Tourist information on the Alsace region in France
Alsace has a rich heritage with a German influence that includes pretty villages and houses adorned with flowers, the famous Route de Vin Wine route, many fortified castles and museums, the River Rhine and much more, which is why the Alsace region in France attracts millions of visitors each year.
This is also a great place for a family camping holiday with lots of activities available, however, the region comes alive even more so with the lead up to Christmas and the festive season due to the atmosphere, the mulled wine and the fabulous Christmas markets, especially in Strasbourg with the annual Christmas market that is held around the cathedral.
In fact, if you are thinking of travelling with your caravan or motorhome to the area, then one of the French campsites open all year that you could stay at, is called Camping de La Montagne Verte, and it is very conveniently situated so you can visit Strasbourg.
About the Alsace region in France
Alsace is actually the smallest region of France and is nearly four times as long as it is wide with the area being divided with the Lorraine region to the West by the Vosges mountains, then to the South there is Switzerland and Germany is on the North and East borders, which explains a lot about why there is such a German influence within this region of France.
Historically speaking, this region was part of the German-speaking area of central Europe, and even to this day there is still a large proportion of the population that still speak or understand Alsacian, which is a dialectal form of German that closely resembles the German spoken in Switzerland.
As you no doubt know, the main city and the capital of the Alsace region is Strasbourg, which is an idyllic city, especially during the cold dry winters and the snow around, and of course has a very Germanic influence with lots of historical features, yet is still a very cosmopolitan city. However, the summers are normally warm and dry and in fact, the city of Colmar has been reported to be the second driest city in the whole of France!
Alsace has often been declared part of France, then part of Germany and so on, and even today, there are certain differences between this and the other regions of France, for instance, in Alsace, Good Friday is a public holiday, whereas the rest of France do not celebrate this day. In addition to this, the Rhine has always be a great trading route, which has meant that the region has always been prosperous and economically this has also always been a very productive region, not just with vineyards, wine and the famous Route des Vins wine route, but also brewing with the most well-known French beer being Kronenbourg.
And yet the Alsace region also attracts thousands of visitors each year wanting to admire the brightly-coloured half-timbered historical houses such as those in the historical town of Obernai. And if you want to experience these whilst on a family camping holiday in France, then one of the French Municipal campsites called Le Camping Municipal Le Vallon de l'Ehn is the ideal place. Suitable for all the family as there things to do on site along with numerous tourist attractions, activities and places to visit within easy reach for fun days out, making this yet another great French campsite in Alsace open all year as well.
Another reason that so many people travel to and go on holiday in Alsace is due to the fact that this region has the most feudal and ruined castles within the whole of Europe with there being around 400 of them, which just proves how much this region has suffered through different conflicts over the centuries. In addition to these, there are around 250 different museums, with some of these being considered to be the best in the world!
Tourist attractions and places to visit in the Alsace region
Talking of castles, you could visit the recently restored Hohlandsbourg castle and close to Strasbourg you can admire the legendary Haut-Koenigsburg castle on the top of a hill in the Vosges mountains with its breath-taking views.
Strasbourg, the capital of the Alsace region has lots to offer from the traditional Christmas markets that are centred around the magnificent gothic cathedral through to the Petit France quarter along the banks of the river where you can enjoy boat trips and river cruises.
Colmar is a fantastically preserved historical city with half-timbered houses, but is also home to the Unterlinden Museum with the famous Isenheim masterpiece of religious art and near to this city there is the largest open air museum in France.
Keeping on the theme of museums in France, you could visit Mulhouse, which is home to the French National Railway Museum, its steam trains and the historical railway called Chemin de Fer du Dollar, or the world’s largest motor museum called the Cite de l’Automobile that houses the Schlumpf collection and also has the largest collection of Bugatti’s.
When it comes to nature, this is an ideal place for numerous outdoor activities no matter what season you decide to go on a family camping holiday and of course the Vosges mountains are teaming with hiking, mountain biking and horse riding tracks, along with designated nature trails, not forgetting the skiing in winter. Yet at a place called Kintzheim, there is an eagle park called Volerie des Aigles, which is dedicated to the conservation of eagles and other birds of prey and is a fascinating place to visit for both adults and children.
As mentioned previously, there is also the Route des Vins or the Alsace wine route, where you can discover numerous different vineyards and wine villages such as that of Riquewihr and try some of the lovely white wines that are produced in this region of France. However, there is also the Romanesque Route that runs down through Alsace, which is a great way of discovering the religious heritage and the ever changing landscapes that make up this unique region.
And as you can no doubt imagine, there is something to please everyone on a holiday in Alsace. Yet with the amount of things to see and places to visit, this region is somewhere you could go for a winter skiing holiday one year and a nature and discovery trip in summer another year and still never get to see everything!