As an alternative to cruising on the high seas in a luxury liner, why not try a boating holiday in France. France has 10000 Km of tranquil canals and waterways, linking the entire region. Boating is a wonderful way to discover the country. You can cruise at the official speed limit of 8Km per hour on the canals (10Km on the rivers) past chateaux, castles, monasteries, vineyards and fields of sunflowers.

The best choice of vessel is the “Penichette” a barge specifically designed for river or canal cruising, based on the traditional French barge design. Do not let the term” barge” fool you. These are sophisticated boats, more akin to the normal cabin cruiser. The Flying Bridge Penichettes are the latest designs providing dual inside and outside steering positions with bow thrusters for maximum maneuverability in narrow spaces. They provide accommodation for 4-8 persons, mainly in single or double en-suite cabins. The saloon is the place for family board games and intimate dinners. The boats are roomy with showers and hot and cold running water. Water tanks are easily filled at locks and villages. All linen is provided. A permit is supplied by the boat-hire company and you will receive basic instruction on driving, together with detailed navigation guides. Going through the Locks is all part of the fun, and a ritual, as explained in your guide and you will be assisted by friendly Lock Keepers. Cruise at your own pace and moor up to dine ashore, fish or explore the local scene. Most boats carry bicycle racks and bicycles can be hired. Ride ahead on the towpath for that French bread and warm croissants for breakfast!

France has an enormous choice of waterways for your trip. Each region is perfect for a relaxing holiday. In Western France is the rugged beauty of Brittany. In Eastern France the canals of Alsace Lorraine flow past medieval, fortified towns, the Black Forest and the Vosges Mountains. The Canal du Midi in the south is a World Heritage Site. This canal links Toulouse with Agde flowing past the walled city of Carcassonne. The Canal du Rhone and the Canal de la Robine bring one to the Camargue, famed for pink flamingos and wild horses. Finally, the canals of Nivernais, Loire and Bourgogne open up the heartland of France. This is the region to sample Boeuf Bourguignon with chilled Chablis.

Boating in France is a unique and rich experience on canals and beautiful rivers far away from the madding crowds and the busy Routes Nationales! With  self-drive Barge Holidays in France you see the country from a different perspective.

Related Posts