5 Paths through Rolling Hills to Picturesque Alsatian Villages
In the charming countryside of Alsace, verdant, vine-covered hills are dotted with fairy-tale villages and little hamlets. The quaint Alsace villages are found in the Regional Natural Park of the Northern Vosges, a UNESCO-listed World Biosphere Reserve. A moderate eight-kilometer hike in this area is from Bergheim to Riquewihr. Begin in Bergheim, a tranquil little village surrounded by medieval town walls. This village is a 4-star “Village Fleuris,” because potted geraniums and other bright blossoms adorn the buildings. Take the walking paths through an idyllic landscape towards Riquewihr. Hikers will notice the church steeple of Riquewihr upon approaching this storybook village, listed as one of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (Most Beautiful Villages of France). The village has well-preserved half-timbered houses with vibrant flower-bedecked balconies.
For an easy hike, continue three kilometers from Riquewihr to Mittelwihr, a tiny hamlet nestled among a patchwork of farms. Another scenic hike is from Mittelwihr to Kaysersberg, which can be reached by a six-kilometer country road into the Weiss Valley. This historic town was a Free Imperial City in the 13th century and has retained its medieval ambience. Kaysersberg’s handsome old burgher’s houses are decorated with colorful potted flowers in the traditional Alsatian style.