Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire.
Spend a week walking in the magnificent Alsatian countryside on the French-German border.
Culture & Natural History
Rail & Walk
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 11050
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Alsace is where French and German cultures have intermingled through the centuries leaving fairy tale villages dotted amidst ancient vineyards as far as the eye can see.
Most of our walks start and end at our hotel in Kaysersberg, (voted France’s favourite town in 2017). Several follow the Sentier Vinicole des Grands Crus, linking other typical Alsatian villages like Riquewihr, Eguisheim and Ribeauvillé, with their red roofs, fountains, cobbled alleyways and half timbered buildings. Some walks undulate through the vineyards heavy with Gewürztraminer and Riesling grapes in the autumn. Others rise to the wooded ridges from where in the distance Germany is visible across the Rhine.
The cities of Colmar and Strasbourg lie a short distance away, possible destinations for a free day. In the evenings, you can enjoy Franco-German gastronomic pleasures such as Flammkuchen or Baeckeoffe in a local restaurant. It will also be possible to visit a local winery to enjoy a tasting of local wines
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Our journey starts by Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord. We will then travel by metro (or walk) to the Gare de L’Est for the TGV to Mulhouse or Colmar and from Mulhouse or Colmar we will transfer by road to Kaysersberg.
Transfer Time = 30m
Our walk today serves as an introduction to the Alsatian countryside. We begin with an orientation walk through Kaysersberg and then walk through vineyards and woodland and across open hillsides with good views of the surrounding area. We return to Kaysersberg through the wine villages of Katzenthal and Ammerschwihr.
We take hired transport to the picturesque medieval village of Eguisheim, birthplace of Pope Leo IX (St Bruno), the only Pope to come from Alsace. We ascend through woodland to reach the Donjons d’Eguisheim, three ruined castle keeps which we can explore. We return to Eguisheim through woodland and vineyards. There should be time for independent exploration of Eguisheim before we take hired transport back to our hotel.
Today is a free day but you do have the option of visiting Colmar for the day. You can take the public bus to Colmar for a day of sightseeing. Colmar is the second largest town in Alsace with many picturesque houses and its fascinating Little Venice district. Strasbourg is also within travelling distance should you wish for another option today.
Did you spot a castle while on the train heading into Colmar on day one? If you did you have an idea of where we are going today. If you didn’t it will be a pleasant surprise! Haut Koenigsbourg is a large hilltop castle, originally built in 12th C but totally rebuilt under Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1900 and 1909. After we have visited the castle we will take a woodland walk to the equally fascinating wine village of Ribeauvillé, stopping en route for a picnic near the tranquil village of Thannenkirch. There will be a chance to explore the village before returning to our hotel in hired transport.
Our walk takes today takes us from Kaysersberg to the picturesque mountain village of Freland, which is completely different from an Alsatian Village as its original inhabitants were Welche people, who spoke a Latin rather than a Germanic language. We will have a chance to visit a fascinating rural museum before returning to our hotel in hired transport.
Today's walk truly represents the name of the holiday as we pass through several wine villages. It is the longest walk of the week but we take it at a moderate pace, stopping at times to reflect on aspects of recent history.
We walk from Kaysersberg to its sister wine village of Kientzheim, home to the organisation which controls the quality of Alsace wines. From there we climb the hill the reach the moving Nécropole Nationale cemetery and war memorial, from where there are extensive views of the surrounding countryside. We continue through vineyards and three more wine villages before reaching Riquewihr, one of the most picturesque villages in Alsace. We will have time to explore Riquewihr before walking back to the hotel.
It is now time to leave. Our return journey to Colmar is by a private transfer vehicle then a train from Colmar to Paris Gare de l'Est. We will then board the Eurostar from Paris Gare du Nord to London St Pancras.
Departure dates for your selected tour
12th Sep 2021 - 19th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)
3rd Oct 2021 - 10th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)
6th May 2022 - 13th May 2022 (7 Nights)
5th Jun 2022 - 12th Jun 2022 (7 Nights)
11th Sep 2022 - 18th Sep 2022 (7 Nights)
2nd Oct 2022 - 9th Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
9th Oct 2022 - 16th Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
On the edge of the historical town of Kaysersberg in Alsace, bordering forest and vineyards, the Hotel les Remparts offers you calm and comfort.
All rooms, located in two buildings, are ensuite with private bar, phone, TV and complimentary Wi-Fi (système WiTou).
The hotel also has a bar, sauna and leisure room (billiard, table tennis).
Nearby there are shops, a post office, restaurants, banks and a tourist office are just a short distance from the hotel. There is also a local market in town on Mondays and Fridays which is worth a look.
The Alsace region is beautiful walking terrain. Our walks follow well-used and well way-marked paths, through forests, fields and across the vineyards. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve up to 750m of ascent and descent, warranting our Grade 5 stamp. However, most of the walks entail much less ascent and descent. In this part of France during May, June and September, the weather is generally warm. June is particularly warm, and this is perfect for growing the vines needed for the wine we are sure you will sample. The maximum altitude we reach on this holiday is 750m.
Kaysersberg is set amongst the vineyards on the lower slopes of the Vosges Mountains. Our walking programme explores both the vineyards and the higher slopes of open woodland, both of which offer some outstanding walking with spectacular views, including some across the Rhine to Germany.
We are walking along the grain of the land and as we walk through villages there are various places to stop for refreshments.
We can also enjoy the higher slopes where the terrain is very different, walking amongst open pasture and woodland. Listen out for the different accent up here; the locals speak the regional Gallo-Romance Welche dialect.
Adding to the variety we will have a day looking around the beautiful old centre of Colmar down in the valley, easily reached on public bus from Kaysersberg. We will also visit the Haut Koenigsbourg castle and the lovely small town of Ribeauvillé. It is possible to visit Strasbourg using public transport if you wanted a non-walking day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
You should allow £10-£15pp for entrance fees.
Currency in France
The currency in France is the euro.
Credit cards are widely accepted. You may be asked to provide ID if you can’t pay by chip and PIN. ATMs are widely available in most towns and villages throughout France.
There are banks in Kaysersberg, with ATM machines. The hotel accepts credit cards but does not change cash or travellers’ cheques.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
Travel is from London St Pancras by Eurostar to Colmar via Paris or Lille.
Please note some dates may be via Lille rather than Paris in either one or both directions which would require a change at Strasbourg for the local train service to Colmar.
Please remember to pack as lightly as possible, as you will have to carry your bag some distance between railway stations/platforms or on the Paris metro.
From Mulhouse (45 minutes) or Colmar (20 minutes) we transfer by road to Kaysersberg.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own travel arrangements including rail to your holiday in France, 'land only' reductions are available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join up with the group at any of the en route railway stations, depending on your travel plans, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. You will however have to book your complete journey to the holiday's final destination railway station. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your train number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included with dinners being a chance to get to know the locals in their nearby restaurants. Breakfasts will be taken in the hotel. Lunches can be purchased at local supermarkets, bakeries, and cafes or restaurants en route meaning you can have the lunch you want.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Please note that in French public swimming pools men are not permitted to wear baggy swimming shorts but must have ‘Speedo’ style trunks or tight fitting longer shorts. Men with incorrect swim wear will not be allowed into the pool.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in France
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Some maps you may find useful for our holiday might be:
You may find a visit to the French Tourism website useful at: www.franceguide.com
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for France
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to France.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
Avg. Rain: 65mm
Avg. Rain: 56mm
Avg. Rain: 55mm
Avg. Rain: 59mm
Avg. Rain: 66mm
Avg. Rain: 58mm
Avg. Rain: 51mm
Avg. Rain: 56mm
Avg. Rain: 66mm
Avg. Rain: 79mm
Avg. Rain: 76mm
Avg. Rain: 74mm
View Dates & Book
Can't find what you're looking for?
Call for help or regional flights on 01707 331133