The blue-tinted peaks of the Higher Vosges stretch out before your eyes. Come and discover what lies beneath the summits. Saunter among the heather and grazing herds on the upper mountain pastures. Tiptoe along the cliffs to catch a glimpse of the chamois. Dare to get lost in the woods. Stumble onto a mountain lake and stop to skip a few stones. Soak up the know-how of local artisans and explore the valleys where they take refuge. Enjoy a gourmet break along the way with a slice of bilberry pie or a visit to a confectionery. Wander through the villages of the vineyards in search of the most colourful half-timbered house.
Be curious, be adventurous, taste our land! Nature is your playground. Have fun discovering each and every corner and appreciate all the riches hidden below the famous blue line.
In a wordCrests
The bare summits of the Higher Vosges offer unobstructed views of the surrounding landscapes. On the upper mountain pastures with your head in the clouds, see if you can recognise the cities and peaks.
Polybotte the fairy
All year long, in both summer and winter, there's ice at the entrance to Kertoff Cave. Any idea why?
Legend has it that a long time ago, the cave in the Martinprey Forest was home to the palace of a fearsome fairy. Nature had made her very ugly, and her ungraceful looks had influenced her character as well. She was feared throughout the region, and no one dared go near her lair. One day, a knight got lost in the woods and Polybotte welcomed him in her cave. She was captivated by the charming young man and tried to seduce him, but to no avail. The wicked fairy became enraged and sealed off the cave with a gigantic block of ice, forever imprisoning the knight. Do you still dare approach her lair?
The treasures of the Higher Vosges
Fishing in the lakes of the Higher Vosges
Several lakes dot the Higher Vosges, some forged by the ages and others by man. Some are immense like Gérardmer Lake, stretching out as far as the eye can see and giving the town the feel of a seaside resort. Others are secret, hidden lakes in the heart of the forest. Anglers flock to their shores to enjoy their waters, naturally brimming with fish, and to take appreciate the calm and beauty of the landscapes.
And for those looking to cool off, there are plenty of lakes in the Higher Vosges that are perfect for swimming, water sports, or boating.
Winter sports in the Higher Vosges
The Higher Vosges boast the largest downhill ski resorts of the mountain range. Experienced skiers and snowboarders can hurtle down the slopes at La Bresse, Gérardmer, or Lac Blanc, and then push their limits with snowkiting. Budding skiers, both young and old, can learn the joys of winter sports at the family ski resorts of Rouge-Gazon or Xonrupt-Longemer.
There's more to do in the snow than just downhill skiing. Winter is also a chance to explore the white peaks of the Higher Vosges on snowshoes or cross-country skis, before topping off your day with a race down the toboggan run.
Journey in the land of textiles
Did you know that the Higher Vosges are a land of textiles? For nearly 300 years, cotton and linen weavers have been making famous household linen right here.
Learn about the history of the industry at the Textile Museum in Ventron, and then head out to one of the many factories in the Higher Vosges to see the manufacturing in action. Stop into a factory store for a bit of shopping and find that perfect souvenir to take back home.
Hiking and cycling in the Higher Vosges
The Higher Vosges are paradise for hiking. With peaks, valleys, pastures, forests, and of course mountain lakes, the rich natural heritage of the Higher Vosges is yours to explore. Which itinerary to choose? Will you head out on foot or cycle to the summits? No matter what kind of outdoor adventure you seek, there's a path for everyone in the Higher Vosges.