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17 September 2020

7 days from £2,295pp

Experience the distinctive culture of Alsace, influenced by its middle-Frankish past as well as its two neighbours, France and Germany. Discover the fascinating city of Strasbourg, sample the delights of the local wine regions and admire the Romano-Byzantine façade of Marmoutier.
  • Enjoy a special wine tasting and lunch in the mediaeval town of Ribeauvillé
  • Study the celebrated Isenheim Altarpiece, Mathis Grünewald’s haunting masterpiece
  • Take a day excursion along the ‘wine road’ and discover pretty towns and precious artistic treasures
  • Explore the magnificent mediaeval Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, with its exceptional panoramic vistas
Claimed, conquered and re-conquered by kings, emperors and generals for more than five centuries, Alsace is neither entirely French nor wholly German, its distinctive culture influenced as much by its middle-Frankish past as by its larger neighbours to the east and west. For centuries one of the most contested borders in Europe.  In 1945 Alsace changed hands for the fourth time in just 75 years. Today, however, the region at the centre of Western Europe seems to embody the transformation of international relations since World War Two. Its largest city, Strasbourg, our base for this tour, represents a delicate but still intact European unity as the seat of the European Parliament, and both city and region exemplify much of the very best of continental culture, from Strasbourg’s intimate mediaeval core to the celebrated vineyards and villages of the Route des Vins.  The complex but prosperous history of the region is reflected in these handsome towns, which mix German and French styles with a distinct Alsatian vernacular, most notably their traditional half-timbered houses. We will visit some of the finest examples of this architecture, including Obernai, with its well-preserved mediaeval walls, Colmar, home to Grünewald’s preternatural Isenheim Altarpiece, and the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg, an imposing 12th century castle set in the thickly forested Vosges mountains. These are all located on the so-called wine road, and wine will of course be a feature of the tour, with a tasting combined with lunch in the lovely village of Ribeauvillé.

Your Accommodation

Hotel Hannong, Strasbourg

Full of charm, luxury and design, the four star Hotel Hanong is well-placed in the centre of the historic town, close to main tourist attractions. 
Room Facilities & Amenities
  • En suite bathroom
  • Tea and coffee making facilities
  • Safe
  • TV