The Volerie des Aigles is, as the Montagne des Singes, one of the must-do activities for children in Alsace. I actually went there when I was a kid visiting Alsace with my parents. I didn’t remember it very well, so it was great to go back and visit it again.
La Volerie des Aigles, a very unique place in Alsace
La Volerie des Aigles in Alsace is the first of its kind in France. It was founded in 1968, from a desire to restore the image of these birds to the public, for breeding purposes, but also to support actions for biodiversity conservation. It also presents some endangered birds of prey. The volerie also has its own breeding centre and is hoping to be able one day to reintroduce some extinct species back into the wild .
The Volerie des Aigles is located in quite an unusual place on the Alsace Wine Route: Kintzheim castle is an impressive fortified castle in ruins, dating back from the 13th century and located on the heights of Kintzheim. This is where the birds of prey live and it’s possible to see them and learn more about them, through the explanatory cards on display, while visiting the castle. Don’t forget to enjoy the pretty views over the village, the plain of Alsace, and the German Black Forest in the background.
The Volerie des Aigles presents a large number of birds and species (more than 70 species), with for example:
- in the category of diurnal raptors, the Steller’s sea eagle, which is the biggest and most powerful eagle (with a wingspan of 2.5m) and the White-tailed eagle;
- in the category of nocturnal raptors, the Great grey owl, which is one of the biggest owl, Verreaux’s eagle-owl, the Snowy owl (heroine in Harry Potter! Yes!) or even the Spectacled owl.
Shows at the Volerie des Aigles
When visiting the Volerie des Aigles, you have to see one of the shows during which the birds fly freely. A show lasts about 40 minutes and you will be able to admire various species of raptors, such as falcons, eagles, hawks, vultures, owls and Andean condors, among the most beautiful in the world. It is very impressive to see them fly, especially as they will come close to your heads! Big thrills guaranteed!
Adults and children can also take part in the show by receiving a bird on their arm with the help of a trainer, as would a true falconer do. The show is also very interesting to learn a lot about the lifestyles and habits of these birds. I was really impressed by the Egyptian vulture that uses stones to break ostrich eggs and eat. Clever, isn’t it?
- Observing birds of prey from up close
- Being able to see them fly and learn more about they lifestyle
- The place in itself
- Pass Alsace partner
I liked a little less
- The birds are tied up. Apparently, these birds don’t move in their natural habitat once there are fed (they only move around to hunt), but it seemed a bit odd to see them like that.
My pictures of the Volerie des Aigles
Prices and opening times
For Pass Alsace holders, admission is free!
There are “exceptional days”, when it is possible to learn about training birds and to fly some of them on your own. The takings from the tickets for these special tours are given to nature conservation associations.
The address is as follows: Château de Kintzheim 67600 Kintzheim (do not confuse it with Kientzhein in the department 68). Kintzheim castle is located:
- 22 km from Colmar (about 25 minutes drive)
- 57 km from Strasbourg (about 45 minutes drive)
- 64 km from Mulhouse (about 45 minutes drive)
By public transport
The bus line 500 of the network 67 « Navette du Haut Koenigsbourg » stops at the Volerie des Aigles: it is only 15 minutes from the train station Sélestat. Be careful, as it doesn’t run every day. Please have a look at the schedule of the line 500.
To calculate your itinerary from your starting point, please have a look at the website Vialsace.
There is a small food court in the castle. I have not tried it.