During Christmas time, Alsace is divided into 7 “countries”, a way to group regions together according to their Christmas traditions. The Pays des Lumières (The Country of Lights) is located around Saverne, in the north of Alsace. It includes for example the towns of Bouxwiller, Wasselonne, Marmoutier, la Petite Pierre or Hengwiller. 

The Pays des Lumières is not the most famous when we talk about Christmas markets in Alsace. However, I really made some nice discoveries there! It might not be as magical as Colmar or Kaysersberg markets, but this region is also a bit more quiet, which is also quite nice.

Here Christmas markets are rather small and only last for one weekend. There are also a few activities on offer during Advent. Here is an article to help you, I hope, to know a bit more about this region of Alsace, withe some of my ideas to visit the Pays des Lumières during Christmas.

Bouxwiller Christmas Market

noel-bouxwiller Bouxwiller Christmas Market is the biggest one in the Pays des Lumières. It happens during a weekend in December, but attracts a lot of people. If you don’t like crowds, I wouldn’t recommend you to go there. Otherwise, it’s really pretty and nice, even though it’s not really known by tourists. The Christmas market is located in the streets of Bouxwiller, a small and cute town with a lot of half-timbered houses. On the stalls, you will find a lot of local arts and crafts from regional producers. It’s a very pretty and authentic market!

I liked

  • Pretty village
  • Quality products
  • Many stalls around the town center

I liked a little less

  • A lot of people

Practical information

Opening dates and times

You will find here the opening dates and times of Bouxwiller Christmas market.

Getting here

By car

Beware, there are two towns named Bouxwiller. The one I’m talking about is located in Bas-Rhin (67) and is located:

  • 15 km from Saverne (about 20 minutes drive)
  • 40 km from Strasbourg (about 40 minutes drive)
  • 113 km from Colmar (about 1h20 drive)
  • 162 km from Mulhouse (about 2h drive)
By pubic transport

You can have a look on Vialsace.

Winter wonderland in Saverne – Town illuminations

feerie-hiver-saverne-noel I was excited by Saverne illuminations at Christmas. The façades of the Grand Rue are all illuminated, offering the visitors a beautiful light perspective. It is really worth going to see these illuminations! Saverne does not have a real Christmas market, but only a few stalls that are generally not so great. To me, it feels more like a town fair rather than a Christmas market. For children, there is also a small synthetic ice rink that they should enjoy!

I liked

  • Beautiful illuminations throughout the town
  • Small ice rink for children

I liked a little less

  • Stalls of the small Christmas market

Practical information

Opening dates and times

You will find here the opening dates and times of Saverne winter wonderland.

Getting here

By car

Saverne is located:

  • 51 km from Strasbourg (about 45 minutes drive)
  • 87 km from Colmar (about 1h20 drive)
  • 128 km from Mulhouse (about 1h40 drive)
By public transport

You can have a look on Vialsace.

Springerle making workshop in La Petite Pierre

moule-springerle

Do you know what are springerle? They are traditional Alsatian anise biscuits decorated with a relief pattern. They can be eaten or serve as decorations for Christmas trees. The museum of Art and Traditions in La Petite Pierre is entirely dedicated to springerle. You will find there very good old molds and patterns, a great way to immerse yourself into this Alsatian tradition. During Advent, the museum organizes springerle making workshops. There, you can see how they are made, learn how to successfully make them, taste them, chat with museum volunteers… The atmosphere is quite nice.

I liked

  • Discovering an Alsatian tradition
  • Very nice workshop

I liked a little less

  • Nothing!

Practical information

Prices

The entrance to the museum, as well as the workshops are free. However, you can contribute to the maintenance of the museum by making a small donation.

Opening dates and times

You will find here the opening dates and times of the museum and the workshop.

Getting here

By car

The address is as follows: 11 rue des Remparts 67290 La Petite Pierre. La Petite Pierre is located:

  • 22 km from Saverne (about 25 minutes drive)
  • 67 km from Strasbourg (about 55 minutes drive)
  • 110 km from Colmar (about 1h40 drive)
  • 151 km from Mulhouse (about 2h drive)
By public transport

You can have a look on Vialsace.

The huge Hengwiller nativity scene

noel-pays-lumieres-creche-hengwiller Hengwiller nativity scene is part of the Nativity scenes route of the Noëlies. It is very impressive as it occupies half of Hengwiller church! Each year, it is made with passion by an inhabitant of the town. Put a small coin to animate and illuminate it, it is really worth it! I think I started it four times to have time to admire all the details of the nativity scene. It’s really nice!

I liked

  • A very impressive nativity scene

I liked a little less

  • Nothing!

Practical information

Prices

The nativity scene is free, but you will have to put a coin to animate and illuminate it.

Opening times

The nativity scene is accessible every day from 10 am to 6 pm up until the end of January.

Getting here

By car

The address is as follows: Eglise saint-Joseph, rue de l’école, 67440 Hengwiller. Hengwiller is located:

  • 12 km from Saverne (about 20 minutes drive)
  • 35 km from Strasbourg (about 40 minutes drive)
  • 82 km from Colmar (about 1h15 drive)
  • 124 km from Mulhouse (about 1h35 drive)
By public transport

You can have a look on Vialsace.

Wasselonne Christmas Market – Christmas at the Castle

noel-au-chateau-wasselonne

Wasselonne Christmas Market is called Christmas at the Castle. The medieval theme is expressed through several stalls and activities. For example, you can see a demonstration of stone cutting, of horseshoe-making, of stained-glass widow making… There are also many activities for children: poney rides, archery, donkeys and goats to observe and pet… It’s nice! The Christmas market is of average size: it’s not huge, but it has a few stalls. I was a little bit disappointed by those: some are really in the Christmas spirit and some not at all, which gives it more a vibe of street fair than Christmas market. Such a shame.

I liked

  • Medieval activities
  • Not a lot of people, not very touristic

I liked a little less

  • Christmas market booths of varied quality

Practical information

Opening dates and times

You will find here the opening dates and times of Wasselonne Christmas market.

Getting here

By car

Wasselonne is located:

  • 18 km from Saverne (about 20 minutes drive)
  • 25 km from Strasbourg (about 30 minutes drive)
  • 72 km from Colmar (about 1h drive)
  • 114 km from Mulhouse (about 1h25 drive)
By public transport

You can have a look on Vialsace.

Graufthal Christmas market

sapin-noel-graufthal Graufthal Christmas market i a very small Christmas market with a very local atmosphere. There are definitely not a lot of tourists! If you want to escape the crowds and enjoy a small market in a pretty setting, this market might be perfect for you. Graufthal is indeed located at the heart of the regional nature park of Vosges du Nord. The village is known for its troglodyte houses. Even if they cannot be visited in December, it’s worth going to see. Nested in the rock, they are pretty surprising.

I liked

  • The place: a wonderful natural setting with troglodyte houses
  • A small market with no crowds

I liked a little less

  • It’s very local, so I felt some people were looking at me with surprise! 😉
  • Very small market

Practical information

Dates

Coming soon..

Getting here

By car

Graufthal is located:

  • 16 km from Saverne (about 20 minutes drive)
  • 62 km from Strasbourg (about 50 minutes drive)
  • 104 km from Colmar (about 1h30 drive)
  • 146 km de Mulhouse (1h50 environ
By public transport

It is not possible 🙁