After having discovered a cycling itinerary in the Thur valley some time ago, I’m taking you today on a new cycling loop, this time straddling the Thur and Doller valleys, the two most southern valleys ofAlsace. A shorter bike ride than the previous one: only 26km you, but you will still have to make a little effort since there are 300m of positive elevation change to ride 😉 Nothing too difficult, I assure you, but those who are not used to it might prefer to opt for an electric bike.
This loop ofAlsace by bike is the BL 625 “A toute vapeur vers le pays des oiseaux”, in a nod to the emblematic Thur-Doller tourist train, whose track we follow at one point. Bird country refers to the regional nature reserve of the Michelbach water body, which is home to many protected species and where the route passes. Most of the route is on road. Only a small part of it is on a bike path, so it’s not a route I would recommend with children, but it’s still small roads and I didn’t feel bothered at all by traffic.
By bike from the Wine Route…
The bike loop starts in Thann, a pretty town that I encourage you to discover before or after the ride, especially for its splendid collegiate church. One leaves the city quickly in direction of the vineyards of the village of Leimbach. Thann is indeed the southern gateway to the famous Alsace wine route!
… to mountain roads…
We change then rather quickly of atmosphere to pass from the vineyard to a more mountainous atmosphere. This is one of the aspects I like in this valley, we have both the vineyards and mountains! We cross pretty small villages with beautiful churches (blow of heart for the chapel of Rammersmatt and its varnished roof reminding Burgundy!) and the road goes up gradually, giving access to pretty points of view on the surroundings. Meadows, cows grazing peacefully, rivers… It is really exotic! We connect Leimbach, Rammersmatt then Bourbach-le-Bas by a pretty road of mountain raised: it is the principal difficulty of the day, that goes up slowly but surely!
…through a railroad track!
Once you arrive in Sentheim, the route becomes quite easy as it follows the railroad of the Thur-Doller tourist train, which gives another perspective on the landscapes of the valley. After passing a nice washhouse in Guewenheim, the road goes up towards Michelbach, but the climb is shorter than the previous one. It’s time to take a break at the Michelbach lake if you want to admire the birds… Or continue in the direction of Aspach-le-Haut, where you will find the Vélo Rail Sud Alsace, where you can cycle differently, on the railroad 😉 Just leave the loop and ride 1km further.
We return then to Thann by small roads and through fields, it is very pleasant. Another nice and exotic loop, to discover a not so well known corner of Alsace!
- Nice walk to discover little known corners
- A bit sporty on the mountain roads
I liked less
- Few bike paths, but traffic remains low
My photos of the bike ride in the Thur and Doller valleys
Departure and arrival
- Distance: about 26 km
- Elevation gain: about 300m
- Duration: about 2 hours, photo breaks included (but not the picnic!)
Find the details of the itinerary and the GPX route on the website Alsace à vélo .