First time on a houseboat / Choosing a destination
Do you enjoy discovering local sights and history, observing nature, cycling along canals and rivers, or combining a houseboat cruise with wine tasting or sampling the local delicacies? Whichever it is, we've got the perfect destination for everyone to make the most out of their houseboating vacation.
1. Fans of water fun
Do you want to introduce your kids to the joys of boating? No problem! Look for waters that guarantee an easier cruise, places with less boat traffic and a fewer locks along the way. All children love water and they (and you) will enjoy destinations where you can swim and enjoy other water attractions. Especially during the holidays when youngsters are off from school.
For example, the Mecklenburg Lakes in Germany or the Masurian Lakes in Poland are perfect. But France is also an excellent choice, whether you cruise along the Saône River in Burgundy or try the river Lot in Aquitaine, lined with steep cliffs. We're sure that young and old alike will appreciate drifting down the Canal du Rhone à Sete in the Camargue region, which runs almost parallel to the Mediterranean coast. This will also give you access to a long stretch of seaside resorts and swimming in the Mediterranean. For example, Aqualand Cap d'Agde in the resort of Agde is one of Europe's most famous water parks, with nine water slides and a huge wave pool.
2. Wine lovers
Cruise through picturesque landscapes by day and watch the sunset in the evening with a glass of fine wine. This may seem like a dream but this is what a houseboat holiday geared towards wine lovers can be like. There are countless places to sample the finest varieties in Europe, but if you are interested in the history that accompanies this delicious beverage, we definitely recommend a trip to France.
In the south of France, the Languedoc region is captivating and we recommend a cruise on the Canal du Midi. You also won't regret drifting along on the Lot River in the region around the town of Cahors. Further north, you can visit the renowned Chablis wine cellars in Burgundy, where a scenic cruise along the Canal du Nivernais awaits. The area around Cognac is also worth a visit, which you can explore along the Charente river. And not to be overlooked is Alsace, a popular destination which, as well as exceptional wine, also offers a wealth of history.
YACHTING.COM TIP: For more tips on wine-tasting destinations, check out our article — Houseboating for wine lovers.
3. Fishing enthusiasts
Fishing can be pretty addictive. If you can't imagine a holiday without this relaxing pastime, don't worry, there are some perfect places to enjoy your hobby to the fullest. So pack your fishing rods, you'll be catching fish right from the deck of your houseboat.
For a truly unique experience, head to the dramatic landscape of Scotland. But if you prefer to enjoy warm, sunny weather, Laguna di Marano in Italy is the place to go. Favourable conditions also lie in the Camargue region of southern France, where you can catch fish on the so-called Little Rhone. Germany's Lake Maklenburg or Poland's Masurian Lakes also offer excellent fishing.
4. Admirers of history
Tempted to explore mysterious castles and magical chateaus along the waterways? We've got a few great destinations up our sleeve for you, too, where history abounds. All you have to do is use your imagination and you can find yourself on holiday in the exact era you want.
There are few places where history can have such a profound effect as it does on England's River Thames. But you'll also find it in neighbouring France. In Brittany, the castle of Josselin is truly enchanting, you'll also have a wonderful time sailing on the Sarthe River in the Anjou region, and of course, the whole of Aquitaine is worth a visit. For more routes and places to visit from the deck of your houseboat, check out our article — Gothic Ghent and Art Nouveau France: the best boat routes for the arts and the sights
5. Passionate cyclists
Great news for all you cycling enthusiasts out there — all the above-mentioned areas are suitable for you too! So, don't forget to pack your helmet for exploring the beauty that lies just a stone's throw from your houseboat.
6. Classics for everyone
"Classic" may not sound so appealing, but you can rely on the fact that you'll get exactly what you expect from cruising on well-established and popular waterways — stunning scenery, great amenities and a wealth of excursion options. Plus, these destinations are a great choice for those of you who don't have any specific requirements related to their interests or fellow passengers.
France is a classic in its own right. Set off to explore, for example, the Canal du Nivernais, the Canal du Midi or Alsace, where you'll find, among other things, a boat lift and tunnels.
7. Experienced skippers who want thrills
If you've already done some houseboating or have other experience with boats, don't hesitate to put your skippering skills to good use and venture into areas that aren't so suitable for beginners. Not only will you enjoy the unique scenery, but you'll also take away from your holiday the experience of tackling more challenging waters.
A country typical for more experienced boaters is the Netherlands — choose either Northern Friesland or the area around the capital Amsterdam. Or perhaps you can do both? You'll also enjoy the waters in neighbouring Belgium, but if you're looking for something truly unique, head to the Venetian Lagoon.
Can't decide? Don't despair, contact us and we'll help you choose the right destination. And remember that one area can satisfy several requirements at the same time. It's no problem to find a place where both children and adults can have fun. In each region, you can also choose from a wide range of dedicated houseboats and other boats according to comfort, size and your budget.