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Alsace Lorraine Travel Guide

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Nancy © Wolfgang Staudt

Alsace-Lorraine is a small area between Germany and France that has a history of being passed back and forth between the two countries for more than a thousand years. Because of this, Alsace-Lorraine is possibly the least French part of France, with a strongly German heritage, especially in the Alsace region. The two regions, in the northeast corner of France, share borders not just with France and Germany, but Belgium and Luxembourg as well, making the area a true melting pot of European culture.

Pretty towns and villages in Alsace produce distinctive white wines often overlooked by the hordes of tourists in Bordeaux and Champagne country, and the Alsatian Vineyard Route is a great way to sample the region's great wines along with delicious Alsatian cuisine. Cities like Strasbourg and Colmar provide a bit of urban contrast, but preserve the character of the region with UNESCO-listed town centres containing many beautiful historic buildings and lively arts and culture communities.

Lorraine has a more pronounced German influence, but the inhabitants are still proudly French. Its main cities are Nancy, a lively city with a large student population; and Metz, with a strong military history and beautiful city centre.

Because of its geographic location, a holiday in Alsace-Lorraine gives visitors a chance to glimpse the unique culture and history of the region, but also makes a perfect base for a multi-country holiday with easy access to the Rhine Valley and both the French and Swiss Alps, and major cities like Berne, Basel, Frankfurt and Geneva.

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