Alsace-Lorraine has managed to maintain a strong identity, despite its extremely chequered history. The area - and various parts of it - have been alternately German or French many times over the centuries. Lorraine has a French language tradition, whereas Alsace has more German-speaking citizens, but the whole region has been part of France since 1945.
Strasbourg is the home of lots of industry, but is still a charming city, with timber-framed houses leaning together and over the streets. The old buildings in this whole region are reminiscent of gingerbread houses.
The landscape of this beautiful area encompasses green fields and stacks of vineyards, which usually offer tastings. Other visits range from the sombre, thought-provoking and disturbing concentration camps of the 2nd World War, to the fascinating Kronenburg factory in Strasbourg - we will all know that it has been there since 1664!
Weather: The climate is very similar to the south of England, with cool winters and warm summers, but rarely extremes of temperature. The rainfall is quite high, with highest being in May and June.
Gastronomy: The food and drink of Alsace-Lorraine has a lot in common with that of Germany, next door. Alsatian wine is not to be missed! The whites tend to be exceedingly floral and fruity, which make them very satisfying to drink on their own, but with enough punch to go with most foods.
Food-wise, Alsace-Lorraine is the home of sauerkraut, or ‘chou-croute’ in French. The French love this dish, which is more than simply pickled cabbage. It usually comes cooked with a whole selection of other goodies, and it is very worthwhile to try. Other local food to look out for includes the famous quiche Lorraine, foie gras, sausages, beer and the amazing pastries to be found in the bulging windows of incredible patisseries.