Hesse To Boofzheim
From Hesse to Boofzheim you follow the Canal de la Marne au Rhin changing over in Strasbourg to the Canal du Rhone au Rhin. The distance to travel each day is a mere 17km which should take 4 and a half hours. This route covers 43 locks, most of which go down. These are much easier to navigate than the up locks.
Shopping before your trip
I would recommend that you visit the Carrefour in Sarrebourg and do your major shopping there. Add to your list toilet paper, dishwashing liquid and a sponge for the dishes.
Getting to Hesse
- If you are in France take the train to Sarrebourg
- From other countries in Europe get a flight to Strasbourg then a train to Sarrebourg
- From Sarrebourg catch a taxi to Hesse – call ahead of time to book Taxi Phoenix +33 6 15 17 82 85
We spent the night before our trip at the Ibis Styles Hotel meaning that we did not have a mad rush the morning we had to be in Hesse. There is a fantastic restaurant attached to the hotel, and it is within walking distance of the Carrefour.
Leaving on your first day
We always try and leave the barge basin on the first day of our trip. This puts you slightly ahead of your daily target which is calculated on you spending the first and last nights in the barge basin. This will give you more time to explore the villages along the way. From Hesse it is less than an hour to Niderviller. The cost for mooring at Niderviller is €22.
Itinerary – day by day
- 2 – Niderviller to Saverne (cost for the mooring at Saverne is €15.88)
- 3 – Saverne to Hochfelden
- 4 – Hochfelden to Strasbourg – tie up at Quail des Belges (cost €47 for two nights)
- 5 – Strasbourg – buy 24-hour tram passes at a cost of €6.80 for 3 people. Be prepared to walk a lot!
- 6 – Strasbourg to Kraft
- 7 – Kraft to Boofzheim (you can do Strasbourg to Boofzheim in one day if you leave first thing in the morning, to be at the first lock as soon as it opens)
Things to see along the way
- Niderviller porcelain factory which has been operating since 1735
- Arzviller Lift and museum
- Place du Général de Gaulle and the old city of Saverne
- Mateor brewery in Hochfelden which was established in 1640
- Strasbourg – there is so much to see in the Old City including Cathederale Notre Dame, Petit France, the site of the Great Synagogue of Strasbourg
Shopping en route
- Boulangerie Stinus, 1 Rue de la Paix, Niderviller (opens 7am)
- At lock 23 there is a small self service farm stall selling preserves and baked goods
- Super U in Saverne
- Laugel patisserie in Hochfelden
- Match in Hochfelden
- The Hochfelden street market can be found outside the museum and is open on Tuesdays until 12:00
- Au Pain de Mon Grand-Pere for pastries and bread in Strasbourg
- Place de Halles in Strasbourg – large shopping mall!
- Au Cho’ Pain in Kraft
- Benette in Boofzheim
These are meant to be automatic but when we were on the trip the system was not working. If you get to a lock and have any issues call the lock keeper straight away. There is a phone on each of the ecluse buildings and they will come and attend to the problem. Remember to pull the ropes as you pass them, if indicated. For the up locks you need to tie up. Pay attention to where to get off the barge to do so. The first lock out of Strasbourg you must get off on the right, after you have gone under the road bridge.
You will need to catch a taxi to Benfeld which will cost about €18. From there you can catch a train to any destination. I suggest that if you are a group of four, two of you go the day you arrive in Boofzheim back to Strasbourg by train and then collect a hire car from Europcar.
Boofzheim to Hesse
Le Boat might swing your trip around. In that case I would suggest you get a car and spend the night before somewhere in the area. You can then drive to the large supermarket in Rhinue to do your shopping, drop the shopping and your luggage off at the barge basin and someone can then drive the car to Strasbourg and come back via train and taxi.
Dave and I did the barge trip from Hesse to Boofzheim with friends. You can read the entire diary of our trip here.