In the Alsace region, the climate is semi-continental, with warm summers (some people would even say "superb Indian summers") and cold winters often accompanied by a great deal of snow. Spring and autumn seasons are said to be "marvellous" for their weather. Alsace region is protected from the west winds by the Vosges mountain range, consequently giving Alsace a pleasant climate. One of the lowest levels of rainfall in France (at 700 mm per year) is also found in Alsace (Colmar).
Alsace: home of the traditional Choucroute (Sauerkrout)Supposing I say: foie gras (goose or duck liver) and choucroute? That's right, we've just arrived in Alsace and we are now on our way to Strasbourg where we will unearth untold culinary treasures.But first, lets pause for a while in order to talk about choucroute.Now you might as well be told choucroute is not the traditonal dish of Alsace, it is THE dish of every single Alsatian who, according to tradition, would prepare himself his own choucroute and this, right until the beginning of the 20th century. It is a family dish, a Sunday dish, which still has a long way to go. Same thing for foie gras, which is also an Alsatian idea. Indeed, the idea of cooking it was born here. It came from the cook of Maréchal de Contades, and the recipe for smooth and nearly melting foie gras spread like wild fire to Versailles. For an aperitif, it is always accompanied by beer and the unavoidable bretzel. But there are many other specialties in Alsace such as baeckeoffe (potatoes and pork), flamed tart and spaetzle (a noodle variety) that will go well with any poultry or game. A great variety of tarts are also to be found on the Alsatian table: flammekueche or flamed tart, made from bread dough, cream, onions and pieces of sliced bacon. Neither must we forget ginger bread extremely popular in the region.Last but by no means least comes white wines with wonderfully different tastes and aromas: Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat, Tokay pinot gris, Sylvaner, Pinot blanc and Pinot noir to mention but a few.
ColmarThe capital of Alsace Centre, near Germany and Switzerland, Colmar (roughly 67,000 inhabitants) is situated between Strasbourg and Basel, and the Vosges and the Rhine. Despite the ups and downs of its turbulent history, Colmar has managed to preserve its historical centre intact. The latter has been listed as a « protected area » and undergone constant restoration and enhancement.MulhouseMulhouse has kept a significant and unique historical heritage from its past as an independent republic. As the European capital city for science and industry museums, Mulhouse invites you to discover its rich past through its prestigious museums, such as the Mulhouse National Automobile Museum - Schlumpf Collection, the French Railway Museum or the Museum of Printed Textiles, and through its historical centre with a wonderful ancient town hall of rhenish Renaissance style.StrasbourgStrasbourg, the 7th city of France, prefecture of the Low Rhine, is the intellectual and economic capital of Alsace. Its privileged geographical situation as a center of international communications and its position of Latin sentinel by the Rhine as well as its rich history, ensure its exceptional importance. It was therefore natural that Strasbourg was chosen as the home of European institutions.Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural ParkThe Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park is one of the largest nature parks in France. An extraordinary mix of fauna, flora and landscapes can be found in its natural environment. A lot of activities ( including paragliding, mountain biking, hiking...) can be practised in the twenty snow sports resorts of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park.