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Vacation On A Canal Boat In Europe For Ultimate Relaxation

Canal boat vacation in Europe
Canal boat vacation in Europe [Image by djedj from Pixabay]
One of the most relaxing ways to experience Europe is by renting a canal boat and heading out to explore the canals of the Netherlands, England and France. Many options exist for couples and families to climb onboard for an adventure, where you are the captain and crew. This means that you can choose where to go and where to stop along the way. Cruise the quiet waters while relaxing on deck, watching beautiful scenes go by.

Admittedly, the journey isn’t all about relaxing, as you’ll need to pass through each lock along the canal. With some locks, you can operate them yourself, while others are operated by lockkeepers. Whichever it is, this is all part of the canal boat experience.

Canal boat tour of The Netherlands

Canal in Stavoren, The Netherlands
Canal in Stavoren [Image Wikimedia Commons]
While Amsterdam is famous for its canals, one of the best locations for a canal boat vacation is in Friesland. Here, the region offers a number of canals and rivers and is renowned for the gorgeous, wild and untouched scenery along the way.

Most villages and towns in this area feature a waterfront, where you can moor your canal boat and head ashore. One of these is the old town of Stavoren, where the pastel-colored homes reflect on the water, and where rustic farmhouses and fishermen’s cottages line the way.

Meanwhile, this region of the Netherlands is popular with the locals, as many festivals and events are held in the summer months. This makes a summer canal boat vacation a great experience for the whole family.

Follow the canal to Stratford-Upon-Avon, England

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, UK - home of William Shakespeare
Stratford-Upon-Avon [Image by Steve Oprey from Pixabay]
Any travelers who are fond of theater and history will appreciate a canal boat vacation passing through Stratford-Upon-Avon. In fact, the birthplace of William Shakespeare is among the most important cultural towns in the UK. Here, visitors can see Shakespeare’s home, as well as Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Moreover, spend an evening at the famous Royal Shakespeare Theater to enjoy performances of the Bard’s works.

Even better, you can moor your canal boat on the edge of the theater, making it the perfect spot to stop over and explore. Many guided tours are on offer where visitors can learn about Shakespeare’s life and work. Meanwhile, the beautiful riverside views and historic architecture make for a perfect scene.

Canal boat vacation in the Loire Valley of France

Canal Lateral à la Loire
Canal Lateral à la Loire [Image by Virginia Manso/Flickr]
France offers many excellent locations for a canal boat vacation, but one of the best and most scenic is the Loire Valley. The region is located in the heart of the country and is renowned for its superb gastronomy, making an excellent excuse to stop over along the way.

Meanwhile, among the best canals to choose is the Canal Lateral à la Loire. Here, you can spend relaxing days exploring the waterways, then go ashore to explore the quaint towns and villages along the way. Each has beautiful architecture and pretty parks to explore or have a picnic along the way.

Experience a canal boat vacation in the Netherlands, England or France next year for an experience of a lifetime. Find out more about canal trips in Europe and the rest of the world on National Geographic here.

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