A Gourmet Tour of Strasbourg

In Northeast France not far from the German border lies Alsace, a beautiful region nestled at the base of the Vosges mountains. The picturesque half-timbered villages, stately castles, and distinct wines attract plenty of French and German tourists. Alsace remains largely under the radar for other travelers. Strasbourg, the capital of Alsace, is a wonderful spot to base to discover a gourmet tour of the region.


A Gourmet Tour of Strasbourg


Strasbourg was the first urban center in France to be listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. This will come as no surprise after wandering through the charming small streets lined with half-timbered houses in various colors. You’ll also see the Strasbourg’s gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, which Victor Hugo described “a gigantic and delicate marvel.”

The center of the town is pedestrian, inviting visitors to take in the beautiful scenery, great shopping, and tasty local cuisine at winstubs – small Alsatian wine bars. One of the best ways to get acquainted with a city is through a private walking tour. Your guide will point out the highlights of the city, as well as make recommendations of things to do, see, and taste.

gourmet tour in strasbourg notre dame cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg

How to Get to Strasbourg

Strasbourg can easily be reached from Paris by train in under two hours. Since it’s in the eastern part of France, trains depart from the Gare de l’Est station. Alsace and Strasbourg are a great addition to a trip to Paris or the Champagne regions. There are also direct trains between the Charles de Gaulle airport and Strasbourg.

If you’d like to have a car to explore the region, it’s about a five hour drive from Paris.

Strasbourg Gourmet Tours

For a day filled with walking, sightseeing, and tasting take a full day Gourmet and City Tour of Strasbourg. Your guide will take you to meet with regional specialists to truly discover the best of the best of Alsace. You’ll visit a local winemaker, cheesemaker, brewer, and distiller among others. Of course, there will also be plenty of tasting including wine, beer, gingerbread, foie gras, cheese, Alsatian pastries, and local spirits.

After sampling the best of Alsatian food and drinks, the following day you can test your cooking skills! You’ll meet with a chef to learn all of the tips and tricks of preparing French cuisine with a focus on Alsatian specialties. When you’ve finished cooking you’ll sit down for lunch or dinner to enjoy the food you’ve prepared.

strasbourg citroen 2cv tour

Visit Strasbourg in a Convertible Citroën 2CV

Admire the beautiful sites of Strasbourg through the open top of a legendary French car during a private two-hour tour. You’ll see Palais Rohan, a royal residence and a masterpiece of French Baroque architecture, the world-famous Gothic cathedral, Place Gutenberg, and the Medieval bridge Pont Couvert. You’ll also discover the picturesque neighborhood known as ‘Petite France,’ an impressive region with many beautiful renaissance style houses, often with flowers tumbling from windows and pretty bridges across the River Ill.

Next, you’ll drive through the area where the most important European institutions are located: the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the Palace of Human rights.

To finish the tour, you’ll take a short walk along the Mimram footbridge and cross the mighty Rhine river into Germany. Your guide and vehicle will pick you up on the German side and show you the charming German town of Kehl before returning to your accommodation.

alsace wine route gourmet tour of strasbourg

The Alsace Wine Route

A major highlight on a trip to Strasbourg is discovering the Alsace Wine Route. French Side Travel can arrange a variety of different tours, over multiple days to cover the most ground possible. Each tour includes private wine tastings to discover the diversity of Alsatian wines. Thanks to the rich soil and generations of winemakers in the region you will find 51 Grand Crus and seven types of grapes!

However, there is more to the Alsace Wine Route tours than just great wines. You’ll see towns with Medieval and Renaissance architecture ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages in France.

After stopping at a winstub for lunch, a local restaurant offering regional cuisine, you will continue along the Wine Route. More places ranked among the Most Beautiful Villages in France are on the itinerary, including Colmar, the Alsatian wine capital and castles depending on which route you take.

hotel regent petite france in strasbourg
Overhead View of Hotel Regent Petite France

Where to Stay in Strasbourg

One of our favorite 5-star hotels in Strasbourg is the Hotel Regent Petite France. The building dates from the 17th century and is located just on the banks of the river in the historic ‘Petite France’ district. Each room in this elegant and charming hotel offers a unique view of either half-timbered buildings or the River III. During the summer, guests can enjoy a lovely terrace that offers regional cuisine. The sophisticated bar offers over 50 champagnes.

Les Haras hotel in strasbourg
Les Haras

Les Haras was formerly the National Stud Farm of Strasbourg and was reborn as a luxury 4-star hotel. The comfortable contemporary design is a tribute to the property’s former life as a stable, and seamlessly merges past and present. Don’t miss the fabulous brasserie restaurant that offers both French cuisine classics and Alsatian specialties.

Stay Along the Alsace Wine Route: Château d’Isenbourg

For a stay along the wine route with panoramic views of the surrounding Vosges Foothills, Rhine Plain and Black Forest look no further than the gorgeous 5-star Château d’Isenbourg. You’ll feel like you’re truly living at a castle while staying at this stunning property.

Enjoy traditional Alsatian cuisine at the restaurant in two dining rooms: one decorated in the Louis XV style and one decorated in the Louis XIII style. On warm days, dine outside on the terrace that overlooks the vineyards and town of Rouffach.

chateau d'isenbourg alsace
Château d’Isenbourg

Ready for your own gourmet tour of Strasbourg? Our travel designers are standing by to create a tailor-made itinerary just for you. We recommend adding Strasbourg as an extension to a trip to Paris or Champagne. Interested in more French food and wine? We have plenty of trips to help inspire you!

Fall in France 2021: What to See and Do

Fall in France brings out some of the best of the country from the crisp weather and stunning fall colors to special seasonal foods and more. It truly is a wonderful time to visit and you can’t go wrong with almost any region. We’ve identified some of our top picks for what to see and do during fall in France in 2021.


Fall in France 2021: What to See and Do

Normandy: Authentic Cider and Cheese Tour

fall in france normandy camembert

Fall is a great time to discover Normandy with fewer crowds compared to the summertime. No trip to the region would be complete without at least a day spent tasting some of the gourmet regional specialties, namely ciders and cheeses. You’ll learn the ins and of the famous Camembert de Normandie and will have the opportunity to meet with the last remaining producer of the cheese in the village of Camembert. Next, you’ll see the cows, discover the production process, and taste two other regional cheeses: Pont l’Évêque and Livarot. After stopping for a fabulous picnic lunch, you’ll be learning all about ciders: apple, pear, pommeau and Calvados. This delicious day ends in one of the most beautiful villages in France with colorful half-timbered buildings and great shopping.

Paris: Colorful Modern Art Museums

fall in paris

While the trees in Paris are filled with beautiful colored leaves in the fall, rain can be common, especially further into the season. A great way to escape the rainy weather is with a museum visit. Classics like the Musée du Louvre and Musée d’Orsay are always wonderful options, and are always ever-changing thanks to temporary exhibits. However, if you’ve had enough of the grey skies, consider the Centre Pompidou for colorful modern and contemporary art or the intimate and beautiful Musée Picasso in the heart of the Marais.

Fall in Paris from the Ducasse sur Seine
What better way to take in the fall colors than from aboard a Ducasse sur Seine cruise? This electric boat glides along the river to show you a side of Paris you may have never seen before. During the journey, you’ll enjoy a four or five course menu filled with seasonal products all complemented by prestigious and eclectic wines. A romantic and magical way to see Paris!

Burgundy: Fall Along the Wine Trails

burgundy wine trails in fall

For wine lovers the Burgundy wine trails are a highlight no matter what time of year. The visits are especially spectacular drenched in the gorgeous fall colors. Our local wine expert guides will lead you through the renowned estates and surrounding scenery. Throughout the day you’ll taste exceptional Premiers and Grands Crus wines. Truly an extraordinary way to see and experience Burgundy!

Loire Valley: A Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

loire valley hot air balloon

For a unique perspective of the majestic Loire Valley châteaux, we recommend taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. Imagine floating above on a misty fall morning with gorgeous golden light touching the vineyards, forest, rivers, and châteaux below. This fabulous experience ends with a breakfast and you’ll have the rest of the day to continue exploring!

Bordeaux: Market Visit, Cooking Class, and Lunch

fall market foods france

Southwest France is a region known for fabulous fall foods including foie gras, truffles, and nuts. During a private market visit, cooking class, and lunch in Bordeaux you’ll have the opportunity to learn even more about and taste these delicious fall specialties. A chef will lead you on this experience that is both gourmet and a unique look into life in France.

Provence: Visit Chateauneuf-du-Pape with a Local Wine Expert

chateauneuf de pape

During the fall, you can take in the mesmerizing beauty of the historic Châteauneuf-du-Pape village and vineyards dressed in a layer of gold. Chateauneuf-du-Pape is famous for powerful, full-bodied red wines, made from the southern Rhône grape trio of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre. Besides the golden leaves, you’ll find distinct lightly colored stones amongst the vines: a spectacular fall combination. During this day your local wine expert guide will take you to meet with three winemakers. Next, you’ll stop for lunch in a charming Provençal restaurant. Afterwards, you will get the chance to make local confectioneries in copper cauldrons!

Fall in Provence: Truffles and Wine Tasting
The ultimate unique fall in Provence experience! Take a two-hour tour of an estate and its vineyards in a 4×4 where you’ll learn about biodiversity. Next, meet with a truffle farmer and his dog to learn about the fascinating world of truffles and the nuances of growing tuber melanosporum and tuber aestivum truffles.
The visit concludes with a lunch centered around the estate’s truffles with a wine pairing!


Ready to experience fall in France? There’s still time to make it this year! Our travel designers are standing by and can help you book any of these activities and create the perfect fall itinerary in France. Some of our most popular fall destinations include Normandy, Burgundy, Bordeaux, the Loire Valley, and Southern France.

French Winter Ski Guide: Courchevel

Courchevel is part of the Trois Vallées the world’s largest ski area with over 370 miles of slopes and 58 lifts. It is synonymous with luxury and is a favorite winter retreat of both royals and celebrities. There are also fabulous aprés-ski options including Michelin-starred restaurants, wonderful shopping, and gorgeous hotels packed with amenities for young and old. Read on to discover the first of our French winter ski guides featuring Courchevel.


French Winter Ski Guide: Courchevel

How to Get to Courchevel

french winter ski guide courchevel what to do

There are several different ways to get to Courchevel. Because of ease and convenience, one of the most popular options is flying into Geneva and then taking a private transfer to Courchevel. The transfer time by helicopter is 30 minutes and by car two and a half hours.

It’s also possible to take a high-speed train from Paris to either Chambery or Moutiers. From Chambery the drive to Courchevel is just over an hour. From Moutiers the drive is about 20 minutes.

Lastly, you can drive to Courchevel. While this option might be tempting for those who like to try different ski areas, we don’t recommend it in case of inclement weather or heavy traffic.

What to Do in Courchevel

french winter ski guide courchevel slopes

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the most popular activity in Courchevel is skiing. With eight black runs, 34 red runs, 35 blue runs, 19 green runs and fun and relaxed ‘zen’ areas, there is truly something for every level in Courchevel.

The best way to discover the slopes in Courchevel is with an official ski guide. Guides can take you to the runs with the best snow conditions and that best match your level. Another bonus of using a guide is you’ll have lift queue priority, so you’ll be able to spend more time skiing and less time waiting.

view from the helicopter

Helicopter Tour of the Alps
To see the snow-covered alpine peaks like never before, consider taking a helicopter tour. During this exclusive ride you’ll marvel at seeing the Haute-Tarentaise, Mont Blanc or the Tignes-Val d’Isère area from above. Truly an unforgettable experience!

When it comes time for aprés-ski the choices are plenty in Courchevel. There are fabulous restaurants, sophisticated bars and nightlife, renowned boutiques for shopping, and activities ranging from snowmobiling to hiking. It’s impossible to mention aprés-ski without mentioning La Folie Douce, a popular spot between Courchevel and Méribel for an afternoon of celebrating. Even non-skiers will love Courchevel!

Where to Eat in Courchevel

where to eat in courchevel la table des airelles
La Table des Airelles

There is no shortage of delicious food in Courchevel with eight Michelin-starred restaurants.

After a long day of skiing, the best way to warm up and recharge is with local Savoyard cuisine, where cheese and potatoes take the center stage. Be sure to try raclette, a melted cheese scraped off from the wheel and typically served with potatoes and meats, tartiflette, a gratin-like dish made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions, and lardons, and fondue, a melted mix of Comté, Beaufort, and other local cheeses that you dip bread into using a fondue skewer. Two restaurants where you can find typical Savoyard cuisine in Courchevel are L’Arbé and Restaurant Le Petit Savoyard.

To satisfy everyone in your group, La Table des Airelles is a wonderful option. You’ll find a fabulous lunch buffet filled with all types of food: seafood, meats, cheeses, regional specialities, Italian food and an almost limitless assortment of desserts to name but a few of the choices.

For a special occasion in Courchevel, visit Le 1947. Located in the Cheval Blanc hotel, Le 1947 is the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Courchevel. Diners will enjoy Chef Yannick Alléno’s creative cuisine in a light and bright setting.

Where to Stay in Courchevel

penthouse apartment at les airelles courchevel
The Panoramic Terrace of the Penthouse Apartment at Les Airelles

Our favorite hotel in Courchevel is Les Airelles. The location of this ski in ski out property is perfect for both serious skiers and those who want to enjoy the Courchevel 1850 district. You’ll feel warm and cozy in this extraordinary property that truly resembles a winter palace. At Les Airelles you’ll have access to five restaurants – three on site and two on the slopes, a La Mer spa, a kids club, and unparalleled service including ski butlers.

ormello chalet in courchevel
Chalet Ormello

If you prefer a private residence to a hotel, we recommend the Chalet Ormello. Just steps away from Les Airelles, this nine bedroom chalet can sleep up to 15 people. Guests will have access to a private spa, swimming pool, fitness room, game room, and home theater. You will also have team of 10 people including a chalet manager, chef, butler, housekeeper and valet services at their fingertips. Truly an amazing way to experience Courchevel!

the children's kingdom at les airelles
The Children’s Kingdom at Les Airelles

Les Airelles for Children
Children will be delighted and enchanted by Les Airelles’ kids club, The Children’s Kingdom. The youngest of guests will be entertained with a fort, arcade, private cinema, air hockey table, ice rink, video games, and daily afternoon tea time. During the holiday season there are extra activities including dog-sledding, magic shows, pastry classes, hockey games, and formal dress parties. Les Airelles makes it easy for the whole family to enjoy the best of Courchevel!


We hope our first French winter ski guide to Courchevel will help inspire a trip. With the winter ski season rapidly approaching, don’t hesitate to contact French Side Travel to start creating your custom itinerary. We offer a whole host of itineraries based in the French Alps including a Ski Trip in Luxurious Courchevel and the Three Valleys, World-Class Skiing and Partying in Chamonix, and A Week of Chamonix Skiing with the Family

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