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2017-01-18 06:01
             PHOTO SUPPLIED Ribeauvillé is a picturesque little town 16km north of Colmar.

PHOTO SUPPLIED Ribeauvillé is a picturesque little town 16km north of Colmar.

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RIBEAUVILLÉ is a picturesque little town 16km north of Colmar and 75km south of Strasbourg in France. It lies at the foot of the Vosges Mountains and is captivating in every sense of the word.

Surrounded in part by ancient walls, it has many picturesque medieval houses and two very old churches, both fine Gothic buildings.

The town hall contains a valuable collection of antiquities. The town is so small and so quaint that one would be forgiven for thinking that you’d stepped onto a movie set.

Cobbled streets give way to hiking paths, which lead into the surrounding forests and up to some magnificent look-out points. In fact very nearby are the ruins of three famous castles, Saint-Ulrich, Girsberg and Haut-Ribeaupierre, all of which beckon to be explored, whilst taking in the stunning scenery and views.

Situated in the middle of the famous Alsace vineyards, Ribeauville is home to many viticulturists and it’s easy to see how it was classified one of the most beautiful villages in France. Alsace is a beguiling blend of French and German with gastronomic delights from France and order from Germany.

Every town in the region has its famous clock tower and Ribeauville is no exception. No need for watches in these towns! The area attracts hikers from all over – it is paradise for anyone with a love of walking, from a gentle stroll up the main street, to more arduous hikes covering many miles. What struck me in October, was the abundance of harmonious blooms, every window in every building had a window box overflowing with colour - an enchanting, visual delight when Europe is heading into winter.

As Walter Hagen once said: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” Apt advice indeed.

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