The Best Cycling Routes in Alsace

© ADT Bas-Rhin INFRA/Tourisme Alsace
© ADT Bas-Rhin INFRA/Tourisme Alsace
Photo of Sylvia Edwards Davis
Writer19 October 2017

Alsace is a cyclist’s dream, with over 2,500km of cycling paths across a stunning variety of landscapes, charming villages, and countless places to overnight and enjoy the local traditions and gastronomy. There are bike routes for every level of cycling prowess and stamina.

The Alsace wine route

The Alsace wine route is a winding 170km itinerary that runs parallel to the Vosges on the eastern side. It weaves across hundreds of wine-growing villages and crosses 50 AOC (appelation d’origine controlé) territories. The dedicated Véloroute du Vignoble is a seriously scenic cycling route traced along old railway tracks and paths between the vineyards, abbeys, medieval castles and rolling farmland, crossing the villages of Molsheim, Rosheim, Obernai, plus the charming Colmar and Eguisheim – voted the favourite village of the French last year. Down the Thur river from Cernay, the path reaches Thann and the south gate of the Alsace wine route.

Cycling inOrschwiller | ©Hebdromadaires Flickr

The Colmar canal

The town of Colmar is positively picture-perfect, with its Little Venice waterways and postcard-worthy half-timbered homes. The Canal de Colmar opened in 1864, built mainly as a transport waterway for local industry. Once motor transport became more popular, the canal was used less frequently until the present day, where it has transitioned almost exclusively to pleasure boating. The cycling route all along the canal takes visitors across the town and into the most placid vineyards and surrounding countryside.

Christmas in Colmar | © Flavio Ensiki / Flickr

The Strasbourg fortresses

Bear witness to the tumultuous history of Alsace, exploring the former military forts surrounding the capital of Strasbourg. This 32km route passes through fascinating places to visit such as Fort Rapp and Fort Brother, and offers breathtaking vistas of the city and the imposing Cathedral.

Taking it slow around Petite France in Strasbourg | ©Jacques Hampe/OT Strasbourg

The natural river Rhine

The cycling route from Lauterbourg is an easy-going itinerary – even though some stretches are not paved – that takes you over the border into Germany to discover the different landscapes along the Rhine. From Seltz to Neubourg, this route goes by the natural reserve of the Sauer delta, the Goldkanal and museums of the Pamina Rhine Park, and there are even places to go in for a dip in the summer.

Bike routes for every level | ©Tristan Schmurr / Flickr

The Bruche canal

This beautiful 29km cycle route leaves Strasbourg to the south, following a bike path along the Ill river until it joins the Bruche Canal and its locks. This waterway was originally built to transport stone to build the 17th-century forts, and was used until 1938. The easy path follows the shaded banks of the canal and meets up with the Véloroute du vignoble d’ Alsace in Soultz-les-Bains, not far from Molsheim, the birthplace of the Bugatti legend.

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