Jeff and I were originally planning on driving to to Strasbourg on our second day in France, but instead decided to visit the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle and drive around to the various villages in the Colmar region. While I’m sure Strasbourg would have been beautiful, Jeff and I both absolutely loved seeing the small towns and rolling vineyards in the area.
That morning we left Colmar and made our way through the hilly vineyards to the castle. On our way we passed through a colorful Alsatian village called Saint Hippolyte. Guys, I am not kidding – my eyes started welling up with tears. I am quite possibly the most unemotional person on the planet (to a fault), and this place was so beautiful I was totally overwhelmed. We got up to the castle and it was stunning – probably one of the coolest I’ve ever seen… and we’ve been to quite a a few castles. I totally felt like we were in the movie Ever After when we were walking through. If you’re ever in the Colmar/Strasbourg area you have to go!
From the castle we made our way to the village of Riquewihr. On the way we spotted three castle ruins (above) overlooking a vineyard. We had to check it out. The stop ended up being a little detour – we discovered the Domaine du Moulin de Dusenbach winery (tasting rooms are everywhere) and swung into it for a tasting. We ended up with a bottle of Cremant D’Alsace (basically the Champagne of Alsance). It was so delish.
We finally got to Riquewihr and it was so cute. I was surprised to find out it was actually fairly quiet – you would think a place like this would be bustling with tourists! We grabbed a quick lunch and walked around. Not too much was open, but there were plenty of things to see. One of my favorite parts about the region is the abundance of storks. They are so massive and live on the top of houses in these giant nests. It was hard to capture photos of them on my camera (I really need to invest in a lens for travel!), but I did snag one above. It was unreal seeing them flying, they are huge.
Our last stop was a village called Eguisheim. It was also super cute – surprise, surprise – and was also my favorite village of the two. The whole city was built in a circle – so it’s kind of easy to get lost. Because the alleys were so narrow I unfortunately had a difficult time getting photos – once again, I really need to invest in a travel lens – ours is a fixed portrait lens so is quite zoomed in. If you have any suggestions please leave them below. The houses and shops were all various colors and almost all of them were half-timbered. It was such a dreamy place, and we loved just wandering around. Like all Alsatian villages, there was quite a few wine tasting rooms. We stopped into Leon Bauer and once again bought a bottle of Cremant and Pinot Blanc – another regional favorite. Again, they were delicious. I will say that as a whole I’m not a huge fan of the region’s Rieslings. While usually I’m a huge fan of dry Riesling, I found theirs to be too acidic for my taste. To each their own, right?
Afterwards we headed back to our Air bnb in Colmar and went back into the city for dinner at Wistub de la Petit Venise. The food and wine there were so excellent – definitely a place to stop by if you’re in town. We had such a fabulous time exploring the Colmar area. Honestly, I could spend a few days just visiting different villages and trying all the local wine. I’m typically a fan of dry whites, and there were so many delicious options. Sometimes Jeff and I visit cities and think that one trip was enough, but I’m still left wanting more of Alsace. Maybe one day we’ll be able to make it out there again.
Side note: I wore these booties the entire trip and they were SO COMFY. The footbed is padded, so walking around all day was no problem. I thought they were a more polished alternative to sneakers!
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