Boating in France: French boating vacations

Really – who wouldn’t want to go boating in France? From the natural beauty of rural France to touring the country’s more Mediterranean destinations. Taking in this unique country by boat through its many waterways and canals offers the ultimate in relaxation. Boating vacations in France are truly an unforgetable experience.

For those who prefer the gentle pace of life on the water, opting to hire a boat in France and taking things as they come has a lot of appeal. Going boating in France offers you a holiday you won’t ever forget.

How else can you make the most of the lifestyle, culture and feel of modern France than travelling by boat? Do you enjoy adventure? Yearn to connect to the real France? Or just enjoy watching the world going by? Hiring a boat in France or booking a canal boat holiday is ideal for you.

Boating in France

Over 2,700 miles of waterways span the surface of France. Routes range from the famous Canal de Bourgogne in Burgundy to the centuries-old Canal du Midi.

And boating in France is more than just a pastime for the many holidaymakers that flock to enjoy the luxurious boats and colourful vessels. It’s a slower pace of life that’s ideally suited to lazy summer afternoons or taking in the beautiful autumn foliage.

canal du midi
The Canal du Midi

Enjoy French boating vacations

France is steeped in history. It’s also a breathtakingly beautiful country. And the best way to see it is by boat. From the water you can take in the unique vista that is France. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone who enjoys amazing views, local flair and the chance to embrace culture.

But don’t worry if you like your comfort along with your rustic delights. Boating holidays in France can be as luxurious and as pampered as you wish. You can have all the comforts of home without sacrificing style. Some of the boats you can hire in France are more like floating palaces.

Ok, that may be a slight exaggeration but you get the drift. But rest assured you’ll be able to get the most from your visit to some of France’s most famous waterways without having to slum it.

Boating vacations in France

If you’d rather get down and dirty in a more basic craft you have that option too. After all, not everyone is into clamping. Or whatever the boating equivalent is. And boating in France can be as rustic as you wish. Especially if you’re prepared to roam a little.

If you’re a fan of more authentic cultural immersion when it comes to your getaways, going off the beaten path is never a bad thing. Avoiding the city crowds and popular tourist beaches can provide a far richer experience for all involved.

picardy in france
Floating Through Picardy

And boating holidays in France offers the depth you’re craving. Providing a more genuine look at France, from local villages to acres of unspoilt countryside. It’s what makes taking the canals so distinctly different from any other type of holiday.

Indulge in local delicacies. Discover a new way of life. And connect with France in an entirely different way. One of the best things about boating holidays in France is they are completely different from anything else on offer.

Forget the package deals and five-star hotels. Enjoy a holiday which immerses you in local life. Allow yourself to let the history, architecture and beauty of France wash over you from a prime spot on the famous canals.

French canal vacations

French canal vacations are much more than just floating down a river. Idyllic as that may be. Beyond the waters themselves, you’ll experience the countryside bursting with wild life between every town and village.

From the common moorhens and mallards to the more exotic turtles and herons that live alongside the banks of the Canal du Midi. France’s canal systems are teeming with life in all shapes and sizes.

Animal lovers and nature watchers will be in their element. You’ll see otters and red squirrels on the Nantes-Brest Canal. Or maybe some beautiful red deer and scary wild boar will accompany your tour along the Canal de l’Est. Wildlife isn’t in short supply along the banks of some of the most famous canals in France.

Holidaymakers who want to get back to nature and experience a side of France tourists don’t always see won’t be disappointed. For nature-lovers, the canals of France are as rewarding as they are appealing with wonderful national parks to see from the water.

Canal du Midi boating vacations

With over 150 miles of winding waterways, the Canal du Midi is a truly unique destination. It’s one of the most popular of France’s many boating destinations. Set in the sun-drenched south, amidst beautiful sunflower fields and picturesque vineyards, this historic canal is more than just a tourist destination. It’s a World Heritage location.

Read our Guide to Canal du Midi Boating Vacations

Choosing one of the Canal du Midi boating holidays gives you access to a whole host of amazing adventures and sights. Explore everything from medieval fortresses to bustling market towns. Enjoy the charming village of Agde and wander around the historical and cobblestoned Beziers.

Tours along the Canal du Midi provide a snapshot of old-world France. A distinct Mediterranean flair permeates every structure and piece of architecture. But beautiful and interesting buildings happily cohabit with the vineyards and vast fields the canal offers views over.

For food, history and some of the most picturesque destinations available, there’s no better place to start your boating in France adventures.

Travelling with friends, doing something different with family or considering some quality couple time? Canal du Midi boat holidays provide it all.

Luxury canal vacations in France

Boating in France allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this amazing country. The pace is slow but just because you’re on the water it doesn’t mean you can’t also enjoy a little of life’s finer things as you float along.

Luxury French boating holidays allow you greater freedom to do everything you want to do. From visiting local towns to purchasing region-specific foods and wine while travelling in a water borne version of a stretch limo.

Maintaining comfort and five-star standards with floating accommodation is more than worth the cost. You’ll never have seen France like this.

If this kind of boating appeals, you’ll experience France from luxurious comfort. The standard of vessels you can choose from is astonishing. And if you’re travelling as a couple your experience of one of the world’s most romantic waterways goes above and beyond the basics.

Plush high-quality cabins are more like mini floating hotels. And you can choose to enjoy freedom-based adventures where you strike out on your own or guided tours.

Gourmet meals, onboard chefs and excursions included. What more could you possibly want when enjoying the beauty of France from the water?

Boat hire in France

If you’re looking for a rewarding, culturally fulfilling and relaxing experience, boating in France is highly recommended. Even if you can’t have a full holiday on the river you can always hire a boat in France for a day or two. Enjoy a lazy couple of days on the country’s waterways.

Soak up the local culture, connect with some of the best wine the region has on-tap, or just sit back and enjoy the view. If you hire a boat in France you won’t be disappointed.

From sweeping countryside and vineyards to historical architecture and canal side villages, boating in France offers a little bit of everything for everyone.

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