Traversée du Massif Vosgien — Alsace bikepacking

Mountain Biking Collection by

Past countless castle ruins that tell exciting stories, through picturesque valleys and alongside splashing rivers. You pedal up through the vineyards where Riesling slowly matures and stands in contrast to the rugged landscape of the Vosges hills all around. You're here for the pure nature; and with little more than a tent and a sleeping bag for luggage, you're here to get close to it. The Alsace offers the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable bikepacking trip along the German-French border.

When it comes to cycling, one thing is typical of the Vosges: It's never flat. A basic level of fitness can't do any harm in order to manage the constant ups and downs, even if the route is always easy to ride and won't present you with any technical difficulties.

And one thing is for sure: You won't get bored on the way. A 267-mile (430-kilometer) journey of discovery awaits you, taking you from traditional French agriculture to historic buildings, magnificent churches and monasteries, breathtaking plateaus with fantastic views and beautiful lake landscapes, as well as a whole lot of food: Flammkuchen, Gugelhupf, Coq au Vin or apple pie — all the delicacies that are at home here. And don't forget the Reisling.

We have arranged this Trans-Vosges-Tour in such a way that it works best for bikepacking. Both the start in Wissembourg and the end in Thann are well connected to the railway network, and we've already picked out a swimming pool at the end of your journey so you can freshen up for the return trip home. Each stage ends at a good place to spend the night, with the various day-tours ending at either a campsite or a village. All you have to do is pack up your things and get going.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    44.8 mi
    6.5 mph
    5,425 ft
    4,875 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The first stage of the "Traversée du massiv Vosgien" - the crossing of the Vosges - starts directly on the German-French border in Wissembourg. The city is not only beautifully situated, but also a convenient starting point, because you can easily reach it by train, so that you can arrive relaxed.No sooner have you set off, you are already in the middle of the Nature Park Northern Vosges. Here it is hilly, there is a lot of forest and you will pass the one or other castle ruins. Here is the experience of nature in the foreground, not the urban rush.Typical of the Vosges is the constant ups and downs that await you today. Although you never collect more than 200 vertical meters in a row, a lot comes together at the end of the day. A drive through the Vosges is varied and beautiful, but still demanding.So that you can decide for yourself, when it is enough, we have put together some rest stops for you. From the kiosk on various official campsites to the youth hostel on the waypoint, so you always have a point of contact.

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  • Difficult
    42.6 mi
    6.7 mph
    4,200 ft
    4,625 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Castles, rivers and a constant ups and downs - these are the relaxing conditions for the second stage of a peaceful and relaxing crossing of the Vosges Mountains near the German-French border.At the end of this tour, you have already left the Northern Vosges behind and can look forward to the next section. Tomorrow we continue to the middle Vosges. But before a pleasurable evening is waiting for you. Enjoy the silence at the campsite or head to the nearby center of Saverne. Our tip: Find a cozy "Winstub". Because there are not only regional wines, but also traditional Alsatian cuisine for a small price.

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  • Difficult
    49.0 mi
    6.7 mph
    5,550 ft
    5,850 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The further south you get, the higher are the hills of the Vosges, which also show their best side on the third leg of our Trans-Vosges tour.Even today it is an ups and downs. You follow rivers, pass castle ruins and now and then a small town or a small town. Although you are in the midst of the beautiful nature of the Vosges, there are always opportunities to buy food or to stop off. If you decide to take it easy today, we have incorporated a campsite into the route for you after about 30 kilometers. Located near Wangenburg you can rest here or make a detour to the small town.If you opt for the longer version, Obernai is a very nice destination. The border town has a well-preserved city wall ring, a Kapuzinerkirche, many restaurants and wine bars and its own brewery to offer.

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  • Difficult
    36.3 mi
    6.3 mph
    5,000 ft
    5,500 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Today, it's high. You crack the 800 meters border twice. With everything that goes with it. Crisp climbs but also great views and wonderful descents. You drive through vineyards and forests, up to castle ruins and an old monastery, down into lush river valleys.After about 1500 meters altitude and 58 kilometers, you have earned this great destination: On a nature campsite you can make you fresh and rest, then treat you to a culinary trip to the Riesling capital Scherwiller. Bonne nuit.

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  • Intermediate
    15.9 mi
    5.4 mph
    2,950 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Today you can take a deep breath. Literally. Because today's stage destination is called Aubure - a picturesque village and official climatic health resort. And although Aubure is so small, you can see a lot there and get to know Alsace from its most natural side.Alsace can be quite exhausting. That's why we deliberately split this fifth stage. Just take your time today. Start the day with breakfast in the old town of Châtenois, let yourselves in the midst of beautiful vineyards the soul and indulge you at the destination a delicious, Alsatian food and a Riesling from the field around the corner. If you are still full of power and prefer to ride a little further, you can simply continue with "Stage 5b".

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  • Intermediate
    19.5 mi
    5.8 mph
    2,925 ft
    3,325 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Two times you crack the magic limit 1000 today. Thanks to moderate climbs and manageable distance this stage is still a true pleasure ride.Towards the end of the tour, a real highlight awaits you, and you may feel the need to just stay here. Not only that cool bike park is waiting for you here. The whole area is a biker's paradise and offers endless crosscountry and enduro trails in the midst of this beautiful landscape. Wine, bike and trails - what more could you want?

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  • Difficult
    27.8 mi
    5.9 mph
    4,175 ft
    4,275 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    More Vosges is not working. Today you cycle through the "Regional Natural Park Ballons des Vosges" more or less parallel to the Vogesenkammstraße, the "Route des Crêtes", an old military road that runs west of the Vosges mountains. The good news is that while this road is a popular tourist destination, our route will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the South, without denying you the great views that await you from various vantage points.And while we're about to praise our route a little bit about the green clover. If you zoom into our map, you'll be amazed. This area is packed with singletrack trails - a true mountain bike paradise and if you have time to explore the area, do it.With the aim to cross the Vosges, the route leads you relatively directly southwards. In Metzeral you can fill up your supplies or take a break, before continuing on to the quietest campsite we could find - a pleasant rest in the midst of nature is guaranteed here.

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  • Difficult
    34.3 mi
    6.0 mph
    5,225 ft
    6,350 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Before you have completely crossed the Vosges, a few highlights wait for you - in the truest sense of the word. With the leek head you climb today one of the highest mountains in the low mountain range and can enjoy a few times the great view that our route parallel to the well-known "Route des Crêtes" offers. Then it goes downhill in the truest sense of the word. But in a really nice way.In Thann ends the "Traversée du Massiv Vosgien" - and thus a wonderful bikepacking trip, which is characterized by the many ups and downs of the Vosges and their wonderful naturalness. Now it's home. Thann offers good train connections and so you do not scare the other passengers, we have picked out the local swimming pool and built it into the route.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    270 mi
  • Duration
    43:03 h
  • Elevation
    35,450 ft35,850 ft

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