Route des Crêtes - Massif des Vosges©Max Coquard - Best Jobers
©Max Coquard - Best Jobers

Reach great heights on the Peak Route

Linking Cernay to Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, the Peak Route is 73 kilometres of pure beauty, featuring typical Vosges landscapes and unforgettable panoramas. Appreciate all the riches of this legendary route, at your own pace.

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  • Means of transportBy car
  • Distance73 km

Stage 1: The Grand Ballon, the highest summit of the Vosges

It’s time to head for a mountain adventure on the Peak Route! On the way to the Grand Ballon, the highest point in the Vosges Mountains, make a first stop in Hartmannswillerkopf, also known as the Vieil Armand. The site of terrible battles during the First World War, it is now one of the major historical landmarks in Alsace. Deeply marked by its past, it now ensures that its memory will live on.

After this encounter with history, continue on the route to the Grand Ballon. Once there, you’ll enjoy stretching your legs during a pleasant walk. And if you’re feeling brave, climb up to the summit, at an altitude of 1,424 metres. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts by the breathtaking view which, in fine weather, will encompass the great summits of the Alps.

Grand Ballon - Massif des Vosges©Benoit Facchi

Stage 2: Le Markstein

Head for Le Markstein and make the most of all the activities! In summertime, Le Markstein is a holiday resort offering loads of fun things to do, such as hiking, mountain biking, rail tobogganing, miniature golf and aerial activities, for plenty of excitement!

In winter, get your skis on and speed your way down the slopes: there’s something for skiers at every level. Le Markstein is also an ideal destination for cross-country skiers and snowshoe enthusiasts. Get a breath of fresh air on the numerous trails criss-crossing the peaks.

Route des Crêtes - Massif des Vosges ©Max Coquard - Best Jobers

Stage 3: Hohneck Mountain

Experience amazing walking adventures on Hohneck Mountain! Towering high above the valleys of the Vosges and Alsace, the mountain offers you amazing views as you walk along its trails.

During your walk, you can observe herds of Vosgian cows grazing on fresh grass, or glimpse a chamois climbing the steep slopes of the mountainside. After one last climb up to the summit, you’ll enjoy a well-deserved rest at the “Sommet du Hohneck” inn, while appreciating the sublime landscape.

Massif du Hohneck©Jéremy May
Chamois - Hohneck - Vosges©Jérémy May

Stage 4: Tanet Gazon du Faing

Head for Schlucht Pass. On the way, you can stop for a few hours at the Haut Chitelet High Altitude Garden, where more than 2,500 plant species from around the world thrive in prairies and woodlands.

Next, make your way towards Gazon du Faing to find out what’s hidden behind this strange name. After a few hairpin turns, you’ll be awestruck by a nature reserve full of high pastures, peatland (faing), beautiful forests with beech, firs and spruce, as well as thriving wildlife. Take an easy stroll through this enchanting setting, carpeted with ferns. You’re sure to be charmed by its unique landscapes, overlooking glacial cirques with steep banks, from which fascinating lakes and peatland are formed.

Gazon du Faing - Massif des Vosges©Max Coquard-Best Jobers
Lac du Forlet - Massif des Vosges©Benoit Facchi

Stage 5: From Lac Blanc To Bagenelles Pass

To finish this splendid excursion, head for Lac Blanc and its many activities. In summertime, the resort’s in full swing with a bike park, an adventure park and a barefoot trail, so your day will be full of adventure! If you love hiking, it’s the perfect place for you; you can set off on a hike around Lac Blanc. This trail takes you through mountain pastures, rocks and woodlands. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the lake!

Lac Blanc - Massif des Vosges©Max Coquard - Best Jobers

Last but not least, meander your way over to the valley of Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines. Enjoy these last few kilometres overlooking the Welche area, a beautiful, lush setting where you’ll admire sublime landscapes.

Le Bonhomme - Alsace©Damien Guiot

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Gourmet dining in a friendly atmosphere

Driving along the Peak Route is a great opportunity to taste the famous repas marcaire, a traditional farm-style meal served at the farm inns on the mountain. It usually features soup, a meat pie with potatoes called “roïgabrageldi”, Munster cheese and a dessert such as “siaskas” (farm-fresh creamy soft cheese topped with kirsch).

A festive, authentic moment

Twice a year, the Alsatian valleys of the Hautes Vosges set the stage for a much-anticipated and festive event: the transhumance. Herds of cows are led by the farmers to the high pastures, where they enjoy exceptional grazing. It’s a unique opportunity to participate in a folkloric spectacle set to the rhythm of the cowbells.

A useful tip

Every summer, the Peak Shuttle (Navette des Crêtes) takes you up to the summits of the Vosges Peak, without your car. In winter, it's the Snow Shuttle (Navette des Neiges) that will take you to the ski resorts without the hassle of driving a car.

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