You will be immersed in a completely medieval atmosphere through the most beautiful fortified villages (cobbled streets abundantly flowered), churches and prestigious castles. The paths meander between hillsides of vines and small peaks under an almost always present sun. From the medieval village of Turckheim to the pretty little town of Obernai, you will visit the villages of Niedermorschwihr, Ammerschwihr, Kaysersberg, Riquewihr Ribeauvillé, Ottrott, and you will climb the Mont Sainte-Odile plateau . You will also discover the fortified castles of Hagueneck, Hohlandsburg, Haut-Kenigsbourg, Saint-Ulrich (overlooking the village of Ribeauvillé), Ortenbourg…
Price per person:
£795.00 Single room supplement £250.00 Solo Walker additional £120.00
When to go
1st March to end of October
DAY 1 : TURCKHEIM
Arrive around 18h at the hotel at Turckheim (235m). This lovely medieval walled town is situated on the Wine Road, the Route des Vins at the entrance to the Munster valley. Not only is it famous for its historic centre and the quality of its wine, but also for its night watchman. You stay here for two nights. Dinner is not included on the first night.
After dinner, you can accompany the last true night watchman in Alsace on his evening rounds. This is really stepping back into history! For more than 50 years, from the 1st May to the 1st October, the chant of this watchman has echoed through the streets of the old town at the time of the 10 o clock patrol.
DAY 2 : THE MEDIEVAL CASTLE OF THE HOHLANDSBOURG ON A CIRCULAR WALK FROM TURCKHEIM
Turckheim > Hagueneck (400m) > Hohlandsbourg (645m) > Turckheim
This is a lovely walk to start your holiday, beginning and ending at Turckheim. It takes you through a huge forest of sweet chestnuts and brings you, quite close to Colmar, to the impressive medieval fortress of Hohlandsbourg overlooking the plains of Alsace. You can go round this restored castle (closed in October) and its medieval garden.
15 km ; Walking time 5h15; Uphill and downhill: 595m
DAY 3 : TURCKHEIM – RIQUEWIHR
Following tracks through the vineyards you come to Niedermorschwihr with its famous church and twisted steeple, then Katzenthal and Ammerschwihr. You can explore the medieval villages of Ammerschwihr and Kaysersberg (which contains the birthplace of the missionary doctor, Albert Schweitzer, and the Romanesque church of Ste-Croix). You go down through the vineyards to reach Riquewihr: a beautiful little medieval fortified town, with excellently preserved double ramparts dating from the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 16th.
15 km ; Walking time 5h30. Uphill: 670m. Downhill: 620m
DAY 4 : RIQUEWIHR – THANNENKIRCH
The walk from Riquewihr to Thannenkirch passes through Hunawihr which has a fortified church and Ribeauvillé (a lovely medieval village). You then climb to the ruins of the château de Saint-Ulrich which overlooks the village of Ribeauvillé and the flatlands of Alsace. Night at Thannenkirch, a typical Alsace village situated straight below the famous castle of Haut-Kœnigsbourg.
12 km ; Walking time 4h00. Uphill: 615m. Downhill: 410m
DAY 5 : THANNENKIRCH – CHATENOIS
Climb up to the medieval château of Haut-Kœnigsbourg which was built in the 12th century. You are well advised to visit this impressive structure, which is steeped in history and commands a wonderful view over Alsace. Then you go down back on to the plain and spend a night at Châtenois. During this walk you will also have the opportunity to visit the montagne des singes (‘mountain of monkeys’) and also see a spectacle of birds of prey at the volerie des Aigles (prices not included in the holiday).
12,5 km ; Walking time: 4h. Uphill: 380m. Downhill: 660m
DAY 6 : CHATENOIS – ANDLAU
You start by climbing up to the castle of Ortenbourg (ruins dating from the 13th century). There are beautiful views of the plains. You go down through the vineyards and pass through the little medieval town of Dambach. You can enjoy some wine-tasting with a friendly ‘vigneronne’ (lady running a wine-storage ‘cave’) at Bernardvillé. Then you walk steadily downhill through the forest until you reach Andlau.
19 km ; Walking time: 6h. Uphill: 660m. Downhill: 620m
DAY 7 : ANDLAU – OBERNAI
Today you can see the fortified castles of the Haut-Andlau and of Landsberg. The Mur Païen is an interesting feature – a huge megalithic enclosure which, up to the present day, has conserve dits air of mystery. Then you come to the Monastère du Mont Ste-Odile. From the monastery you go down by the Sentier des Pèlerins (pilgrims’ path) to the village of Ottrott. After this you walk across flat countryside until you come to the lovely medieval town of Obernai.
22 km ; Walking time: 6h30. Uphill: 940m. Downhill: 990m
DAY 8 : OBERNAI
End of your stay after breakfast.
2** and 3*** traditional hotels.
Getting to Turcheim:
Colmar is the closest TGV station. It is 5km from Turckheim. Bus Connex or local train to Turckheim or taxi.
1 piece of luggage per person, not weighing more than 15 kilos (remember that luggage handlers have human backs)
Easy to moderate. Walking 4 – 6 hours Maximum per day over varied terrain. Paths are well signposted. Each stage is between 15 – 20 kilometres and between 300 and 700 metres. Within the capability of any fit person.