There are some destinations that keep you dreaming for a long time. This is what happened to us with the French region of Alsace. There was no Christmas time in which we didn’t think of visiting Alsace. I must recognize that I (Laura) was quite obsessed with Colmar and didn’t have much information about the beautiful little villages that can be found in its surroundings.
But sometimes destinations find you when you don’t expect them. Dídac is temporarily living in Heidelberg (Germany) due to work reasons, so we decided that I would visit him during my Eater vacation. We started our search for interesting places to go near Heidelberg and we suddenly noticed that Alsace was only 2-hour driving from there. So we had no excuses not to fulfill one of our (multiple) travel dreams. We book a car and prepared a short road trip through some of the most beautiful villages in the region.
We drove from Heidelberg to Obernai to start our route and ended our day back in Germany, in Triberg, the capital of the Black Forest region (Schwarzwald). Of course the Alsace region deserves an in-depth visit, but we tried to make the most of our time. Another day we went back to Alsace to visit the amazing city of Strasbourg, but we hope to write about this in a future post. We thought that the most glorious season in Alsace was Christmas and it might be true, but the region surprised us with Easter decoration in every corner. Easter seems to be really lived there. Keep reading to discover our chosen locations!
German architecture with French character. This was our first thought when we reached Alsace. A mixture of cultures that has created one of the most beautiful regions in Europe.
As we said, our first stop was in Obernai (by the way, the only village where we could park our car for free). Obernai is more a living village than a touristy one. A good place to walk and make some shopping. In Obernai we made a valuable acquisition, a bottle of the famous Alsatian wine that we would taste a few days letter in Dídac’s apartment. The best places in Obernai were, from our point of view, the Market Place (Place du Marché) and the beautiful Six Buckets Well, constructed in 1579 in the Renaissance style.
And then we moved to Riquewihr. At first sight we already noticed that we were in a more touristy village comparing to Obernai. And it is not difficult to undertsand why. The main street, Rue du Général de Gaulle, is one of the most beautiful that we’ve ever seen. We were impressed and stopped at every shop and corner. The colourful houses of Riquewihr had lots of Easter decoration.
Surrounded by vineyards, this village is a jewel that awaits on the other side of the gate that you will find in the upper part of the village (Porte Haute). It was in Riquewihr were we decided to have lunch: a tarte flambée, of course, one of the specialties of the Alsace region. We discovered it some time ago in a restaurant in Barcelona and since them we were willing to taste one in its homeland.
Eguisheim might be one of the most beautiful villages that we have ever visited. Less vibrant than Riquewihr, but full of history in every street. Once there, the town proposes to its visitors a round tour through its quiet streets. You just need to walk and enjoy of the magic environment of Eguisheim until you reach the Saint-Leon Fountain, which was fully decorated to celebrate Easter as you can see in the picture below.
If there is something of which the people in Eguisheim are proud (apart from their wine, I suppose) it is being the hometown of the Pope Leo IX, who was born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg. You will find a chapel near the fountain that is devoted to him.
And finally we reached our final destination in Alsace, Colmar. Colmar surprised us due to its size. I don’t know why, but we expected to find a village and we found a city instead. After some difficulties to find somewhere to park our car (it was really crowded) we started walking through Colmar, a town full of shops and street markets. The architecture of Colmar is dominated by the amazing churches Église des Dominicains and Collégiale Saint-Martin.
We arrived at the Little Venice area, which is famous by its channel and the presence of the typical Alsatian houses that we had already seen in the other villages of the region. Little Venice is a town inside a town, and spring made it even more beautiful. At that point we couldn’t stop taking photos because we were finally admiring by ourselves this corner in the World of which we had been dreaming for a long time.