Winter is full of surprises. Alsace allows you to combine diverse pleasures: days in the snow and the open air in the resorts of the Alsatian Hautes Vosges and evenings in the vineyard with visits of cellars and nice dinners in the restaurant …
By staying with us in Riquewihr, you will have an incomparable base to explore all of Alsace and the surrounding neighboring regions (Germany and Switzerland). In addition, depending on the snow level of the moment (click here to see the snow conditions of the resorts of the Vosges), you can decide your program of the day.
A day out in the snow of the Vosges : fun for all ages!
When we talk about winter sports we think immediately about skiing. And yet, you do not have to be an alpine ski champion to enjoy the joys and benefits of a day at the snow, in altitude and in the countryside. If cross-country skiing or hiking requires some practice and a good physical condition, the snowshoe walk is open to everyone, just dose your efforts. In return, what a wonder in a superb nature!
Snowshoeing: my favorite sites …
Between Riquewihr and La Vancelle : the Bagenelles, the Brézouard and the Taennchel…
The northern gate of the Hautes-Vosges, the Bagenelles pass on the heights between the village of Le Bonhomme and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines is easily accessible, only half an hour drive from our holiday apartments in Riquewihr or in La Vancelle. The site of the Bagenelles stretches over 3 vast forest ridges and offers superb panoramas on the Val d’Argent, the valleys around the Bonhomme and often even to the Alps! There are some ski lifts but it is especially a starting point for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the Brézouard massif or even on the route des Crêtes, which is closed in winter and reserved for cross-country skiing and cross-country skiing or just walking.
The Bagenelles pass area offers 4 itineraries ranging from 4 to 9.5 km. The network is organized in successive loops which will allow you to compose your personalized route.
All these trails are marked and free of access (under the responsibility of the users). A pocket map is available online and at the neighboring farms.
Click to download marked snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails from Col des Bagenelles.
Snowshoeing around the resort of Lac Blanc: marked trails, for beginners to experienced hikers …
The Lac Blanc ski resort is known for being a real and beautiful ski resort less than half an hour drive from the Alsatian vineyard (see below). It is also a starting point for very beautiful snowshoeing. The starting point that I suggest is the resort of Lac Blanc 1200, at the Col du Calvaire where you will find to park your car. Attention, during the weekend and during school holidays, you will not be the only ones looking for a parking space …
Around Tanet, lac Vert and Hautes Chaumes…
A little further south, not far from the road that leads to the pass of the Schlucht, the small resort of Le Tanet is a little known jewel in a grand natural environment. Here one finds oneself in the most alpine landscape of the Vosges, an abrupt relief made of cliffs … Behind the crest was the old farm of the Tanet (now disappeared) which housed the kennel of the dogs of Alaska during WW1 the war of 1914-18.
There are some alpine ski slopes at the Tanet but also magnificent snowshoeing trails accessible to all around Lac Vert which is next door, hiking that will lead you to the high culms … Be careful. Dress warmly, carry a hot drink thermos, cereal bars for small snacks, a well-laden cell phone … Never leave alone and inform your entourage about your plans.
Cliquez sur les images pour les agrandir…
On the alpine ski slopes of Alsace …
Lac Blanc ski resort
The Lac Blanc ski resort is a real and beautiful ski resort less than half an hour drive from the Alsatian vineyards. Downhill skiing enthusiasts, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing; whether beginners or experienced, the Lac Blanc offers you a great time and a breath of fresh air in a magnificent landscape.
After a beautiful day out in the snowy heights, what could be nicer to return to the valley and finish the evening in a winstub in Riquewihr?
Le Tanet ski slopes
Le Tanet overlooks the forests and pastures of the Lac Vert (green lake) and the Altenbach valley on the Alsatian slope. It is reached by the valley of Munster and the road to the Schlucht pass. A few kilometers before the pass, a small well signposted road leaves on the right towards Lake Vert and the station. The small resort of Tanet is an unknown jewel in a grand natural environment. We find ourselves here in the most alpine landscape of the Vosges, a steep relief made of cliffs … I love it. It’s great in every season.
At the Tanet ski resort, skiers will find a green track, a blue piste and two red trails served by three ski lifts. The Tanet snow fields, between 990 meters and 1,288 meters above sea level, also allow the practice of cross-country skiing, revealing a clear view of the plain of Alsace, the Black Forest, the high plateau of Jura and the Alps of the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland.
Around the resort are 3 good restaurants, each with its originality and specialties. Here are links to their websites.
- Auberge du Tanet Seestaedle. Dishes and desserts of great finesse. Desserts are also served in the afternoon.
- Auberge of the Schantzwasen. Good traditional Alsatian dishes. Rental of skis and snowshoes.
- Auberge du Schupferen. No website. Tel. 03 89 77 31 23.
Schnepfenried ski resort
The ski resort of the Schnepfenried – the Schnepf, as the Alsatians say – is open throughout the winter thanks to powerful snow cannons. 3000 meters of difference in altitude, spread over 13 slopes of all levels, the resort offers one of the largest ski areas in Alsace.
Independently of downhill skiing, fans of cross-country skiing and other snowshoe hikers will find at the Schnepf a beautiful Nordic trail that will take them to the Breitfirst, on the heights of the Markstein. In December 2015 a stela in memory of the Alaskan dogs who bravely participated in the war of 1914-18 was inaugurated at the Breitfirst. Moreover, at the start of the Schnepfenried, it is possible to take a sled excursion drawn by the dog sledges of Rêve du Nord: Fabien, Marina and their pack of Nordic dogs offer you to share a unique moment of escape. But watch out, the sleigh ride is a very popular activity. You have to book a very long time in advance. But watching the teams progress on the snow is also a superb show.
Rêve du Nord — Tél 06 89 45 84 75.
You reach the Schnepfenried ski resort via the valley of Munster.
Back to the vineyard historical villages in the evening.
In the evening come back to the Alsace vineyards. Riquewihr as well as La Vancelle are also a very practical base to visit all Alsace, the Vosges mountains and even nearby Germany and Switzerland. The wine cellars are open also in Winter (and it never rains inside!) and the winemakers will have some time to spend with you.
Winter is certainly the best time to enjoy the cozy atmosphere of traditional Alsatian restaurants and winstubs. Most restaurants which in the summer season only work for tourists will be closed in winter but, apart from their well-deserved annual holidays, the best restaurants are also open in winter. Because the locals also appreciate them.
My favorite restaurants in Riquewihr are here …
In the afternoon, it is customary to give in to the temptation of a coffee or a tea accompanied by a good cake. Push the door of an inn or a “pâtisserie, salon de thé” to succumb to regional delicacies.
Stay in one of our beautiful accommodations in Alsace …
To make your visit in Alsace a memorable one, stay at les Remparts Riquewihr – in one of our new holiday apartments, set in a historic winery facing the vineyards of Riquewihr.
Riquewihr and Vancelle are very practical bases for visiting and touring throughout Alsace, Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.