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Motorcycling in the Vosges, beautiful and mountainous

In the east of France you will find the Vosges, a resource-filled place where it is not only good to go hiking or cycling but also to explore the area with the motorcycle. Nature is absolutely beautiful and there are plenty of facilities for motorcyclists. The Vosges is a low mountain range located in the east of France, near the border with Germany. With its 1424 meters, the Grand Ballon is the highest peak in this region. Between the Vosges and the Rhine lies the Alsace with its colorful and flowery villages and fine wines.

The Vosges is one of the most beautiful areas to drive through the motor. You will find a beautiful nature. The area has a number of geological agreements with the Black Forest. The dense forests, steep slopes and many hairpin bends make your journey a true adventure. You will be completely surrounded by beautiful vineyards and in between you will also encounter some beautiful, quiet villages that are definitely worth a visit.

Because of the relatively low mountain passes, depending on the weather, it is possible to travel to the Vosges from May. Villages where viticulture is important, especially in June and September, welcome many tourists. Other villages are more focused on the holiday months of July and August.

We have several routes available for you. And we are happy to tell you the nicest cols and roads. The high ridges are less forested. This is clearly visible on the Route des Crêtes, with the Col du Bonhomme and the Col de la Schlucht, mountain tops around the Hohneck and the Grand Ballon as beautiful points.





Bicycles

The Vosges are a mountain range in the west of France near the border with Germany. Because of the beautiful nature and the cozy villages, this mountain is ideal for an active cycling holiday.

Bike rides are very popular in the Vosges area. Both recreational and sporting bicycle tourists can enjoy the beautiful routes that the cyclist takes along peaks and hills, breathtaking landscapes and green forests. In the West, recreational cyclists can especially enjoy a quiet bike ride. The east of the Vosges is then again designated for heavier bike rides along the beautiful peaks.

BICYCLE TRAINS IN THE VOSES

Cycling on the signposted bike paths. These are indicated with different colors and lead you along the most beautiful pieces of nature that the Vosges has to offer. The climate is ideal for cycling during the summer, making this period also busier than the rest of the year. Fortunately, in this region you do not suffer from mass tourism, so you can quietly enjoy a bike ride through nature.

RECREATIONAL BICYCLE TOURS

The Vosges are the ideal location for cyclists who want to enjoy a peaceful and beautiful tour through the variety of extensive forests and cultural landscapes. In addition, a number of special bicycle paths have been created that are intended for recreational cyclists. They barely have a difference in height and are therefore feasible for almost everyone. These routes are known as the 'Voies Vertes' or 'green cycle paths'. In addition, there are also a number of beautiful and quiet cycle paths along the canals in the Low Vosges.

But also in the High Vosges, which are known for its high mountain peaks and challenging climbs, the recreational cyclist can find something to his taste. In the valley between the villages Remiremont, Cornimont and Bussang there is a green route that runs over the route of an old railway. As a result, there is also a limited difference in height. Expect an impressive bike ride on a largely car-free road, surrounded by the imposing peaks of the High Vosges. Yet you can best take care of a bike with good gears and brakes. There is little difference in height, but it will never be as flat as in Belgium or the Netherlands. Keep this in mind.

SPORTING BICYCLE TOURS

Nevertheless, the Vosges are especially suitable for sporting bike rides which require a good condition. You will find many climbs and descents that lead you along green forests and overwhelming views. The highest point of the Vosges is the Grand Ballon with a height of 1424 meters. But other high tops or balloons are also a big challenge. Especially the cols on the eastern side of these balloons make the sporting cyclist gasp for a moment. There are large differences in altitude, with steep climbs that have a gradient of 5 to 10%. On the west side, however, the climbs are a bit more gradual.

In addition, a lot of cycling tourists also travel to the Thousand Lakes region or Mille Etangs. This area is located in the south of the Vosges in the Haute-Saône. The landscape consists of cozy roads, impressive valleys and natural thousands of beautiful lakes. There is little traffic and the roads are very well maintained in most cases.





Mountain biking

The Vosges are rightly applauded as a walking area. But mountain bikers do not have to get bored. Four hours in the car and you're really in the 'mountains'.

SHORT FACTS ABOUT MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE VOSES

Area: Vosges low mountain range.

Gravity / difficulty: Medium weight. Between 35 and 55 km per day; longer variants possible.

Navigation: GPS and registered route sheets.

Best season: May to October.

There: Car (600 km from Utrecht) or TGV (without bikes) from Paris to St.-Die-des-Vosges. From there transfer to Ban-sur-Meurthe

DETAILED INFORMATION

About the Vosges

The Vosges massif is a low mountain range with altitudes up to 1,400 meters. In other words: the climbs and descents have a respectable length and the region is considered a popular (training) area among sports cyclists. The Vosges are about 600 kilometers from Utrecht. From the Netherlands this is the place that is closest to home where you can experience 'real mountains'.

The High Vosges (Massif des Vosges) is the easternmost part of the Vosges, where the highest ridges lie, which form the border with the Alsace. The routes des Crêtes that runs over these ridges offers you the best views; in winter the route is also suitable for walking with snowshoes.

The Vosges chain is divided into four parts: the Great Vosges, from Belfort to Bruche; the Central Vosges, between the Bruche and the Col de Saverne; the Lower Vosges, between the Col de Saverne and the source of the Lauter and Hardt. The round peaks of the Great Vosges are called 'Ballons'. The highest point, the Grand Ballon, reaches a height of 1,424 meters.

The Vosges are located in the east of France, near the German border at the cities of Karlsruhe and Mulhouse. Capital of the Vosges department is Épinal. Tourist capital is Gérardmer. The Vosges region is not a rich region, both culturally and economically. The most important sources of income were the textile and timber industry, which developed here because of the natural sources (forests and running water) and the right humidity.

About the mountain bike tour

The Vosges may be especially known to walkers; mountain bikers will also get their money's worth. And relatively close too, because those who leave early in the morning can make their first test drive in the afternoon. We made a four-day trek, largely within the boundaries of the Parc Naturel des Ballons des Vosges. Established in 1989 and with an area of ​​3,000 km2, it is one of the largest nature parks in Europe. The mountain bike tour was an organized trip (see 'organized'). Depending on which variant you choose, you can cycle between 40 to 85 kilometers per day; but we have left those variants for what it is. We cycled resp. 50, 42, 53 and 55 kilometers per day. Maybe not very impressive, but that's why you do have time to take a look at the road and arrive at your overnight address on time.





Winter sports in the Vosges

Skiing close to home? That is possible in the Vosges. You can look forward to 171 kilometers of slopes: The ski areas are accessed by 143 ski lifts. In this low mountain range between Nancy and Basel, you will find a number of nice ski areas. If the snow conditions are good, then the Vosges turn into a fairytale winter landscape. With numerous forests and lakes, the Vosges have a beautiful backdrop for your winter sports holiday. Besides skiing, this area is also very suitable for cross-country skiing and hiking. Everyone can enjoy the snow and beautiful nature in its own way and pace. It is not even that far to the Vosges, it is even worth to go there for a ski weekend!

Real ski areas

Certainly La Bresse Hohneck feels like a real ski resort, La Bresse Hohneck is a small ski village of 5000 inhabitants in the middle of the Vosges (from 600 to 1363m). La Bresse is a popular winter sports destination for alpine skiers such as cross-country skiers and hikers, but you can also go skiing in Gérardmer Mauselaine. Lying in the middle of the pine forests and on a beautiful lake lies Gérardmer. For skiers there are 20 runs that run straight through the beautiful forests. Lac Blanc is a small but cozy winter sports area in the Vosges. This area is ideal for a quiet short ski. Here you stand less in line than in the more famous short-ski destinations close to home. You will find a mix between red, blue and green runs. There is one black descent, but it is not long. Because of the size and yet somewhat difficult level of difficulty, this area is best suited for the beginner and slightly advanced skier. In the area is also a small fun park, equipped with an airbag! You can also ski in artificial light in the evenings. Ventron is one of the more unknown ski areas in the Vosges. The area has many simple blue and green runs. This makes the ski resort Ventron especially suitable for beginners and children.

Cross-country skiing Vosges

In the lower parts of the Vosges this is very dependent on the weather, in the higher areas the snow security is a lot bigger At the ski resorts are marked trails and you can also rent equipment ("Ski de Fond" in French). In the lower parts of the Vosges you can also go cross-country skiing and forest trails if there is enough snow. There are usually no trails, but you have the whole forest for yourself alone.

Snowshoeing Vosges

Walking with snowshoes ("raquettes" in French) is possible everywhere in the Vosges where there is snow. The not overly steep hills and mountains make it an ideal landscape for snowshoes. You will not quickly reach a point where you can not go further, so walking freely is a good option. In and around the winter sports areas are often snow shoe hiking trails and you can also rent snowshoes there. If you have snowshoes yourself and visit the Vosges in the winter, take them with you! You can just have a few nice snow days with enough snow to make some nice walks. For those who are looking for more adventure on snowshoes, it is recommended to walk the "Route des Crêtes" in winter. Very nice, fantastic view of the Alps (in good weather) and an overwhelming tranquility.

Not like the Alps, but fun!

Do not expect ski resorts in the Vosges as we know them in the Alps, but those who ignore this comparison can go skiing or boarding.

Have fun skiing in the Vosges!

For more info see on wintersporters.be and/or on Onthesnow.co.uk





Hiking

The Vosges in the northeast of France are the ideal hiking area for both a short walk and multi-day walking tours. The untouched nature, vast forests and the many springs, streams and lakes provide an ever-changing panorama during your walking tour. The Vosges: the ideal hiking destination for all ages in all seasons.

Hiking in the high Vosges

To the east of Epinal the height differences are clearly larger and the area feels more Alpine. In and around the different valleys the views are very beautiful and from the highest peaks (Balloons) you can see the Alps in clear weather (but before that the Rhine Valley).

In this area are dozens of very beautiful valleys and peaks with fantastic hiking opportunities. There are a number of routes on top of the Balloons that are relatively flat, but there are also several that go further into the valley with more difference in height.

Walking in the low Vosges.

The landscape of the Vosges is more or less divided into two parts. The dividing line is located around Epinal in the middle of the Department of the Vosges.

West of Epinal, in the lower Vosges, the difference in altitude is less and the landscape consists of forests, villages and meadows.

This old-fashioned cultural landscape is very suitable for beautiful walks without too much height difference.

Hiking trails in the Vosges

In the Vosges there are hundreds of marked hiking trails ranging from 3 to 20 kilometers. In every village you can find walking routes and in most villages dozens of walking routes have been set out.

There are routes for every level everywhere. The gravity of the walks depends mainly on the part of the Vosges where you are walking.

In the higher parts, the longer routes are usually heavier because more elevation meters have to be bridged, but there are also less difficult routes to be found there.

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