Alsace

February 16, 2016 Regional guides

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Alsace

  • Capital: Strasbourg
  • Population: 1,624,000 (2,9% of French population)
  • Specialities: White wine (Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir), Alsace-style Garnished Sauerkraut, Flammekueche (Cheese and onion crisp pie) Flammeküeche), Alsace Apple Pie, Onion Flan, Pikeperch with Riesling, Munster mountain cheese, Kougelhopf…

Background on Alsace

At the crossroads in the centre of Europe, Alsace has been at the heart of events since the beginning of time. It is also the site of some of the European civilisation’s finest achievements. Alsace is one of the most active regions, offering a unique combination between the art of living and an extremely varied historic, traditional, gastronomic, natural and cultural heritage.

Alsace is the smallest French region in terms of Area. Administratively it is made up of two departments: Haut-Rhin close to Switzerland, main towns are Colmar and Mulhouse, and just above Bas-Rhin with Strasbourg, Alsace’s and Europe’s capital. In 1979 The European Parliament held its first session in Strasbourg bringing Alsace into the heart of the new Europe.

There is a vast range of affordable leisure activities, such as golfing, cycling or discovering Alsace’s waterways, the charms of its wines … The region has many lakes, dams and rivers, making it the perfect place for dedicated fishermen. Rainbow trout, grayling, brown trout, carp, tench, pike are there for the taking.

Alsace has preserved and protected its fascinating natural heritage. It has the greatest number of feudal castles in Europe, a sign of its tumultuous history. Traces of more than 400 of them have been discovered mostly in ruins, and one hundred are relatively intact.

There are over 10,000 miles of signposted footpaths through unspoilt land, which hides secret lakes, festivals and fairs, vast forests and rounded hills. From public parks to botanical gardens, historic estates to contemporary landscapes, all are welcome. The rich forests along the Rhine host the second largest bird watch of the country.

“A small glass of Alsace wine is like a summer dress or a spring flower; it’s a ray of sunshine that makes life brighter,” said Christian Dior. Alsace is the only region of France to continue the tradition of making varietal wines only. It has seven delicious grape varieties plus wines made with late harvested grapes that connoisseurs consider a rare pleasure. Alsace is a region of tradition and fine cuisine that has long emphasised the quality of its products. A warm and friendly traditional atmosphere, regional dishes with a creative touch, adding spices or flowers of beer Alsace is home to some of the greatest names in French gastronomy, with 28 starred restaurants.

Strasbourg International Airport enjoys great development and is the Gateway to Europe with 60 intra-european scheduled destinations and over 600 weekly flights. At the crossroads of north-south and east-west routes, Alsace is well connected to the European motorway network and has excellent road connections. The high speed TGV train links to Paris and main French cities.

Whether you’re looking for an adventure in the treetops, in the depths of the earth, or a trip back in time, you’ll find everything in Alsace to satisfy your thirst for adventure and your curiosity. Come and explore a region that has managed to maintain its traditions, its memories of an eventful past, and its architectural heritage.

Facts and figures

  • Capital: Strasbourg
  • Population: 1,624,000 (2,9% of French population)
  • Density: 200 per sq. km (France = 108,2 per sq. km)
  • Area: 8,280 sq. km (3,196 sq. miles) representing 1,5% of France
  • Economy: Services (67,4%), industry (30,5%), agriculture (2,1%)
  • Specialities: White wine (Sylvaner, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir), Alsace-style Garnished Sauerkraut, Flammekueche (Cheese and onion crisp pie) Flammeküeche), Alsace Apple Pie, Onion Flan, Pikeperch with Riesling, Munster mountain cheese, Kougelhopf…

Tourism

  • Splendid forests / 10,000 miles of signposted footpaths
  • The Massif des Vosges National park (3,000km2)
  • Weather: warm summers, cold winters. Protected from westerly winds by the Vosges mountains.
  • 200 castles, 47 of them listed Historic monuments
  • 80 museums (Mulhouse is France’s 2nd city for museum attendance)
  • Modern art galleries
  • Rhine Opera (National Opera) and Philarmonic Orchestra
  • More than 4,500 fetes, festivals and events throughout the year
  • 725 hotels, 112 camp sites and 1,527 rural lodgings

Important Links

To find out more about the Alsace region visit:

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