Carnet de Voyage: Festive Wonderland in Alsace (Part II)

Carnet de Voyage: Festive Wonderland in Alsace (Part II)

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This is Part II of Sarrah’s festive roadtrip through Alsace. Read Part I here.

In Colmar, we discovered convenience and proximity at a camping-car park on Rue Henry Whilhelm, which is just a short walk from the town centre. It’s important to note that popular accommodations and campsites like Camping de l’Ill Colmar (our initial plan) can fill up quickly, particularly during the Christmas season. So it is advisable to plan your accommodation well in advance for a delightful winter trip to Alsace. 

Colmar welcomed us into a fairy tale illuminated by twinkling lights with the enchanting Petite Venise transporting us to a painting brought to life.  

As we wandered through the cobblestone streets, the delightful aroma of Flammenkuche enticed us into a rustic courtyard where people were dancing to the sounds of Christmas music. Illuminated by fairy lights and with barrels serving as tables, this charming spot became the backdrop for a delightful dinner. 

We indulged in Flammenkuche Gratinée, generously topped with cheese, accompanied by a glass of Pinot Gris and a bottle of Bière de Noel. The XLL Flammenkuche truly lived up to its reputation, delighting my partner’s taste buds with a burst of flavours and textures. Although I couldn’t fully share the same enthusiasm due to my personal aversion to onions, the charming atmosphere and the delightful wine more than made up for it. 

Colmar, like its sister city Strasbourg, boasted multiple markets adorning its illuminated streets and squares. 

The Grande Roue de Colmar caught our attention, promising a thrilling ride in a cabin all to ourselves. Despite the long queue, we couldn’t resist… and was it worth the wait! We soared above the city, marvelling at the panoramic views and feeling like characters in our very own winter fairy tale. And in the same square, we discovered the Gourmet Market, a food lover’s paradise. Nine stalls offered a tempting array of culinary delights. It was truly a feast for our senses. Alas, with bellies full of Flammenkuche, we couldn’t stomach the thought of eating anything else. 

The following day, we embarked on a festive Christmas Shuttle, connecting Colmar to the surrounding villages of Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, and Kayserberg on a loop. This convenient shuttle service, departing from the SNCF station, allowed us to explore the charming villages without the hassle of driving. As first-time winter van travellers, it was the perfect way to experience the magic of Alsace. 

Our first stop was Ribeauvillé, a village straight out of a storybook. The quaint streets were adorned with festive decorations. We strolled through the picturesque alleys, admiring the half-timbered houses and charming shops. 

Next, we ventured to Riquewihr, a village that seemed frozen in time. The medieval architecture and colourful facades painted a whimsical scene. We strolled along the cobblestone streets, popping into artisanal shops and marvelling at the preserved beauty of this fairy tale village. 

Our last stop on the Christmas Shuttle was Kaysersberg, a hidden gem nestled amidst rolling hills and vineyards. The village exuded a peaceful charm, with its timber-framed houses and winding streets. We found respite in a cosy café, sipping on a cup of steaming hot coffee al fresco and indulging in a decadent chocolate moelleux. It was the perfect way to end our winter van trip, savouring the tranquil beauty of Alsace. 

As we bid farewell to the storybook villages of Alsace, we are filled with gratitude for the magical experiences we shared during our first winter van trip. With our self-converted van and our beloved cat as our trusty travel companion, every moment was filled with laughter, adventure, and unforgettable memories. Whether it was sipping on vin chaud by the twinkling lights of Strasbourg or marvelling at the illuminated streets of Colmar, each experience reminded us of the joy of travel and the excitement of exploring new places.

Lead photo credit : Christmas in Alsace © Mirl12/Flickr

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A recent BA Graphic Design graduate from Falmouth University, Sarrah is a travel writer and editorial assistant at France Media Group. Keen to give everything a try, she is a big believer in “you learn something new every day.” From designing to marketing and writing, her interests and curiosity are constantly evolving.

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  • Mellen Candage
    2023-12-20 10:59:29
    Mellen Candage
    The name of the town is Kaysersberg, not Kayserberg. And it's chocolat moelleux, not chocolate.


    • Sophie Gardner-Roberts
      2023-12-24 09:24:15
      Sophie Gardner-Roberts
      Hi there, thank you for spotting the typo, we've just corrected it. As for the moelleux cake, the French name for it is 'moelleux au chocolat' which is often shortened to 'moelleux' in vernacular French. In an English sentence following our style guide, a chocolate moelleux is accepted. Kind regards