Walking in the Vosges - France

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The Vosges is a mountain range streching along the west side of the river Rhine between Basel and Mainz. The Vosges are divide in the Low Vosges and the High Vosges. The Vosges are situated in the deparment Vosges and Haute-Saône and are seperated from the Alsace and Belfort by the Ballon D'Alsace. The highest peaks of the French Vosges are called Ballons. The highest and best known peaks of the Vosges in France are the Grand Ballon (1424 m), Hohneck (1364 m), Kastelberg (1350 m) and Rothenbachkopf (1316 m). Other well known ballons are the Petit Ballon (1272 m), Ballon D'Alsace (1247 m), Grand Ventron and the Gazon du Faing (1306 m). The passes between the mountains tops are called Cols and have been included in the Tour de France on several occasions. Two well knows cols are the Col de la Schlucht and Col de Bramont. The graffiti on the tarmac reminds you of the passage of the Tour de France.

A famous road through the High Vosges is the Route Des Crêtes. This Route des Crêtes is a popular road through the High Vosges which leads past the highest peaks. The route starts in the north at the D 148 and leads to the south via the D 61, D 430 and the D 431. Along this Route Des Crêtes are over 4000 km of well marked and well maintained walking trails. There are also several Auberges (inns) and viewpoints along this Route Des Crêtes. During our holiday in the Vosges in France we made several walks around the Route Des Crêtes. Although most walks are in a relatively small area they are very diverse. each walk has it's own charm and the views are different every time. The walking trails are well markes and the different walking trails can be combined to form a nice tour.
One of the walking trails you encouter regularly during the walks is the GR 5, a long distance walking trail going from Hoek van Holland to Nice. This GR 5 goes through a large section of the Vosges in France.

The Vosges have about 300 km of skiing pistes, of which most lies in an area surrounding La Bresse. The ski area of La Bresse is the highest and largest skiing area of the Vosges. With almost 40 pistes surrounding the Col de la Schlucht, the Hohneck and La Bresse there is enough to do for alpine skiers. The ski area of La Bresse also has a lot of cross-country skiing routes of several lengths with a maximum of 50 km.

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