Riding your bicycle on the wine route of Alsace

The right place to be!

The best position from where to experience the vineyards of Alsace is the bicycle saddle. At just the right pace, you have time to capture the colours, the smell, the tranquillity and the freedom.

The great map of Haut-Rhin

There is very good map over covering the area and the bicycle paths of the southern departement, Haut-Rhin. It can be bought in all small shops for tourists. The map is ideal for transport between the villages. In the villages, you should rely on maps at the main entrances and the signs to the different growers.

Alternatively, you can use the maps in this web-site.

Route-des-vinsIn Haut-Rhin, the blue signs of the "Bicycle route des vins" are easy to follow. The bike paths make use of small roads croosing the vineyards, most of the time on pavement, sometimes on gravel. The roads will take you to the heart of the vineyards, and you will feel like you are all alone.

The official map of Bas-Rhin is called "Le tout Bas-Rhin à vélo". It is quite bad. In addition, it appears as it is only distributed via the Tourist Office in Barr. The network is not at all as good as in Haut-Rhin.

The bike road from Bergheim into Bas-Rhin follows the ancient Gallo-Roman road from Lyon to Trier. So here you will be on historic soil!

Use your head

There is no excuse for not protecting your most valuable asset, your head. Use a comfortable bike helmet. The slopes can be very steep and suddenly you may find yourself running down into a runoff-ditch crossing the path or losing control in some other way.

In all villages, you will find a nice places to rest for a picnic lunch. When your plan your shopping however not that most shops are closed between noon and 2 p.m.

Along most roads, an occational tree will invite you to spread out your picnic blanket in some shade. Take a rest and a snack, but leave the spot at least as tidy you found it.

A tough time

Do not underestimate the hills! The same slopes that give power to the wine will suck the power out of your legs. If the temperature is 30-35 C and the sun is out, the conditions can be very tough. Plan your ride so that you do not find yourself on a hillside under a burning sun and no water in your flask. If you have a blood pressure, be extra careful.

Remember that between villages such as Hunawihr and Riquewihr, the difference in elevation is a good 100 meters.

Take short stages, and aim for cool cellars with tempting wines. But do not forget to spit! If you are on a bike, no grower will expect that you should carry cases of wines, but you may come back for wines later on with your car.