The French city of Colmar can be found within the Alsace region, to the far north-east of the country. The city’s greatest claim to fame is that it was the home town of the famous sculptor, Frederic Bartholdi, who designed the Statue of Liberty. Colmar was also once the home of Martin Schongauer, a renowned painter and engraver. In present days, most visitors looking to spend their holidays in Colmar are drawn by its many cultural and historical attractions, to be found mainly within its extensive and well preserved ‘Old Town’. There is a good choice of self catering holiday rental accommodation available within the city, mainly in form of townhouses and apartments, set within some of its most gracious buildings.
The mainly rural and unspoilt landscape which surrounds Colmar means that walking, hiking, cycling and horse-riding are especially popular outdoor pursuits. The more active and energetic may alternatively wish to head to the Vosges Mountains, to the west of the city, where group abseiling and rock-climbing can be enjoyed. Tourists spending their holidays in Colmar in the winter months will find that there are a number of ski-resorts to be found within this mountain range, with slopes suitable for all abilities and experience levels. Other popular outdoor pursuits to be enjoyed within the Colmar region include kayaking and freshwater angling in the nearby Rhine and its tributaries.
Visitors with an interest in all things cultural and historical will find that their passion will be more than satisfied by Colmar’s myriad sites, buildings and landmarks, many of which are built with a unique pink and yellow sandstone with timber framing. Particular draws are the 16th century Maison Pfister, the 14th century Gothic Maison Adolf and Marche Couvert - the city’s baroque-style covered market. The city also boasts numerous historic churches and religious buildings, to include the 13th century Eglise Saint-Martin, which contains numerous Gothic and Renaissance-style sculptures and Couvert des Antonins, which now houses one of the Alsace region’s most extensive collections of paintings, artefacts and sculptures within the renowned Unterlinden Museum.
The Alsace region as a whole enjoys a typically continental climate. This means that summers in Colmar can be warm, with temperatures averaging between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. Winters are colder, with temperatures averaging between 5 and 12 degrees, though this may often fall below zero. The average annual precipitation of 23 inches is well distributed throughout the year, with snow common in the mid-winter months, especially at higher elevations.
Travellers from the UK looking to spend their holidays in Colmar will usually fly to nearby EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiberg (BSL). British Airways, Easyjet and BMI operate regular flights to this busy international airport, departing from London Heathrow (LHR), London Gatwick (LGW) and Edinburgh (EDI).