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Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

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Australind...
posts: 43
reviews: 1
Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Hi

I hope I dont seem like a complete ignoramus in asking this question, but never having been to France and organising our first trip there for next year I figured it was best to ask the experts.

My extended family group (up to 7 adults and 2 kids) will be visiting France in September 2009 and want to spend the last 7 days (give or take a day) in the Alsace region.

Ideally we would like to stay somewhere that has easy access for day trips into Germany (Black Forest), and preferably in a gite or chalet somewhere rural. It woould be good if it was within fairly reasonable access of restaurants/market etc too.

Does anyone know of anywhere that satisfies all that criteria!!! - or am I being too hopeful that we could find somewhere like that...is somewhere in Strasbourg going to be our best bet?

I appreciate any advice or assistance - we really are in the beginning stages of planning this trip.

thanks

Robyn

Freiburg im...
posts: 1,795
1. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Actually you could stay anywhere between Strasbourg and Colmar, where there are lots of picturesque old villages to be found. But in case you rely on public transport, consider staying in Strasbourg or Colmar.

Strasbourg is a pretty large, bustling town, it is a good starting point for Baden-Baden (a must see) and the northern part of the black forest. The town center is lovely, but some of the outskirts aren't exactly appealing.

Colmar is smaller, quaint and not far from the southern black forest with Freiburg and the Titisee/Feldberg region. It is also close to Basel/Switzerland, which is well worth seeing as well.

If you go by car, consider one of the small places along the Alsace wine route. Eguisheim, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr or Riebeauville are quaint medieval places, but quite touristic.

alsace-route-des-vins.com/NewVersion/…En.cfm

www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/travelling-alsace/

A reliable site for holiday homes:

www.gites-de-france.com/gites/uk/rural_gites#

(Not only) your kids will enjoy the huge Haut-Koenigsbourg castle:

http://www.haut-koenigsbourg.fr/en/chateau

Black forest:

http://www.blackforest-tourism.com/

http://www.baden-baden.de/en/index.html

www.stadt-gengenbach.de/en/tourism/…

And to amuse the kids:

www.europapark.de/lang-en/c51/default.html

Australind...
posts: 43
reviews: 1
2. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Thank you so much for all of that information. I will look into the gites as you suggested in both Strasbourg and Colmar.

The kids didnt know about Europa Park - but that will now be on our to do list too!!!

I have also heard that Frieburg is quite a pretty place- is it worth a stay there or is a day visit adequate?

Freiburg im...
posts: 1,795
3. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

>that Frieburg is quite a pretty place<

Right, but a day trip will do.

Enjoy!

NE Victoria...
posts: 2,564
reviews: 18
4. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

I second the "must go to Baden-Baden" comment - it's terrific. I love old spa towns, their atmosphere is so evocative...and Baden-Baden is very elegant indeed. The Friedrichsbad Thermal Baths complex is amazing and a visit there is worth every euro!

I don't know how old the kids is your group are, but they might also be interested in the Stork and Otter Park at Hunawihr, a little hamlet near Riquewihr. My other half is otter-mad, so we stopped for a look when we were in Alsace and it was quite good - and the otters were adorable. Their site is www.cigogne-loutre.com/index.html (in French, but you'll get the idea). The storks were great too, although we'd already seen quite a few roosting on chimney pots throughout the region when we were there in October!

You should easily find a gite on the Gites de France site to suit you outside the larger cities, the rural villages are lovely in this part of the world. Colmar is pretty and definitely worth a visit; we were staying with friends nearby in Guebwiller, so we just did a day trip there. We didn't make it to Strasbourg, but it's on the list for future visits.

Have fun planning. It's a fascinating area, you'll love it!

halwimsey

Vientiane
posts: 4,950
reviews: 53
5. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

I would stay near Freiburg. See if you can google the Gasthaus Hotel Hug. The food there is fantastic and not expensive and he has rooms. You are not far from Strasbourg and Colmar.

In Alsace I would stay at one of the slightly less touristy towns, maybe Kaysersberg. Riquewirh will have far too many tour groups running around. It is a great area; I hope you enjoy it.

France
posts: 1,992
reviews: 9
6. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Hi Robyn,

Lot's of good advice above and may I add a couple of extra things. Baden Baden is really great, the Friedrichsbad is a great place to visit, but is adults only as it's more in the victorian stlye of a "cure" than a fun place - very relaxing and restorative but no running around or making noise etc. If you are taking the kids the Caracalla spa next door to it is better - it has a number of pools, including outdoor (warm enough to be in even in the middle of winter) ones with jets and currents. You can spend a couple of hours there easily.

Another useful site for finding accommodation is www.homelidays.com? I would recommend somewhere between Colmar and Strasbourg so you have easy access (less than an hour drive) to all the wine route villages, the Black Forest, Vosges mountains and Basel and Mulhouse too.

Australind...
posts: 43
reviews: 1
7. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Thank you all very much for your responses and the information in them!

I feel a little more confident now that we will be able to find something in Alsace that satisfies everyone in our group.

NE Victoria...
posts: 2,564
reviews: 18
8. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

Great point about the Friedrichsbad, Jon - I completely forgot that it probably isn't very child friendly!

:)

9. Re: Alsace..need some info from people who know/have been there

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