What to do on the Canal de la Marne au Rhin?

Updated on 2024-04-24

After the Canal de la Sarre, here's an article dedicated to the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, which we know well in Alsace. It's one of the classic places for bike rides from Strasbourg, for example! It links Vitry-le-François en Marne to Strasbourg, but I'm going to concentrate here on the Alsace and Moselle sections to give you some ideas for things to do along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin.

Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

Explore the Canal de la Marne au Rhin by boat or bike

The Canal de la Marne au Rhin is a very popular canal for river tourism: several rental companies offer pleasure boats for hire for varying lengths of time. This can be a great way to cruise along the canal, stopping to visit places along the way. The other essential means of transport is, of course, the bicycle! From Strasbourg, the Canal de la Marne au Rhin is part ofEurovélo 5 as far as Gondrexange, where the Eurovélo then follows the Canal des Houillères de la Sarre. What a great weekend cycling along the canals of Alsace and Moselle!


Visit Villa Meteor in Hochfelden

Hochfelden is a small town in the Pays de la Zorn, a part of Alsace famous for its hops! Historically, an important Alsatian hop production was located here. Even though the number of hops is much smaller now, you can still see a few of them by looking at the landscape. Hochfelden is also home to Alsace’s famous Meteor brewery, an independent, family-run industrial brewery whose beers can be found absolutely everywhere in the region. The brewery has its own museum, Villa Meteor, which is a great place to visit. I’ll tell you more in my article dedicated to the Villa Meteor visit. Leaving from Hochfelden or Waltenheim-sur-Zorn, you can also take a lovely 25km cycling loop to discover this brewing region: the “Bières et Houblonnières” loop is very pleasant!


Discover Saverne

Saverne is a charming little town in Alsace. It’s not the best known, but it’s a really nice place to go and well worth a visit, both for the town itself and the surrounding area! Directly along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, you can already admire the beautiful Château des Rohan from the marina. But I’d also recommend stopping off for an ice cream from Jacques Bockel (an Alsatian chocolatier based in Saverne) on the harbour, taking a stroll around the town center or, if you’re feeling motivated and take more time, climbing up to the magnificent Château du Haut-Barr. You can get there on foot, but also by bike: here’s an idea for a sporty cycling loop starting from Saverne, which will take you not only to the Château du Haut-Barr, but also to Alsace’s Mont Saint-Michel! That’s right!


Taking a break in Lutzelbourg

Lutzelbourg isa small Moselle town on the banks of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin, which I’ve already mentioned in this article with ideas for things to do around Phalsbourg. Small but pretty, with good opportunities for discovery: go up to the Lutzelbourg Castle to admire its pink sandstone ruins and the magnificent panorama of the canal, and also take a gourmet break at the Rohan sweetsvisit the stores and artists of the Konzett division, rent a VTC from JĂ©rĂ´me


Visit the Saint-Louis Arzviller inclined plane

A must on the Marne-Rhine Canal! The inclined plane is the only boat elevator of its kind in the world, enabling you to quickly overcome a 44.5-meter difference in height, which previously required you to negotiate no less than… 17 locks! If you’re travelling along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin by boat, you’ll use it anyway, but if you’re on a bike, you can visit the Plan inclinĂ© on board a boat (you’ll have to make a small detour from the EurovĂ©lo 5 to reach it): more info in my article dedicated to the Plan inclinĂ©. visit to the inclined plane.


Summer tobogganing

Just a stone’s throw from the inclined plane is a fun activity to do with children: alpine tobogganing at the Plan inclinĂ© de Saint-Louis Arzviller can easily be combined with a visit to the inclined plane, providing fun for the whole family!


Marvel at Cristal Lehrer’s glassmaking expertise

Yet another idea for an activity located just a stone’s throw from the inclined plane: the Cristal Lehrer crystal glassworks has a very large visitor reception area where you can sit back and watch the glassmakers at work. they create a variety of objects before your very eyes (available in the store, of course), and it’s truly fascinating to watch!


Cycling in the Vallée des Eclusiers

If you’re cycling, you’re bound to pass through the VallĂ©e des Eclusiers, where the EurovĂ©lo 5 passes through. This is the valley where the 17 locks that were abandoned when the Saint-Louis Arzviller inclined plane was built were located. If you’re on a boat, you’ll have to take a break and explore it on foot or by bike, because it’s really worth it! The VallĂ©e des Eclusiers is a small haven of peace, where you can admire beautiful lock-keeper houses as well as… Take a snack break at CrĂŞperie Papar Hasard, a must! Find out more in my article dedicated to the VallĂ©e des Eclusiers.


Sleeping in the port of Niderviller

If you’re on a boat, sleeping in a port will seem normal. If you’re on a bike, it can give your evening a vacation feel… A harbour atmosphere is always a nice change of scenery, don’t you think? Boat rental company Kuhnle Toursoffers furnished apartments in its Niderviller Marina, and has been awarded the “Accueil VĂ©lo” label. Comfortable and with a view of the boats, I enjoyed sleeping there and really felt like I was somewhere else!


Discover the Grande Ecluse de RĂ©chicourt

Not far after the junction of the Canal de la Marne au Rhin and the Canal de la Sarre is the Grande Ecluse de RĂ©chicourt, France’s highest Freycinet lock! It is indeed quite impressive. The commune of RĂ©chicourt offers electric scooter tours that take you to discover the big lock, but also the surrounding ponds, Bataville…It can be an original way to discover the area!