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Alsace

Ask the French what they think of Alsace and watch them grow misty-eyed with nostalgia and affection for this most idiosyncratic of regions, which borders Switzerland to the south and Germany to the east. So hard to nail in terms of its character, it proudly guards its own distinct identity, language, cuisine, history and architecture – part French, part German, 100% Alsatian. Here the candy-coloured towns and villages look as though they've popped up from a children's bedtime story, the gently rolling countryside, striped with vines, is nothing short of idyllic, and everywhere locals swear by centuries-old traditions.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Alsace.