The Three Castles Hike from Ribeauvillé is a lovely, fun walk with ruined castles, great views and a monastery.
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This hike starts from a car park at the western end of Ribeauvillé, though you can walk to the start from anywhere in the small town.
Tips for Ribeauvillé Three Castles Hike
- Make sure to explore Ribeauvillé before or after the hike.
- There are many cafes and restaurants in town for a drink or a bite to eat, or grab some local biscuits for a snack along the way!
- Be careful at the castle ruins, the stones can get slippery when wet.
- For more hikes, check out our France Hiking Page.
Ribeauvillé Three Castles Hiking Route
From the car park in Ribeauvillé, head up the lane following a hiking sign pointing to ‘Les 3 Châteaux’ (The Three Castles). You’ll be walking along part of Ribeauvillé’s old fortifications here, with a large stone tower on your left. Once you reach the top of the hill, look out for the hiking path leading into the vineyards on your left.
The path leads gradually up the hillside, with lovely views over the town below. Soon you’ll enter the forest, then get a first glimpse of Château Saint-Ulrich far up above you. At the junction in the woods, keep left to head straight towards Château Saint-Ulrich. The path begins to zigzag upwards and soon you’re walking through the outer fortifications of the castle.
Eventually you’ll reach a junction. You’ll return here, but first visit inside Saint-Ulrich Castle. Be careful on the steps and rocks, which can be very slippery when wet. Make sure to head to the tallest tower at the top as you can climb up here for views over Ribeauvillé Valley and Château du Girsberg across the hillside.
Once you’ve finished looking around Saint-Ulrich Castle, return to the path junction. Head along the path above, which leads towards the next castle.
Château du Girsberg
Château du Girsberg is smaller than Saint-Ulrich and in a more ruined state. There’s one route inside where you reach a viewing deck. After a brief pause here, return the way you came. There are great views of the first castle as you round the bend here.
Now, take the first path on the right leading steeply upwards. After a few zigzags through the bushes and trees, you’ll reach the top and Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre, the final castle.
Château du Haut-Ribeaupierre
This castle, at the top of the hill, is in a fairly ruined state and you’re not allowed to enter because of the unstable building. You can walk through, make a loop of the walls, and admire the views from here.
After the loop, head right down a gently sloping path to a junction. From here, take the small path leading slightly left (not the first left or the main trail straight onward). Walking along this path, you’ll head quickly downwards and soon cross a main track to reach Kahlfelsen Viewpoint.
Notre Dame de Dusenbach Monastery
After admiring the scenery, continue downwards in one big zigzag. Soon you’ll reach a road and the Notre Dame de Dusenbach Monastery and church. You can go inside the church and visit this peaceful monastery in the middle of the woods.
After you’ve finished here, head up the steps to the left and back to the woodland track. Take the first left to return to a smaller trail, which contours along the sloping hillside. This path leads all the way back into Ribeauvillé town. Once you reach the road, turn left and you’ll soon be back at the car park and the end of the Ribeauvillé Three Castles Hike.
Guidebooks & Maps for Exploring Alsace
For other nearby hikes, see our France Hiking Page.