Quick Guide: Kaysersberg, bursting with Alsatian charm
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The history of Kaysersberg in Haut-Rhin is as varied as the flavours of gingerbread available in its bakeries. Situated on one of the branches of the Camino de Santiago and now part of the popular Alsace Route des Vins, the town has long occupied an important strategic position and has been both German and French during its history. The town’s name comes from the 13th-century castle’s German Imperial past, translating to Emperor’s Mountain. Surrounded by vineyards, the pretty medieval town only has around 2700 permanent residents, known as Kaysersbergois, and is one of France’s villages préférés.
What should I see and do in Kaysersberg?
Kaysersberg is perfect to explore on foot, giving the best possible views of its narrow winding streets and the beautiful timbered medieval buildings clustered around the River Weiss. The ruined 13th-century château is a looming presence, perched high above the town and a reminder of the disputed history of this border country. It’s well-worth a visit for the incredible views it affords of both the town and the vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see. The town really comes to life in the run up to Christmas, with a bustling Christmas market (one of several in this area) taking place every weekend of advent. Windows of homes and shops in the town are decorated with fir garlands and after dark the town is illuminated with Christmas lights. The aroma of fresh gingerbread and mulled wine waft around the wooden chalets selling traditional crafts, gifts and food – simply magical.
What should I eat and drink in Kaysersberg?
This is an area with a huge array of incredible places to eat and drink, several with Michelin stars to their names. One-starred Alchémille offers exceptional fine-dining options (menu from €70) while Flamme & Co sits at the more affordable end of the spectrum, focussing in on the local speciality of the tarte flammée in a variety of forms, in a cool modern setting (mains from €9.30).
Where should I stay in Kaysersberg?
Spend an arty stay at the comfortable and modern Art Hôtel. Located just at the entry to the old town, each of the hotels eight rooms is decorated with work by well-known artists and some have a view of the château. Evening meals are available in the hotel and pets are welcome (with supplement) (doubles from €90).
How do I get to Kaysersberg?
Kaysersberg is a 6hr 20min drive from Calais. Flights are available from UK to both Strasbourg and Basel-Mulhouse, each around a one hour drive from Kaysersberg.