À Paris Travel would be happy to help you discover Alsace, another very beautiful area of France. It's only a four train ride from Paris to Strasbourg, the capital and principal city in the region. It's also site of the European Parliament. From Strasbourg you can rent a car and enjoy the region. Located in the Northeast corner of the country, it has a fascinating history that includes its changing nationality four times since 1871!
Due to its location, it was caught in the wars between France and Germany. Today it has a very strong cultural identification with distinct traditions, dialects, costumes, and architecture. It is a region with beautiful castles and the wonderful Route du Vin vineyards. Contact us to make all your travel arrangements(train, car rental, hotel, and guides) and consider combining a visit to Alsace with your next Paris adventure!
Strasbourg, the main city of Alsace, is a 21st century cosmopolitan jewel in a 16th century setting. (It happens to be half way between Paris and Prague.) Surrounded by the River Ill, it can be enjoyed by either strolling the little streets or by taking a boat trip on the waterways through the Old Town. Not to be missed is the Strasbourg Cathedral (taking more than 200 years to build!) with its ornamental portals. The rose window is almost 46 feet in diameter and reminds one of lace in its intricacy. Another feature not to be missed is the cathedral’s astronomical clock that dates to 1547.
Victor Hugo, who is well known for his involvement with the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, once commented on Strasbourg’s Cathedral:
"The church portals are beautiful, particularly the Roman portal; there are truly superb figures on horseback, the rose-window is noble and well-cut, the entire front of the church is a clever poem. But the true triumph of this Cathedral is the spire. It is a veritable tiara of stone with its crown and its cross. It is a gigantic and delicate marvel. I have seen Chartres, I have seen Anvers, but I needed to see Strasbourg. From the belfry, the view is wonderful. Strasbourg lays at your feet, the old city of triangular roof tops and gable windows, interrupted by towers and churches as picturesque as those of any city in Flanders. Personally, I would go from one turret to another, admiring one by one, the view of France, Switzerland and Germany via one ray of sunshine."
You can follow the “Route du Vin” for 108 miles and soak up medieval villages and amazing castles. From the Northern town of Molsheim with Riesling vineyards, it’s an enchanting drive (and many opportunities to enjoy paths for walking!)through Ribeauvillé and Riquewihr (showing off its array of medieval and Renaissance houses), the road is a wine lovers paradise and exudes picturesque, historic, and gastronomic pleasures! Alsace names its wines by the grape variety so you’ll find Riesling, Muscat (so aromatic!),Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir.
There’s much to see, taste, and enjoy in Alsace. Contact us at À Paris Travel to make your plans!