Obernai is one of my favorite wine towns in Alsace, so when I learned I could get there mostly on bike paths from Strasbourg, it went to the top of my rides-to-do list. Little did I know that it would be one of my favorite bicycling rides in the region, despite a rocky start.
The rocky start happened because we couldn’t find the beginning of the path, unfortunately a common problem with many cycle paths in France: connecting to them at the start of the day can be challenging. As a result, we ended up using the Forts Trail (which I call the cycle beltway around Strasbourg) to connect to the cycle route. The downside of this solution is that we missed the first 9 kms of the cycle path from Strasbourg. The good news, the rest of the path was fantastic, and we rode the last 9 km into Strasbourg on our return!
The main treat along this route is the Bruche Canal, which was built by the famous French architect Vauban to transport the red sandstone of fhe Vosges for the forts to be built around Strasbourg. This canal ride is so peaceful, through forests and by charming villages. Except for occassional cross overs of small roads, the route is completely car free from Strasbourg, making the route perfect for for all levels of cyclists, including families with kids.
There are regular signs along the canal, so there’s not much chance of getting lost, once you get on the path.
Since I was headed for Obernai and the Alsace wine route, I left the canal near the small village of Ergersheim. I was amazed to learn that the cycle route continued all the way to the outskirts of Obernai. The cycle path wasn’t totally car-free, but in places where it wasn’t, it was low traffic local roads with great signage all the way to Obernai.
The road to Obernai, part of the Alsace Wine Route shares the same path as EuroVelo 5 as it passes through this part of Alsace. You see this reflected in all of the signage along the way.
It’s less than 20 km to Obernai once you get off the Bruche Canal. It doesn’t take long before you start to see the rolling hills and vineyards that Alsace is so famous for.
Almost before you know it, you’ve arrived at the wonderful town of Obernai. Luckily for us, it was a holiday weekend and the whole town was celebrating, such a perfect way to end a perfect cycling ride to Obernai!
If you have the time, I would definitely recommend spending the night in Obernai, it’s an incredible treat. But if you don’t have the time, you can hop a train back and be back in Strasbourg in around 30 minutes. This is definitely a top favorite of mine in Alsace!