The Tour de France and the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift on the move for cycling as a means of transport

On the road

No KM on the course

The biggest tourist attraction in Alsace, with over 44,000 participants in the last few editions, SlowUp is a concept borrowed from Switzerland. This free event is organised every year, at the start of summer, to promote Alsatian wines, wine tourism and cycling tourism in Alsace, with nearly 1,000 volunteers involved. A fun-filled day of sport and fine foods, it features the Route des Vins and the Véloroute du Vignoble (a 134 km trail that follows the foothills of the Vosges between Marlenheim and Thann) on a route closed to traffic that you can enjoy at your own pace on foot, by bicycle or on rollerblades. This year, SlowUp Alsace is marking its tenth anniversary with its ninth edition, held on Sunday, 4 June, to explore eleven towns at the foot of the Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg. The 38 km route, which includes loops for families and kids, is punctuated by 13 celebration venues among Sélestat, Châtenois, Bergheim and Dambach-la-Ville.


Departments: Côte d'Or, Doubs, Jura, Nièvre, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort
Population: 2.8 million
Prefecture: Dijon
Area: 47,784 km2
Specialities: Burgundy and Maconnais wines, Jura wines, cheeses (Comté, Mont d'Or, morbier, bleu de Gex, cancoillotte), beef bourguignon, Bresse poultry, kir.
Sports clubs: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, AJ Auxerre, FC Gueugnon (football), Elan sportif chalonnais, JDA Dijon (basketball), Jeanne d'Arc Dijon (handball)
Competitions: car races on the Dijon-Prenois circuit, Franck Pineau cyclosportive in Auxerre
Economy: automobile (Peugeot-Montbéliard), Alstom, General Electric (railways), steel industry, mines, parachemistry, pharmaceutical industry, electronics, plastics industry, paper industry, mechanical and automobile industries, agriculture (cereals, beetroot, cattle breeding, cheeses). Forestry. Watchmaking. Tourism.
Festivals: Eurockéennes in Belfort, Hospices de Beaune sales, Grandes heures de Cluny, Vézelay Musical Encounters, Adventure Screens in Dijon, International and gastronomic Fair in Dijon, Fenêtres sur courts in Dijon. Bicentenary of Courbet. Early music festival in Besançon. 
Tourist sites: Fontenay Abbey, Vézelay Basilica, Notre-Dame-du-Haut Chapel in Ronchamp, Burgundy vineyards, Besançon Citadel, Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, Royal Saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, Autun Cathedral, Guédelon Castle, Beaune Hospices, Citadel and Lion of Belfort, Cluny Abbey, Alsace Balloon, Solutré Rock. 
Websites and social networks:


Population: 140,120
Prefecture: Belfort
Surface area: 609 km²
Specialities: AOP Munster (cheese), cancoillotte (cheese), blueberry, toutché (potato cake), Belflore (cake), crottes du Lion (chocolates), facettes du Territoire (chocolates), pattes du Lion (bread), Rebelle (beer), épaule du Ballon (lamb).
Sport: hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, cycle touring, paragliding, tree climbing, golf, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, water sports at the Malsaucy water sports centre (dinghy, canoe, windsurf, kayak, rowing and stand-up paddle), fishing.
Competitions: Belfort Triathlon, Lion half-marathon, cycling Tour du Territoire de Belfort, Enduro du Lion, BelforTrail-GiroTrail
Festival: Les Eurockéennes, University Music International Festival, Flâneries d'été, Entrevues international film festival, conte et compagnies, Solstice de la Marionnette, Impetus festival.
Economy: High-tech industrial cluster with Alstom, General Electric and PSA nearby, competitiveness clusters in mobility and microtechnology, Techn'Hom and La Jonxion business parks, business tourism.
Websites and social networks: /

Km 6.2


Giromagny Fort
Construction: 1875 to 1879.
History: the fort was designed to accommodate 650 men and originally housed around fifty artillery pieces. It was modernised in 1888 and again during the First World War. The fort was equipped with the first two Mougin turrets. On 18 June 1940, the garrison fired a few rounds at German troops before surrendering. In 1941, the Germans sent workers from the Obligatory Labour Service to salvage the most important metal parts remaining in the fort, in particular the two turrets, which were to end their careers in the foundries of the Third Reich. Since then, the fort has been abandoned until 1988, when the commune of Giromagny bought the fort and its surrounding land and entrusted its restoration and upkeep to the Association du Fort Dorsner (AFD).
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1995.

Km 24


Ridden 27 times, Ballon d'Alsace was the first major mountain pass to be climbed by Tour de France riders in 1905. René Pottier was first at the and did it again the following year, the year he won the Tour. A plaque pays tribute to the man who committed suicide a few months after his victory in January 1907. Eddy Merckx lead at the summit in 1969. Fifty years later, for the last visit by the men's Tour de France, it was another Belgian, Tim Wellens, who was in the lead. 

Grand-Est Region

Departments: Ardennes, Aube, Marne, Haute-Marne, Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin, Vosges
Population: 5.56 million
Prefecture: Strasbourg
Surface area: 57,441 km2
Specialities: champagne, sauerkraut, Alsace wines, Nancy black pudding, Rethel white pudding, flammekueche, kouglof, Ardennes cured ham, baba au rhum, mirabelle plum, quiche lorraine, Commercy madeleine.
Sports clubs: RC Strasbourg, Stade de Reims, FC Metz, AS Nancy-Lorraine, ESTAC Troyes, FC Mulhouse (football), SIG Strasbourg, SLUC Nancy Basket (basketball), Etoile Noire de Strasbourg, Scorpions de Mulhouse (ice hockey),
Competitions: Moselle Open, Strasbourg International Tennis Championships (tennis), Reims international jumping, Boucles de la Marne, Stanislas meeting, Colmar marathon, Paris-Colmar (athletics)
Economy: automotive (PSA Mulhouse and Trémery, Renault in Batilly, Bugatti, Smart), steel (Arcelor Mittal in Florange), luxury goods (Lalique), aerospace (Clemessy in Mulhouse), rail, banking (Crédit Mutuel), agriculture, beer, wine (Champagne, Alsace wines). Tourism.
Festivals: Christmas markets in Strasbourg and Colmar, Fêtes de Saint-Nicolas in Nancy, Livre sur la place in Nancy, Colmar bookfair, Forum du livre in Saint-Louis, RenaissanceS Festival in Bar-le-Duc, Medieval Festival in Sedan, International Geography Festival in Saint-Dié-les-Vosges, International Fantastic Film Festival in Gérardmer.
Tourist attractions: Place Stanislas in Nancy, Strasbourg's Grande Ile, Reims cathedral, Saint-Rémi basilica and Tau archiepiscopal palace in Reims, ND de l'Epine basilica, citadels of Longwy and Neuf-Brisach, Champagne hillsides, Claude and Duval factory in Saint-Dié-les-Vosges, Unterlinden museum in Colmar, Metz Pompidou centre, Ecole de Nancy, Christmas markets.


Population: 362,397
Prefecture: Épinal
Sub-prefectures: Neufchâteau, Saint-Dié-des-Vosges
Surface area: 5,874 km2
Specialities: Munster gérômé, tofailles, fumé, blueberry tart, Vosges sweets, fruit and flower crus, Vosges honey, Val d'Ajol andouille, Plombières ice cream, Vosges salad.
Sports clubs: EHC (Epinal Hockey Club), SAS Football, Epinal Handball, SAS Volley, Les Louves de Saint-Dié (volleyball), ASR Tennis de table Etival-Raon, ASGE Basket, GESN canoe-kayak.
Competitions: Granfondo Vosges, Open 88 Grand Est, Michelin Enduro des Hautes Vosges, XTerra France de Xonrupt-Longemer, Triathlon de Gérardmer, Infernal Trail des Vosges de Saint Nabord, Trail de la Vallée des Lacs, Aquathlon de Vittel, MTB XCO and Downhill World Cups in La Bresse, 2021 French Cycling Championships in Épinal.
Athletes: Julien Absalon, Rémy Absalon, Nacer Bouhanni, Steve Chainel, Clément Noël, Romain Febvre, Fabien Claude, Emilien Claude, Florent Claude, Paula Botet, Sarah Vieuille, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot.
Tourist sites: Visages de Jehanne interpretation centre at Domrémy-la-Pucelle, Joan of Arc House and the Basilica at Bois Chenu, the Gallo-Roman archaeological site at Grand, Le Théâtre du Peuple at Bussang, l'Imagerie d'Epinal, Les Hautes Mynes at Le Thillot, Les Abbayes de Saint-Dié-des-Vosges, Le Tétras 1139 at Col de la Schlucht and its interpretation centre, Stèle René Pottier at Saint Maurice sur Moselle. 4 spa resorts: Bains-les-Bains, Contrexéville, Plombières-les-Bains and Vittel. Skiing at Gérardmer and La Bresse.
Festivals: International Geography Festival in Saint-Dié, Les Imaginales (festival of imaginary worlds) in Epinal, Fantastic'art Festival (fantasy film) and Daffodil Festival in Gérardmer, Festival of the Abbeys of Senones, Moyenmoutier and Etival, Saint-Dié Cathedral and Autrey Abbey, Joan of Arc Festival in Domrémy.
Economy: industrial nuggets in the wood and paper industry, such as Henryot & Cie and the famous Clairefontaine paper manufacturer in Etival. Numerous craftspeople, including the Mirecourt luthiers. More recent companies such as IN'BÔ, at the forefront of the manufacture of wooden spectacles, skateboards and bamboo bicycles using local and bio-sourced resources. The Vosges is also renowned for its textile industry (Garnier-Thiébaut, Jaquard Français, etc.). The Vosges department has developed the Je Vois la Vie en Vosges brand.
Websites and social networks: www.tourisme.vosges.frhttps://jevoislavieenvosges.com /

Km 33.1


Saint-Maurice-sur-Moselle is the birthplace of Jacques Georges, former President of the French Football Federation (1968 to 1972) and UEFA (1983 to 1990), as well as writer Pierre Pelot, the popular author of over 200 novels.

Km 38.2


Formerly a mining town and then a textile stronghold, Le Thillot was the canton of Jules Ferry and the home of François Remetter, legendary goalkeeper for the French football team in the 1950s.  

Haute-Mynes of Le Thillot
Operations: 1560 to 1761.
History: the history of mining in the Upper Moselle Valley began in 1550. Silver seams were mined in Bussang and Fresse-sur-Moselle. In 1560, a foundry was built at Saint-Maurice, close to the forests where the charcoal needed to smelt the ore was produced. Silver mining began to decline in 1580, but copper production in Le Thillot, which had begun in 1560, took off remarkably quickly. The rich veins in the Upper Moselle Valley and the skills of the miners gave rise to a mining industry that reached its apogee in the 17th century.
Characteristics: the underground network, some of which is listed, features three galleries that showcase the ingenuity of Renaissance miners in cutting through the rock to extract copper ore. The Maison des Hautes-Mynes, housed in the former Le Thillot railway station, completes the tour of the mining site. An eighteenth-century pumping station, brought to light by archaeologists, is the centrepiece of a museum area where panels, models and archaeological equipment reveal a little-known part of Lorraine's history. 
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1995.

Km 41.1


This is the village where Clément Noël, slalom Olympic champion at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, started skiing in the small resort of Ventron. The third French slalom gold medallist at the Olympics after Jean-Claude Killy (1968) and Jean-Pierre Vidal (2002), Noël has won 10 World Cup slaloms.

Km 49.4


Local legend has it that the village takes its name from an auroch horn lost by Charlemagne while hunting. In any case, the village dates back to the 10th century and enjoyed its heyday at the end of the 19th century with the installation of several textile factories. It is the birthplace of Christophe Mengin, who contested eleven Tours de France between 1995 and 2006 and won a stage in Fribourg in 1997.   

Ventron ski resort
The centre of the village of Ventron lies at an altitude of 640 m. The ski resort of Ermitage Frère Joseph, also known as Les Pistes de Ventron, is located 4 km from the centre, at an altitude of 900 m (the slopes range from 900 to 1100 m).

Km 56.5


In the 2014 Tour, Blel Kadri led the way on Col de La Croix des Moinats and Col de Grosse Pierre, before winning the stage to Gérardmer. A monument has been erected on the pass in tribute to the Moroccan goumiers who fought on these lands during the Second World War.

Km 61.3


At the heart of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park, La Bresse is a mountain village with a population of 5,000, stretching from an altitude of 609 metres to the summit of the Hohneck (1,366 m), the highest point in the Vosges department. Farming has shaped a distinctive open landscape, clearing out most of the slopes, uplands and valleys. A hunting ground in Merovingian times and a crossing point between the monasteries of Remiremont and Munster in the 7th century, La Bresse welcomed transhumant cattle from Munster. Completely abandoned, the population had to create their own administration and justice system, a singularity that lasted for many centuries. As is often the case in the course of its history, after the almost total destruction of 1944, the people of La Bresse pulled themselves together and reconstruction was swift. The industrial epic began after 1830, with the installation of textile factories along the river waterfalls and the exploitation of the 3,000-hectare communal forest. From 1905 onwards, the use of lake water to generate electricity enabled the commune to embrace the use of renewable energies and to develop. Tourism took off in the 1970s with the development of winter sports. Today, tourism accounts for almost 30 pc of the local economy, making La Bresse-Hohneck the highest summer and winter resort in north-east France. La Bresse hosted the Tour de l'Avenir in 2006.  

Lac des corbeaux
Surface area: 10-hectare glacial lake.
Characteristics: 600-metres long, 200-metres wide and 27-metres deep. Its maximum water volume is 420,000 m3. It feeds the Lac des Corbeaux drop, which flows into the Moselotte 200 metres below. It also feeds a hydroelectric power station belonging to the La Bresse municipal electricity board.

Km 64.9


Blel Kadri was first at the top in 2014 before winning in Gérardmer. In 2022, it was Simon Geschke who led at the summit. The pass has been tackled nine times since 1913 (Lucien Petit-Breton).

Km 77.8


It was the birthplace of Jean-Paul Pierrat, the first Frenchman to win a medal in a major cross-country skiing championship (bronze at the 1978 world championships) and 32-time French champion. The natural heritage of lakes and forests is the area's main tourist attraction, but there are also a number of human creations worth a visit, such as the Pont des Fées (Fairy Bridge), listed as a Historical Monument in 1972, and the route of the electric tramway that ran from 1897 to 1939 between Gérardmer and the Hohneck, via La Schlucht.        

Km 79.4


The site offers exceptional panoramic views over Lake Longemer and the Vosges mountains. The Tour passed through here for the first time in 1931. Since 1947, listed as a 2nd category climb, it has been ridden ten times, most recently in 2014 (Thomas Voeckler).


Population: 767,000
Prefecture: Colmar
Sub-prefectures: Mulhouse, Altkirch, Guebwiller, Ribeauvillé, Thann
Surface area: 3,525 km2
Specialities: Alsace wines, sauerkraut, munster, fried carp from the Sungdau, fleischschnacka (pasta and minced meat), melfor (vinegar).
Major clubs: FC Mulhouse, Scorpions de Mulhouse (ice hockey). Mulhouse Olympic Swimming. Competitions: Colmar international fencing tournament, Colmar Grand Prix (track cycling)
Festivals: Colmar Christmas Market, Colmar Book Festival, Musicales de Colmar, Colmar International Classical Music Festival, Mulhouse Automobile Festival, Bête de Scène in Mulhouse.
Tourist sites: Cité du Train and Cité de l'Automobile (Mulhouse), Écomusée d'Alsace (Ungersheim), Musée Unterlinden in Colmar, collegiate churches (Thann and Colmar), the villages of Hunawihr, Eguisheim and Riquewihr.
Economy: agriculture (rapeseed, wheat, maize, wine), automotive, textiles, tourism
Websites and social networks :

Km 97.3


Munster is most famous for the cheese it produces and which is named after the town. The town itself takes its name from the monastery that was established here in the 7th century and became the St Gregory of Munster Abbey. Its monks were perhaps the first makers of this soft, cylindrical cow's cheese, of which over 8,000 tonnes are produced each year. Munster cheese is often served with caraway. From the 9th century onwards, it was the Malker or marcaires, high mountain farmers, who produced the cheese. The Munster valley stands out from the rest of Alsace because of its alpine appearance, which has earned it the nickname of Little Switzerland. The form of the Alsatian dialect spoken here is often difficult to understand for people from other regions, even neighbouring ones.  

Ruins of Saint-Grégoire Abbey in Munster
Foundation: 660
Characteristics: Saint-Grégoire Abbey in Munster (Haut-Rhin) is an abbey of the Order of St Benedict founded under the administration of Frankish Duke Bonifacius. It was one of the most influential monasteries in Alsace. 
History: monks belonging to the obedience of Saint Benedict settled in the Munster valley, on land donated by the Frankish king Chilperic II. The abbey gradually grew in importance and was fiercely contested by the bishops of Basel and the German emperors. The abbey recovered after the annexation by France in 1648 but was dismantled in 1790.
Listed as: Historical Monument since 1990 and 1992.

Km 98.4


The ruins of a château that belonged to Pierre de Coubertin and was destroyed during the First World War can be found in the commune.

Km 108.2


Petit Ballon (Kahler Wasen or Kleiner Belchen in German) is a secondary summit in the Vosges mountains in the Haut-Rhin department. It reaches an altitude of 1,272 metres. Its summit offers a panoramic viewpoint, marked by a statue of the Virgin and a radio antenna. The road does not provide direct access to the summit, but only to the pass at an altitude of 1,163 metres. The tenth stage of the 2014 Tour de France passed over Col du Petit Ballon (1,163 m). Joaquim Rodríguez took the lead in a breakaway group. On the descent to Sondernach, Alberto Contador crashed. He restarted but injured his knee and had to retire within the hour. Petit Ballon was also on the course of the final stage of the first Tour de France for Women with Zwift. Annemiek van Vleuten was leading at the summit.

Km 118.2


Church of Emm
Built: 1931
Characteristics: Situated at the bottom of a valley and at the centre of an exceptional site, Emm's memorial church is dedicated to the dead of the 1914-1918 war in the Vosges and in particular to those who fell in the very deadly battle of Metzeral in June 1915. A dedication in capital letters stands out on the façade: "To our valiant soldiers, a grateful Alsace". The church is built entirely of pink Vosges sandstone, with a massive bell tower housing four bells listed as Historical Monuments. Inside, you can admire a high altar in white Carrara marble, and along the nave, yellow Sienna marble plaques with the names of all the fallen soldiers.
History: the Emm church was built on the site of a former 15th-century chapel, which was destroyed during the battle of Metzeral and is said to have been dedicated to Emma, Roland's wife. Emma's soul is said to have haunted the site since the death of her husband at Roncesvalles.

Km 125.3


At an altitude of 1,183 metres, the Platzerwasel pass has been used three times in the men's Tour de France between 1967 and 2014. In the latter year, it was Purito Rodriguez who led at the top. In the 2022 Tour Femmes, it was Annemiek van Vleuten who was in front on her way to winning the first edition of the event at Le Markstein.

In summer or winter, Les Vosges is a region of exciting opportunities, especially for adventure seekers and lovers of the great outdoors. Snow sports enthusiasts should head for resorts like La Planche des Belles Filles and Le Markstein, where skiing, snowboarding, skating and more are on offer.  
When the snow has melted, this area can be explored on foot or by bike. Feeling brave? Take to the skies and try paragliding or zip lining. Whether up in the air or feet firmly on the ground, be rewarded with panoramic views across the peaks, verdant landscapes and lakes of this beautiful region.  
The city of Belfort makes a great base for exploring the towns and countryside across Les Vosges. Indoor activities are also available. Discover local crafts and handiwork - from scented candles and soaps to wooden toys - or delicacies including cheese and sweets. You can even try your hand at making some!

5 things to do in Les Vosges:

1. Explore nature and see the Tendon waterfalls
2. Hit the ski slopes 
3. Visit a museum of art, textiles or trains 
4. Take time to relax in a spa town 
5. Get an adrenaline rush from outdoor activities 

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