A Comprehensive Guide to the
Top Attractive Sights in Vosges Massif

Introduction

The Vosges are a series of low-lying mountains, near the border between France and Germany. They form a geomorphological unit with the Palatine Forest in German territory measuring 8,000 km2. The Vosges Massif is a prime tourist destination in the East of France. It lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Besides the stunning landscapes, Vosges Massif offers adventure sports and an abundance of lakes. The Vosges offers excellent food and a tranquil environment, making it a refreshing choice for holiday-goers in France.

What Is the Vosges Massif Best Known For?

The Vosges Massif is the ideal holiday spot for outdoor enthusiasts. It offers countless attractions to visitors of different ages.

Mountain biking

Biker trails cut across the Vosges Mountains. Sheer drops and picturesque meadows adorn the path.

Adventure parks

Adventure parks such as the Parc Alsace Aventure and Fantasticable in La Bresse are perfect for thrill-seekers.  The 3,000-meter ziplines of the Parc Alsace Aventure is a sight to see!

Wildlife parks

The Vosges boasts a variety of wildlife and nature parks  for lovers of the great outdoors.

Hiking Trails

Hiking trails run through valleys, over scenic hills and through dense forests.

Mountains

Deep in the Hautes Vosges, the Grand Ballon is the highest point, rising to 1,424 meters. In ancient times they called it Ballon de Guebwiller or Ballon de Murbach.  The snow-covered mountains serve as an attraction and a sports ground in winter.

Summer resorts

Vosges Massif resorts are famous in the summer for their bike parks, barefoot paths, and sledging activities.

Lakes

Magnificent lakes and rivers dot the Vosges landscape. The Pierre-Percée Lake (the Pearl of the Vosges) in Gérardmer is a popular choice. The Xonrupt-Longemer Lake is another excellent choice with its water sports activities. Enjoy the saunas, water slides, hammams and visit the aquatic centres in the Vosges Mountains.

6. Flamands Beach (Anse des Flamands)

Flamands Beach is the largest beach at Saint Barthelemy. Saint Fishermen sometimes cast their nets here, and when the sea is calm, it’s a great beach to swim. If conditions are right, surfing can be good too. Flamands is one of the few shaded beaches on Saint Barthelemy and you don’t have to drag an umbrella down here.

Cycling

The scenic plains of Munster and La Bruche are excellent choices for cycling.

Wellness centres

Experience the comfort of spas and wellness centres. Enjoy relaxing massages with essential oils, warm baths, and body scrubs.

The Vosges Massif sandstone

The pink sandstone is a symbol of the Vosges. You can explore several structures around the mountains built with the colourful sandstone.

Glassworks

Experience the wonders of the Vosges glassworks. The same with its wine, fashion, and cheese, Vosges is famous for its glassworks. Come explore its roots!

Wine

The vineyards of Alsace lie deep in the shadow of the Vosges mountains. Visit Alsace and see the vineyards of Grains Nobles and Vendanges Tardives, Pinot Blanc, and Muscat.

Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sylvaner, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer offer added choices for wine lovers. They grow seven unique kinds of vine in the Vosges. Each one has special characteristics, giving Alsace wines their global status. Try complex flavours and taste the wonders of the Vosges in the pleasant company of wine masters.

Beer and Liqueurs

Distillers in the region grow their crops. They make eau-de-vie seasoned with prunelle, mirabelle, rowanberry, and elderberry from local produce. Local distillers in the Vosges make creams, apéritif wines, and liqueurs from fruit and plants.

The French have brewed their beer in the Vosges for centuries. The clean water of the Vosges enriches the craft. Distilleries grow hops and barley to offer an exceptional variety of excellent beer. The rich culture of the distilleries and microbreweries is a must-see for holiday-goers.

Pure springs and mineral waters

Clear springs litter the Vosges Mountains many of them discovered in the Roman era. Their well-adjusted mineral properties and purity work wonders on your health.

The Christmas markets and St Nicholas’ Day

Watch the Mountains glow as the locals revive the fable of St. Nicholas. The Vosges foie gras is a popular choice at each celebration since the 18th century. Enjoy it as a slice, fresh, chilled or fried.

You can find seasonal food at the Christmas markets. Feed your cravings with treats such as the Lebkueche, biscuits and dried fruit cakes. Even better is the Männele or a hat-shaped Stoll cake.

Indulge your sweet tooth

The Vosges boasts a sizable range of sugary treats such as the rhubarb, bilberry, and plum tarts. Candy makers prepare the sweets in copper boilers and spice them with violet, eucalyptus, poppy, and bergamot.

Try the apple strudel and Streusselkueche seasoned with cinnamon. The Kougelhopf cake is another trademark of Alsace.

Where Should You Visit in the Vosges Massif?

There are many seasonal attractions for holiday-goers in the Vosges Mountains. The region has a period for snowshoeing, sledding, and skiing. There is a period for hiking through woods and meadows. You can dip in the lakes of the Vosges in the summer. The symbolic pink sandstone and its refinements adorn several monuments. The Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg and the Saint-Dié cathedral are in this category. Take a tour of the majestic scenes bearing the scars of WWI. Explore the Must-see holiday spots in the Vosges Mountains.

History lessons in the Vosges Massif

You should visit Saint Barthelemy during the Brulé Vaval, a raucous celebration that brings most of the island down to Shell Beach and set fire to the night of the Carnival of Saint Barthelemy.

You can take a history lesson on WWI at Hartmannswillerkopf. The rugged outcrop rises a staggering 956 metres over the Alsatian plain. It earned the nickname Mountain of Death from the battles on the site during the First World War. Tours are available for visitors in the battered shelters and trenches. See the horrors of a grim period in human history.

Visit the medieval Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg constructed in the 12th century. The fortress boasts stunning views over the Alsatian plains, the Alps, and the Black Forest. In the spirit of the Middle Ages, the last German Emperor commissioned restoration work on the fort in the 19th-century. You can explore art from the Gothic and Roman eras at the Saint-Dié in Saint-Dié-des-Vosges cathedral. Afterwards, take in the stained-glass windows and contemporary art exhibits.

Local Wildlife

Breathe in the mountain air and meet the furry locals at Saint-Valbert’s Fougerolles animal park. Look out for the sika deer, chamois, red deer, and ibex. Visit the observatory tower in Gérardmer. Enjoy a spectacular view of the Vosges from Tête de Mérelle.

Nature

Vosges is the perfect spot for nature lovers. In winter, you can visit the cross-country skiing resort of Ventron. Tackle the ice on a snowmobile in La Schlucht. Go snowshoeing at Lac Blanc and snow kiting in La Bresse.

In the summer, Lake Gerardmer becomes a playground for people of different ages, with loads of water sports. Hiking trails stretch across the mountains spanning 4,000 kilometres. Woods, rocky cliffs, lakes and rivers cross the regional park in the Ballons des Vosges.

Shopping at the Heart of the Vosges

The Vosges massif is a paradise for shoppers. You can find wooden toys made from the local Voges forests and Baccarat crystals. Shop for Meisenthal Christmas balls made from hand-blown glass. Try the delicious local sweets made using pine sap and honey-flavoured gingerbread. Don’t forget to try the signature cheese of Vosges and the Mirabelle plum jam.

The Blue Line of the Vosges

The Blue Line of the Vosges is famous among the French. It has served as the border separating Alsace from Lorraine since the Germans seized the region in 1871.

Hikers visit the Blue Line for its diverse trails for walkers of various levels.

Lac Blanc (The White Lake)

The Lac Blanc is a high-altitude lake in Orbey. Its name comes from the colour of sand found beneath it. The lake adjoins a pine forest and a rocky outcrop which supports the famous Hans Castle. A statue of the Virgin watches over the lake.

Haut-Koenigsbourg castle

This restored 12th-century castle has dominated the Alsatian landscape for centuries. Standing at a staggering 2,171 feet deep in the Vosges forest, the Château overlooks the wine route. The castle offers a stunning view of the plains of Alsace. You can see the rolling hills of the Vosges, the Alps, and the Black Forest.

The Merelle Observatory

The observatory offers a splendid view of Gérardmer lake. You have an excellent view of the cascading waterfalls.

Little Colorado

The observatory offers a splendid view of Gérardmer lake. You have an excellent view of the cascading waterfalls.

You can locate the Alt Schlossfelsen through the quaint village of Roppeviller lying in the Pays de Bitche. The rocky ridge which spans 1500m owes its nickname, the Little Colorado of the Vosges, to its radiant colour.

Sacred Stones

Lovers of nature can bask in the Alsatian spiritual centre. The Pagan Wall (Mur Païen) is a brilliant starting point. The enclosure covers an incredible 11km formed with enormous blocks of sandstone. It is a top hiking destination with many trails and paths.

Saint-Die-des-Vosges Cathedral

The Cathedral of Saint-Die-des-Vosges displays the signature pink sandstone of the Vosges. It echoes the unique architectural styles of the countless centuries.

Citadel of Belfort

See Colmar-born artist Bartholdi’s 22-metre-high sculpture of a lion. Bartholdi is renowned for his work on the Statue of Liberty.

Dabo

Man and nature combine their powers to spectacular effect in Dabo. Visit the block of pink sandstone formed by the elements over 200 million years ago. Now it serves as the foundation of a majestic monument. The building boasts the same pink sandstone.

What are the best Restaurants in Vosges Massif?

The Vosges Massif presents a diverse culinary experience. From farmhouse inns to five-star restaurants, many establishments offer fine dining choices. Enjoy pork, ham, sauerkraut, and meats spiced with silver fir. Taste the delicious Bäckeoffe stew, pies, quiches, truite au bleu and trout prepared in Riesling. Try the Munster cheese (géromé) in Lorraine.

Farmhouse Inns

Farmhouse inns in the Vosges offer several dishes made with fresh produce from local farms. It is the ideal place to enjoy a family meal. Enjoy a warm welcome, a homely atmosphere, and a splendid architectural backdrop. You can dine on large wood benches and tables in a natural setting. Try the well-known repas marcaire, the traditional dish of farmhouse-inns. It includes soup or a pie, potatoes boiled in butter with bacon and onions. Add a farmhouse fromage blanc peppered with a bilberry tart or kirsch, along with a slice of Munster cheese. Culinary heaven! For the perfect farmhouse experience, try the Ferme-Auberge de la Mexel mountain farm. It lies between Gérardmer’s Nordic and Alpine resorts.

Maître Restaurateurs

Find a restaurant with a Maître Restaurateur sign If your interests lie in fresh produce from local distributors and impeccable service.Try the Restaurant La côte de boeuf at 3 Place de l'Atre 88000 Epinal.

Explore Nature’s Free Restaurants

From lake-side spots to open plains, you never run out of picnic spots. The markets offer local produce and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables you can pack for your picnic.

Best Places to Stay in the Vosges Massif

In the Vosges Massif, the landscape creates a serene atmosphere that encourages healing. Here are the tranquil locations to enjoy nature’s embrace in the Vosges.

The Bleu Minuit

The cottages have terraces equipped with hot tubs and a telescope to seek the stars. A glass ceiling gives you a view of the Milky Way.The stunning wood-frame lodges of the Bleu Minuit have enormous bay windows. In the rooms, you have lots of natural light and a view of the Vosges Natural Park.

Hotel & Résidence Les Vallées Labellemontagne

In La Bresse, the hotel & résidence adjoins the ski slope station La Bresse Hohneck Labellemontagne. Les Vallées Labellemontagne offers an indoor pool, sauna, spa, hammam, and hot tub.

Hostellerie Des Bas-Rupts

You can find Hostellerie Des Bas-Rupts in the hills of the Vosges Mountains. Guests can enjoy the tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, sauna, beauty centre and hammam. The in-house restaurant offers local French cuisine, with an impressive wine collection.

Le Hameau des Sens

Hameau des Sens provides lodgings on the rolling hills of the Vosges Mountains. You can enjoy the Nordic Jacuzzis mounted on the terraces and stunning views of the countryside. The atmosphere of wellness in the Hameau des Sens makes it an excellent accommodation choice in the Vosges Massif.

Things to Do in Vosges Massif

Explore the Natural Park of Ballons des Vosges

At Saline Beach, you'll find topless women frolicking between your toes in the transparent azure water and patches of smooth, white sand that tastes like powdered sugar. There are no shops, no stores, no bars, and no restaurants here. Just make sure to pack your own food and drinks.

Another local destination is Colombier, a remote refuge that can only be accessed by boat or a rugged hike of about 30 minutes. Consider leaving early in the morning to escape the heat of the day.

Go Cross-Country Skiing at Ventron

Ventron lies at the Alsatian gates deep in the heart of the Vosges Massif. It is a family resort with lush vegetation at an altitude of 640-meters. The Ermitage Frère Joseph ski resort located 4-kilometers from the city, has over 120-kilometers of trails.

Get a spa treatment in Ribeauvillé

You can relax at a warm-water spa in Ribeauvillé after exploring the vast Vosges mountainside. Hiking and sightseeing can take a toll, Ribeauvillé is the perfect place to recharge your batteries.

Climb the Spitzkoepfe

Skilled climbers should visit this natural climbing site in Metzeral. It is accessible to expert mountaineers alone. The awe-inspiring view of the Fischboedlé Lake makes it worth the effort.

Paraglide above the Treh-Markstein

Paragliding in Treh-Markstein is a must for thrill seekers. You can see more of the scenery of the Vosges mountains during a paragliding flight.

Visit the Vosges Massif

The Vosges Massif provides many attractions for holiday-goers. Explore the impressive architecture, art, and history of the region. Study the heritage of the Vosges Mountains in the museums, villas, and religious sites. You can experience the traditional occupation of the Vosges Mountains by touring the mines or sawmills.