The well-preserved 9th century town of Colmar, just to the south of Strasbourg, is one of the most picturesque you will find in all of France. Largely untouched by the ravages of war and revolution, this quaint and picturesque town is beautiful preserved and its German and French heritage can easily be seen in its famous, quality old structures. There are no hastily assembled sections here to cover up anything left over from ancient war, and the styles of building in Old Town range from German Gothic to French neo-Baroque and everything in between.
A stroll down the streets of Old Town are sure to contain surprises for even the most weathered and seasoned of travellers. Its Germanic and French houses, shops and monuments have all been adapted to the local surroundings; having been built with pink and yellow Vosges sandstone and made with timber framing.
With a hot, sunny microclimate, the ‘capital of Alsatian wine’ has a well-earned reputation. The dry weather is perfect for the growing of some of the world’s best dry Rieslings – best sampled from a café along the banks of the Lauch River which meanders through town.
The best way to enjoy Colmar is by taking a meander down its cobblestoned streets, nipping in and out of cafes and sampling local wines and the heavily German influenced Alsatian cuisine. Of particular note is the Maison des Tetes (House of Heads), a riveting and slightly disturbing 17th century house which has its own restaurant nowadays.
Visit beautiful fountains scattered around town, such as the Fontaine de l'Amiral Bruat, or gaze in awe at its largest and most relic-filled church Église Saint-Martin with its early stained glass windows and Grand Baroque organ. Afterwards, consider taking a saunter over to one of the town’s museums such as the stunning Unterlinden Museum.
Outside the town, Colmar is part of the Alsatian Vineyard Route, and any trip to the region is incomplete without visiting the nearby villages and vineyards – and the chance to learn about the wine making process and tradition here.
Renting holiday accommodation in Colmar
With its rich cultural heritage and smaller, rural feel; the best way to experience a stay in Colmar and indeed in the Alsace region is by booking your own holiday rental. With such a wide variety of stunning properties to stay in, whether you are looking for a terrace overlooking the river or a trendy city-centre apartment, avoid a hotel room by staying in one of the buildings used to inspire Howl’s Moving Castle. And at the end of the day when you put your feet up in your own living room, cook the local delicacy flammekeuche in your very own kitchen.