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Hiking trail

Kaysersberg to Turckheim

Hiking trail · Kaysersberg
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  • View to Ammerschwir
    / View to Ammerschwir
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / The Bourgeois Tower, Ammerschwir
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Turckheim Gatehouse
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Turckheim Streets
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Historic Turckheim
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
m 600 500 400 300 8 6 4 2 km

Traverse picturesque vineyards, shady woodland and three authentic villages with ancient histories, as you walk from Kaysersberg to Turckheim.

9.7 km
3:00 h
185 m
204 m

There is a stark contrast between the vineyards, arranged into ordered rows and so green it hurts your eyes, and the villages, composed of boldly coloured houses and a disorientating labyrinth of streets. This keeps the walk exciting, ever-changing, and ensures you enter each village with a child-like sense of awe, as if seeing an Alsatian village for the first time.

The walk passes through three authentic villages - Ammerschwihr, Katzenthal and Niedermorschwihr – where people live according to the demands of the winemaking process. You will find locals in the vineyards, bent-double and nursing their precious vines. You’ll find then in the villages producing the wine, in the cellars hosting degustation (wine-tasting) sessions, and lastly, in the restaurants or their homes, enjoying the wine themselves!

Turckheim is an interesting place to spend the night, not least because it still retains its tradition of a watchman strolling the streets at night. Go outside at 10pm and you will hear an Alsatian melody drifting between the houses, and see the shadowy figure patrolling the streets. Traditionally his role was to check candles and fireplaces were extinguished - a fire in these close living quarters would be catastrophic - but today he just hopes to bring a smile to the tourists!

Author’s recommendation

As you spend much of the day walking through Kaefferkopf vineyards, why not stop for a glass of this grand cru-awarded wine? As you sip this intense wine, bear in mind its 700 year history to reach the product you drink today! User
Josiah Skeats
Updated: August 15, 2019

Highest point
334 m
Lowest point
237 m

Safety information

There are some exposed and unfenced edges throughout the walk; be careful and remain on the path.

There are several stretches where you must walk on the road as there is no pavement. Walk on the left side facing the oncoming traffic unless there is a sharp left bend, in which case you should cross to the outside edge to allow drivers the maximum time to see you.

Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.


Sturdy hiking boots and a waterproof/wind-break layer are required. Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

Make sure you bring enough water. It is recommended to drink 0.75 litres per 1 hour of hiking in hot weather.

Be sure to bring plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest

The Borgeois Tower, Ammerschwihr

Many of the villages you pass through only exist because their defensive fortifications allowed them to survive the region’s turbulent history. They weathered invasions where neighbouring villages didn’t. As you enter Ammerschwihr you will pass the formidable ‘Bourgeois Tower’, built in 1535 and a central component of the village’s defence.



History come very much to life in Turckheim. You will enter the village through one of the three town gates, which were previously the only way to enter. Traders from Switzerlands, witches due to be executed, and many tonnes of grapes (and litres of wine) have passed through these gates over the years. If you are staying the night in Turckheim, don’t miss the night watchmen who strolls through the village in the evening, dressed in traditional garb and singing Alsatian songs – historically, his primary function was to check candles and fireplaces were extinguished to prevent a fire in these close living quarters, but today he just hopes to bring a smile to the tourists!


Kaefferkopf Vineyard

Much of the land surrounding Ammerschwihr is Kaefferkopf vineyards. This is one of 51 grand cru vineyards in Alsace, meaning it has been recognised as producing the most superior of French wine. Kaefferkopf is unique for two reasons; Firstly, 71.65 hectares are delimited to produce it, which makes it one of the largest areas for a grand cru in Alsace. Secondly, the first recorded mention of Kaefferkopf dates to 1338, which gives it one of the oldest histories (though it didn’t officially become a grand cru until 2007, which makes it the youngest in Alsace!).

More information available here:


Food and Drink

Make the most of the abundance of high-quality food and drink available today. You will pass through the villages of Ammerschwihr, Katzenthal and Niedermorschwihr after 3, 5.5 and 8 kilometres respectively. You won’t struggle to find a gourmet meal or refreshing glass of wine in any of them.


Church of Saint-Croix, Kaysersberg (249 m)
48.138818, 7.263076
32U 370783 5333188


Church of Saint-Anne, Turckheim

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start facing the Church of Saint-Croix. BEAR RIGHT to walk along the cobbled road, passing the church on your left. At the Tourism Office after 100 metres, TURN RIGHT to walk along Rue du Gal. Rieder, following the sign for Gendarmerie.

0.29km – As the cobbled road becomes paved, TURN LEFT onto the one-way street of Rue Basse du Rempart. This will soon pass a 15th century stone tower, and then after 150 metres, TURN RIGHT at the T-junction to walk along the road, which shortly crosses over La Weiss river.

0.60km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction beside a cemetery, following the sign to Colmar. After 50 metres, BEAR RIGHT to cross the road at the zebra crossing (black-and-white road markings) and take the path heading uphill into the woodland. Begin following the blue circle icons to Ammerschwihr.

1.60km – TURN RIGHT as you reach a paved road to head downhill, following the blue circle icon to Ammerschwihr.

2.30km – As you leave the vineyard and reach the edge of Ammerschwihr, TURN LEFT to walk along the paved road immediately crossing over a bridge and passing through a 30 km/hour speed sign, so you are walking with the stream on your left. You will shortly pass the Bourgeois Tower.

2.70km – TURN RIGHT at the crossroads with the ‘Stop’ sign to pass the large church on your left. Continue along this road for 400 metres, passing through the centre of Ammerschwihr and ignoring all side roads.

3.10km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at the crossroads to cross over a more major road. As the road forks, BEAR RIGHT onto the minor road of Chemin du Schlossweg, following the red castle and yellow triangle icons signposted to Katzenthal and Niedermorschwihr.

3.40km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction, then after 20 metres TURN LEFT to pass a small chapel. This chapel is all that remains of Meywihr; from the 14th century Meywihr locals began abandoning their village to seek refuge behind the defensive walls of nearby Ammerschwihr.

4.00km – At the junction with a pond of overgrown reeds on your left, TURN LEFT to follow the road downhill. After 200 metres, TURN RIGHT at the T-junction and then BEAR RIGHT as the road immediately forks. There are yellow triangle icons to guide you at each junction.

4.80km – After passing below the giant Kaefferkopf sign, ignore the first right turn, and then BEAR RIGHT as the road forks around a tree. There is a yellow triangle icon on the tree, however it may be obscured by leaves and branches.

5.30km – After the dirt road becomes paved, TURN LEFT onto the downhill steps and narrow alley that passes beside a house. As you reach a T-junction with the road, TURN RIGHT, and then after 50 metres, TURN LEFT. You are walking towards the church in the centre of Katzenthal.

5.50km – TURN RIGHT at the crossroads by the large church to walk along Grand Rue, then BEAR LEFT as the road forks at the fountain to walk along Rue de Trois-Épis.

5.80km – Immediately after passing a metal water pump on your left, TURN LEFT, following the yellow triangle to Niedermorschwihr and Turckheim. This road will soon become unpaved and head into the woodland.

6.00km – BEAR LEFT as the dirt road forks.

6.90km – As you reach a paved road, BEAR LEFT to descend towards Niedermorschwihr.

7.50km – As you emerge from the vineyard onto the outskirts of Niedermorschwihr, BEAR RIGHT along the paved road. After 200 metres, TURN LEFT, and then at the T-junction after 50 metres, TURN RIGHT so you are now walking along the main road.

7.70km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the main road, ignoring the yellow triangle which turns left. The route we have prepared takes a short scenic detour through the village – and you don’t want to miss it!

7.90km – TURN LEFT as you reach the Hotel de Ville building, and then after 20 metres TURN LEFT again, to pass just to the right of the church.

8.10km – As you reach a car park on your right, and beside a map/information board of the village, TURN RIGHT. After 50 metres, this path will become unpaved. Remain on this road for 500 metres, ignoring all side roads.

8.60km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON past the crucifix statue. Cross over minor the paved road (not the major paved road) and head downhill along the dirt track with vineyards on your right, and the major road on your left.

8.70km – TURN LEFT to head uphill on the main paved road. This feels counter-intuitive, seemingly heading away from Turckheim, but after 100 metres TURN RIGHT down the stone steps with the metal handrail, now heading towards Turckheim again.

9.40km – TURN LEFT as you emerge from the downhill steps onto the paved road, then after 50 metres, TURN RIGHT to pass over the bridge and through the tower of Porte du Brand. Once through the tower immediately TURN LEFT.

9.60km – TURN RIGHT at the car parking to pass the church on your left, and then finish at the entrance to the Church of Saint Anne in the centre of Turckheim.


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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9.7 km
185 m
204 m


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