Mar 12, 2013 14:38 - 84petersmith | 1,737 views
On a warm summer’s day what could be more enjoyable than cruising slowly along a canal or river while watching the world go by. Europe boasts stunning scenery and top historical attractions all waiting to be explored via its extensive network of canals, rivers, lochs and lakes.
From the heather clad hills and rolling mists of Scotland to the world class attractions of London, the UK has always been a popular boating destination. The country boasts miles of waterways which wind through scenic countryside and are a natural habitat for wildlife with, swans, kingfishers, ducks, water voles and the occasional otter to be spotted. Britain is famous for its traditional pubs and many enjoy riverside locations, making them ideal refreshment stops.
There is little doubt that France makes a stunning holiday location. No other country can quite match it in terms of history, beaches, scenery, gourmet food and wines. The pretty waterways meander through medieval villages and rural landscapes which are dotted with vineyards, corn fields and chateaux.
Holland has always been a popular choice for boating holidays. The country is home to an abundance of canals which pass through scenic countryside dotted with windmills and traditional towns. Spend a day in the bustling city of Amsterdam with its art galleries, museums, canals and world class shopping.
Romantic Venice is renowned for its famous canal network. Moor in the centre and enjoy a day exploring the city’s historic sites while wandering along its labyrinth of canals, alleyways and bridges. Visit art galleries and museums or just watch the world go by from one of the many street cafes.
Types of boats
You are probably familiar with narrow boats which are commonly seen throughout Britain’s waterways. There’s no steering wheel on a narrow boat – you steer using a tiller which is a handle that is attached to the rudder.
Another option to consider is a river cruiser. These motor boats are easy to control and have a steering wheel, just like a car. You will need to think ahead as boats react more slowly and are slower to stop.
There are a wide range of boats to hire whatever your budget and size of party. Most boats boast all the facilities you could expect at home including fully fitted kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and separate seating areas.
Suitable for beginners
If you think boating is best left for the experts, think again. The basic skills are easy to learn and most modern day cruisers and narrow boats are simple to manoeuvre. Your boat charter will ensure you have been given basic training and safety instructions before you are let loose on the controls.
No other holiday comes close to cruising for relaxation and there’s nothing quite like taking charge of the controls yourself. Setting your own pace and stopping wherever and whenever you like.
There is something for everyone in Europe; history, culture, stunning countryside and some of the world’s top cities. If you love messing around on boats, Europe’s extensive network of canals and rivers make it home to some of the best cruising the world has to offer.
Peter Smith is a travel writer who specialises in boating holidays. He is writing this blog on behalf of http://www.leboat.co.uk.
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