Alsace, the region of which Strasbourg is the capital, runs west to east from the Vosges mountains through some of the most beautiful vineyards in France, to the mighty Rhine river and the border with Germany. Changing hands several times over the centuries between France and Germany has only strengthened the independent character of this fiercely traditional region, where a unique dialect is still the most popular spoken language. In visiting Alsace, you will note the extent to which this region is able to show and develop with passion its cultural, natural, and human heritage. This results in a unique attraction that make this region, even if it is one of the smallest of France, one of the most visited. Alsace is not only wonderful floral villages and Middle Age castles in a green landscape – it is above all a region shaped by a multitude of influences; a region in the heart of Europe. Alsace offers a fantastic range of sites of architectural, historic and religious interest, gastronomy, and traditions. This region is also known for its charming colorful and richly flower-filled villages that are always great to stroll around. It is also the ideal place to sample famous wines and enjoy excellent, typical Alsatian dishes.

Our Excursion Program will give you the opportunity to discover a little bit of this magical region, as well, of course, to give you an insight to Strasbourg, its traditional heritage, and its modernity. An exceptional offer of two classes with a famous French “patissier” complete our offer of excursions, all of them designed for both attendees and their accompanying persons.

The Leicester Room is the meeting place for participants in the Excursions Program prior to departing from the Convention Center. Coffee and tea will be offered one hour prior to the listed departure time with light refreshments for those taking early tours. Unless otherwise noted, all excursions will depart from the Hall Erasme in the Convention Center and will return to the Convention Center.

Please note that all our one-day excursions include lunch in a local restaurant.

E1 - Obernai and Wine Tasting

Sunday, 30 October - 14:00-17:00

early: €45, late: €60

Departure at 14:00 from Strasbourg Convention Center by bus and with an English speaking guide to Obernai, a busy town of the Renaissance age with a proud belfry overlooking the Market square, a town hall finely decorated and pretty half timbered residences which are the genuine witnesses of a rich and renowned past.

Continuing on to Barr and visit of one of the most important wine cellar of Alsace, its ancient oak barrels and its small wine museum. There, you will sample a selection of the most famous grape varieties of Alsace.

The price includes: transportation, English-speaking guide, Wine Tasting

E2 - Baden-Baden

Monday, 31 October - 09:00-17:00

early: €80, late: €95

Departure at 9:00 a.m. from Strasbourg Convention Center by bus and with an English speaking guide to Baden-Baden, the famous thermal springs spa located in the heart of the Black Forest in Germany. We will enjoy a guided visit of the city and a walk in the English gardens, a true oasis for a moment of peace and relaxation, which shelters the Kurhaus, the Casino and the Buvette (Trinkhalle); then a stroll along the banks of the Oos river on the Lichtentaler Allee, considered to be the most beautiful walk in Baden-Baden.

We will have lunch in a typical restaurant and In the afternoon, we will visit the Roman Bath Ruins. Even the Romans appreciated the relaxing effects of Baden-Baden's thermal spring water! You can admire their masterwork by visiting the 2000 year old bath ruins, which are one of Germany's oldest and best kept examples. The Roman bath ruins have retained their symmetrical structure. The pools for warm and cold water still have their original surfaces. And large parts of the relaxation room and sauna area, which were lined with sandy limestone, also remain. The remains of the hypocaust heating system – a forerunner of today’s underfloor heating provide a further point of interest.

After this cultural visit, we will drive along the romantic crest road of the Black Forest to the Mummelsee, a beautifule mountain lake with a lot of famous legends.

Please note: All the participants must carry an ID for possible border control - this excursion being in Germany.

E3 - North of Alsace, Betschdorf and Lalique Museum

Tuesday, 1 November - 09:00-17:00

early: €80, late: €95

Departure at 09:00 from the Strasbourg Convention Center to Betschdorf, a nice village where the pottery making tradition has remained in existence since the Middle Ages. In the 18th century emigrants from Rhine imported a novel technique based on the polishing with local sandstone salt. The dominant color is gray and cobalt blue, which is typical of Betschdorf. We will visit a pottery workshop where you will be able to observe both the pottery wheels at work and the art of hand-painted decoration. Some free time will allow you to go shopping or admire the authentic half-timbered houses.

We will continue on to Wingen-sur-Moder, in the Parc régional des Vosges du Nord, where we will have lunch

In the afternoon we will have a guided visit in the Lalique Museum. From the end of the 19th century to the present day, some 650 exhibits take you on a journey through the world of Lalique encompassing Art Nouveau jewellery, contemporary crystal creations and Art Déco glassware. The museum shop has a good selection of books, post cards, crystal objects and children’s games. Plenty of gift ideas! You will have again some free time for shopping or strolling in the garden.

E4 - Pedestrian Tour in Strasbourg (and Lunch)

Wednesday, 2 November - 09:00-14:00

early: €60, late: €75

We will meet at 09:00 in front of the cathedral with an english speaking guide for a pedestrian discovery of Strasbourg: a two hours walk in the old pedestrian districts around the cathedral and the Petite France, an area listed as World heritage of Humanity by Unesco. Among other things, this tour provides an opportunity to see the former tanners’ houses, the covered bridges and the Vauban Dam in the Petite France, the Kammerzell house and of course the famous cathedral, a shining example of gothic art.

The guided tour will end at 12:00 at one of the most famous historical restaurants of the city, the Maison Kammerzell where we will have a 3-course lunch (included in the excursion fees).

E5 - Patisserie!

Wednesday, 2 November - 14:30-17:30

Thursday, 3 November - 14:30-17:30

early: €80, late: €95

Christoph Felder, one of the best known pastry chefs (maître pâtissiers) in France, authors books which become best-sellers and is often seen on television culinary programs. He grew up in a world of sweetness and quality thanks to his father, a baker and pastry chef in Alsace, who taught him about the value of quality, simplicity, work, and discipline, and who also gave him a taste for teaching these same values to others. Today, Christophe Felder shares his time between Strasbourg, Paris, and Japan and continues to refine his recipes as well as invent new creations for himself, his books, and others.

We offer two classes with Christoph Felder, “Eclair” on Wednesday, and “Royal Chocolat” on Thursday. In his kitchen, not much different than yours in your own home, but maybe with more state-of-the-art kitchen tools, the Maître will teach you the secrets of creating a perfect Éclair or the sumptuous Royal Chocolat. With a limit of only 9 students in each class, you will be able to create your own dessert and learn from a truly great Chef.

The meeting point will be in the lobby of the Hotel Suisse, 2/4 Rue de la Râpe, Strasbourg, next to the Cathedral, at 14:15.

E6 - Strasbourg – Boat Tour and European Parliament

Thursday, 3 November - 10:00-13:00

early: €40, late: €55

After a short bus ride from the Convention Centre to city centre, we will board on a boat for a 1-hour cruise on the river Ill around the historical heart of the town. You’ll admire the Palais Rohan, sumptuous palace of the Bishops houses, the ancient custom house, the old town port, Saint-Thomas church and "La Petite France".

The cruise will end at the European Parliament, where we will have for a one-and-half-hour visit of Parliament with English speaking guides. Return to the Convention Center by bus.

Note that lunch is NOT included in this excursion.

Please note: All the participants must be registered and show an ID for the European Parliament visit!

E7 - Colmar and Ribeauvillé

Friday, 4 November - 09:00-17:00

early: €80, late: €95

Departure at 9:00 from the Convention Centre by bus with an English speaking guide to Colmar. Wonderfully preserved from the ravages of time, its homogenous historical centre is classed as a 'protected area' and has benefited from careful restoration and ongoing improvements for more than 20 years. A lively and pleasant guided walking tour in the Old Town, around the high points of the Old Colmar´s architectural heritage, will allow you to discover Colmar, a town with many attractions and an undeniable charm all its own, including half-timbered houses, canals and the flower-decked town centre. Lunch will be served in a typical local restaurant (included in the excursion fees).

After lunch, we will head to Ribeauvillé, located on the Wine Route, half-way between Strasbourg and Mulhouse, where we will have a walking tour of the charming historic village, nestled in the vineyards and dominated by the majestic ruins of the three castles of the Lords of Ribeaupierre. The Grand-Rue (main street) and its picturesque neighbouring streets, lined with 15th- to 18th-century buildings, are scattered with Renaissance fountain-decorated squares. Many buildings are worth a visit, including the Town Hall with its prestigious collection of silver drinking-cups, the Butchers' Tower (13th century), the former Corn Exchange, the House of the Fiddlers, etc.

Before leaving Ribeauvillé, we will stop at the Beauvillé manufacture’s shop. The brand, synonymous with luxury, quality and tradition, has been known for more than two centuries as the must tablecloths and printed linens (possibility of shopping).

E8 - Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle, Wine Tasting and Lunch in Riquewihr

Saturday, 5 November - 09:00-17:00

early: €80, late: €95

Departure from the Convention Center by bus with an English speaking guide to Haut-Koenigsbourg castle(60 min. drive). A visit of this fortified castle, extraordinarily well restored at the beginning of this century, recreates the atmosphere of the end of the Middle Ages by virtue of several interesting collections of furnishings and arms from the 15th through the 17th centuries.

The tour continues to a very typical Alsatian wine-producing village where we will visit a wine cellar and have wine tasting of several Alsatian wines.

We will then continue to Riquewihr and have lunch in a typical local restaurant, where you will be able to taste Flammekueche.

In the afternoon, you will have a guided visit of the medieval city of Riquewihr, winegrowing community on the Wine Route member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in France, unique in the world for its ensemble of houses dating from the 15th to 18th centuries and with characteristic half-timbered facades. Free time for shopping or strolling.