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These are the Best Alsace Villages to Visit04/29/2023
Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace
Alsace, in Eastern France, is a region well-known for its medieval villages, hilltop fortresses, Christmas Markets, and good wines. This coveted bucket list destination in the Grand Est region is awash with idyllic charm; everything from the architecture to the landscape is captivating and inviting in equal measure.
From north to south, there are plenty of pretty small villages and towns in Alsace to discover. With great scenery, picturesque alleys, lovely squares, and medieval buildings, these Alsace villages are enchanting places not to be missed!
Choosing which typical towns and villages in Alsace to visit on your holiday can be challenging; all these Alsatian villages are gorgeous! We’ve researched some of the most authentic and beautiful villages in Alsace to give you a real taste of local life. Some of these Alsace best villages are part of the Alsace Wine Route, while others are off the beaten path.
GOOD TO KNOW: the main reason you won’t find Colmar on this list of best Alsace villages is that Colmar is not a village but a city! With 70,284 inhabitants (2015 INSEE), Colmar is the third biggest city in Alsace, only after Strasbourg and Mulhouse. However, Colmar is an excellent place to stay in Alsace as there are many pretty villages near Colmar. Check out where to stay in Colmar and the best things to do.
How to Visit the Best Villages in Alsace
For your visit, we recommend exploring these villages as part of an Alsace Road Trip. Driving around this gorgeous region is a revelation and a great way to see as much as possible.
Start your Alsace explorations in Strasbourg, Colmar, or Sélestat, and once you have visited these gorgeous cities, hire a car to explore the rest of the region on four wheels. Check out our quick guide to France by car and our best tips for renting a car in France.
By Guided Tour
Guided tours are an excellent way to explore the Alsace villages. Tours leave from Colmar or Strasbourg, and they usually include 2 or 3 of the prettiest villages in Alsace and a local lunch with wine tastings. Get the most out of rural Alsace traveling on a comfortable minivan with the comments of a knowledgeable guide.
> This full-day tour Alsace Villages Wine Route from Strasbourg visits Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg, and Eguisheim.
> This Alsace Villages half-day tour from Colmar visits Kaysersberg, Riquewihr, and Hunawihr.
Best Alsace Villages Map
Best Alsace Villages Near Colmar
From Eguisheim to Hunawihr, here are the 5 best Alsace villages near Colmar to visit – and a hotel recommendation for the main ones.
Located just out of Colmar, Eguisheim (Haut-Rhin) is a wonder. This Alsace village has a unique layout, where the streets are arranged in concentric circles around the Château Saint-Léon.
Eguisheim is Pope Léon IX’s birthplace. The sculpture of the Pope dominates Place du Château from the top of the beautiful Renaissance fountain.
Wander around the narrow cobbled streets, flanked by the beautiful architecture of half-timbered houses with balconies and windows full of flowers. Don’t miss the central square with its magnificent stone fountain, the Château Saint-Léon, and Saint-Pierre-et-Paul Church with its unique Vierge Ouvrante (14th century). In November and December, the Eguisheim Christmas Market is always one of the most beautiful Christmas Markets to visit in Alsace.
Where to Sleep in Eguisheim
- Few places in Alsace can beat Hostellerie du Château for its incomparable location (on the main square) and its rooms with a unique charm.
- Live like a local in Notre Maison à Eguisheim, one of the village’s picturesque houses with a well-equipped kitchen, garden, and room for 6 people.
Kaysersberg Vignoble (Haut-Rhin) is one of the best towns in Alsace to visit along the Wine Route. Nestled at the entrance of a Vosges Valley, 11 km northwest of Colmar, Kaysersberg is built next to the River Weiss, which flows between the houses.
Kaysersberg means “‘the Emperor’s mountain,”‘ and the ruins of the imperial castle that dominates the city have an incredible charm.
You are going to love Kaysersberg, with its beautiful historic center, its many half-timbered houses from the 15th – 16th centuries, and a unique fortified bridge (1514) built in pink sandstone from the Vosges. Don’t miss the Sainte-Croix Church (12th century) with its magnificent Romanesque portal.
Bleblenheim (Haut-Rhin) was the surprise of our last trip to Alsace in October 2020. One of the lesser-known Alsace wine villages on the Wine Route, Bleblenheim stretches out at the foot of the Sonenglanz, the hill producing the famous Grand Cru.
Bleblenheim is as picturesque as the most popular Alsace villages on this list, but it does not see the crowds of Riquewhir or Kaysersberg. Mostly destroyed during WW2, Bleblenheim was totally rebuilt after the war. However, the village still keeps a postcard-picture look and twenty or so houses from the 16th-17th centuries.
Admire the Gothic-style fountain of Saint-Nicolas (16th century) at the entrance of the village. On 14 Rue de Hoegen, the former château works today as a wine cooperative. Then, get lost in its winding streets with its pretty half-timbered houses. The Rue Saint-Martin and Rue Jean Macé are particularly picturesque.
Nestled in the vineyards, 15 km northwest of Colmar, Riquewihr (Haut-Rhin) is one of the best villages Alsace has to offer and our personal favorite.
Riquewihr has everything to fall in love with it. This fortified Alsace village was built in the 16th century, and it is as if time has slowed down in this town.
Apart from its beautiful half-timbered houses and picturesque alleys, Riquewihr has no less than 40 classified Historical Monuments and three museums. Don’t miss the famous Thieves’ Tower, the former prison of Riquewihr, or the Rue du Général de Gaulle, with its winegrowers’ houses from the 16th and 17th centuries. Then, follow the town’s walls and visit the village’s three defense towers, some of Alsace’s oldest fortifications.
Where to Sleep in Riquewihr
Sleeping in Riquewihr is a good alternative to Colmar. During the day, Riquewihr is packed with day tourists, but at night, there’s a much more local atmosphere than in Colmar.
- The charming Hotel à l’Oriel is located in the heart of the Old Town, and it offers individually decorated traditional rooms, a good breakfast, and private parking.
- If you prefer an apartment with a kitchen, the lovely La Maison d’Amélie is central and comfortable, and it always gets the best ratings
This lovely Alsace village located out of Riquewihr is one of the most beautiful villages in Alsace to visit, best known for its unique fortified church Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, built in the 14th century. From the church’s cemetery, there is a wonderful view over the plain of Alsace and the Black Forest.
Explore Hunawihr‘s cobbled streets, colorful houses, and the beautiful stone fountain (18th century) with two secondary basins.
Hunawihr is one of the stops of the Grands Crus Wine Trail, a lovely 16km-hike that goes through the Alsace vineyards of the communal territories of Riquewihr, Beblenheim, Benwihr, Hunawihr, and Zellenberg. This rural trail (4.5 hours for the full loop) starts out of Riquewihr, and it includes interpretive panels explaining the works in the vineyards and wine production.
Alsace Best Villages Near Sélestat
The city of Séleestat is also a good base to explore some of the most beautiful towns in Alsace. City of Art and History, Sélestat is the third city in Alsace for the wealth of medieval heritage, only behind Strasbourg and Colmar. From Sélestat, you can explore some of the best villages in Alsace and other beautiful places to visit in Alsace, like the Vosgues or the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg.
With an ideal setting between the Vosges and vineyards, the historic and wine-growing town of Ribeauvillé is a must for the Alsace Wine Route.
When visiting this Alsace village, don’t miss the Grand Rue, with charming half-timbered houses along it, and the Tour des Bouchers (13th-16th centuries). The picturesque Place de la Sinne, with its beautiful stone fountain (1862), is worth a stop too.
Ribeauvillé still keeps part of its medieval fortifications, overlooked by the ruins of the three castles of the Counts of Ribeaupierre. In November and December, the Medieval Christmas Market of Ribeauvillé is a must in the region.
Saint-Hippolyte (Haut-Rhin) will always be remembered for the amazing lunch we had at the local winstub, which belongs to the Hôtel à la Vignette. Indeed, this small village located at the foot of the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg was the perfect lunch stop after the visit to the castle.
Saint-Hippolyte belonged to the Dukes of Lorraine. This enclave in the heart of Alsace was fortified around 1310 with ramparts and ditches reputed impregnable. The Dukes of Lorraine loved the wine from Saint-Hippolyte, and chariots overloaded with liters of wine crossed the Vosges regularly to the Dukes’ Palace in Nancy.
Explore Saint-Hippolyte’s streets, with pretty architecture and flourished balconies, and the walk that follows the ramparts. Don’t miss the beautiful stone fountain located at Place Hotel de Ville (1555).
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