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Considering a trip to the Alsace region? Let my guide to the most beautiful villages in Alsace inspire you to go! I had the chance to spend a full week exploring this region over the Christmas market season and loved it. This part of France is very special, with a distinct culture and the towns are magical.

A unique blend of German and French influence, the Alsace region is one of France’s easternmost areas and is bordered by the Rhin River and Black Forest. Known for its centuries-long feud between French Kings and the Holy Roman Empire, the mix of architectural styles, cuisine, and language can at times leave you guessing where you are. With beautiful vineyards and castles, this place is perfect for people who love history and wine. 

Feeling like you’ve stepped right into a storybook, the cobblestone streets and Hansel-and-Gretel style houses are some of the most well-preserved throughout the country — all brightly painted and decorated with flower boxes. Visiting during Christmas is especially wonderful because the buildings are covered top-to-toe in festive decorations. Don’t miss exploring the Strasbourg Christmas markets, which feel fairytale-like throughout December.

Home to some of the most beautiful villages in France, the Alsace is popular for road trips with many following the Wine Route. Honoring centuries-old traditions, winemakers produce fine white wines, some even earning Grand Cru status. Like the origins of the region, the cuisine here is inspired by French and German flavors, with dishes like flammeküche, Baeckeoffe, and Choucroute garnie (the national dish of Alsace). 

When we stayed, we decided to rent a car for our time to explore. It made it much more convenient to get around as we could stay for as long as we wanted. Most of the towns are quite small so keep this in mind when you plan out your time. Read on for the must-see Alsace Villages.

Short on Time? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Alsace Hotels:

  1. Hôtel Cour du Corbeau, for the best overall hotel
  2. Hotel Les Haras, for the best new hotel
  3. Le Moon, for the best modern apartment hotel

Travel Tip: The Alsace region is best explored by car. If you arrive in Strasbourg by train, you can pick up a car at the station. I recommend booking with Discover Cars for the best rates and insurance.

7 Must-See Alsace Villages and Towns Along the Alsace Wine Route

1. Eguisheim

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Eguisheim — said to be the inspiration for the town center in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ — is an idyllic medieval village brimming with old-world charm. The village has a rich history dating back over a thousand years and is renowned for its well-preserved half-timbered houses, narrow cobblestone streets, and circular layout.

The Eguisheim castle and the colorful Saint-Léon-IX chapel are exceptional centerpieces in the village, which is full of geranium-filled balconies and quaint stores selling local produce. Eguisheim is one of the towns along the Alsace Wine Route, with several ways to enjoy the vineyards from cycling wine tours to segway tours.

How Much Time?

You can cover the town in around two hours but could stay longer if you stop in for a meal.

Getting There

The best way from Strasbourg to Eguisheim is by car, the journey is 80km and takes approximately one hour. It’s also 15 minutes by car from nearby Colmar.

2. Colmar

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Colmar is one of those places where time seems to slow down, and you find yourself lost in the charm of it all. As if plucked from a fairytale, winding cobblestone streets are lined with charming half-timbered houses. Don’t miss wandering through La Petite Venice, the “Little Venice” district, with its canals and postcard-perfect bridges. With plenty of excellent restaurants, don’t miss trying the tarte flambée, a thin, crispy pizza-like creation topped with cream, onions, and bacon.

Colmar’s seasonal decorations are famous, as Christmas ornaments adorn storefronts and homes throughout the town. The Haut-Rhin village is a popular choice for holiday travel thanks to the Colmar Christmas markets where you can sip on mulled wine and pick up some handmade ornaments to take home. With a few museums and flower-lined canals, this is one of the best examples of a quintessential Alsatian village and is one of the most visited in the Alsace.

How Much Time?

I’d recommend dedicating at least one day to Colmar, as it’s larger than other Alsace towns. This is especially true if you’re visiting during the Christmas market season. 

Getting There

Take the A35 from Strasbourg to Colmar which takes approximately 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can catch a train from Strasbourg to Colmar which takes 30 minutes.

3. Riquewihr

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Arguably the most beautiful of all the Alsatian villages, Riquewihr is worth a visit. Set among the vineyards between the peaks of the Vosges mountains and the Plain of Alsace, the village combines the best of the region’s old-world wines with top-quality architecture. Explore the historical ramparts and some noteworthy historical buildings including the Winemaker’s House from the 16th century and the Thieves’ Tower which was formerly the prison of Riquewihr.

Visitors with an enthusiasm for wine can enjoy a two-hour walk that dives deeper into the heritage of Alsatian wine and the personalities that continue to bring them together from the vineyards surrounding town. The area is mostly known for its white wine varieties, including Riesling, Pinot Blanc, and Gewurztraminer. 

How Much time?

Riquewihr is a small town and can be seen within one to two hours, though allow more time if you plan to take the vineyard walk.

Getting There

Riquewihr is 70 km from Strasbourg and takes approximately 50 minutes to reach by car along the A35.

4. Obernai

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

The countryside village of Obernai is one of 100 towns belonging to the Plus Beaux Détours de France, an association of smaller towns with exceptional but relatively undiscovered tourist appeal. At the foot of Mont Sainte-Odile, there’s a tranquility to Obernai that escapes some of the other Alsatian towns in the Bas-Rhin area, making it perfect for those who want to explore the quieter side of the Alsace.

Beyond the market square, the 13th-century belfry, city hall, and Renaissance well with six buckets dating from 1579 are worth stopping by. Just a 15-minute drive away, you can also visit Mont Sainte-Odile, which features Hohenburg Abbey at the summit.

How Much time?

One of the larger towns in Alsace, I’d recommend spending a proper morning there.

Getting There

25 minutes south of Strasbourg via the A35, Obernai is one of the closest towns to the Capital of Alsace. 

5. Kaysersberg

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Kaysersberg is a must-visit when exploring the small villages along the Alsace wine route. With roots harking back to the Holy Roman Empire, cobbled streets wind through a delightful mix of half-timbered houses, flower-filled window boxes, and charming town squares. The impressive Kaysersberg Castle overlooks the village, adding a touch of medieval majesty to the scenery.

It’s also the birthplace of philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer, and you can visit the home where he was born, which has now been turned into a museum. Wine lovers can enjoy wine tasting at the local vineyards, which are brilliantly lush throughout the summer ahead of the autumn harvest.

How Much time?

Three to four hours would be ideal.

Getting There

80 km south of Strasbourg, it takes about one hour to drive to Kaysersberg along the A35 and N83.

6. Ribeauvillé

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Halfway between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, Ribeauvillé mixes medieval history with a touch of modernity. The best way to enjoy the town is unhurried, taking your time to stroll through the cobbled streets. In addition to town walls and towers, the remains of the three fortified castles that once stood tall, still dominate the hillsides.

With roots tracing back to the Middle Ages, the vineyards play a pivotal role in Ribeauvillé, allowing numerous winegrowers and the wine cooperative to welcome visitors for cellar tours and tastings. Ribeauvillê is home to notable Grands Cru wines such as Geisberg, Kirchberg de Ribeauvillé, and Osterberg.

How Much time?

Three hours would be comfortable to make the most of Ribeauville.

Getting There

50 minutes from Strasbourg, Ribeauvillé is easy to reach by car along the A35 and is located between Riquewihr and Bergheim. 

7. Bergheim

Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France

Among the rolling hills of the Alsace, Bergheim has a brilliant collection of well-preserved medieval architecture. The Old Town is a treasure trove of half-timbered houses, charming squares, and historical landmarks. Medieval gates and towers, such as the Hexenturm (Witch’s Tower), add to the village’s character. Stroll through the streets to admire the well-maintained facades and immerse yourself in the timeless atmosphere.

Like many of the towns in Alsace, the village embraces the Christmas spirit, turning into a winter wonderland with festive fare and decorations adorning the buildings. Elected the favorite village in France in 2022, nature lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the various walking trails through the vineyards, in the forest, or on Grasberg Hill. 

How Much time?

Bergheim is fairly small, so two hours should be enough.

Getting There

Located 60 km from Strasbourg, it takes approximately 45 minutes by car along the A35 to reach Bergheim. 

Other Alsace Villages to Visit

If you’re looking to dive deeper into the Alsace region, here are a few other villages that are worth considering:

  • Rosheim
  • Dambach-la-Ville
  • Kintzheim
  • Bergeim

Where to Stay in Alsace France

Strasbourg is a great base for visiting the Alsace region, as it’s centrally located and well-connected to various towns and villages in the area. A beautiful medieval city, Strasbourg boasts a rich history and vibrant culture. The historic city center, Grande Île, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and features the stunning Strasbourg Cathedral, medieval architecture, and the picturesque canals of La Petite France. 

While some towns are connected by train or bus, the best way to get around is by hiring a car to explore. This will give you the freedom to spend as much time in each destination as you please and means you aren’t restricted by limited timetables.

Travel Tip: If you arrive in Strasbourg by train, you can pick up a car at the station. I recommend booking with Discover Cars for the best rates and insurance.

Strasbourg has a host of brilliant hotels to choose from and is well-connected to other major cities in France and nearby Germany. You can check out my complete Strasbourg hotel guide, or if you’re in a hurry, my top picks are:

  1. Hôtel Cour du Corbeau, for the best overall hotel
  2. Hotel Les Haras, for the best new hotel
  3. Le Moon, for the best modern apartment hotel

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The 7 Most Beautiful Villages in Alsace, France to Visit

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