Alsace Geography

  • Located at the eastern border of France, only 275 miles from Paris, Alsace is in the heart of Europe and shares borders with Germany and Switzerland.
  • Small but beautiful region, Alsace is 190 km long from North to South and only large of 50 km. Alsace offers majestic forests,rounded hills, famous vineyards, peaceful lakes and magnificent panoramas, thanks to its location between the Vosges Mountains to the west and the River Rhine to the east.
  • In Alsace the nature is at its best, with preserved and protected areas that everyone can discover throughout the year, especially ski resorts in winter and hiking paths in summer.

Alsace Geography and Key Data
Surface Area

Alsace consists of 8,280 km2 equivalent to 1.5% of France's total surface area.

This is the smallest region of France.

Departments Alsace consists of 2 departments: the Lower-Rhine (67) and the Upper-Rhine (68).
Communes Alsace is composed by more than 903 communes.
Water in Alsace

Alsace stretch from south to north along the Rhin, which borders it by the East.

Long of 1,320 kilometres the Rhin is the first river of Western Europe.

Alsace is limited in the North by the Lauter River which cross the town of Wissembourg.

The Ille River waters the following towns: Mulhouse, Colmar, Sélestat and Strasbourg.

Freshwater ponds and lakes

The most famous "lac Blanc" has an altitude of 1,055 m on 29 ha. Down at 955 m is situated the "lac Noir" on 14 ha with a hydro-electric powerhouse. Both lakes belong to the commune of Orbey.

"Lac des Truites" also called "Forlen lake" is the highest lake of Vosges mountains (Altitude 1,061 m). It is a ice-lake on 2.8 ha.

Between the Rhin and the Ill, there is a zone called the Ried or "reed country" including marshland and wet grassland.

Waterfall of Nideck, with vertical fall of 25 metres.

Mountains range in Alsace

West Alsace comprises the mountains range: Vosges

The "Grand Ballon" (ex ballon de Guebwiller) culminate at 1,424 m and the highest of Alsace.

Extreme-South Alsace comprises the moutains range: Jura.

The rest of the region is made of hills.

Ski Resorts Alsace accounts for 13 ski resorts including : the famous White Lake " Lac Blanc", Gérardmer, Markstein, le Bresse and Schnepfenried,Champ du Feu and Grand Ballon until 1,424 altitude metres.
Forests and Natural Parks in Alsace

Alsace gathers 833 000 ha of forest,equivalent to 2% of the total forest surface in France.

Mains forests being : Forêt de la Hardt,Forêt du Donon,Forêt de Haguenau (137 km²), Forêt d'Obernai,Forêt de Sélesta-Illwald.

Protected areas

Alsace includes two regional natural parks: "Parc Naturel Régional des Ballons des Vosges" and "Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord", components of national Green Tourism in Alsace.

Alsace accounts for 21 natural reserves including: the Petite Camargue the oldest in marshland on 900 ha and the Delta de la Sauer, the second biggest in Alsace and the Erstein forest of the Rhinland.

Fauna and Flora

Wildlife: lynx, chamois, reptil, birds, badger, roe deer wild boar,bald and cows from Highlands

Riverlife: reintroduction of salmon.

25 different kind of trees: fir, beech and birch added to various flora: orchid, iris, eyelet and daisy.

Areas of interest in Alsace
"la route des Crêtes" One of the most beautiful itineray of the region, from Saddle points of "Bonhomme" "Vieil Armand", "Schlucht" to "massif du Hohneck" "Markstein" and "Grand Ballon", the Vosges "Crests road" is long of 80 kilometres.
"ballon d'Alsace" In the heart of "Parc naturel régional des Ballons des Vosges","ballon d'Alsace" is a famous national site, with exceptionnal panorama.
"massif du grand Ventron" Natural reserve created in 1989, perfect for nature lovers and hikers.

Information about the Alsace region of France

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