The Central Vosges are a land of mystery. Here, the rocks, stones, and earth carry an invisible, yet palpable, age-old energy. From Mont Sainte-Odile to the temple atop the Donon, from Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle to the summit of the Champ du Feu, head out on an escape! Explore the forests and climb the peaks. Get up close to the elements and immerse yourself in the benevolent energy of the range. Who knows what secrets you might discover along your path through the Central Vosges.
In a wordROCK...
This natural phenomenon is nothing to worry about. It's the gradual transition from sandstone to granite as you climb higher in altitude.
Tales of the land: Le Sotré
Legend has it that a goblin dwells in the forests of the Vosges. Known as Le Sotré, he’s a little imp dressed in red and black with a crooked nose and hoofs for feet. He sleeps all day, sometimes at the bottom of a well or in an abandoned burrow. At nightfall, the goblin awakens and wanders through the woods jumping and singing. His idleness is matched only by his gluttony. He often breaks into farms to steal food and tease the animals, all while staying out of sight. He's mischievous, but he secretly helps out the farmers. In the light of the moon, he’ll dust the house, care for the cattle, or rock the children to sleep. But anyone that dares to anger him will be on the receiving end of mean tricks.
If you cross paths with Le Sotré, remember that the goblin hates to be surprised. Be careful not to exchange even one glance or say just one word in case it might upset him.
THE TREASURES OF THE CENTRAL VOSGES
Walk, encounter, learn, and have fun
There are those who enjoy a stroll, but don't have the endurance. And then there are those who hate to walk but love exploring unique sites.
For them, and everyone else too, the Central Vosges reinvent hiking. It becomes a chance to explore street art or history, or simply have some fun. Whether you're heading out on a geocaching treasure hunt, going on a journey back to medieval times, or discovering the region alongside a local, you won't even notice the kilometres going by beneath your feet.
Water is life. At Pierre-Percée Lake and Plaine Lake, water is all about fun. Swim by the shore, paddle on the open water, or explore the surrounding nature.
Water is also soothing. It relaxes, warms, and brings comfort during a spa break.
Finally, water is mysterious. It contains untold legends. Whether on the shores of Maix Lake or next to a waterfall, dare to discover its mystical side.
Like riding a bike
Pedal through mountains and valleys and experience the greener side of things. No, not the green jersey that the fastest sprinter wears in the Tour de France. Here, you can pedal at your own pace, propelled either by the strength of your thighs or the battery of your electric bike. Green is for the greenways you ride along and the landscapes you admire.
And after countless pedal strokes, it's time to let yourself be pampered. Here, cycling getaways can be gourmet, relaxing, or both at once!
Remembrance throughout history
Skip into the wild spirit of the Vosges. The spirit of freedom that the mountains have instilled in the inhabitants, who have always stood up against oppression. The Vosges Front, Struthof, Mutzig Fort, or the Alsace-Lorraine Memorial: walk in the footsteps of the real mountain men of history.