10 Reasons to Visit Alsace (post-Covid)

Alsace is one of the best regions to visit in France, hands-down. Gunther and I were fortunate to experience this region a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. Located in the north-eastern part of the country, Alsace welcomes 18 million visitors a year (pre-Covid). And with good reason. If you’re looking for new places to discover in France, here are our top 10 reasons you should add Alsace to your list. 

1. The World-Class Wine

There’s no question Alsace is known for its wine. With over 4,000 wine cellars along its 170km wine route, this region is a wine lovers paradise. And if you’re into white wines in particular, that’s reason enough to visit as 90% of wines made in Alsace are made with white grapes. The most common grape varieties are Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Gewurtstraminer, Pinot Gris, Sylvaner and Muscat. Have no fear if you’re a red wine enthusiast, the region also produces delicious Pinot Noir. 

2. The Hopping Beer Scene

While wine definitely dominates the glasses and the landscape (more on that later), Alsatian beer is just as thirst-quenching and delicious. Alsace is the leading beer producer in France with 60% of French beer production taking place in the region. The city of Obernai is home to the the largest brewery in France, Kronenbourg, which produces 700 million litres a year. There is also an up and coming craft scene. You can now enjoy a cold one at 40 craft microbreweries. 

3. The Delicious Culinary Delights

You will need something delicious to pair with all that Alsatian beer and wine and fortunately there is no shortage of amazing food in this region. With over over 30 Michelin-starred chefs in the region, Alsace is a great place to indulge in culinary delights. Some of the local specialties include Flammekeuche, taste flambé, Kugelhopf, Choucroute, Munster cheese and gingerbread. Pretzels are also a popular cocktail pairing as they are the official symbol of Alsace. 

4. The Storied History

Like the rest of the country, this region has a rich and colourful history dating back to the Roman times. In more recent history, Alsace was passed back and forth between France and Germany. If first was annexed by Germany at the end of the Franco-German war in 1871 until the end of World War 1 and then again during the Second World War. As such, some German influence remains today in everything from architecture to cuisine. Today the region is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the city of Strasbourg and the Neuf-Brisach Fortified Town.

5. The Germanic Architecture

The architecture in the region is heavily influenced by the germanic style. Half-timbered houses with steeply pitched roofs covered in Alsatian tiles, known for their unique shape that resembles a beaver’s tail, are commonplace. Many half-timbered homes will also have wood beams creatively placed to create symbolic designs, such as crosses and diamond shapes. 

6. The Breathtaking Landscape 

There’s only one word to describe the Alsatian landscape: breathtaking. The Lonely Planet guide even listed this region in its top ten most beautiful regions of the world. Alsace is nestled between the Vosges mountains with the Rhine river running through it to the east, with a perfect combination of dense forests, rolling hillsides with vineyards and quaint fairytale towns.

7. The Fairytale Villages

When you stop in a small Alsatian town, it feels like you are stepping right into a Disney Movie. It’s no illusion - Disney animators based Belle’s “quiet village” in Beauty and the Beast on two real life Alsatian villages: Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé. Narrow cobblestone streets, friendly shops and flower boxes filled with red and pink geraniums only add to the charm. A couple of towns, Kaysersberg and Hunspach, were even voted as France’s favourite villages on a television series hosted by Stéphane Bern. 

8. The Ideal Travel Weather 

You can keep your umbrella tucked away while visiting Alsace. It happens to be the French region with lowest average rainfall. Colmar in particular is great if you’re a fair weather traveller as it is the second driest city in france with only 550mm of rainfall annually. 

9. The Christmas Spirit

The Christmas spirit is alive and well year round in this region of France. With buildings that look like real life gingerbread houses and Christmas shops that are open even in July, Alsace is the ideal place for die hard Christmas fans. If you are fortunate enough to spend the holiday season in the region, they have some of the best decorations and Christmas markets. France’s oldest Christmas Market is held in Strasbourg, a city that has also earned the title of the Capital of Christmas. This market features over 300 chalets and thousands of lights. The city is also home to one of the tallest decorated natural Christmas trees in Europe. The 30 metre high tree is definitely a sight to marvel at for any Christmas lover. 

10. The Welcoming Locals

The friendly locals make this destination even more charming. When we visited, everyone from the cheese monger to the sommelier were approachable, friendly and welcomed us with open arms. It was no surprise to us that Alsace was recently voted the most welcoming region in France, according to booking.com.

What do you love about Alsace? Which of our top ten reasons make you want to visit this region of France?


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