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ElBano

Colmar Tour and Black Forest(?)

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We will be arriving in Breisbach on Viking in October and were looking at booking a private tour that would include Colmar/Alsace region and Black Forest region. Does anyone have any thoughts on this as far as one region better then the other? Colmar looks beautiful and an wondering what the Black Forest region has to offer?

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We did this in May with Viking. In the AM they took us on a bus to the Black Forest. Unfortunately it rained hard all the way there and was chilly. The weather let up a bit, and we did the "walk" in the Black Forest, which was a bit slippery and steep (some steps) due to the mud. Not really that long of a hike, and we took in a bit of the Black Forest cake demonstration and glanced at the cuckoo clocks. Wasn't my favorite part of the trip -- a bit rushed and frenetic if you ask me. We did the Colmar tour in the afternoon and it was good. Very pretty, scenic town with wonderful photo ops. Certainly don't miss Colmar. The day we were in Strasbourg was a nice tour also. Again, a very pretty little city. We opted not to stay in town longer (there were 2 later buses to take you back to the boat). Instead, we went back with the guide, had lunch on the boat, and went out and walked around on the German side of the river through some lovely parks and neighborhoods. Some sort of street fair was going on, and we also climbed to the top (400') of a commemerative tower at the end of the park that had nice views. It was pleasant and relaxing and very safe. In both Colmar and Strasbourg we did have some free time on our own after the tour.

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We were there in December so it was snowy in the Black Forest. The included Viking excursion to the Black Forest gave us a chance to look at the area from the bus on the way up and back. The stop was at a tourist venue (perhaps where all the tours go?). It has a small art gallery, a glass blowing demo, a Black Forest cake making demo, and a clock making demo. There was time to wander around and shop, of course! There is also a small cafeteria-style restaurant where people can stop for a meal, beverage, and/or a slice of Black Forest cake. We skipped the scenic walk because it was icy out and we preferred to remain fracture-free for the remainder of our trip. It was interesting to see the area but it was mostly a "now we can say we've been there" type of experience. My mom was surprised at the ingredients in the traditional Black Forest Cake so I guess that was the one big reveal of the experience.

We really enjoyed Colmar. We did the paid Viking excursion there to see the town. It was a bit different when we were there since there was an emphasis on the Christmas markets that time of year. The town itself is quite pretty and good for photos. Our tour included seeing a statue by the artist who created the Statue of Liberty. There is a museum there with more about him that we did not enter. The town has plenty of cute shops and eateries. It's certainly worth a visit. I would say it was one of our favorite places we stopped on that cruise even though we had a bad tour guide and we had a little trouble finding our way to the Little Venice part of town and then back to our meeting spot - and we were using a map! lol Outside of the older part of Colmar we did a drive by of a smaller, artist model sized version of the Statue of Liberty.

Keep in mind that (if I recall correctly) the Viking boat moves during the day of the Black Forest/Colmar tours so make sure your private tour knows where to drop you back off at the end of the day! You probably are already aware of that but thought I should mention it, just in case.

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Thank you for the info.....I'm now kind of wondering if we skip the Black Forest and just go to Colmar/Alsace are for the day! Would hate not to at least see the Black Forest since we came all the way from the states to Europe!

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Skip it. The “Black Forest” is a great marketing name for “a wooded area of southern Germany with some cuckoo clock shops”.

 

Colmar and Alsace are charming.

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We were in Breisach on July 10 with Viking. As others have noted, the included Black Forest tour is essentially a scenic drive through lovely forested low mountains to a tourist center (finished up our shopping and enjoyed delicious Black Forest cake).

 

But the highlight of the day (and one of the most memorable excursions of the cruise) for us was the optional WWII tour of the Colmar Pocket in the afternoon. We’re both interested in WWII history but were unfamiliar with that campaign. The guide was excellent. I’d strongly recommend that excursion if you’re interested in WWII history.

 

 

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Skip it. The “Black Forest” is a great marketing name for “a wooded area of southern Germany with some cuckoo clock shops”.

 

Colmar and Alsace are charming.

 

 

 

I know the Black Forest well having lived there for three years. The name is no marketing scheme as it has been called the Schwarzwald (ie Black Forest) for hundreds of years. It has been attracting visitors since the 19th Century to its spas, resorts, mountain vistas an pretty villages. Having said that, a day trip from Breisach to Triberg to visit a cuckoo clock shop, have a piece of Scwarzwälderkirschtorte, and take a short walk to the falls is not my idea of the best use of the day

 

From Breisach you are much closer to Colmar, a lovely old city and some of the prettiest (although heavily visited) villages of Alsace such as Riquewihr and Kaysersberg. There is much to see on both sides of the river, but I think you are best opting for a day in Alsace.

 

In my years in that part of the world I spent much time in both the Black Forest and Alsace and they remain highlights of my years of travelling.

 

 

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We will be arriving in Breisbach on Viking in October and were looking at booking a private tour that would include Colmar/Alsace region and Black Forest region. Does anyone have any thoughts on this as far as one region better then the other? Colmar looks beautiful and an wondering what the Black Forest region has to offer?

 

 

 

I missed in my post that you are looking for a private tour. I think this would be ideal. Plan a visit to Colmar and then a trip along the Route des Vins taking in some of the many pretty villages along it. Try to visit the castle of Haut Koenigsbourg, a mediaeval castle restored by Kaiser Wilhelm II. It is a spectacular as anything you will see in your Rhine cruise with wonderful vistas across the Rhine valley.

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The name is no marketing scheme as it has been called the Schwarzwald (ie Black Forest) for hundreds of years. It has been attracting visitors since the 19th Century to its spas, resorts, mountain vistas an pretty villages.

 

Marketing is not a new invention. If you have never read Mark Twain’s 1880 account of his visit to the Black Forest and his guide’s strenuous efforts to sell him a cuckoo clock, it is very funny. The book is A Tramp Abroad, and some of his descriptions of the Rhine and Switzerland are still useful to modern travelers.

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Thank you for all your replies! I am thinking that we might book our tour for the Colmar/Alsace region and skip the Black Forest region.

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