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landscape panorama of the Ballons des Vosges Nature Park with lake Schiessrothried from Hohneck, Alsace, France. ©J. Feuerer/age fotostock

Z6C-2761388 - © - Jürgen Feuerer

France, Vosges (88), abbaye de Senones ©B. Rieger/hemis.fr

France, Vosges (88), abbaye de Senones

France, Vosges (88), la route des Crêtes, chevaux aux paturages vers le col de la Schlucht ©B. Rieger/hemis.fr

France, Haut-Rhin (68), Munster, collégiale et l'église de Munster ©A. Kauffmann/hemis.fr

France, Haut-Rhin (68), Munster, collégiale et l'église de Munster

France, Vosges (88), Gérardmer, le lac et la ville depuis la tour observatoire de Mérelle ©D. Bringard/hemis.fr

France, Bas-Rhin (67), Raon-les-Leau, Massif du Donon, forêt abimée par la tempête de décembre 1999, voie romaine ©D. Bringard/hemis.fr

France, Territoire de Belfort (90), Parc des Ballons des Vosges, sommet du Ballon d'Alsace, enfants lugeant au coucher du soleil, ferme-restaurant, vue sur l'Alsace dans la brume, la fôret Noire et les Alpes, hiver, neige ©D. Bringard /hemis.fr

France, Vosges (88), Saint-Die-des-Vosges, place de Gaulle, la cathédrale Notre-Dame, jet d'eau ©D. Bringard/hemis.fr

France, Haut-Rhin (68), Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Parc touristique de Tellure, exposition sur les mines d'argent, visite des mines et boutique de souvenirs, brouette et chariot de minerai ©D. Bringard/hemis.fr

France, Alsace, Natzweiler Struthof camp       ©Hermes Images/AGF RM/age fotostock

TIP-540HEI09290 - © - . Hermes Images


Through the heart of the Vosges Forest

The Vosges and the Ballon d’Alsace

  • Nature & Discovery
  • Roadtrip

If you dream of exploring vast rolling forests through unspoilt nature, then you’re in the right place. The historical border between Alsace and Lorraine, the Vosges Massif has always been defined by its huge forest coverage. Take your car and hiking boots and set off on the road through the massif and the magnificent Vosges Forest. Head off through mountains and passes for five days in the great outdoors to the peaks of the most famous Ballons des Vosges.

Ref : 577

Customize your trip

St-Dié-des-Vosges Gerardmer

Day 1 - St-Dié-des-Vosges - Schirmeck

Saint-Die-des-Vosges, birthplace of Jules Ferry, is an excellent introduction to the Vosges. Admire the impressive cathedral and its Gothic cloister before embarking into the wooded mountains. At the heart of the woods, Senones offers a shaded stop-off point in this ancient capital of the principality of Salm which, through its castles and imposing Benedictine abbey, retains the exceptional heritage of its prestigious past. Next, enter the Donon massif, a classified historic site, the top of which offers a superb view of the Vosges. Spend the evening in the Schirmeck area.

  • Distance : 46 km
  • Duration : 0h57

Day 2 - Schirmeck - Ste-Marie-aux-Mines

Begin your day with a visit to the 12th century chateau and the Schirmeck Alsace Moselle Memorial, which offers the passage to your next stop at the former Struthof concentration camp. A symbolic location in the history of the resistance, it is infamous for having served as a prison and extermination centre to a number of resistance fighters from across Europe. Discover the joy of forest crossings by taking the route to a panoramic view that plunges down to Sainte-Odile and Haut-Koenigsbourg from the rock of Neuntelstein, or a walk to the Hohwald side. Alternatively, follow the Bruche Valley in the footsteps of Pastor Oberlin to Waldersbach where you can visit the museum dedicated to his life. Spend the evening in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines.

  • Distance : 47 km
  • Duration : 0h50

Day 3 - Ste-Marie-aux-Mines - Munster

Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines owes part of its name to the mineral-rich soil and the mining areas that surround the town. Take the time to visit one of its silver mines before taking the road that winds through the mountains to the Col du Bonhomme. Continue on the Route des Crêtes, which served as a watch point during the First World War, and Col de la Schlucht before arriving in Munster. From here, numerous hiking options offer the chance to stretch your legs before tevening, during which you mustn’t miss the opportunity to taste the town’s famous cheese.

  • Distance : 50 km
  • Duration : 1h7

Day 4 - Munster - Grand Ballon

Stop off at the Maison du Parc of the Ballons des Vosges Natural Park for a display of the park’s natural environment, rich in peatland, beech, spruce fir, water tables and calcareous grassland. You can also pick out a suitable hike before leaving Munster for a day trip. The Ballons are the summits of the Vosges, so named for their soft and rounded shape; A good starting point would be the Petit Ballon trails. Alternatively, you could explore the highest point of the Vosges, the Grand Ballon, which you can climb to appreciate the panorama of the vast forests from above.

  • Distance : 31 km
  • Duration : 1h11

Day 5 - Grand Ballon - Gerardmer

Continue your sporting excursion by climbing the Ballon d’Alsace, via the pass bearing the same name. Next, head to Gérardmer, a resort known both for its winter activities as a famous ski resort, and for its festivals. Nestled between a beautiful lake and pine forests, Gérardmer marks the end of your stay in the green carpet of the Vosges. After one last walk or a pedal boat ride, it’s time for you to leave this little hilly paradise..

  • Distance : 62 km
  • Duration : 1h21

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