After driving a part of the Alsace wine route by car, it was time to switch modes of transport. For 2 days, I rented an electric bike. And I had such an amazing time exploring part of the Alsace wine route by bike. Because I think cycling is a great way to sample the wine route in Alsace, I share with you why it was so great. And how you can arrange your own self-guided bike tour of Alsace.
You can read the reasons why you should consider renting a bike in Alsace and all my practical tips for arranging your own Alsace bike tour, where to go, what to see, and more!
I paid for everything in full myself. I was not paid or sponsored. All my opinions and experiences are my own.
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Why you should rent a bike in Alsace Wine Route
Besides cycling in Alsace and exploring the countryside by bike is super fun, it also has some additional bonuses compared to taking a tour or driving by car. I list my 12 solid reasons to plan a self-guided Alsace bike tour!
1. Much easier to stop in the middle of a village
When you cycle along the Alsace wine route, you pass numerous villages. And it is so much easier to ride straight into the center of town!
When you arrive by car, you need to figure out parking and parking fees and walk to the center of the historic town. When you arrive by bike, it is much easier to lock it somewhere and explore the cute Alsace village on foot.
2. Short stops can be worth your time
When you plan to go cycling the Alsace wine route, you pass a few anonymous villages you’ve never heard of before. They are cute and picturesque but tiny.
They might not be worth driving to as they are so small. And the hassle of parking your car and walking to town is just too much.
But it is hardly any hassle when you’re cycling along the Alsace wine route. Even the tiniest of villages are worth it to stop, take a look around, take a break, and snap a picture.
It is much easier to make a short stop when you pass an Alsatian village by bike.
3. Much easier to take pictures of the towns
For my first two days on the wine route of Alsace, I passed a lot of villages by car.
Some looked super cute or gave amazing views of the town and a bridge. But you don’t just stop the car in the middle of the road to take a picture.
Once you realize you wanted to stop, the moment has already passed, there are no parking options and you just keep on driving.
But all this doesn’t matter when you’re cycling in Alsace. You can just stop wherever you want (when it is safe of course) and take that picture. Or take in the view. And then you continue again.
4. You see more when you cycle through small Alsatian villages
Cycling through the Alsace villages, you also see more. With the car, you drive the main road, focusing on the traffic and directions. When you follow the wine route by bike, you have a slower pace. And you can take the most scenic streets of a village.
Or you can access the car-free part of a village.
Overall, you see much more of the villages. Instead of just passing by, you’ll be part of the town for a few streets.
5. You can sample more wine
The first reason for me to look into renting a bike to cycle the wine route in Alsace was the fact that I figured I could sample more wine. In comparison to driving by car. And this turned out to be quite true.
If you hop by car from one winery to the next, there is not much time between each visit. Whereas, on the bike, you have to cycle there first so you can space out your wine tastings more.
Although you are still a participant in traffic, general traffic laws and alcohol laws apply. However, it felt safer to drink a few sips of wine and cycle afterward than get into the car.
Maybe it is the exercise that burns off the alcohol faster?
6. Cycle through the vineyards
When driving, I followed the signs with Route Vignerons or Wine Route Alsace. This follows the main D-roads.
But by bike, I roughly followed the same direction but cycled through the vineyards. Surrounded by rows and rows of vines, I really felt immersed in the wine route, instead of just whizzing through over the tarmac.
7. Get an up-close view of the vineyards
During my 2 days of cycling in Alsace, I passed hundreds of acres of vineyards. And it gave me a unique close-up view of wine growing in Alsace.
In some fields, I encountered the wine-grower at work.
As you pass on eye level, you really get a good feel of the vineyard. It makes that glass of wine at the end of the day even more intense!
8. You can be active without any effort
When I travel, I usually walk more than at home. But renting a bike in Alsace was a great way to move around and not get sore feet!
I must say, cycling in 30-degree weather wasn’t really without any effort as it was quite tiresome by the end of the day, but nevertheless, it felt great to be active on my bike!
9. Be outdoors as you cycle through the countryside
Being active and being outdoors. I felt great!
As I followed a small river, the wind brushing my face and cooling my arms, I looked at the waving grain fields and thought: how wonderful is this?!
I had such a great time seeing all the green colors of the forests, the fields, and the vines.
10. Riding your bike gives a great sense of freedom
You can go wherever you want, you can easily bypass any roadblocks without detours.
As you move in nature, the sense of freedom is overwhelming.
Maybe it had something to do with months and months of restrictions and lockdown, but I felt free as a bird as I cycled through Alsace.
11. Less crowded than tours and is perfect for independent activity
Cycling is the perfect activity to avoid crowds and social distance yourself in these times. As you’re outdoors and travel at approximately 20 km/h you’ll never be in a crowd for long.
If you explore the wine route with a tour, you’re packed together on a tour bus and always arrive at the same time at the wine tasting.
If you cycle around the wine route, you can stop away from the crowds, or move away from them. Even with a family or group of friends, it is the perfect independent activity to avoid crowds! Perfect.
12. See more of Alsace and the Alsace wine route by bike
Although you can cover less ground cycling than driving, I feel you see more of the Alsace wine route when you rent a bike. As you move slower, you can take in more details, take a route through the vineyard and see everything at eye level.
To me, this gives a much more immersive feel than just passing through by car. Maybe you get to see the same things, but the smells and sounds that you pick up when you’re cycling are different. This does add an extra dimension to your trip.
And that is why I truly believe that renting a bike in Alsace is a must-do activity if you can!
Practical tips for cycling the Alsace Wine Route
As always, I share my practical tips for renting a bike in Alsace:
Rent an E-Bike in Alsace
100%, without a doubt. It is worth the extra €5 that an electric bike costs more than a regular bike. Those hills in Alsace are steeper than you’d think!
The little extra assistance when climbing a hill is much appreciated. My e-bike came with 5 modes. On 1 it felt like a regular bike and on 5 (sports- mode) it gave that extra kick when climbing a hill.
Needless to say, I made good use, switching between 3 and 4 on most hills. Although there are some hills, still too steep to climb for a non-trained cyclist so I had to get off the bike and walk up.
Where to rent your bike to explore Alsace?
There are numerous tour companies, cycle groups, and self-guided options. You can rent a bike or book an Alsace bike tour, varying from half a day to more than 1 week.
Some are organized by the tourist board, the local winery, or independent cycle companies. Here are some examples:
- Guided Bike Tour from Vœgtlinshoffen
- Alsace Bike Tour from Selestat
- Bike rental in Strasbourg
- Bike rental in Colmar
My bike rental from Eguisheim
I rented my e-bike from a company in Eguisheim. They offer bike rentals so you can do your own cycling, or join one of their Alsace bike tours. The same company is located in Kaysersberg too.
I figured it was the perfect excuse to stay in Eguisheim and this little town is not only cute but the gateway to numerous interesting cycling loops in the region.
Check out their rates and options here.
Alsace Wine Route for cycling
But where do you go on your own with your e-bike in the Alsace? I rented the bike for 2 days and used Eguisheim as my base. I did 2 completely different cycling tours.
Eguisheim to Turckheim and Kaysersberg and back
This was a lovely route, partly through the vineyards and forest west of Colmar and then through a whole string of small villages until I ended up in Kaysersberg. From there, I visited one more winery and began the journey back to Eguisheim.
I had a lovely lunch in the forest at a local place, with a set menu and amazing food. It is called Restaurant Waldelust – Chez Estelle and I can highly recommend it for a no-frills local lunch.
Eguisheim to Pfaffenheim and Rouffach and back via Voetlingshoffen
This was a completely different route, much more rural or agricultural as I passed through the corn fields and small farm villages. Rouffach was a charming stop and the hills around Voetlingshoffen were amazing (but steep!).
On this day, I had a lovely lunch at Restaurant à la Grappe, right in the center of Rouffach.
For detailed Alsace cycling maps and cycling itineraries, I can highly recommend the bike rental shop in Eguisheim as they offer a special app with many different itineraries, free of charge with your bike rental.
Rent a bike to explore Alsace wine route by bike
As you can tell from the above, I loved the 2 days that I was cycling around the Alsace, tasting wine, taking in the countryside and exploring the super cute Alsatian villages.
The bike gave me a lot of freedom to go wherever I wanted to go and it was a nice way to get some (mild) exercise in between all that wine tasting.
If you’re looking for a fun activity, be outdoors and explore the Alsace wine region and the Alsatian villages, I think you’ll love cycling around the Alsace.
I hope you found this guide useful and are able to go cycling in Alsace and taste wine at the same time.
If you have any questions, let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.