Sporty bike tour around Marlenheim (33km)

Updated on 2024-05-16

Attention, favorite! Here's the Alsace cycling loop entitled "Le vignoble du Roi Dagobert" (King Dagobert's vineyard). Funny name, isn't it? In fact, it's so named because King Dagobert had a palace and vineyards in this corner of Alsace, around Marlenheim, which is the northern gateway to the Alsace Wine Route. This area is also known as the Golden Crown vineyard. And you know what? It's a great place to pedal!

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!
Elevation gain
2h30 approximately

My summary

  • Magnificent course
  • Discover lesser-known corners of the Wine Route
  • A slightly sporty loop
  • Plenty of places to take a gourmet break
  • Many roads

A sporty and varied circuit

At 33km and 516m of ascent, this bike tour is pretty sporty (unless, of course, you’re on a mountain bike, in which case it’s a no-brainer). The difficulties lie in the two pretty climbs we take: the Col du Geisweg, which is very gradual from Cosswiller, and the Scharrach. We don’t climb to the summit of Scharrach, which we bypass, but we already have a nice slope. Nothing insurmountable at all, I assure you, but it will get the cardio pumping 😛

I also love the variety offered by this route: you start off on the Wine Route, then find yourself in the shade of the forest on the way to the Geisweg, with a totally different atmosphere, and then return to the Wine Route. The Vosges forest massif and the Wine Route – that’s Alsace in a nutshell!

There are quite a few road sections on this itinerary, but it’s still pretty quiet and traffic remains limited. The few cycle paths we take are also particularly pleasant: I really like the ones before and after Wasselonne, which are well shaded, as well as the small section of the Véloroute du Vignoble that we take at one point.

Discovering the north of the Alsace Wine Route

The northern part of the Route des Vins isn’t the best known, neither by visitors nor Alsatians, to be honest, but I know it well because I often come here to cycle. I don’t live far from here and I love cycling there: you can enjoy the beauty of the Wine Route scenery and pass through charming villages while enjoying the peace and quiet that reigns in this less famous part of the region! Pure joy…

The loop starts in the small town of Marlenheim and heads towards Wangen, a small medieval village on the Route des Vins that I love. After Wasselonne, Cosswiller and the forest that leads to the Geisweg pass, we return to the Route des Vins with the charming medieval village of Westohffen, capital of the Alsace cherry! Like Wangen, I think it’s a village that deserves to be better known because it’s so beautiful. You’ll see plenty of beautiful half-timbered houses and you’ll have to stop a lot for photo breaks, I warn you!

Then on to Traenheim, before pedaling along the famous Véloroute du Vignoble to reach Dahlenheim after a steep climb, then Kircheim and finally Marlenheim. Around Dahlenheim, you’ll find beautiful views of the vineyards and the villages nestled among them. You won’t regret the climb – it stings a little, but the reward is a beautiful panorama! As for me, even though I’m lucky enough to admire these vineyard landscapes on a regular basis, I’m still amazed every time…

Good places to take a break

A good cycling itinerary is also one with nice places to stop for a bite to eat, isn’t it? You’re in luck with this tour, as there are plenty of good places to pick up your strength along the way, buy a picnic or even leave with some goodies in your saddlebags. Here are four of them, in order:

  • La Ferme Dettling: a farm-produce store in Westhoffen (with a 24-hour vending machine)
  • La Charrue d’Or: friendly restaurant in Westhoffen
  • Ferme de Traenheim: a local produce store that also has a small restaurant and tea room. Great place!
  • Pâtisserie Benjamin in Marlenheim: it may not look like much from the outside, but the pastries are excellent and you can sit down in the tearoom to enjoy them.