Canal Boating: A great alternative for travel in Europe
Are you looking to do something different for your next trip? Travelling is about going out and meeting people, and it’s great to try something fresh and exciting with some new-found friends. One option many people haven’t yet heard of is canal boating in Europe.
Read on to find out why this is a great way to not only make the most of your precious time off in Europe but really spend quality time with your companions.
How do you do it?
The canals and waterways of Europe are a virtual highway through many countries such as Holland, Belgium, France and Italy. They have long been used for the transport of goods, meaning they are well maintained, organized and operated. This also makes them perfect for tourism, and you’ll find that each destination is well set up for leisure boaters to enjoy.
Renting a canal boat is actually much easier than many people think. The boats travel at a maximum speed of just 4 miles per hour, and there are no special requirements for piloting one. You simply choose your destination and what you’d like to see- have you had the urge to see the windmills and tulips in Holland, or the lavender fields of Provence? Perhaps you want to taste the wines of the Friuli region of Italy and end up in Venice; there are canal boat trips available in almost any place that has access to the water.
Good for Any Group
Whether you’re travelling with a new love interest or just a gang of friends looking to have a good time and get to know the area, you’ll find the right canal boat and destination for your needs. Choose from cozy one berth options or luxury boats that sleep 12 or more people. Boating is even good for families with small children.
Beat the Crowds
Great cities like Paris and Rome have must-see sites on many people’s bucket lists, but braving the crowds can really take it out of you. Long lines, inflated prices and packed hotels are part of the price you pay for the awe of seeing things like the Eiffel Tower. And while it may be worth the effort in the end, vacations are supposed to be relaxing! You don’t want to return home and feel like you need to take extra time off just to recover.
On board a canal boat, you can relax in privacy, away from the honking cars and racing trains. You’ll enjoy peace and quiet and won’t have to worry about getting tables at restaurants or finding an affordable hotel.
The concept of slower travel is really taking off- if you read travel blogs it’s easy to see that more and more people are looking to maximize their vacation time and really just ‘be’ wherever they are. While sight-seeing is still important, there is a definite push to enjoy the surroundings, and of course the European countryside is a great place to do this.
Cheaper Accommodations and Great Food
One of the biggest concerns about visiting Europe is the price of accommodations. Even the smallest hotel rooms in obscure places seem to rent for exorbitantly high prices, and this can make it difficult not to have a heart attack while planning your trip.
Since you’ll sleep on your canal boat, you basically have your accommodations sorted out for the entire time you plan to spend on the water. Canal boats have comfortable berths, hot showers and flushing toilets, meaning you’ll have a floating home base with all the comforts of home.
The cost of food is another valid consideration, and canal boats offer you the chance to cook in your very own galley kitchen every day. Prepare coffee and breakfast in the morning, arrange a cheese plate and bottle of wine in the evening, or even plan a full multi-course meal. You’ll have a fridge, stove and storage to make meal preparation easy. It can be a huge relief not to have to set out and look for food first thing in the morning.
You can also, of course, stop at restaurants along the way to sample regional dishes, fine wines and specialty beers in any country.
If you’re looking to do something interesting and fun with some new travel buddies, why not consider renting a canal boat? It’s a great option for many different groups and makes it easy to share costs as you discover the beauty of Europe together.