If you are not sure where to start when it comes to planning your boating holiday, why not take a look at France?
With so much to offer, the country's varied regions have something to appeal to everyone – including nature lovers, history buffs, foodies, wine aficionados and those who like to combine their cruise with more active pursuits, including walking, biking and watersports.
Le Boat offers plenty of different boating holiday destinations across France and the flexibility to set your own itinerary, giving you all the tools you need to plan your perfect break on the water.
Boating for beginners
If you've never taken a boating holiday before, it may be worth considering a break in Brittany or a cruise in Camargue.
Brittany, in the north-west of France, is home to a series of Napoleonic canals carpeted with flowers on both sides. History lovers will enjoy a stroll down the medieval streets of fortified Dinan, or a stop in one of the castles on the River Erdre dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
And if you're a fan of sunshine or seafood, you will be spoiled for choice in Camargue. The Canal du Rhone a Sete passes through a series of natural salt lakes and reed marshes for a peaceful, relaxing cruise.
Why not stop off at one of the fabulous beach resorts in the south of France on your journey, or try local specialities such as bouzigues oysters and moules marinieres at one of the region's renowned seafood restaurants?
Food and fun in the French sun
If you are planning a holiday on the Canal du Midi between the months of March and September, you're likely to enjoy sunny weather in the south of France.
It doesn't matter if you're a first-time cruiser or if you have lots of experience on the water – you can tailor your holiday to suit your interests and abilities. The medieval town of Castelnaudary, the ancient walled city of Carcassonne and the Roman town of Narbonne are all worth exploring. And once you've had your fill of history, you can relax in the lovely Languedoc countryside and sample the local wine.
Aquitaine is another sunny spot in the south-west of France with plenty of world-famous wines on offer. The picturesque Garonne Valley can be accessed from the Le Boat bases at Montauban and Le Mas d'Agenais, both of which opened in 2009.
After passing by countless orchards and cornfields, you can step into one of the colourful local markets, where you can pick up delicacies such as foie gras and truffles. Chocolate lovers will find plenty to like about Charente in the west of France, which is renowned for being one of the most beautiful rivers in the country.
Trois Pallis offers chocolate tastings for those with a sweet tooth.
And if you are looking for a wonderful meal, why not book a table at the Michelin-starred La Ribaudiere restaurant at Bourg-Charante?
Soak up some culture
If you are a culture vulture, boating holidays in France could be the perfect way for you to explore your interests.
The Alsace-Lorraine region is home to many sights worth seeing, including the UNESCO World Heritage city of Strasbourg and the oldest church in France – Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnais Basilica, which dates back to the fourth century AD. I
n the east of France – an easy location to reach if you are travelling by train or car from Paris – the Canal du Nivernais is a great place to see Gothic architecture firsthand. Boaters may also wish to stroll or cycle around the scenic medieval villages on their journey.
If you are keen on medieval history, be sure to stop off in the artisan town of Clamecy, which is known locally as the 'town of beautiful reflections' and offers breathtaking views of the region.
Get back to nature
If you're after a peaceful holiday surrounded by the best of France's natural environment, a cruise down the River Lot might be the best choice for you.
Plenty of wildlife can be spotted along the banks of the river – bring your binoculars!
In the east of France, the Franche-Comte region of Burgundy is filled with natural beauty, including mountains, waterfalls, meadows of flowers, fields of wheat and pine forests. If you love to fish, the Rivers Seille and Saone in Burgundy are well worth considering.
Book your holiday in France with Le Boat
Whatever you're hoping to get out of your boating holiday in France, Le Boat can help you create your perfect holiday on the water.
From arranging airport transfers to offering instruction on how to operate the watercraft, the team can make sure your getaway is stress-free.
You can even order groceries in advance to be delivered to your boat on the day and pets can come along at an additional cost.
And if you haven't spoken French since your school days, there is no need to worry – at least one English-speaking colleague is stationed at each of the departure bases.
No matter where you decide to go in France, Le Boat can make your time away a memorable, relaxing experience.