With over 7000km of navigable rivers and canals, boating is one of the most relaxed ways of exploring France. Expect to pay between around €800 and €2500 per week, depending on the season and level of comfort, for a four- to six-person boat. There are many companies offering boating holidays or you could contact the Fédération des Industries Nautiques (01 44 37 04 00). If you want to bring your own boat, contact Voies Navigables de France (VNF) (0800 863 000), which has information in English on maximum dimensions, documentation, regulations and so forth. The principal areas for boating are Brittany, Burgundy, Picardy-Flanders, Alsace and Champagne. The eighteenth-century Canal de Bourgogne and 300-year-old Canal du Midi in particular are fascinating examples of early canal engineering, the latter being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Essentials

Everything you need to know before you set off.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

France features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

Why you should go back to Paris in 2017

There’s nowhere else quite like Paris. No other city can match the allure of its rooftop vistas, café-lined boulevards and striking monuments. Paris’s abil…

11 May 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge insert_drive_file Article
Video: a 1 minute guide to France

Video: a 1 minute guide to France

There's little wonder that the land of châteaux, Champagne and croissants regularly tops lists of the world's most visited countries. France beguiles travell…

28 Apr 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month