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Fitness
Hiking trail

Turckheim to Eguisheim

Hiking trail · Alsace
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Historic Turckheim
    / Historic Turckheim
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Turckheim Streets
    / Turckheim Streets
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Turckheim Gatehouse
    / Turckheim Gatehouse
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Mushrooms in the Woodland
    / Mushrooms in the Woodland
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Wettolsheim Square
    / Wettolsheim Square
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • Wettolsheim
    / Wettolsheim
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Descending to the Alsatian Plain
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Street Musicians in Eguisheim
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Fountain of Saint-Leo at Sunset
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / The Rue du Remparts
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
  • / Picturesque Rue du Remparts
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure
0 150 300 450 600 m km 2 4 6 8 10

Today is split between peaceful woodland trails and meandering tracks through vineyards, stopping off in Wintzenheim and Wettolsheim for your daily dose of Alsatian villages, though saving Eguisheim – the most impressive – for last!

moderate
11.8 km
3:15 h
168 m
199 m

Today you trek along the dynamic frontier where the Vosges Mountains rise from the Alsatian Plain. To look left is to gaze across the pancake-flat plateau of Alsace, shimmering in the summer heat. There isn’t a ripple in the landscape for 20 kilometres and then, suddenly, the mountains of Germany’s Black Forest surge skywards.

Looking right shifts your attention to the thickly-wooded Vosges mountains, many of the peaks topped with long-forgotten stone châteaux that once played key defensive roles in this region. Tomorrow’s optional loop walk climbs to 4 of these castles for a closer look, though they look especially formidable towering over you today.

The walk reserves something special for last. Eguisheim won the award of Le Village préféré des Français – the favourite village of the French – in 2013, and is also one of 158 villages designated as Les Plus Beaux Village – the most beautiful village in France. Such accolades recognise the fairy-tale quality of the colourful half-timbered houses, the beauty of the narrow streets arranged in concentric circles rotating around the Château Saint-Léon, the gurgling fountains overflowing with flowers that dominate each village square, and the many other delights you’ll discover on arrival.

Author’s recommendation

I quickly became infatuated with the picturesque village of Wettolsheim. It would make a nice break for lunch.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Josiah Skeats
Updated: August 15, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
339 m
Lowest point
210 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

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.

You are required to cross over a railway track today. Don’t cross over if the lights are flashing or the barriers are coming down. Check both directions before crossing.

Equipment

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

Castle and Chapel of Saint-Léon

Around Eguisheim you will find regular mentions of Saint Leo or Saint-Léon. This is because a German aristocrat, Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg, was born here in 1002 AD. He would later become Pope Leo IX - not many villages can claim to have produced a pope! Be sure to pop into the exquisitely-decorated chapel. His relics are held here, and the stained glass depicts the various stages of his life.

 

Wettolsheim

Wettolsheim is disturbed less than neighbouring villages and appears more quaint and charming because of this. There are around 85 wine-producing families in the village, resulting in some of the best wines in Alsace.

 

The Remparts

Even if your legs ache by the time you reach Eguisheim, make sure you walk a lap of the remparts before you leave! These narrow, circular streets encircle the centre of the village. Previously they would have added another layer of defence, but now they display some of the most quintessential and picturesque Alsatian architecture.

 

Food and Drink

You will pass through the villages of Wintzenheim and Wettolsheim after 5.5 and 8 kilometres respectively. You won’t struggle to find a gourmet meal or refreshing glass of wine in either.

Start

Tourism Office, Turckheim (240 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
48.086823, 7.277796
UTM
32U 371748 5327384

Destination

Fountain Saint-Leon, Eguisheim

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start with your back to the Tourism Office, and with the fountain on your left. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the cobbled road, ignoring the gate-tower on your left. After 490 metres you will pass through the gate-tower, Porte de Munster. Once through the tower, immediately TURN LEFT.

0.55km – TURN RIGHT as you reach the main road, and then after 90 metres, TURN LEFT to cross the bridge over the river.

0.83km – BEAR LEFT from the road onto the narrow lane just to the left of the crucifix statue. There is a yellow rectangle icon to WIntzenheim. After 100 metres, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as this path emerges onto a paved road. This road will soon cross over a railway track; take care to check both directions, and don’t cross if the lights are flashing or the barriers are descending.

1.20km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction. After 200 metres, BEAR LEFT onto the dirt road with a dead end/no through road signpost.

1.80km – As you emerge onto a major road with a large garden centre building ahead, TURN LEFT. After 50 metres, TURN RIGHT to cross over the busy road, and then walk over a grassy verge to walk with the garden centre on your right. Be careful when crossing the road; wait for a suitable break in the traffic before crossing in fast but controlled manner.

2.00km – Upon reaching a T-junction having passed the garden centre on your right, TURN RIGHT. After 200 metres BEAR LEFT onto the uphill road signposted to Les Cinq Châteaux and Hohlandsbourg.

2.50km – TURN LEFT sharply into the woodland, then immediately TURN LEFT again, following the red triangle icon to Wintzenheim, so that you pass below the wooden huts on your right.

3.00km – As the path splits beside a section with wooden handrail, TURN LEFT, still following signposts for the red triangle to Wintzenheim.

3.30km – As the path leaves the woodland and enters vineyard, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON along the muddy path as it twists and turns downhill. Ignore all side paths, and continue using the red triangles for guidance.  

3.70km – TURN RIGHT to walk uphill along the paved road. After 200 metres, BEAR LEFT to follow the paved road as it begins heading downhill, directly towards the church.

4.00km – As you reach the metal grate in the road, TURN RIGHT. There is a red triangle on the nearby wall, though you will have to look over your right shoulder to see it.

4.40km – TURN LEFT as you reach a T-junction. Remain on this paved road for 500 metres. It will twist and turn, eventually leaving the vineyards and entering the outskirts of Wintzenheim.

4.90km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON as you reach a junction with a nearby crucifix. After 50 metres, TURN LEFT opposite a second crucifix, to walk along Rue du Hohlandsbourg.

5.10km – TURN RIGHT at the T-junction to walk beside the cobbled road through the centre of the village. After 500 metres, with the post office and a fountain on your left, TURN RIGHT to walk down the one-way road, immediately past a bank.

5.70km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction to walk through a residential area. After 400 metres, TURN RIGHT down Rue du Vignoble – you will have to look over your right shoulder to see the street sign.

6.30km - BEAR LEFT as the road forks and then follow it as it leaves the village, passes a sign warning that there is no entry after 250 metres, and enters vineyards.

6.60km – BEAR RIGHT as the path forks around a no entry sign.

6.80km – BEAR LEFT onto the dirt road, as the path forks beside a metal gate.

7.10km – At a staggered crossroads, TURN RIGHT and then TURN LEFT.

7.30km – As you reach a crossroads immediately after passing under an overhead line, TURN LEFT to walk along the paved road. After 200 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON at a stop junction. After a further 200 metres, TURN RIGHT along Ste. Gertrude, passing through a 3.5 tonne weight and 2.5 metre width restriction signpost.

7.90km – After the narrow section of road, TURN RIGHT to pass the church and head into the centre of Wettolsheim. As you reach the delightful village square, BEAR RIGHT to pass the fountain and the Mairie (town hall) on your left.

8.20km – Just after passing a fountain on your right, BEAR RIGHT down Rue des Carrières. After 100 metres CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON following the green ring icon. Remain on this road for 800 metres.

9.00km – As the road forks, BEAR RIGHT to head towards the woodland. The road will soon become unpaved.

9.30km – BEAR LEFT as you enter the woodland and the path forks, to begin heading downhill. After 100 metres, as you emerge from the woodland into a vineyard, TURN RIGHT at the crossroads. After 50 metres, BEAR LEFT following the green ring and blue cross icons to Eguisheim.

9.90km – Shortly after ignoring a dirt road on your right, BEAR LEFT onto a dirt road, ignoring the blue cross and green ring icons. This slight detour will give you an expansive view over the Alsace Plain. Ignore a left and a right turn as the path begins heading downhill.

10.10km – TURN RIGHT onto the flat, grassy path. After 200 metres, TURN LEFT onto the paved road.

10.60km – At the bench, and just after passing a stone cross, BEAR RIGHT onto the dirt road. Once again you are following the green ring and blue cross icons.

10.90km – TURN RIGHT at the crossroads, remaining on the dirt road. After 100 metres, TURN LEFT to head downhill on the paved road, still following the green ring and blue cross.

11.40km – TURN LEFT at the T-junction with a campground directly ahead.

11.70km – As you reach a crossroads with a school and playground on your left, CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to head towards the half-timbered houses that mark the historical centre.

11.90km – Finish in the centre of Eguisheim, beside the fountain, castle and chapel dedicated to Saint Leo. Why not celebrate your arrival with a glass of wine?

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
11.8 km
Duration
3:15 h
Ascent
168 m
Descent
199 m

Statistics

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 m
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Highest point
 m
Lowest point
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