Great in its diversity, Alsace Verte conceals a multitude of emblematic places to discover.
Whether you are a history buff, a hiking enthusiast, an amateur photographer, a Sunday explorer, you are bound to find what you are looking for.
Go green by exploring Alsace Verte!
Impregnable fortress which overlooks the Northern Vosges like a ghost ship perched at an altitude of 358 m, Fleckenstein castle is undoubtedly the most emblematic of the ten fortified castles that lie dormant in the forests of Alsace Verte. Built in 12th century on an impressive rocky outcrop, it was destroyed without fighting by the armies of Louis XIV in 1680. Today it is a site much appreciated by visitors. For budding knights, the Castle of Challenges® offers a medieval adventure in the castle and in the forest.
New for 2021, the Chemin des Cimes Alsace will gradually take you above the treetops, to the top of the 29-meter viewing tower. Among the highest points in the area, it offers a 360° panorama of the Northern Vosges, the Rhine plain and the Black Forest. Discovery stations along the way and a 75-meter slide inside the tower will make your experience even more fun!
Listed among the Most Beautiful Detours in France, on the Route des Châteaux, the fortified city of Wissembourg is a small tourist town full of charm which is indeed worth the detour. It has developed over the centuries around the Benedictine abbey on the banks of the Lauter river and has known a prosperous but also tumultuous past, as evidenced by its remarkable built heritage: the church of Saints-Pierre-et-Paul, the Maison du Sel, the Town Hall, the Stanislas Palace, the Bruch district, the ramparts...
La Pretzel factory presents a visit area of more than 5 m² you will discover the history of the Bretzel, this famous Alsatian aperitif biscuit. You will also be able to observe all the stages of their manufacture, from the preparation of the dough to the bags of pretzels of the brand. Boehli ready to be consumed, without forgetting their tasting at the end of the course at the Bretzel-Bar! The Bretzel will have no more secrets for you!
The Schoenenbourg fort in Hunspach and the work of the Lime Kiln in Lembach are two major sites of the Maginot line; this defensive line located about ten kilometers from the German border which it was to protect during the Second World War. Visiting these concrete giants, 30 meters underground, will immerse you in the daily lives of soldiers.
Highest point of the Northern Vosges with its 581 meters of altitude, the Grand Wintersberg is a very popular place for walkers and hikers. It is also an emblematic place for the development of hiking in the Massif des Vosges. Witness its 25-meter panoramic tower built between 1889 and 1890 by the Club Vosgien, whose many volunteers have marked out and maintained the hiking trails since the end of the 19th century.
The Overseas Rural House
Old farmhouse, typical of this corner of Alsace, the Overseas Rural House is now a heritage interpretation center dedicated to Alsatian popular arts and traditions. Throughout the year, over the seasons, it allows you to learn more about the habitat, the way of life, the traditions and the know-how in the Alsatian countryside between 1920 and 1950.
Alsace contains oil in its subsoil and it is not in Texas or in Saudi Arabia, but in Pechelbronn, at the 18th century, that the first oil exploitation site opened in the world, making the Pechelbronn region the cradle of the oil industry. The French Petroleum Museum retraces 500 years of oil history in Northern Alsace; from the use of this oil from the end of the Middle Ages to the closure of the refinery in 1970.
Alsace Verte is a destination resolutely focused on well-being. It is fortunate to have two spas, those of Morsbronn les Bains et Niederbronn-les-Bains, the only thermal spas in Alsace. There are also several spas and other addresses dedicated to well-being, and above all a natural environment conducive to relaxation and rejuvenation with the Regional Natural Park of the Northern Vosges, classified as a World Biosphere Reserve.
Along with that of Wissembourg, the Cleebourg vineyard is the gateway to the Alsace Wine Route. It extends over 200 hectares of south and south-west facing hillsides in the communes of Cleebourg, Rott, Oberhoffen-lès-Wissembourg, Steinseltz and Riedseltz, and benefits from 10 exceptional “locality” terroirs. The seven Alsatian grape varieties are refined, vinified and blended in the Cellar of Cleebourg, a cooperative winery that brings together the productions of more than 150 winegrowers.
The village of Betschdorf, one of the two pottery villages in Alsace, still has several potters who perpetuate this ancestral know-how which is the salt stoneware technique, a particular process introduced in Betschdorf at the beginning of the 18th century by potters from Westerwald (Rhineland-Palatinate). Betschdorf pottery, utilitarian and decorative, produced in their workshops are recognizable by their gray color and their cobalt blue patterns.
These traditional villages typical of this part of northern Alsace have managed to retain their authenticity. They are called "white villages" in reference to their white half-timbered houses. And how to evoke them without speaking of Hunspach, labeled Most Beautiful Villages of France and elected Favorite Village of the French 2020! A few minutes away are those of Seebach, Hoffen, Hohwiller… A little further, Betschdorf, Schleithal, Kutzenhausen, Birlenbach...
Alsace Verte is full of unmissable nuggets