23 Adorable Alsace Villages for You to Discover (with Local Advice)
Looking at photos of pretty Alsace villages again?
It's so much fun to imagine yourself visiting them all, isn't it? Even if you know you'll have to make some choices eventually about where to go and stay.
Even if it's only for a future Alsace vacation that isn't even on your calendar yet.
Consider this a mini vacation right here right now where you can dream about where you'll go and what you'll do when you finally get to Alsace!
And with this mini guide on Alsace, you'll learn about some villages you might not know yet.
23 Alsace Villages for You to Check Out!
If you want to know more about Alsace, check out these villages.
They aren't all super touristy.
In fact, most of them don't have a single souvenir shop.
But they all have something special to offer.
And just looking at the photos is better than any therapy I know (other than baby animals of course)!
Wissembourg has been around for a really long time (at least since the 600s)!
Even though most of its very early medieval architecture has disappeared, this large village is still a beautiful spot to explore with plenty of old buildings and history from the later Middle Ages and Renaissance periods.
This Alsace town is in the very north of the region. Way at the top, so it's a bit of a drive or ride from most of the touristy parts of Alsace France.
Here is a tiny little village, not too far away from Wissembourg.
Cleebourg is part of what we in Alsace call the "Northern Wine Region" although that makes it sound much bigger than it really is.
Alsace has a tiny area in the very north of Alsace where wine making is allowed. I wouldn't call it the biggest or the best of Alsace. This charming area in Alsace is best known for far more interesting things than wine (if wine isn't really your thing).
3. Niederbronn les Bains
Do you like hiking and nature and castles?
Because Niederbronn les Bains is a little village with a lot of natural beauty...and castles...and other bits of old rocks all over the place.
Even the Romans knew about the healing properties of the natural springs in this Alsace village (as early as 48 BC). And you can still drink (or bathe in it) now. Personally I always buy this mineral water when I find it in shops!
4. La Petite Pierre
La Petite Pierre is a teeny tiny village here in an area with so much natural beauty...and not too many villages.
In fact I think there are more medieval castles than villages in this part of Alsace France.
It's an area that is somewhat "mountainous" without being full fledged mountains. Which makes it great for those of us who aren't quite ready for any serious mountain climbing but love gorgeous views, nature and walking around.
Marlenheim is the northern "gateway" into the Alsace wine region here .
Really, it's a somewhat far suburb of Strasbourg , but it's the door to the wine region in Northern Alsace. Not the touristy parts you are probably hoping to visit. Nor the most famous wine makers either.
Think of it as a quiet area of sleepy villages perfect for biking (not as many steep hills here) and fewer drunk tourists trying to take a photo and drive at the same time!
Still in the wine region, but more famous for something else here in Molsheim!
This large village in Alsace is more famous for its high end sports cars than wine. And if you're ever heard the name Bugatti, you may be surprised to know they are produced here in Alsace.
Of course Molsheim is also a charming small town to discover too.
Not far from Molsheim is the even smaller village of Mutzig.
We're still technically in the wine region, although this village is more famous for its namesake Mutzig beer. And it's a cute village with a lot of history too!
And it was an important part of the German Empire's military strategy before World War One.
Continuing on down the Alsace wine road, you'll find the lovely little village of Rosheim.
If you're looking for some medieval architecture, you'll find some in this small town.
Charming and with plenty of history, you won't regret a stop for a coffee, wine or beer here.
Although, better to stop and have a drink or snack in a café here. Not many wine makers are based in this little village.
Way off the wine road and deep in a mountain valley, you'll find Schirmeck.
Technically you are still in Alsace, but the Lorraine region is not so far away.
And this area has a different language. We call it "Welsche" although it is nothing to do with Wales.
Schirmeck is just the "largest" small town in this mountain valley with many little villages and some interesting historical and cultural surprizes.
Back on the wine road in Alsace, but Ottrott has other more interesting things to do than wine!
Technically I can say that there is a 7th century convent in Ottrott (and it is true) but you will have a very long walk ahead of you if you don't have a car (about4-5 km or 3-4 miles).
And you can have some fun exploring this little village at the foot of the Vosges mountains too.
If you're looking for a quiet little village on the wine route in Alsace, Heiligenstein is a good choice.
Heiligenstein also has something very rare. Its own grape variety...well, not really, but a grape variety here in Alsace is named after the village.
And you can't find Klevener de Heiligenstein in most other Alsace villages.
So you may have to make a special trip to this village to get some!
Walking around Barr, you'd never guess that this village burned for 4 days on the order of the French army in 1678.
More of a very small town than a tiny village, you can get lost pretty easily in its winding streets.
In Barr, you're still on the Alsace Wine Road, but don't expect dozens of tasting rooms, there are only a handful in this small town.
If you're looking for a tiny village, head for Mittelbergheim.
You won't find more than 650 people (give or take a few visitors) at any time of the year here.
And you'll have to walk really slow if you want to spend an hour wandering through the village, which you might enjoy as it's adorable.
And full of stories and history despite its tiny size.
Moving on down the Alsace Wine Route, we find Andlau a large village on the river, Andlau.
That's easy to remember, but which came first? The village or the river?
In this case, we're pretty sure the river gave its name to the tiny village that grew next to it.
And we're pretty sure people were living here even before the Romans.
Don't blink or you might miss out on Itterswiller...which would be a shame.
Because this village is ready for your cameras! It has the coveted "four flower" rating (you'll see what I mean when you pass through).
But with less than 300 inhabitants, don't plan to spend your day in this tiny town in Alsace.
A tiny wine making village on the Alsace Wine Route or the birthplace of a Revolution in Alsace?
That's right, there's much more than just wine and flower boxes in this cute village of less than 400 people.
17. Dambach la Ville
An adorable Alsace village on the wine route of over 2000 people!
Some people say that the Roman Emperor encouraged wine grape planting as early as 227 AD in this part of Alsace.
So wine making is not new to this area.
And there are many more stories to tell about Dambach la Ville.
A small village of less than 300 people on the Alsace Wine Road, quiet and cute.
But what's really interesting is not amongst the vines here in Dieffenthal.
It's in the forest above the village with places named the rock of the Celts and the Sacrifice stone.
A quiet little village in the Alsace wine region, but this one isn't tucking into the side of a hill.
Scherwiller grew up at the intersection of Roman and Medieval trade routes so, it's in a flat area.
Which may appeal to you if you've been biking up and down hills for a few hours.
But not to fear...there are hills and mountains nearby...and a few castles if you don't mind some uphill hiking.
Wait a minute, Villé doesn't sound like an Alsatian village name.
Well...yes...it is a more French sounding name, but in Alsatian, Villé has been called Willer...and Wilre,...and Wihre and a few other names over the centuries.
This very small town is in the valley of Villé where you'll find some other pretty small villages nearby.
Technically we're still in the Alsace wine region in this village, but we are on the edge.
So you won't see too many grape vines in this valley.
Right next door is the tiny wine making village of Albé.
Originally called Erlebach (at least it's what they wrote down back in the 1300s).
With less than 500 residents, this very rural village is quiet and surrounded by hillsides.
Natural and perfect for quiet hikes...although be prepared for some uphill and downhill paths.
People have settled in Chatenois for a long time.
Not so much for wine making originally, but for road watching.
Because this "big" village of around 4000 people is very near an old trade route. Celts, Romans, and on into the Middle Ages.
People have been passing near Chatenois (and settling here) for a very long time.
We have a few villages in Alsace with this name in the wine region.
This Kintzheim is near the very famous Haut Koenigsbourg castle...and a few other less famous medieval castles too.
Can you believe that this small Alsace village's original name could mean "kunigsheim" (or king's home) too?
We can't be sure of its real meaning, but it's a very intriguing coincidence!
Frequently Asked Questions about Alsace
You may still have some questions about Alsace...
Here are some of the questions that I hear the most often. Mostly from people just getting started on planning (or even discovering) what an Alsace vacation can look like.
What is Alsace France?
Oh, such a big question!
This whole website is trying to answer it, but here's the condensed version.
Alsace is a small region in France. One of the smallest. And it's way over on the most eastern side of France. Right next to Germany and Switzerland.
It's that north eastern point in France. The part that looks like it's "invading" Germany.
Ummm...we'll talk more about that later....
Here's a Map of Alsace France to Help You
Some of you are probably more visual...
And let's face it, we weren't paying close attention in geography class in school (do they even have that anymore?).
And an Alsace Villages Map Because There are So Many Cool Villages Here
Yes, yes...Strasbourg, Colmar...and all the other super popular big cities in Europe...
If you're visiting France or Europe for that matter, you have no idea what you're missing if you only go to cities.
And especially here in Alsace!
So here's an Alsace Village Map to give you an idea.
We have quite a few villages here in Alsace (and France too)!
The Alsace Wine Route: Yes...We Make Wine Here!
You're probably thinking...well, duh...they make wine everywhere in France, don't they?
Well.... no...not really.
Wine making isn't allowed in some parts of France at all. And for very good reasons really.
Alsace is one of the smallest wine regions in France, but then we are a small region, so we don't have the room to be an enormous wine region.
Of course, we only plant vines for wine making in areas that can make decent (or even amazing) wine, but there's one catch here.
We are a mostly white wine region.
Yep. You heard me. White wine!
Now, if you've never had a really great white wine here in France (and especially Alsace), we're real sorry about that.
Alsace is a small wine region so most of our great wines don't make it very far away.
You may have to look a little further than your local alcohol store.
Is Alsace Worth Visiting?
Oh don't ask me this question! I'm extremely biased. I've been studying Alsace for over 15 years now. So I clearly love it.
The short answer is YES! Alsace has plenty of interesting and fun things to do.
But let me ask you some questions...
Do you love learning about how people lived in the past? The strange and not so strange stories from the past?
Do you love food and wine? Especially white wine.
Or taking photos of beautiful old buildings and flowers?
If you say yes to any of these, you will probably love Alsace.
The best way to answer this question is to keep reading and looking at all the photos.
What is Alsace Famous for?
Hmmm...how do I narrow it down...
Internationally, Alsace is famous for its outstanding white wines.
We have something to please everyone here on that point. Dry. Sweet. Complex. Simple. Bubbly. Wines to drink now. Wines to age for a very long time.
Then there are the beautiful village and flowers. We are pretty well known around the world for them.
Just look at any photo on this page and you'll see what I mean.
Our Christmas markets are world famous too.
You wouldn't believe how many people from around the world come to Alsace for our Christmas markets.
Now...we have many other amazing things that the rest of the world doesn't know much about.
Like some of our regional specialties. And our unusual cultural history.
I could keep going...and I will...all over this website!
Is Alsace in France or Germany?
I know it's probably confusing to everyone outside of Europe.
Alsace has mostly Germanic names. Strasbourg, Koenigsbourg. Guebwiller. Bergholtz. Voegtlinshoffen. Souffelweyersheim. I could keep going.
But Alsace is not in Germany.
It was a part of the Holy Roman Empire for a very long time. And then the French kingdom. And then the French Republic. And then the German Empire and much more.
We'll talk about that a little later.
Alsace is currently in France. And has been since 1945.
How Many Days Do You Need in Alsace?
Ohlala....now there's a good question!
The short answer: 1-7 days is typical for most stays in Alsace.
With the average at 2-4 days.
BUT...it depends on what you like to do on vacation. Do you like to relax or go full speed?
Are you a hiker or a museum lover?
A wine geek? A foodie?
It really depends on what your favorite obsessions are.
There's plenty to do here for sure. Hiking. History. Food. Wine. Shopping. So many villages. Museums. Historical Sites. I could keep going.
I've got stories for days about Alsace.
Your Next Alsace Vacation
So how was your little mini vacation to Alsace?
Either way, now you know if you can see yourself having a great time in Alsace France.
Keep dreaming and planning!
And you'll find all the information (and photos) on Alsace you want here.
Hope to see you soon in Alsace!