The 12 most beautiful villages in Alsace, France
Alsace is one of the most beautiful and most tourist regions of France, such a delightful mixture of gingerbread half-timbered houses, storks soaring in the sky, peculiar beer and delicious wine. In fact, it is the Alsace wines that have become the center of local tourism thanks to the Alsace Wine Route. But it is difficult to overestimate the beauty of the local villages, many of which are included in the Association of the most beautiful villages of France.
Alsace is one of my favorite regions in France. Toured up and down, it has left an indelible impression. So this is my personal Top 10 of the most beautiful villages in Alsace:
The 10 most beautiful villages in Alsace
Riquewihr is in the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, and quite deservedly so. In September, the aroma of young wine adds to the interesting half-timbered houses.
Eguisheim (sometimes Egisheim, for taste and color, as they say) is also a classic of Alsace, also among the most beautiful villages in France. The old town sprawls in circles around a beautiful central square. In one of the streets is a very characteristic narrow, slightly crooked house. In another – a yellow pretty courtyard of a wine house with the most magnificent and inexpensive champagne. This house has become one of the symbols of Egisheim.
Obernai is a bigger than average village. There’s even a train to get here, so – yay, yay! – You can do without a car and not have to wait for the rare bus. Very cozy, with those colorful half-timbered houses and a large central square. Listed in the association Les Plus Beaux Détours de France.
Ribeauville is stubbornly ignored by most guidebooks. In the meantime, it is no less beautiful than most of the beaten track. One long main street, along which the old half-timbered houses are lined, and above all the mountain with three castles. A great place to eat, drink, and park for free (if you know the spots and stand not in the tourist parking lot, but on the side of the old town). The train, by the way, is also a convenient way to get from Colmar.
Beautiful and diverse town with convenient transportation (there’s a train, hooray!). Through the town is a route, marked with arrows on the road. Bigger than a simple village, but also more things to see.
Bergheim is also among the most beautiful villages in France. Bergheim is a small village with only one square with nice fountains. To get there by car only, because the bus will not wait.
Saverne is a small town on the outskirts of Strasbourg with an interesting old town with traditional half-timbered houses, better known for its castle – Chateau des Rohans. Saverne is often used as a starting point for a trip to the Vosges mountains.
Kaysersberg is another village among the most beautiful villages in France. A cathedral and castle on a mountain, some half-timbering. Quite nice. The most picturesque part is at the bridge over the river, overlooking the castle.
Turkheim is a nice little town, although the only square there that is really nice is the central square, but the rest of the streets are also charming with colorful walls and interesting details. Behind the walls of the old town is a big winery with lots and lots of different wines and the most inexpensive Cremant d’Alsace.
Rounding out the top ten most beautiful villages in Alsace is the small town of Rouffach, which has earned this place for its very pretty well in the main street. There is where to walk and admire the storks.
The 10 most beautiful villages in Alsace
The small but colorful region of Alsace is the place to come to discover picturesque French villages with gingerbread half-timbered houses and medieval architecture, to admire stunning landscapes and to taste the famous Alsace wines. It is better to travel by car (you can rent a car here), so you can visit the main sights in a short time and get into the spirit of the region.
Picturesque village with centuries of history. Thousands of tourists are attracted by its architecture, which is in harmony with nature. Through the Kaysersberg flows not a wide, but turbulent river Weiss, and the medieval houses overhang directly over the water. Across the river there is a stone bridge, which offers a view of the tower and the ruins of the castle. It’s worth going up to the fortification on the hill to admire the Rhine valley.
The village is beautiful at any time of year: in summer the houses are decorated with flowers, in winter – the Christmas illumination. Vineyards are everywhere, and wine cellars in almost every house offer a taste of the local Riesling or Pinot Noir. Kaisersberg is very popular with tourists, so it is best to book a hotel here in advance.
Kintzheim was once the domain of King Charles, and was home to his palace. Today it is a small village where authentic architecture has been preserved, and in the old houses there are many restaurants and cafes. On the roof of each house is a landing pad for storks, where the birds nest.
The Kynzheim Bird of Prey Orchard is extremely popular with locals and visitors. Visitors can see rare birds up close, such as the Andean condor. The peculiarity of the nursery is the absence of cages – birds sit on open areas or even fly above the audience and show them. You can also stay longer in Kinzheim – you can find a list of hotels in the village at this link.
Riquewihr is primarily known for its excellent wines. Most of the locals are engaged in winemaking, continuing the tradition of their ancestors. Be sure to check out one of the wine cellars and take a walk along the vineyards surrounding the village. Although small, it offers a large selection of souvenir stores, restaurants, and boutiques. In the narrow streets, old half-timbered houses with brightly colored signs stand as they did centuries ago, and the courtyards and facades decorated with many flowers create a sense of celebration. If you want to stay longer in Rikvir you can find a hotel here.
Alsace is no less beautiful than Hunawihr. Apart from colorful houses, you can admire the old town hall, the church and the fountain of St. Juna, after whom the village is named (legend has it that the saint washed the clothes of the poor in this fountain).
But that’s not what Yunavir is famous for – there is a breeding center for storks and otters nearby. Turtles, fish, cormorants and other waterfowl also live here. Storks and other animals stroll peacefully through the territory, looking at the tourists with curiosity. You can watch otters swimming and even feed a nutria with carrots. For a complete list of hotels in Unavir, click here.
A typical Alsatian village with medieval streets, sidewalks and colorful half-timbered houses. On a hill in Ribeauvillé there are three medieval castles, one of which is completely intact. The castle can be visited and from its tops offers a beautiful view of the village and the vineyards. Festivals and themed fairs take place in the village every year, from the medieval Christmas market in December to the flower festival in summer. If you decide to visit Ribovilla on such days, be sure to book your hotel in advance by clicking here.
Turckheim is a charming village with a lot of history and picturesque views. There is much to see here: medieval defensive gates, a fountain adorned with a statue of the Virgin Mary, a military museum, ancient churches and bell towers. But the greatest popularity Turkheim brought the local vineyards and produced here wine, known throughout the world. Be sure to stop by for a wine tasting. The favourite hotel of Türkheim is the Hotel Des Deux Clefs (book a room here).
The tiny village on the border with Germany has almost completely preserved its medieval image. Winding streets, fabulous half-timbered houses, facades decorated with flowers, windows with shutters and embroidered curtains – all this allows tourists to find themselves in a French village a few centuries ago.
For those not indifferent to the history of World War II, the Hunspach is also of interest: nearby was the Maginot Line and Fort Schoenenburg. Today there is a military museum. There are not many hotels in the town, we recommend Chambres d’hôtes Sabine Billmann (you can pick up a room here).
The modest village of Mittelbergheim is one of the most beautiful in Alsace. Unlike the other tourist corners of the region there are almost no souvenir shops and stores. Nevertheless the village has a special atmosphere. It is pleasant to stroll here in silence surrounded by vineyards, ancient churches and houses. The village is on the route of the Alsace Wine Route and is particularly famous for Mittelbergheim Riesling. Among the many wine cellars you will not only taste and buy the noble drink, but also get to know the peculiarities of its production. For those who want to stay in this village, there are two small but good hotels (you can decide here).
The small and quiet village of Bernardswiller is located near the famous Mount St. Odile and the monastery of the same name. From the top of the mountain you have a stunning view of the Alsace valley, and the surrounding villages, already tiny, seem quite toy-like. In Bernarswiller you can spend the night or have lunch and take a stroll through the romantic streets. There is only one hotel in the village itself, but you can stay in nearby Auburn (book here).
Small and cozy Eguisheim, with its narrow cobblestone streets, gingerbread houses and painted signs, looks as if it came out of a picture. Storks stroll leisurely through the fields, every balcony and window sill is lovingly decorated with potted flowers, flowerbeds stand in the streets, and the village seems to drown in flowers, especially in late spring or summer. One can wander here for hours, looking at the quaint houses twined with vines, each one unlike the last. During the Christmas season, the streets are lit up in colorful lights, making it a magical place to visit. Find a good hotel here.
Alsace villages are similar to each other, yet each one is unique and worth getting to know.