Monkey Mountain (La Montagne de Singes) & Strasbourg, France

A few weekends ago Stefan and I made a quick trip over the German and French border to play with some monkeys! It was one of the best experiences we have had thus far in Europe! Monkey Mountain, located in the Alsace region of France is home to over 200 Barbary macaque monkeys. The monkeys are an endangered species native to Algeria and Morocco, and the Alsace region of France provides a great habitat for them similar to home.

You are not allowed in all areas of the mountain, just a small path. However, we still saw a ton of monkeys and even some tiny babies! Guides are located all along the path and are able to answer any questions you may have about the  monkeys. Most of the guides spoke English, French and German.

Upon entering the conservation area you are given a small handful of popcorn (maybe 10 pieces) that you can feed the monkeys with. You are not allowed to touch the monkeys, but if you stand with your arm outstretched the monkeys will come up and take the popcorn from your palm. It is very cool! While there we got to see a feeding and the monkeys were chowing down on a wide variety of things: lettuce, apples, peaches, celery, carrots, bananas, corn and insects. They are definitely well fed. I was originally worried that they may eat too much popcorn, but I don’t think this is the case at all. The monkeys only will take the food if they want it. Many times we were rejected as the monkeys were busy digging for insects or they had already had their fill of popcorn for the day.

Besides not touching the monkeys there are a few more rules: do not look the monkeys in the eye (they see this as aggression), do not stray off the path, do not put the popcorn in your pocket, do not feed the monkeys anything other than the provided popcorn, and do not bring any outside food or drink into the conservation area.

We were there while it was raining which was a great time. The forest provided shelter from the rain and we barely even got wet. The monkeys were still out and very playful. As a bonus, the park was not that busy, so we were able to take our time and get great views and pictures!

I would highly recommend a trip here if you are in the area. The park is open from late March to early November and admission is €9 for adults and €5,50 for kids 5-14. Kids under 5 are free. There is parking on site which is free and there is also a picnic area outside of the conservation area. Next to the picnic area is a small cafe with sandwiches. We thought the cost was reasonable. Plus, I love the baguette sandwiches in France! The address to Monkey Mountain is La Montagne des Singes is located at La Wick, F-67600 Kintzheim, France.

After we left Monkey Mountain we decided to make a stop in nearby Strasbourg. Here we saw the Notre Dame Cathedral of Strasbourg and walked along the river. We parked at a park and ride located outside of the city (comes with a public transit pass for up to 7 people. This will take you to the city center and back out to the park and ride) for less than €5. Strasbourg was a nice little town. Not my favorite, but still pretty cute.

 

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