Sporty cycling circuit between forests and vineyards around Rouffach

Updated on 2024-05-14

Do you fancy a varied, sporty trail that takes you along the Alsace Wine Route, but also into the forest and up into the hills? I tested the local loop 348 "Between vine and forest, at the foot of the Petit Ballon", and recommend it to you!

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

My summary

  • A varied route
  • Discover beautiful villages
  • A bit sporty
  • Few bicycle paths (but low traffic levels)

We’re taking to the forest!

The route normally starts in Soulzmatt, but I chose to begin in Gueberschwihr. In fact, it’s the most convenient if you rent bikes from Alsa Cyclo Tours in Eguisheim, as my girlfriend did that day. We then attack the loop with the most difficult section, a beautiful 5.5km climb that’s a little steep in places, but at least it’s done 😛

The advantage is that you quickly gain height, while admiring the panoramic views of Gueberschwihr and the Route des Vinsbelow. What’s more, the road is light and pleasant: a veritable jewel of greenery! Along the way, you’ll discover the Couvent Saint-Marc, a beautiful Benedictine abbey still home to a congregation of Sisters of St. Joseph.

Discovering the Noble Valley

Then it’s a long descent through the forest to the village of Osenbach. Here we are in the lovely Vallée Noble. We’re driving along a small road in the middle of meadows, with a view of the mountains – it’s as bucolic as you could wish!

We then return to the Route des Vins. As you approach Soulzmatt, you’ll see a large building on the right: these are the Soulzmatt springs, the home of the Lisbeth brand, which you’re bound to drink at some point during your stay in Alsace. Soulzmatt is a cute little town that’s fun to drive through.

The route then passes through the village of Westhalten, close to the Bollenberg hill , which I already mentioned on this other bike tour around Guebwiller, but also for its pleasant La Colline spa. The Bollenberg is a really pretty place, so don’t hesitate to get out of the loop for a spin (it’s going to be uphill though!) or even put the bikes down for a walk along the Bollenberg or Stangenberg trails.

Rouffach, Pfaffenheim and their astonishing churches

After a fairly quick passage across the Alsace plain, we reach Rouffach, where I also recommend you take the time to make a little detour into the center, which is very pretty and has a rather original church (it’s huge and has an unfinished tower). Along the way, we can admire the Château d’Isenbourg, a beautiful hotel with spa (part of our selection of romantic accommodations, by the way).

Then there’s the village of Pfaffenheim (with its astonishing concrete bell tower separate from the church, built in a totally different style… which is far from universally appreciated! Which is far from universally appreciated 😉 ) I confess I’m not convinced, but it helps to recognize the village from afar at least…

Gueberschwihr, on Alsace’s Romanesque Route

After another pleasant stretch pedaling through the vineyards, we reach the village of Gueberschwihr, for which I have fallen in love. On the program: narrow cobbled streets, beautiful buildings and, the highlight, the Church of Saint Pantaléon and its imposing 36m-high bell tower, which remains from the Romanesque building erected in the 12th century. The village is also part of the Route Romane d’Alsace.

Where to rent a bike?

If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry! Two bike and VAE rental companies are located close to the route:

This article was written as part of a paid collaboration with Alsace Destination Tourisme . retained full freedom to write.