Kaysersberg, has been designated as one of the “most beautiful villages in France”. The timeless charm of this small Alsatian village of cobbled streets, half-timbered buildings and remnants of a medieval castle perched on the hillside should not be missed when traveling the Route du Vin, the most famous wine route in France.
Kaysersberg is located in the Alsace region of France, the extreme eastern part of the country that lies at the foot of the Vosges mountains, bordering both Germany and Switzerland and is one of the loveliest and picturesque regions of France.
Known for its Route du Vin, the most famous wine route in France, it is a marked series of roads that meander through picture postcard little wine villages filled with colorful half-timbered buildings and castles perched on their hilltops. The route is just over 100 miles long, starting just west of Strasbourg, with the Rhine river that borders Germany to the east and the Vosges mountains to the west, then heads south towards Colmar and beyond to Mulhouse.
Besides Kaysersberg, there are other must see villages in the area that have also been designated as “most beautiful villages of France”…Eguisheim, Hunawihr and Riquewihr. These fairytale villages and nearby Ribeauvillé, with its three castles and the town of Colmar with its “Petite Venise” old quarter should not be missed. Exploring the Alsace makes you feel like you have been magically whisked into a children’s storybook. Riquewihr and Ribeauvillé are said to be the inspiration of Belle’s hometown in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Fall is the perfect time to visit the quaint medieval village of Kaysersberg. The summer crowds have gone, grapes are being harvested in the surrounding vineyards and wine festivals are underway. It is a pleasure to stroll the narrow cobbled streets lined with wine cellars offering tastings of riesling, sylvaner, gewürztraminer and pinot noir. Small shops with ironwork signs hanging above their doors sell delicious cakes and pastries that will beckon you in to try their sweet delicacies.
The village is also home to the hotel Le Chambard, near the entrance to the village. You can’t miss the most colorful building in the village adorned with beautiful flower boxes overflowing with geraniums along the windows of its facade. Le Chambard definitely adds a certain French flair to the village. A member of Relais & Châteaux, the small 5-star boutique hotel has been nicely converted from a pretty 18th century mansion. With spacious contemporary rooms, excellent food that should please most any traveler and views of the Château de Kaysersberg ruins just a short walk up the hill, the hotel makes a nice base for exploring the famous wine road that lies both north and south of the hotel.
Le Chambard’s rooms and suites are all very unique in their decor and offer all the amenities you need for your stay. The hotel also has a small spa with a sauna, steam bath, jacuzzi and pool where you can relax after a day exploring the famous Alsatian wine road.
If you are a “foodie”, like myself, the hotel is worth seeking out as its restaurant, La Table d’Olivier Nasti, has been awarded 2 Michelin stars. The hotel also has a bistro called La Winstub du Chambard rated by Michelin as a Bib gourmand, that serves excellent local specialties and wine. Unfortunately the gourmet restaurant was closed during our two day stay but we did enjoy the Winstub. Across from the hotel, Chef Nasti also has a restaurant called Flamme & Co where you can enjoy Alsatian flamekueche, also called tarte flambé. It is essentially a thin, light and crispy pizza covered with fromage blanc or cream fraiche, lardons (bacon) and onions that is baked in a wood oven.
If you have been following Back Road Journal over the years, you may remember that the header photo for my blog was taken in this picturesque region of France years before. Whenever my husband and I are in this part of Europe, we always make plans to visit the Alsace. It is one of our favorite travel destinations where we know we can eat well and enjoy good wine. Even if we are staying in the Black Forest of Germany, we often make a day trip and cross over the Rhine into France just to enjoy lunch in one of the traditional Alsatian winstubs that serve authentic regional dishes such as choucroute garni, flamekueche or tarte a l’oignon.
It had been too long since we stayed in this lovely region and I’m so glad that we returned for a few days to enjoy the delightful Alsace and the wonderful Route du Vin. I do hope that if you travel to France that you plan to spend a few days to discover this picturesque region where good food and wine are so very much appreciated.