic buildings, outdoor restaurants and the distinctive minster, recognized for its remarkable artistry, gargoyles and 750-year-old Hosanna bell. Take note of the tiny waterways lining the streets. These iconic Bächle once were used to provide water and fight fires. You may see children pulling brightly painted boats along the streams. According to local legend, if you accidently step in a Bächle, you will marry a local! On your return to Colmar, pass by the fortified village of Neuf-Brisach, the last town built by French military engineer Vauban. Constructed by order of King Louis XIV, this 17th-century town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. (Moderate)

Free Time: Spend leisure time uncovering more of Colmar’s sights. Continue your wine education with a wine tasting  or spend an evening in "Little Venice," soaking up the pace of local life.

Day 7 

Strasbourg
Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | L 
Discovery: Strasbourg, a European Capital. Few cities can match Strasbourg for its architectural heritage and quintessential old quarter filled with half-timbered houses, pedestrian bridges and stunning medieval churches. On a walking tour, witness the awe-inspiring Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg with its towering spire, intricate rose window and magnificent astronomical clock, and see Kammerzell House, known for its wooden sculptures depicting secular and sacred scenes. Your guide shares details about Strasbourg’s history and culture, including background into "La Petite France." This appealing district dates back to the 16th century and was originally home to tanners, fishermen and millers. Brimming with canals, twisting cobbled streets and waterfront gathering spaces, this timeless area is one of Strasbourg’s prettiest and most charming neighborhoods. Then experience Strasbourg from a different vantage point during a panoramic canal tour. Cruise by the Neustadt Imperial Quarter, the tanners’ quarter, the European Quarter and more. (Moderate)

Unwind over a lunch of traditional cuisine and share your experiences of the day.


Day 8 
Colmar
Grand Hôtel Bristol 
B | D
Enrichment: Contemporary Alsace. Join a local expert to learn about Alsace’s modern society.

Personalize Your Journey | Choose one of the following excursions. 

•Cycling Alsace Wine Route. Explore the gorgeous scenery of the Alsace Wine Route by bike. Enjoy a leisurely cycle, passing enchanting Alsatian vineyards, flower-filled meadows and hills peppered with castles and villages. (Active)
•Jewish Heritage Walk. Colmar’s Jewish community dates back to the mid-13th century. Gain insight into the city’s Jewish heritage during visits to the Musée Bartholdi, which pays tribute to the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty and features a fine collection of Judaica, and the neo-Romanesque synagogue, built in the early 1800s. (Moderate)
•Colmar’s Photo Opportunities. A local guide shows you the prime spots for capturing Colmar’s most scenic and inspiring panoramas. Snap photos of architectural gems, boats bobbing along the colorful waterways and houses painted in a rainbow of shades. (Moderate)

Celebrate your getaway during a Farewell Reception and Dinner tonight.


Day 9 
Depart for gateway city
B
After breakfast, bid farewell to this beautiful region of France. AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for Zürich airport. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

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