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Ophorus Tours - Colmar

Alsace

Colmar

We organize both half day and full day trips from Colmar to the most famous landmarks of the Alsace region. Our private or shared wine tours of Alsace will take you along the Alsace wine route that is surrounded by vineyards. We also conduct fun & informative walking tours and Christmas market tours in winter.

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Learn more about Colmar

Colmar Fun & Informative Walking Tours Famous Alsace Landmarks Classy Small French Town  Experience the Exquisiteness of Colmar  If you’re looking for things to do in Colmar then you’ve come to the right place. Colmar is one of the most exquisite towns in all of France, particularly with its historic centre filled with French and German influences.  This picture perfect small town is like a fairy tale with its original timbered houses. We organise both half-day and full-day trips from Colmar to the most famous landmarks of the Alsace region. Our private or shared wine tours of Alsace will take you along the Alsace wine route that is surrounded by beautiful vineyards. ...

Colmar

  • Fun & Informative Walking Tours
  • Famous Alsace Landmarks
  • Classy Small French Town
     

Experience the Exquisiteness of Colmar 

If you’re looking for things to do in Colmar then you’ve come to the right place. Colmar is one of the most exquisite towns in all of France, particularly with its historic centre filled with French and German influences.  This picture perfect small town is like a fairy tale with its original timbered houses. We organise both half-day and full-day trips from Colmar to the most famous landmarks of the Alsace region.

Our private or shared wine tours of Alsace will take you along the Alsace wine route that is surrounded by beautiful vineyards. We also conduct fun & informative Colmar walking tours and magical Christmas market tours in winter. If you are planning on staying in Colmar and wish to visit Colmar with a certified guide then don't hesitate to contact us for an unforgettable time. 

Your Travel Guide to Colmar

Top 6 Things to Do in Colmar

1. Marvel at Maison des Têtes

Built in 1609 by Architect Albert Schmidt for the merchant Anton Burger, this is a perfect example of German Renaissance architecture. The name of the building comes from the more than 100 faces and masks that decorate the three-storey façade. The pinion of the building represents a barrel maker and is a work of art by Auguste Bartholdi. The building was renovated in 2012.

2. See Pfister House

Dating back to 1537, this house is the first example of Renaissance architecture in Colmar even though some characteristics are still Mediaeval. Built for a wealthy hat maker, Ludwig Scherer, the architectural features include a two-storey bay window set at an angle, an octagonal turret, a wooden gallery and murals that represent biblical scenes. The name Pfister comes from the owners that occupied the building from 1841 until when the house was renovated in 1892. 

3. Visit the Bartholdi Museum

This museum is dedicated to the sculptor Auguste Bartholdi who was born in Colmar in 1834 in the house where the museum is located. Bartholdi is famous for having designed Liberty Enlightening the World, better known as New York’s Statue of Liberty. The museum houses a number of statues, busts, paintings and drawings done by Bartholdi. A whole room is dedicated to the Statue of Liberty.

4. Explore the Covered Market

The covered Market of Colmar dates back to 1865 and was built by architect Louis-Michel Boltz. Located next to the Lauch River that enabled local farmers to bring their produce by boat, the building is a perfect example of early industrial construction as the material used includes brick, iron and iron ore.

A stroll through the market will have you tasting some of the Alsace local delicacies such as Alsatian wine, tarte flambée and foie gras. At Christmas time, be sure to take the Alsace Christmas Market tour with us. 

5. Take Alsace Wine Tours & Day Trips from Colmar

Outside of Colmar, the choices for day tours are numerous. We organise small group half day tours as well as full day trips from Colmar. The Alsace wine region is an option for all the wine lovers. Typically, we will follow the Alsace wine route and stop at beautiful villages where you will participate in several wine tasting sessions.

Alsace white wines are varietal wines and your driver/guide who is also an expert in wines, will introduce you to the local winemaking methods and talk about the local grape varieties such as pinot gris, riesling, gewurztraminer, sylvaner, muscat and others.

6. Visit traditional Alsace villages

The area is also dotted with traditional villages such as Kaysersberg or Riquewihr which you can visit on our village tours. These small villages have kept their authenticity with their cobblestone streets, flower-decked windows and mediaeval houses. During winter, the villages transform themselves and organise authentic Christmas markets that offer a great number of options for shopping and just living those special Christmas moments.

If you are staying a few days in Colmar, then the nearby mountain ranges are also quite an attraction. With the Vosges Mountains located just a short drive away, a tour to that area is synonymous with the local gastronomy as this is where Munster cheese is produced as well as some of the tastiest local spirits and eau-de-vie. The ‘route des Crêtes’ is also a must as this ridge road is one of the most impressive in France.

A Brief History of Colmar

The first mention of Colmar as a town dates back to 823. The town of "Colombie" is mentioned in the letter of donation written by Louis the Pious. In those days, the area was dominated by the Merovingian clan. The town was granted the status of Imperial City in 1226 and by 1278 Colmar obtained its communal freedom that led to the building of the first town hall in 1295.

The first port of Colmar, named the Ladhof, was built in 1337 at the junction of the Thur and Lauch rivers. This is certainly one of the most important historical dates for Colmar as it was when the town joined what is known as the Decapole - an alliance formed in 1354 by ten imperial cities of the Holy Roman Empire located in Alsace. The towns that formed the alliance pledged to help each other in case of any foreign aggression.

One of the most important monuments of Colmar, which is still visible today, is the Koïfhus. It was built in 1480 and the building serves as a warehouse, a customs building as well as a meeting centre for the deputies of the Decapole. After the Thirty Years War and the victory of the French and Swedish armies, the treaty of Munster established that all 10 Imperial cities of the Decapole became French, which included the town of Colmar.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the town of Colmar suffered from different sieges from both the French and Holy Empire armies until finally the Treaty of Nimègue ended the war and Colmar became a Royale French City. In 1800, the town became the Capital of the Haut-Rhin Department and in 1841 the town inaugurated its first train station and the railway line that still links Basel in Switzerland to Strasbourg in France today.

After the war of 1870, which saw the defeat of France against the Prussian army, both the Alsace and Moselle region became part of the Prussian Empire. After the defeat of the German army at the end of WWI, the Alsace and Lorraine region were taken back by France and Colmar became French again. 

However, that was short-lived as Germany took control of the town again in the late 1930s during World War II. But in November 1944, the effect of two advances made by the U.S. 6th Army and the French 2nd Armored Division led to a semi-circular bridgehead centred on the town of Colmar that came to be known as the Colmar Pocket.

It took close to 3 months for the Allied forces to finally defeat the German army in this area and Colmar was liberated on the 2nd of February 1945.

Colmar is now the capital of the Haut Rhin and offers a great deal of unique attractions and activities. The town also houses one of the most impressive 16th-century paintings, the Isenheim Altarpiece, located in the Unterlinden Museum.

Other interesting visits include the Bartholdi museum that retraces the story of the making of the Statue of Liberty, the toy museum, the visit of the customs house or St Martin church. If you are staying in Colmar and wish to visit the area with a certified guide then don't hesitate to contact us.

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FAQ

  • How do you get from Paris to Colmar?

    Colmar is located at about 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Paris. You can of course rent a car in Paris and reach Colmar by highway. Most travelers opt for the train as there is a TGV fast train that links Paris to the Alsace region of France. In fact, there are 3 direct trains that will take you from Paris to Colmar without having to change trains. The fastest possible option will have you travel 2h20 minutes only, making Colmar easily accessible by train from Paris.
  • Is Colmar worth visiting?

    Absolutely! Colmar is part of the most charming small towns of France. In fact, the town was elected as the European Best Destination in 2020. Colmar is home to a wonderful Heritage that has been preserved through time, lovely canals, an impressive selection of quality restaurants and shops with high quality products. The town is also a perfect starting point for sightseeing & wine tours of Alsace. Just take one of our many Colmar tours for a great time.
  • Should I stay in Colmar or Strasbourg?

    This is a recurring question for those of you that wish to visit the Alsace region of France. In fact both destinations make for a great starting point for Sightseeing & Wine Tours and we offer day trips and wine tours out of both Colmar and Strasbourg. So the main difference is that Colmar is a small town set more or less in the middle of the Alsace Wine Region. Strasbourg is a regional capital, home to the European Parliament. Here, you will have more choices when it comes to hotels, restaurants and things to do in town. Your choice will therefore depend on what type of activities or ambiance you are looking for when in town.
  • Is Colmar ideal for Wine Lovers

    Yes, absolutely. If you love wine and especially white wines, Colmar makes for a perfect destination to visit & wine taste in some of the best wineries of the Alsace region. The varietal white wines produced in this part of the Alsace region are made with famous grape varieties such as Riesling, Sylvaner, Muscat, Pinot Gris or gewurztraminer.
  • Where is Colmar located in France?

    Colmar is located in the Alsace region of France that borders Germany, in the Haut-Rhin department, in the East of France.
  • What is the most popular Alsace wine tour from Colmar?

    The most popular Alsace wine tour from Colmar is our small group Alsace wine tour shared full day trip from Colmar that will have you visit 3 wineries during the day.
  • Do you offer day trips from Colmar that do not include wine?

    Yes, absolutely! Our Gems of Alsace will have you visit charming villages and towns as well as the mightly Haut Koenigsbourg castle. If you do wish to taste some wines then that will be possible but on your own.
  • As an Alsace Destination Specialist, what are some tips you think are useful?

    As a local operator of tours, activities & day trips from Colmar for more than 10 years now, we certainly have some very helpful tips that we would love to share with you. 1. As a charming small town of France, Colmar is certainly a perfect destination if you want to speak with locals and learn about Alsace culture and traditions. Even though at first Alsatians can seem to be a bit mistrustful or suspicious, making a few efforts in French and letting them know about where you come from and your visits in the region will should brake the ice.

Reviews from our Colmar trips

  • Noritaka (Japan)

    10, Aug 2019

    We visited three beautiful villages and explored each one for about 30 minutes. The guide kindly walked with us by explaining well about historical spots...
  • TAIIL (South Korea)

    18, Aug 2019


    친절하게 설명을 잘 해주었고 방문한 세개의 마을 모두 아주 아름다웠습니다.

  • MariMatkustaja

    28, Oct 2019

    Mainio opas, kauniita kyliä Opas oli siitä poikkeuksellinen, että hän jaksoi selittää ja näyttää kiinnostavia asioita, monasti oppaat mieluummin vaikenevat....
  • Global_lndian

    17, Aug 2019

    Pleasant & relaxing trip Lovely trip with guide Aoud, who showed around the pretty villages, narrated helpful historical background and optimised time...
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