Back to work, our holidays has ended, but we keep some great memories. This year’s summer destination was France: a diverse country with lots of beautiful places and, for us, easy to reach by car. We started our road trip in the Vosges, where we stayed two nights. In this article, I’d like to tell you some more about the places you shouldn’t miss when traveling to the Vosges.
About the Vosges
Next to a department in the northeastern side of France, the Vosges also is a mountain range. The mountain range is located mostly in the Vosges department, but also in the adjacent departments the Alsace and the Haute-Saône. The Vosges often is divided into separated regions: northern Vosges, central Vosges, high Vosges and southern Vosges.
The Vosges is a department with a diversity of landscapes. In the western side, you can find lots of hills with forests and cultural landscapes. In the eastern side, you can find the mountains and alpine landscapes, combined with small scale farming. In the whole department, you can find countless lakes and rivers.
The Vosges is an ideal place for nature lovers and adventurous travelers. However, you can also find lots of cultural aspects in the department and there are some nice towns to visit.
Tips on places to visit in the Vosges
There are so many places which are worth a visit in the Vosges. I’ll share with you some, from which the most I’ve visited myself during my time in France. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t that great, but I’ve added some imaginative photos.
Le Hohneck is the third highest mountain top of the Vosges with its height of 1.363 meters. It’s a beautiful place where you can have some great hikes and some amazing views over the surroundings (with good weather…). The ‘long distance hike’ GR5 goes over the top of Hohneck.
If you’re looking for a place to eat or drink something, you’re at the right place at Auberge du Pied du Hohneck. They serve some delicious, regional dishes. Also at the top of le Hohneck you can find a restaurant.
Lac des Corbeaux
Located near the town of La Bresse, you can find the lake ‘Lac des Corbeaux’. It’s a magnificent lake located in the middle of a beautiful pine forest. Absolutely worth a visit! You can have a walk here, but you can also go swimming or fishing.
If you’re into hiking, there are two options: – you can walk all the way along the lake and make a round. This hike is very easy and accessible for everyone. It takes around half an hour to go all the way around the lake. – you can also chose to hike to the viewing point ‘la Roche du Lac’, which is a little harder because you need to climb a bit to reach this viewing point. It’s recommended to wear some good hiking shoes. The hike takes around 1,5 hours.
Le Grand Ballon
Le Grand Ballon is a place which shouldn’t be missed during your trip to the Vosges. It’s the highest mountain of the Vosges, with a height of 1.424 meters. When the weather is good (and the sky is clear) you can have some amazing views over the surroundings. Le Grand Ballon also is a place where the options for hiking and cycling are wide. Le Hohneck is the third highest mountain top of the Vosges with its height of 1.363 meters. It’s a beautiful place where you can have some great hikes and some amazing views over the surroundings (with good weather…). The ‘long distance hike’ GR5 also goes over le Grand Ballon, but the ‘long distance hike’ GR7 starts here. On top of le Grand Ballon you can find a radar station, which you can also find on the photos above.
If you’d like to visit a small city when travelling to the Vosges, you should go to Gérardmer. This city is very atmospheric, charming and offers something for everyone. Every Thursday- and Saturday morning there’s a local market, which is definitely worth a visit. Just outside the city center, you can also find the beautiful Lac de Gérardmer (lake).
Saut du Bouchot
A little to the western side of the Vosges, you can find Saut du Bouchot. A beautiful natural area with a cascade. There are several hikes which you can make here, from short to some longer hikes. During our visit, we made a short hike through the forest, which was really beautiful.
Located near Orbey, you can find another beautiful lake: Lac Blanc! It’s the perfect places for hikers and mountain bikers, but also in the winter there’s enough to do, like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. From the viewing point on the fortress-like rock ‘Hans Castle’ you can have a magnificent view over the lake.
Where to stay
There are many beautiful locations in the Vosges where you can stay and which you can use as a starting point to explore more of the region. During my time in the Vosges, I stayed in Saulxures-sur-Moselette, at La Ferme de Jean to be exact. It’s a bed & breakfast located in the middle of the beautiful nature. It’s absolutely a great starting point for exploring more of the region, but the surroundings of the B&B itself also is perfect for a hike.
Although we didn’t had great weather during our time in the Vosges, we absolutely did have an amazing time! The nature is magnificent and I’d love to go back in the future.
Have you been to the Vosges before? If yes, I’m excited to hear more about your tips! Let me know in the comment section below.