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car touring in france - calais to alsace

Sheffield, United...
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car touring in france - calais to alsace

I am thinking of doing a driving holiday in France. Never planned a trip like this before and don't really know where to start. I know roughly that I will use eurotunnel to Calais, then would like to meander down to the Alsace wine region, go round it, then return to Calais. Not keen on driving more then 100 miles in a day. Ideally would like to base myself in 2 or 3 locations for 3 nights each. Have Strassbourg and Colmar in mind - can you get local wine tours on a coach so I can enjoy the tastings. What is there to see there and on route ? Can you get a boat trip on the Rhine ? Can you cross over to Germany ? Where would that be and is it worth it ? Whats a good time of year to go etc etc Will be travelling as a couple or plus another couple. Budget around £2,000. Like to stay in 3* plus places. Friends like to get out every day, I'm happy to lounge the odd day. So places they can reach without the car would be good.

May

Alsace, France
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1. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

Wow May! This is quite a big ask!! But I'll try to deal with the basics and you can come back and ask more questions. And I'm sure that other members will help out too!

<<I am thinking of doing a driving holiday in France. Never planned a trip like this before and don't really know where to start. I know roughly that I will use eurotunnel to Calais, then would like to meander down to the Alsace wine region, go round it, then return to Calais. Not keen on driving more then 100 miles in a day. >>>

Well you'll need some time for this because it's about 500 km from Alsace to Calais! First port of call should be www.viamichelin.fr which will help with driving times, distances and toll costs.

<<Ideally would like to base myself in 2 or 3 locations for 3 nights each. Have Strassbourg and Colmar in mind >>

Sounds good so far.

<<- can you get local wine tours on a coach so I can enjoy the tastings. >>

This is a very big ask. You don't say when you'll be going. But I'll post openly what I always do when people ask this question.

I suggest you try the following:-

Regioscope (www.regioscope.com/?Rpage=english/?Rpage=)

LCA Top Tours (http://www.alsace-travel.com/at1en..html)

and my personal recommendation - someone I used to work with in the travel trade who runs local cycling and walking tours, plus sometimes private wine tours when his other commitments permit. He is Glenn Ford, an Englishman who has lived locally for about the last 20 years. He's 100% professional and very friendly, but it will depend on his other tours as to what he can offer you. MInd you, a day or half day cycling with him is great fun and nearly always includes a wine tasting.

You can contact Glenn at glenn.ford@bicyclettego.com .

<<What is there to see there and on route ? >>

Too much to tell you in detail .... old castles, wineries, stork and monkey parks, cheese makers, beautiful storybook villages, markets, mountains, farmhouse meals, museums, festivals (depending on when you're travelling) Start here! http://www.tourisme-alsace.com/en/ and contact the Strasbourg and Colmar tourist offices.

<<Can you get a boat trip on the Rhine ? >>

You can do a lovely tour of Strasbourg on the River Ill. http://www.batorama.fr/

There are day trips TO the Rhine on the canals from Colmar http://www.aqua-decouverte.com/

There are also boat trips from Breisach, just across the Rhine from France, try the Breisach Tourist Office www.mythische-orte.com/index.php?setLang=enin . Breisach is in Germany about an hour's drive east from Colmar.

<<Can you cross over to Germany ? Where would that be and is it worth it ?>>

Easily! Best border points are Strasbourg-Kehl and Neuf-Brisach-Breisach (near Colmar). Loads to see, even the change in roadsigns, language, food and drink are noticeable. Also the Black Forest is beyond Freiburg im Breisgau, a lovely city with a great market and cathedral.

<< Whats a good time of year to go etc etc>>

Oh come on! Any time, but if you want to go during the Christmas market period (late Nov - Dec) it's getting quite late to book already. Nice autumns and the wine harvest make late Sep-Oct pleasant. ANYTIME.

<<Will be travelling as a couple or plus another couple. Budget around £2,000. Like to stay in 3* plus places. Friends like to get out every day, I'm happy to lounge the odd day. So places they can reach without the car would be good.>>

Contact the Departmental Tourism Office in Haut Rhin (68 - Colmar) http://www.haute-alsacetourisme.com/ and the Departmental Tourism Office in Bas Rhin (67 - Strasbourg) http://www.tourisme67.com/ for details of accommodation and prices. They'll put you on the right track.

I hope you make it here. It's really lovely and even after 20 years, I've still only just scratched the surface.

Sheffield, United...
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2. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

Thank you ever so much for such an extensive reply. I'm looking into all the info you provided. I will probably go for 2 weeks either late September/October if I can work it out by then, or May/June if I can't. Thanks again

Alsace, France
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3. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

You're most welcome. Don't forget that we get loads of Bank Holidays in May - 1, 8 and Ascension Day ... so there are lots of folk on the move and it can be harder to get accommodation. I recommend in any case you book in advance. Don't hesitate to post further questions once you've decided on your dates. All the best.

Sheffield, United...
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4. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

Hi again

There will now be 4 of us and its going to be early next summer. Any particular times in June that are best avoided ?

France
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5. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

June is a good time, not fully busy but good weather. Very marginally better later in June as the geraniums in all the window boxes are fuller, but really whenever fits best your time table is good then.

Alsacianne says it all really but I can add a few things. I often go back to UK and if you want a "loop" route rather than going back the road you already came think about coming down via Belgium and Luxembourg - you can stop off in Luxembourg about 4.5 hours from Calais then have a short drive (200km) to Alsace the next day and go back via Nancy/ Reims and have a break in Reims to stock up on Champagne and a short drive to Calais the next day.

There are a couple of places where you can cross the Rhine on a little (free) ferry instead of a bridge eg at Drusenheim just North of Strasbourg and fun if doing a day trip to Baden Baden.

Alsace, France
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6. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

And you can cross the Rhine on a chain bridge at RHINAU just south of Strasbourg which is a good way to get from there to Europapark if you like scary rides ...

7. Re: car touring in france - calais to alsace

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