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|Price range||From £649|
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Alsace & the Black Forest by rail
Highlights include the beautiful city of Strasbourg, which boasts a stunning Cathedral, atmospheric “Petit France” district and a wealth of sights. Elsewhere we visit the wine town of Riquewihr, the quintessentially Alsace town of Colmar and venture into neighbouring Germany to visit the Black Forest and Freiburg, the spa town of Baden-Baden and Hunspach.
- Return Eurostar/TGV from St Pancras/Ebbsfleet to Strasbourg via Paris including transfer in Paris
- 6 nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at Le Gouverneur Hotel, Obernai, based on shared occupancy of a twin room
- Transfers and full coach touring itinerary as detailed above conducted by tour manager
- Tour manager throughout
- Single room supplement
- Holiday insurance
- Standard Premier/1st Class upgrade on Eurostar/TGV. On the Eurostar this constitutes upgraded seating and light meal with complimentary drink with upgraded seating only on the French railway leg.
- Meals other than those stated
- Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls.
- Porterage and gratuities.
PLEASE NOTE: As with most trains, passengers are responsible for carrying baggage onto and off the train. Baggage can be stored on overhead shelves or at the entrance to the carriages. Trollies are available at St Pancras and Paris, but bags do need to be carried on to the platform.
Day 2: Full day tour to Colmar and Riquewihr. Colmar captures the quintessential character of the Alsace, its charming streets, squares and small canals lined with crooked and colourful half-timbered houses – a wanderer’s paradise. A must see is the 500 year old Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece, housed in the Unterlinden Museum. One of “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”, Riquewihr owes its historical prosperity to wine – Riesling in particular is produced here. Full of lovely historical architecture, Riquewihr looks much as it did in the 16th century and one of the few towns in the area to escape being badly damaged in WWII.
Day 3: Full day in Strasbourg. The city of Strasbourg offers a stark contrast of old and new. At its heart you’ll find a medieval town of atmospheric narrow streets, half-timbered houses and the awe-inspiring pink-sandstone Gothic cathedral. Surrounding this is a thoroughly modern and progressive city including the headquarters of the European Parliament. A boat ride on the Ill River is an excellent way to see both sides. The charming ‘Petite France’ district, dating from the 1100s, is a must see.
Day 4: Full day to relax and explore Obernai at your leisure. Set amongst vineyards on the eastern slopes of the Vosges Mountains Obernai was the birthplace of Alsace’s patron saint Odile. A delightful town, you can stroll the medieval ramparts and cramped lanes lined with half-timbered houses and visit the Place du Marché and Tour de la Chapelle.
Day 5: Full day to Freiburg and the Black Forest. One of Germany’s most beautiful and historic cities, Freiburg is a vibrant university town based around the magnificent Gothic Münster (cathedral) built in red sandstone. The centre, which fans out from the Münster is delightfully quaint and historic, is easy and lovely to explore. Freiburg is a gateway to the Black Forest, and we will spend the afternoon revelling in the natural beauty and traditional air of the area, with an afternoon stop at Triburg, capital of the cuckoo clock.
Day 6: Full day tour to Baden-Baden and Hunspach. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden spent the 19th century being Germany’s most fashionable resorts and this elegance remains in the splendid Belle-Époque architecture including a casino that is lauded as the most beautiful in the world. Travelling the Black Forest panoramic road we will pay a visit to Lake Mummelsee before returning to Obernai via the northern Alsace pottery villages. Sleepy Hunspach, full of impressive, dazzling white timberframed houses, is one of the “Les Plus Beaux Villages de France”.
Day 7: Transfer by coach back to Strasbourg station to catch the return TGV to Paris. At Paris, board the return Eurostar service to Ebbsfleet and St Pancras.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 49 passengers.
Located just inside the ramparts in the centre of the pretty town of Obernai about 30km south west of Strasbourg, Le Gouverneur (though rated as only 2-star) is a stylish and comforable hotel, completely renovated from an historic coaching inn dating back to 1550. Facilities here include a breakfast room and comfortable newly-refurbished bedrooms with private bath or shower, TV and telephone.
PLEASE NOTE: There is no lift but 5 rooms are located on the ground floor.
There is not a bar or restaurant at the hotel but the hotel is situated in the centre of town with a bar directly across the street and a host of restaurants within a few minutes' walk. For gourmets, Obernai is blessed with not one but two Michelin-starred restaurants, one less then 50m from the hotel but there are a range of restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets. Obernai itself is a lovely town for a pre- or post-dinner stroll - a walk around the ramparts will certainly build up an appetite!
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An enjoyable holiday. There was a varied programme of tours. Obenai is an easy village to stay in. The hotel was unusual as it was built around a courtyard. Our room was comfortable but a little dark and cold in the evening. There were radiators in the room but they weren't on. Our Tour Manager was fantastic. A Frenchman who spoke English well who was extremely knowledgable about the area.
I enjoyed the holiday which was well organised with a friendly and helpful guide.
Miss J Modlin
We enjoyed the holiday very much and the extensive program you had put into the four days in Alsace. Le Gouveneur Hotel was without fault and deserves a much better rating than 2 star.
Mr R Pownall
Even the weather was perfect. Our 'carer', Angela, made everyone feel like a friend. We had actually been in her company before a number of years ago when we went to Lipari, another excellent holiday.
Mrs M Brown