Europe Bicycle Touring
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Last bike trip August 2001
Reconnoitered by car August 2002

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By David May

Directions to bicycle Alsace, France

Bike on roads and a few cycle paths, through wine villages and vineyards.

Bike Rating: Excellent, but traffic

Nature of the Ride: Alsace fills a swath of land in the very east of France, from the crest of the Vosges (pronounced "voje") mountains to the Rhine River. Accross the Rhine lies Germany's corresponding "Elsass", bounded on the east by the mountain peaks of the Black Forest. While most of Alsace is a very rich agricultural plain punctuated by art cities, the strip of land along the foothills of the Vosges Mountains is an extremely picturesque, unique, wine-growing area that should not be missed by any European traveller.

Along the wine route in French Alsace you will experience a beautiful landscape, fantastic villages, architectural treasures, fine food and drink, and a beguiling mixture of German and French cultures.

Large half-timbered Alsacian House and geraniums

Alsatians, many of whom speak a Germanic dialect, consider themselves different from the "French of the interior", and also from the Germans. Their culture blends both French and German characteristics: Like the French, they emphasize delicious cooking and visual impressions; like the Germans, they keep their land and their villages as neat as a pin. You cannot find elsewhere in Europe so many half-timbered houses, beautifully maintained, nor so many boxes of flowers.


On this Alsacian itinerary you ride through two dozen of these eye-popping wine villages, each unique in its own way, as you follow the celebrated Route du Vin*** (Wine Route). Between villages you will traverse a rolling checkerboard terrain splashed with vineyards and orchards. The author knows of no terrain more ravishing to the eye.

The Haut Koenigsbourg Castle on a hilltop above St Hippolyte

The first and last biking days of the itinerary are in the agricultural flatlands of the Rhine valley, where you will roll past fields of potatoes, corn, vegetables, tobacco,and hops for Alsatian beer on the way from or to the wonderful art cities of Colmar*** and Strasbourg*** .

Recomended side-trips on bike or foot from the main route enter the Vosges mountains. They pass through forests of pine, spruce, and hardwoods, by ruined castles, and to view points over the plain far below.

Excellent Alsatian cooking combines French and German traditions: Choucroute (sauerkraut, but much better tasting than sauerkraut elsewhere)— accompanied with boiled potatoes and with chicken, or sausages, or ham or salmon; foie gras; cutlets; and "flamekuche", a thin, crisp Alsatian pizza sprinkled with salt pork and other ingredients. In the summer be sure and try the home-made pies (tartes) of mountain blueberries and don't miss tasting the beyond-comparison local plums called quetches (purple) and mirabelles (yellow).

The Alsatian wine villages produce a panoply of white wines (and a few red ones), of which the best and most aristocratic are dry to fruity "Rieslings"—to accompany meals; and the spicy "Gewurztraminer" for use as an aperitif or dessert wine. Locals often prefer to drink a less strong "Sylvaner" or "Tokay" with their meals, as they are less strong in taste, and toast special occasions with a bubbly "Crémant d'Alsace", produced by the Champagne method.

I rate Alsace cycling as "Excellent", but only if you are comfortable riding in traffic or in rolling hills. . The roads which make up the Route du Vin are not wide enough for bicycles to have their own "lane", and traffic ranges in general from "light plus" to "moderate". In some casesl, it is possible to avoid the traffic by taking hilly vineyard lanes. A few short blocks require walking your bike or riding in heavy traffic; there are also a few bike paths. Many cyclists do ride the main Route du Vin, ignoring the traffic.

The terrain along the wine route is lightly rolling or rolling with a handful of short, steep hills. If you make any of the highly recommended climbs to visit the Vosges mountains, whether by bike or on foot, or both, you will need to be in fairly good shape. (As a fallback, do visit the Vosges by sag wagon, rented car, or taxicab.)

Please refer to Bicycle Touring in Europe for important background on touring styles, transportation, bike types, rentals, maps, information sources, traffic ratings, packing, and security and safety tips. Refer to this page for information on French pronunciation, French bicycle nomenclature, and French road signs. Star symbols in the text show ratings given by the Michelin green guide books, which the author likes and uses. Three stars mean worth a journey; two, worth a detour; and one, interesting.

When To Go: Bike Alsace from May until mid-October. The best chance of dry weather comes in midsummer, but also the possibility of heat waves that would require an early morning start. To see the flower-bedecked village houses in their glory, which adds substantially to the enjoyment of the trip, bike Alsace in June or thereafter. In early October comes the wine harvest, and many harvest festivals.

Attractions: The extraordinary villages of the Wine Road*** are the number one attraction of this trip. All are worth a visit. To be singled out are Riquewihr***, a village that has been compleltely spared the ravages of war—now visited by so many tourists that stores now cater to them exclusively, but which , nonetheless, maintains its tremendous charm and medieval character; Kaysersberg** (of great charm and containing the natal home of Dr. Albert Schweitzer); and Ribeauvillé *. To obtain information on all the Wine Route towns, visit their tourist offices, or obtain a good guide book for Alsace.

The Vosges mountains have much to offer. Reasonably fit bikers, or hikers should climb to the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle** (an ancient castle reconstructed starting in 1900 to a modern conception of its 15th century state) by the German emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II .

The author also strongly recommends the climb from Barr to Sainte Odile**, a monastery in the Vosges Mountains with a beautiful church and chapels, as well as fine views of the mountains and Rhine valley below. In the surrounding forest you will discover the still partially standing remains of a 10 kilometer (6 mile) long "pagan wall", originally 9-12 feet high, built using unique techniques at least 7 centuries BC by visitors to the region, perhaps from Crete, Greece, or the Middle East. Both the castle and the monestary-wall sites are located about 500 meters (1,800 feet) above the wine route. More details are given in the itinerary. (In the author's opinion, cyclists who choose not to ride or hike to these monuments should arrange to go to them by sag wagon, taxi, rented car, or tour bus).

Very fit cyclists with extra time (and a favorable weather forecast) may care to bike up to the Route des Crêtes*** highway at about 3,600 feet, and from there to visit the Hohneck*** peak at 1,362 meters (4,468 feet) or the Grand Ballon***, Alsace's highest peak at 1,424 meters (4,671 feet).

The art-endowed and handsome towns of Colmar*** and Strasbourg*** begin and end this suggested tour of Alsace. Strasbourg is the seat of the European legislature, and you may be able to visit the legislative buildings north of the city center. The Strasbourg cathedral is sensational, as are views along the narrow Ill river in La Petit France.

Strasbourg has barred most automobile traffic from the center of the city; and favored bicycles and trams (streetcars). This has reduced pollution, but substantially hurt business. The feelings you get visiting in the day or night thus are different than in other cities, and you can draw your own conclusions as to the merits of banning the automobile.

Colmar's old city contains very impressive 13th - 16th century architecture, and in the Unterlinden Museum, the 16th century, multi-part Altar of Issenheim is one of Europe's great art works.

How To Bike It: To bike in Alsace, organize the trip your self. A handful of commercial tours cover the region sketchily (at best), often in combination with the German Black Forest or other areas.

Clicking on any picture in this column enlarges it.
Clicking on a red bar under a picture, enlarges it more.
Colmar street.
Map of central Colmar.
The main part of the Issenheim Altar, a great masterpiece in the Unterlinden Museum, Colmar.
Please do click on the picture above to see enlargments of the above photo, and also four painted panels that covered the Altar.
Vat, Unterlinden Museum.
Approach to Ingersheim.
Vineyards from Sigolsheim.
Seen in Kinzheim.
Kaysersberg 1628 House.
Riqwihr Building.
Riqwihr Windows.
Ribeauvillé Square.
Haut Koenigsbourg, above the vinyards.
Clicking on any picture in this column enlarges it.
Clicking on a red bar under a picture, enlarges it more.
Hotel, Itterswiller.
Click for arge-sized
hiking and biking map,
Barr to Saint Odile.
Chapel at Sainte Odile.
Sainte Odile observation terrace.
Angels in Sainte Odile chapel.
Alsatian man before the Pagan Wall near Sainte Odile, built 2,600 years ago by an unknown people.
Top view of Pagan Wall stones, showing notches. The closest similar construction is at Delphi, Greece.
Dovetail found burried near wall, from approximately 646 BC.
Cathedral door, Strasbourg.
Maison Kammersell, near Cathedral in Strasbourg.
Ill river in Strasbourg.
Strasbourg map.
Clicking on any picture in this column enlarges it.
Clicking on a red bar under a picture, enlarges it more.

Organizing the Trip Yourself:

To print itinerary, select the text below, and choose print selection.

Please follow this link for an explanation of the author's traffic ratings.

Distance: 65-67 miles (108- 112 kilometers) plus the first day optional ride from Strasbourg to Colmar by the flat Alsace plain of 48 miles (79 km), plus any mountain detours or visits that can add an additional 3 to 75 miles (5 to 125 kilometers).

Time: About one week. One or two initial days from Strasbourg to Colmar*** (across the plain, either by bike or by train)and five (5) biking/walking days on the fabulous Route du Vin. A trip to the crest of the Vosges*** by very fit bikers will add at least two long and hard days. A trip to Hochwald* adds a day.

Starting and ending point: Strasbourg***. From Paris, one train a day each way carries assembled bikes. Trains carrying assembled bicycles also connect Strasbourg with Lyon, Brussels, Basel, Frankfort and Munich. (See "Trains and Bicycles"for further other bike transportation alternatives.)

Rentals: The city of Strasbourg subsidizes the local rental of city bicycles, but these are not suitable for an Alsatian tour. To the best of the author's knowledge (summer 2002) the only shop renting road bicycles in the Strasbourg area is: Espace Cycles, 17 rue de la Brigade d'Alsace-Lorraine, 67000 Strasbourg, Telephone 03-88-35-31-81. They are located only a few blocks south of the Cathedral and have (only) 4 bicycles for rent (with solid frames, low-end equipment, a rear rack, and fenders) In summer call a week to a month ahead. Their pedals are flat, so if possible, bring your own pedals from home, along with your panniers. The tires on these road bikes are 38 mm wide and inflate to about 60 psi; the gearing is suitable for mountains. Rates are reasonable.

Hotels and Restaurants: Most towns and villages mentioned in the itinerary have several hotels and restaurants. Some hotel rooms, in 2003, can be obtained for under $50 a night, even in Strasbourg. There are also Gites with small rooms costing as little as $25 per room in Ribeauville and other towns. Many towns have campsites.

Maps and Guide Books: On this circuit, the villages are sufficiently close, and the road network dense, so that the author recommends using 1:100,000 IGN maps, specifically maps #12 and #31, although a 1:200,000 Michelin map will do in a pinch. Obtain a guidebook for Alsace, or stop in each town's tourist office for town maps and local site descriptions. The author understands, but has not confirmed, that there is a Michelin map for the region which shows the local vineyard lanes. As an alternative, one can go to the Via Michelin site and manipulate and print their Alsace map at a high magnification: You might also look at the Route Planner on, or perhap more useful, the site:

Baggage Transfer: Companies organizing self-guided tours usually provide baggage transfer, but are more expensive than a self-organized tour. The following site provides a list of hotels that will transfer your baggage onward to your next stop, occasionally free, usually for a fee. The only way to learn the fee will be to contact the hotel with your itinerary. Other hotels, not listed, might provide such a service on special request if contacted.


Day 1, Strasbourg*** to Colmar***: Arrive Strasbourg*** in the morning by a train that carries bicycles or using a housse. (Or possibly rent a bike locally the day before.) If you arrive by airplane, the airport is 12 kilometers, mainly by bike path or bike lane, from the train station.

Continue by train or by bicycle to Colmar***. Many trains from Strasbourg to Colmar carry assembled bicycles. Visit Colmar***.

To bike from Strasbourg to Colmar through the almost entirely flat Alsace plain, exit the city to the South along the "Canal du Rhône au Rhin. You may obtain a free bicycle map of the Strasbourg area from the Tourist Office near the Cathedral (or at the train station). To get to the route without a map, follow these directions: From the front of the Cathedral, walk your bike directly away from the front of the Cathedral down the touristy little street to Place Gutenberg. Turn left and ride across the little river. Now, sometimes on a bike route, turn right and ride along the quais (= streets along the river bank) past three bridges until you reach the short street to the right which leads to the covered bridge.

[If coming from the rail station, ride straight ahead to the little river, cross this and turn right, then continue several blocks, crossing the covered bridge.)

From the covered bridge (near La Petite France), a bike path heads south along the river, which will be on your right. This curves left and turns right to cross a bridge over a canal, then turns back right again, and curves left to continue in a southerly direction, along the Canal du Rhône au Rhin.

About 8 km south of the Strasbourg center, you will pass under a series of power lines and a major multi-lane highway. If the going on the bike path is too slow for you (as it was for the author), you may wish to turn left on any of the next five roads, and then right on highway D468, which heads south. This may carry some traffic bound for Germany for about 15 kilometers, as well as local traffic. About 10 km south of the above-mentioned power lines, you can branch left, if desired on D426 or shortly thereafter (and probably much less traffic) D320, which leads to D20 along the Rhine River heading south.

From the canal bike path or from D468 at Artzenheim, turn right onto D3. If coming down D20, turn right onto D3 and follow this through Artzenheim. After Artzenheim, once over the canal, bear left immediately from D3 onto D111. Be sure to bear left again on D111 through Mutzenheim. Continue to Horbourg and into central Colmar. Follow signs to the "Centre Ville". The total distance is about 79 kilometers, or about 84 if following the Rhine on D20.

If you love art, be sure to visit Colmar's Unterlinden Museum, and particularly the Issneheim Altar therein. It has many panels, all masterpieces. Please do click here to see a photo layout of the Altar. (With a slow connection, it may take a while to load.)

Day 2, Colmar*** to Ribeauvillé*: Exit Colmar*** by the Route d'Ingersheim (N2415), which has a bike lane for most of the way to Ingersheim, about 4.5 km distant. [To get on this route, with your right shoulder facing the entrance to the Colmar tourist office, follow the rue Des Unterlinden for just over a block and bear slightly to the right.] For the last kilometer or so to Ingersheim, you will encounter heavy traffic. You may prefer to walk your bike on the sidewalk. Turn right on D 10. This first tiny section of the Route du Vin has heavy traffic as well, until after its crossing of N415 at the exit of the town, so you may wish to walk your bike through town.

Do not take N415 to go to Kaysersburg, unless you enjoy heavy traffic; take either the Route du Vin (D10) to D16, or a back road which branches right off N415 after one kilometer. If you follow the Route du Vin and D16 you will ride twice through Sigolsheim and Kientzheim.

Kaysersberg** (12 - 14 km from Colmar) is a very charming, must see town, with several picturesque sections to explore, and contains the home where Albert Schweitzer was born .

Follow D16 back to the Route du Vin, turn left (D10 - changes to D1 bis or D1"), and continue northwards through Bennwihr, and Mittelwihr. Branch left on D3 to Riquewihr***. Riquewihr has not been damaged by either World War, and its architecture remains essentially as it was during the 16th century. It is full of tourists, and shops catering to tourists, but definately worth a visit of an hour or two anyway (10 km from Kaysersberg).

From Riquewihr, ride downhill, taking the left branch of D3, back to the Route du Vin. You pass by Zellenberg and arrive at Ribeauvillé*, a large town with many handsome buildings— the end of today's ride (5 km from Riquewihr, 30 km from Colmar). Illhaeusern, with its renowned Michelin three star restaurant and expensive inn, lies 9 kilometers to the east along D106.

How to reach the Vosges Crest: If you are planning to visit the crest of the Vosges mountains, and the weather is good, ride from Colmar to Ingersheim, as above, but take D10 in the southern direction (opposite from that described above) to Turckheim, Wihr-au-Val, and Munster, and then D417 up to the Col de la Schlucht (hotels, altitude,3,900 feet, distance about 33 kilometers).

The next day follow the Route Des Crêtes (D430) south to visit the Hohneck*** and perhaps the Grand Ballon*** (via D431, about 30 km from the Col de la Schlucht), before descending back on D431 through Markstein to where route D17 descends down to Metzeral and to Muhlbach (hotel) or Munster (hotels) (total distance 46 or 60 kilometers!). The next day follow D10 back from Munster to Ingersheim and the wine towns mentioned above. This circuit adds two days.

Day 3, Ribeauvillé* to Andlau*: (If you are not taking either side trip to climb above the Alsace plain, you can combine Day 3 and Day 4 into one day.) From Ribeauville*, follow D 1-bis through Bergheim, and Rorschwihr to St. Hipppolyte (7 km). (If you are not climbing to Haut Koenigsbourg**, continue on to Kintzheim.)

The following climb is recommend if you are a fit rider, but is, in the author's mind, less interesting, educational, and varried than the climb recommended for tomorrow. So if you are only going to make one climb, and weather permits, you should do that one.

Turn left at St. Hipolite, following signs, and ride (or walk!) your bike through the vineyards to the Castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg**, which is a climb of approximately 550 meters in 4.5 kilometers (1,800 feet in 2.7 miles) or about a 12% grade. The ruins of the previous chateau were given to the German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, in 1900. He rebuilt the chateau—according to German ideas of what it would have been in the 15th century. The castle, which is open for public visit, commands a view in all directions. After your visit, descend by D159 to Kintzheim.

You are now in the French department of Bas Rhin (lower Rhine), as opposed to Haut Rhin (upper Rhine) where you have been cycling since Colmar. From Kintzheim, you may wish to make a 5 km detour to Sélestat*, a large town with all services and several interesting churches. The next village on the Route du Vin (now D35) is Châtenoi. Follow D35 on to Scherwiller and Dambach-la-Ville, a picturesque town worth a careful visit. The next towns are Blienschwiller, Nothalten, Zoll and Itterswiller. Spend the night in Andlau*, a lovely little town nestled between mountain flanks (31 km from Ribeauvillé, 38 kilometers with the detour to visit Haut-Koenigsbourg). When passing the church of Andlau*, pay special attention to the porch and lovely carvings over the door.

You will undoubtedly notice that the towns of Bas Rhin are deorated less ornately than those you have visited heretofore. The wines of the Haut Rhin commanded a higher price than those of the Bas Rhin; thus more funds were available for decor. (It was said that the micro-climate of the Colmar area produces a better wine than that of further north; whether this distinction between the quality of the wines is valid today is a subject of debate.)

Day 4, Andlau* to Obernai**: From Andlau* follow D62 (and D35 ?) to Mittelbergheim and Barr (about 4 km total). Climbing into Mittelbergheim, you have the only steep hill of your trip on the Route du Vin. The town hall in Barr is quite lovely. You will notice the increasing use of a salmon-colored sandstone in the Barr buildings, and from Barr further north. The Vosges mountains north of the Bruche River (about 12 km further north) are composed of this "Grès", i.e., sandstone, whereas to the south they are "Cristalline", i.e., granitic.

If you are not taking the highly recommended detour discussed in the following paragraphs, continue on the Route du Vin (D35) through Heiligenstein, and at D109 turn right and descend to Obernai** (12 kilometers in total from Andlau*). Obernai is a large and touristy town, with many old houses. Key sights are the Town Hall*, the Market Place*, the Chapel Tower*, the "Halle aux Blés"* (wheat hall) and the ramparts, which you can tour on foot.

Barr —Sainte Odile hike or bike:

The author had in-laws living in Alsace, and over many years has taken many different hikes into the Vosges mountains above the Wine Route. He has always particularly appreciated the hike from Barr to the Sainte Odile Monastery** (vertical elevation of 564 meters or 1,850 feet).

The Barr to Sainte Odile route may also be biked in about 12 kilometers, on the highway or by using a combination of the highway and some vineyard and forest roads. In the author's opinion, the bike trip provides many but not all of the pleasures of the hike. For those who are willing, and who have suitable biking or tennis shoes, the author recommends hiking; if you decide to go by bike, you should strongly consider taking the first stretch of the ascent on the vineyard and forest roads, which initially ascend quite steeply, so that you may have to walk your bike for a few minutes.

On foot (allow 5.5 - 6 hours total): From the bookstore in Barr at the lower (in elevation) end of the Grand Rue, buy a hiking map for Barr to Saint-Odile to Obernai 1:25,000 . This is not completely necessary, as the trails are well marked, but it will give you more flexibility and confidence, for a more enjoyable trip.

Leave Barr behind the church behind Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville), by the lane that climbs northeastwardly directly above the town among vineyards to the easternmost point on the hill (called Kirschberg). Turn westward (trail signposted with red rectangles) and enter the forest. Stay on the road, relatively flat, until the Moen Kalb forest restaurant (you might want to eat here on your descent; enquire)..

Continue up, northward, (red rectangles) to the ruined château of Landsberg. Visit the ruins. From Landsberg follow the trail signs up to the Kiosk Jadelot and the Wachstein, and the Maennelstein overlooks. From here follow signs to Sainte Odile**, crossing the Bloss (plateau) on the trail with red rectangles, or following the Mur Paien trail counterclockwise around the Bloss plateau to Sainte Odile. On or near the main trail is the fenced-in area that encloses the area where an Airbus crashed in 1992. Three tall triangular pillars are erected as memorials. Details on the sights of the area follow.

By bicycle (allow 4 hours total): Leave Barr near the church behind Town Hall (Hôtel de Ville) by the lane that climbs northeastward directly above the town in the vineyards to the easternmost point on the hill (called Kirschberg). (Walk your bike if necessary up this hill, if the road is too steep. You can also take a less steep road (see photo) by first turning left and then sharply back right. At the top of this hill, turn westward (trail signposted with red rectangles) and enter the forest. Stay on the road until the Moen Kalb forest restaurant.

After the Moen Kalb forest restaurant, continue on the same forest road until it intersects with Highway D854 coming up from Barr. Turn right at this intersection, left at the next, and right at the next. (These last two intersections have signs for Sainte Odile). Lock your bike in front of the monastery. You can avoid the initial steep ascent from Barr by following Highway D854 from town, but this route is definitely less picturesque. To locate the highway, proceed westward from the center part of the town, staying in the continually narrowing valley.

Saint Odile: Visit the monastery gardens with its Romanesque chapels covered in golden mosaics, and with its fabulous viewpoints over the surounding valleys and the plains of Alsace. Also be sure and go inside the main building to see the chapel with the reliquary of Sainte Odile, the patron saint of Alsace; a small nearby 11th century chapel with the remains of Sainte Odile's parents; and the church, decorated with emotionally moving, exquisitely-detailed, painting-like panels of wood inlay created by the master artist-craftsman Spindler in the early 20th century (or late 19th?). At Sainte Odile you can also buy souvenirs, lunch, or a snack.

Pagan Wall: In the nearby forest, visit several parts of the Mur Paien (Pagan Wall), a 10 kilometers long, 3000 year-old wall, 3-3.5 meter high and 1.7 to 1.8 meters thick ( in American units, 6 miles long, 10 to 11 feet high and 6 feet thick), now only partly standing, built with unique construction methods by a people who clearly were not Celts, but visitors from Greece, Crete, or the Middle East. The top of the wall was held together by tenons placed in notches. Apart from another similar wall (less than a kilometer long on a hill 20 kilometers distant that is visible from the Mur Paien), the nearest use of the same construction methods is said to be in Delphi, Greece. Tree ring analysis of one of the tenons (discovered in an archeological dig) has dated it to 646 BC. Parts of the wall were reconstructed in the Roman era; and later on, many stones were removed to build some of the chateaux, now in ruins, which encircle the area.

To return to Barr on foot, follow the same trails, or others selected from your map. Pick up you bicycle and continue to Heiligenstein, and Obernai.

If on bicycle, to continue from Ste. Odile , facing the front of Sainte Odile,take a steep, narrow road descending on the left that leads to St-Jacques (D33) and then to St. Nabor (by D109). From St. Nabor follow signs to Obernai**, passing through Bernardswiller on the way. The total biking distance from Andlau to Obernai via the Sainte Odile monastery is 25 to 29 kilometers.

From Saint Odile** a pleasant, relatively flat, mountain detour (via N426 to the southwest) leads to Le Hochwald*, a pleasing mountain village, where a night may be spent. Or you can ride to Le Hochwald via the Vosges crest at the Champ du Feu*, involving a long assent and a long descent. From Le Hochwald*, the next day, descend to Andlau (see end of Day 3, above) by D425 (8 kilometers), and ride directly to Obernai**.).

Day 5, Obernai to Strasbourg***: To avoid increasing traffic after Obernai**, you might want to leave the Route du Vin immediately. If so, from Obernai bike eastward to Meistratzheim, and then north to Krautergersheim. If staying on the Route du Vin, visit Boersch and Roseheim*. You should definitely now bike towards Strasbourg, as the next town on the Route, Molsheim, is a busy industrial city. Ride eastwards to Bischoffsheim and Krautergersheim.

Now, in either case, turn north on D215 to Innenheim, follow D147 for 7 kilometers, via Duttlenheim, to the Bruche stream, and take the Bruche Bikepath on your right into central Strasbourg*** (35 to 39 kilometers). Spend the rest of the day exploring Strasbourg.

The Cathedral of Strasbourg*** is wonderful by day and by night. The facade is considered to be a masterwork of gothic craftmanship. The carving around the central door is quite wonderful. Inside in an astronomic clock made in 1838, with various robots performing actions every 15 minutes. Concerts are performed in the Cathedral. In the Museum of Notre-Dame*** are displayed many midieval and Renaissance artworks. Several other museums, such as the ones in the Château of Rohan** (archeology, decorative arts), have marvelous collections.

The Street of the Bain-aux-Plates** and the area called La Petite France**both on the water, are very charming. Strasbourg has countless cafés, beer halls and restaurants. Excursion boats ply the Ill river surrounding the center of the town. With a reservation, you can make an hour-long guided visit to the European Parliament and European Council buildings.

Day 6: Continue visiting Strasbourg, and depart.

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