With its sublime views, splendid cities and picturesque villages, the French landscape is a treat for the senses, with plenty of great options when it comes to travelling – and taking a barge holiday in France is one of the most rewarding ways of seeing famously enchanting regions such as Alsace-Lorraine. From the restful tranquillity of a hotel barge, the highlights of the area can be explored at a relaxed pace, while the perspective that water travel offers is different from that which can be gained from any other mode of transport. Lying to the north-east of the country, Alsace-Lorraine is home to some of France’s most scenic waterways, and its unique culture which blends both German and French influences is bound to provide a fascinating experience. Here are some of the highlights that visitors can look forward to.
The Canal de la Rhine au Marne
Alsace-Lorraine, with its varied geography, is home to a range of beautiful scenes, many of which feature striking canals and rivers, so there are plenty of options for those wishing to take a barge holiday in France through the region. One of the best is the picturesque Canal de la Rhine au Marne, which winds through fields and valleys, passing stunning chateaux and attractive villages, and bringing travellers directly to some of the region’s finest cultural treasures. It is also home to the famous Arzviller boat lift, which was built to let the canal pass over the Vosges Mountains, and provides a truly memorable experience.
All through Alsace-Lorraine, visitors may find plenty of impressive and intriguing sites of interest, with every day on a barge holiday in France bringing new sights, sounds and flavours to enjoy. One place that stands out is the city of Strasbourg, one of the longest-settled places in Europe, with a cathedral that is one of the world’s most celebrated examples of Gothic architecture. The ancient Roman town of Saverne, meanwhile, is particularly memorable for its rose garden, home to over 500 varieties of the flower. These are just two examples of the outstanding locations that can be visited from the region’s waterways.
Alsace or Lorraine?
While the whole of the Alsace-Lorraine region is culturally linked in many ways, there are also unique features to its two components, Alsace and Lorraine. The most interesting approach for a barge holiday in France is to choose a route that allows you to travel through both and observe the similarities and differences, but each is equally interesting in its own right as well, with distinct landscapes – Alsace with its verdant mountains, and Lorraine with its forested plains – as well as their own languages, cuisines and traditions. What is certain is that there will be something interesting to see no matter where the visitor travels.