Self-drive boating in Europe

Jan 9th, 2011, 01:43 PM
  #1  
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Self-drive boating in Europe

Any hints on self-drive boating in Spain and Italy in Aug 2011 would be greatly appreciated - preferable (weather, biking, nature) routes, rent companies, barges etc)

Thanks in advance!
alilvo2005 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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I am not aware that there is that much self-drive boating in either of these countries. You would have better luck with France, the Benelux and Germany.
Michael is offline  
Jan 9th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Try looking at the biggest self drive outfits in Europe, Le Boat. http://www.leboat.com/ or Locaboat http://www.locaboat.com/index.php?lang=2&logolang=en
The only thing I see listed is a bit of pottering you can do in the Venice lagoon.

Of course there are a lot of yacht charter outfits from which you can rent sailboats in the Med., if that is what you mean.
nukesafe is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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This is exactly how we travelled last summer - LeBoat in Burgundy. Absolutely the best vacation but... the only concern on boating is the weather. And so I thought that good weather probability in Italy/Spain is by definition higher than e.g. in Holland. Otherwise I would go to Holland without thinking. Btw, the only circular route (I don't like fore/back routes as well as paying 200 euro for taxi back if it's a one way route) that I found is in Woulsend in Holland. Do you know anything about these spots?

Thanks!
alilvo2005 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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Why take the taxi back? When we did a one way in Burgundy, we took the train to our subsequent destination. In Holland, there would be absolutely no problem in finding public transportation back to the point of origin, if that is what you want. Back in 1971, we stayed in Amsterdam and used the trains to travel around the countryside. The rides were no longer than a long subway ride in NYC.

As to circular route, the canal system in Holland is so extensive that I would be surprised if you can't establish your own circle--unless you must use pre-determined stops, unlike the French canal system.
Michael is offline  
Jan 10th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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If weather is your concern, the Canal du Midi might be a good choice.
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Jan 11th, 2011, 01:16 PM
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Have never done this but often wondered about it, so we stayed on a moored barge as a B & B last summer in Burgundy just to see what it would be like. The boat was great.

If you contmeplate doing something like this on canals, I would investigate the number of locks on your itinerary. It looks like it could quickly get to be a pain to keep going through locks, many of which you need to get out and manually deal with yourself in the absence of a lock tender.
beaux is offline  
Jan 11th, 2011, 01:22 PM
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The OP has experienced the locks. But for others who may be interested: we went through about 50 locks in 7 days.
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Jan 11th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Read this incredible boating adventure in Italy. One of the all time Fodor's greats:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ucking-mud.cfm
Marija is online now  
Jan 11th, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Le Boat certaily do one ways with easy access to public transport within Holland. Though getting to their starting points can be a challenge by public transport - it is often easier to hire a car for a one way to the starting point.
jetsetj did a trip with them - here is part one of her trip report:
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...and-part-1.cfm
Do a search for the rest.
Woudsend is a nice village catering very much to water sports. A sailing school there and plenty of sailors passing through, plus a big marina. Two nice windmills too.
My sons learned to sail there.
hetismij is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 01:01 PM
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What about Camargue in France like Beaucaire to Narbonne? Has anybody traveled there? Is not there too hot in August?
alilvo2005 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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I would not choose that route. You would be basically at sea level, which means that the view from the boat is likely to be limited by canal berms and plantings. But even if you see far, it is probably an undifferentiated plain or marsh (that was my feeling driving to Aigues Mortes). The Canal du Midi would be better because it also has more "old stones" along its route, although not as many as the Canal de Bourgogne.
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Jan 13th, 2011, 01:15 AM
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I agree with Michael. We once took a sailboat down the Rhone, and did the route Michael talks about. We went from Aigues Mortes to Sete, and found it to be dull. We had heard about the wildlife in the Camargue, but saw none at all, except flies and mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, it was the only place I ran aground. Got stuck right in the middle of the canal, and had to row out an anchor to get the keel unstuck.

We put up the masts in Sete, and sailed along the coast from then on, and did not do the Canal du Midi. I regret that, as a friend who owns a canal boat which he keeps in France has cruised the European waterways for over ten summers, and he says the Midi is his very favorite place to cruise.
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