The Alsace region of France
Alsace lies on the eastern border of France, adjacent to Switzerland and Germany. The smallest region of metroplotitan France, Alsace includes the departments of Haut-Rhin and Bas Rhin. There are two international airports in Alsace, Strasbourg in Entzheim and Euro Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport, five miles northwest of Basel. There are plenty of bed and breakfasts to stay in on the slopes of the moubntains, or you can visit Strasbourg, the headquarters of the European Parliament.
Strasbourg has a single towered cathedral, recognizable from a great distance. The covered bridges across the river Ill, are part of the 15th-century fortifications of the town. The Petite France quarter used to be inhabited by fishermen, tanners and millers and is now one of the most popular sights in Strasbourg.
Between the Alpine foothills to the south and the Vosges mountains to the west and north, northern Alsace contains the largest continuous stretch of forest in Central Europe. Here you can enjoy numerous outdoor activities including hiking, mountain climbing and skiing. Although only 190 km long and 50 km wide, Alsace is packed with many sites including medieval villages and castles. Known as the land of storks, Alsace is hot and humid on the plain during the summer and cool around the mountain meadows.
The Alsace wine route, along the foothills of the Vosges, is one of France most visited tourist tracks. Vineyards are scattered along the lower area and the higher slopes are sprinkled with monasteries, castles and medieval villages. You can drive or take a train along the Rhine and watch the beautiful scenery unfold.
Alsace mainly produces white wines, including notable dry Rieslings and is also the main beer producing région of France. Schnapps is also traditionally made in Alsace, although it’s in decline. Alsace also boasts a famous brandy - Eaux de vie. Alsace is one of the largest gastronomic regions in France. Alsatian cuisine is marked by the use of pork in various forms. Traditional regional cooking includes sauerkraut, baeckeoffe and tarte flambée (plum tart). Munster cheese is often eaten with cumin.
A third of Alsace’s population lives in Colmar, Mulhouse and Strasbourg. The small picturesque village of Riquewihr is a favourite for tourism. Its narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. Popular buys for shoppers are pottery, glassworks, wood items, wood and stone sculptor and paintings. Another popular location is Turckheim, a walled town on the banks of the river Fecht and Colmar, known for the beauty of its architecture.
Alsace offers a variety of beautiful sites, quaint villages and outdoor activities. For many, the food and wines of the region are enough to prompt a visit.