In the Vosges mountains, there is the season of white, that of the ski or snowshoes. And the season of green, with hikes between lakes, forests and meadows. We could add an annual season: the rose! Emblem of the Vosges massif, sandstone illuminates with its coppery nuances exceptional monuments such as the castle of Haut Koenigsbourg or the cathedral of Saint-Die, but also sublime landscapes that still bear the bruises of the Great War of 14-18.
The must-sees of your stay in the Vosges mountains
- Historical course in the heart of the Vosges
In the mountains of Vosges, you have an appointment with history with a big H! At Hartmannswillerkopf, the memory of the First World War hovers. This rocky outcrop, 956 meters above the plain of Alsace, has been dubbed "the mountain of death" or "the man-eater" because the fighting was terrible. Two circuits of visit, one between trenches and old shelters bring back to life this painful period.
At the Château du Haut Koenigsbourg, we immerse ourselves in a medieval universe worthy of history books. Built in the 12th century, this mountain fortress with breathtaking views over the plain of Alsace, the Vosges, the Black Forest and sometimes the Alps, was fully restored in the 19th century in the spirit of the Middle Ages by the last German Emperor. And by visiting the admirable cathedral of Saint-Dié in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, we see scrolling a few centuries of sacred art, from Romanesque to Gothic without forgetting the contemporary, with stained glass windows that shine like so many jewels.
The Vosges mountains: destination "nature"
Do you prefer winter and its snowy cloak covering the mountains or summer that reveals the soft green curves of the "balloons"? In all seasons, the Vosges massif is a paradise for nature lovers.
In winter, we climb all schuss Ventron, small family resort, ideal for cross-country skiing, but you can also learn snowkiting in La Bresse, snowmobiling in the resort of La Schulcht or the ride in snowshoes at Lac Blanc, which stretches at the bottom of a glacial cirque encircled with fir forests. Unless you attempt to climb ice slopes with ice axes and crampons, such as at Spitzkoepfe.
To recover from all these emotions, in La Bresse, an ecogîte welcomes fans of unusual: the menu Finnish bath outdoors and awakening in the middle of deer, foxes and deer ... In summer, Lake Gerardmer is transforms into a vast playground (115 hectares!) for young and old: there are many water activities. And we never tire of hiking the trails: more than 4,000 kilometers of marked trails stretch all over the Vosges. The regional park of Ballons des Vosges is crossed, between forests, high stubble fields, peat bogs, glacial cirques, rocky cliffs, lakes and rivers ...
And we unwind the line of the famous Blue Line of the Vosges, marking the border between Alsace and part of Lorraine with no less than three hiking trails for routes of 7 to 9 days.
100% French artisanal shopping in the heart of the Vosges
The Vosges massif is a region rich in know-how, conducive to 100% French shopping. The Vosges forest is not for nothing, it is its abundance that is at the origin of the manufacture of wooden toys, but also the famous crystal of Baccarat, whose elegance crosses the centuries since 1764, and Meisenthal Christmas balls, mouth blown glass. You can add the real candies of the Vosges, traditionally made with pine sap. Other delicacies are to slip in the luggage: mirabelle plum jam, the yellow gold of the Vosges, cream of Munster, the fetish cheese of the region, and gingerbread, perfumed with the honey of the soil!