Bergheim. Have you heard of it? We hadn’t, but when driving from Luxembourg through France to Switzerland, we happened to stumble upon the place. Despite the small size and seemingly innocuous vibe, we found the place to be a truly beautiful and tucked away part of the world. Maybe it’s not a huge destination like Paris or Berlin, but it’s certainly got its charms.
Bergheim was our retreat from the city; our break from the hustle and bustle of crowded streets and busy restaurants. It was the perfect place for it as well. We might have only stayed a short time, but we hope to come back here in the future and explore the area’s hidden depths in more detail.
The village appears to normally be a part of the Alsace wine route, so it’s a great place for wine aficionados to stop off at or those who just love a tipple. Anyway, here’s our look at the hidden gem of Bergheim.
What to See
Despite being a small village, Bergheim does, in fact, have a lot of places to see. Most of them are to do with its natural beauty as a small village, but there are a few things to explore which involve a little more.
Cimetiere Militaire Allemand
The Cimetiere Militaire Allemand is a military cemetery dedicated to both the civilians and soldiers killed in the second world war. It’s a poignant walk uphill from the village itself, but it’s worth it. If not to see the graves, at least to respect the history and people who made this place. Because Bergheim is a largely small village with few tourists and visitors, this area is generally empty. In fact, chances are that you will be the only people around when you visit. That just makes it even more poignant.
The Church of the Assumption
Built in the 14th century, this church is one of the picturesque village’s main attractions. It’s typical of a village church and comes complete with a bell tower (which you can climb if you ask). The interior is decorated beautifully with religious paraphernalia and stained glass windows. A great option for when you’re in the hidden gem of Bergheim.
Climb the Surrounding Hills
If you have some spare time and want to really see how much the hidden gem of Bergheim is hidden, try climbing one of the many surrounding hills to get a complete view of the village. Climbs are relatively easy and convenient, and the hills are not steep. Because of the size of the village, the view you’ll get will be of the entire village, including the church’s bell tower.
Chateau du Haut-Koenigsbourg
If you’ve got the time, then just a few kilometers from Bergheim the castle of Haut-Koenigsbourg can be found. As a traditional castle (complete with a drawbridge), the structure dates back to around the early 19th century. Despite a modern reconstruction having been completed, with some of the reconstructed elements somewhat historically inaccurate, the castle is still worth the trip.
Where to Stay
Prices in Bergheim are expensive. It’s not the cheapest place in the country, that’s for sure. However, amongst the high-end hotels and establishments, there are some bargains to be grabbed. Specifically, we recommend destinations like A la Vignette; especially for budget travelers. The hotel is located quite centrally and in a quaint looking building, reminiscent of the area’s history. A room for a night will cost about 50 euros.
If you’ve got a little bit more spare capital, then the Hotel Chez Norbert is another great place to spend the night. The quirkiness of the village of Bergheim has rubbed off on this place, with the staff trying to cater to your every need and being more than attentive. The hotel also offers a full breakfast buffet, which is often quoted by travelers as being ‘the best I’ve ever had’. If you’re a lover of food and want to chow down on some perfect food in the morning after you wake up, this is the place. Prices fluctuate but are generally in the 70 to 100 euros’ zone per night.
If you’re driving into the village, it’s generally quite easy to park. Just find a place on the street and pull up. In most cases, you will be fine, especially if you’re parking outside of a hotel. Of course, make sure to check with the front desk when you check in. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the countryside because your car got clamped.
What to Eat
One of the area’s best restaurants – and the embodiment of local French cuisine – is Mosaique. Those who dine at Mosaique are treated to a Mosaique of food. The restaurant is generally inexpensive when compared to some of the other similar establishments in the village, and it’s Matafans are superb. For those who don’t know, Matafans are basically savory pancakes.
For those looking to have some of the area’s finest wine, head to Wistub du Sommelier. The expert staff here are known to be capable of pairing the perfect glass of wine with every meal. That means that no matter what you eat, you’ll be treated to possibly the best wine/food coupling you’ll ever have experienced.
Beauty Can Be Hidden Everywhere
We only stopped in Bergheim for an hour, during which time we spent most of it walking around the admiring the natural beauty of this picturesque village. We wish we could have stayed for longer, but we really had a deadline to meet.
That being said, we really do recommend the place to anyone who is interested in quaint beauty and picturesque areas. It really is quite something and a true escape from the hectic business of everyday life. The streets are lined with pink houses, and the people smile and say hello wherever you go. We hope to see you again Bergheim. Thanks for a wonderful stay!