The dream destinations & travel trends for water holidays
Europe is trendy, also among water sports enthusiasts and for holidays at or on the water. This is not surprising, as this continent has a great variety of beautiful areas to offer that are not too far away.
The eastern Mediterranean is the most popular destination for sailing charter holidays. Northern Europe attracts all weather resistant sailors. A popular adventure is the Atlantic cruise to Europe's outpost, the Azores.
A unique combination of wind, islands and hospitality, enhanced by ancient history, make the shores of the Aegean Sea, the Saronic Gulf or the Ionian Islands a dream destination for many sailing holidaymakers. There is a lot going on in the area that attracts the guests: modern fleets of charter yachts and on shore still the well-known, traditional, but also increasingly modern and trendy restaurants. Client advisors at Argos Yachtcharter are observing the increasing popularity of the Saronic Gulf and the Ionian Islands; Scansail Yachts has a new base in Naphlion on the Peleponnes. Located just two hours from the airport and yet in a little-known and well-protected area, this would be a good option for newcomers to Greece.
An enchanting dream island is Lefkas, pearl of the somewhat gentler Ionian Islands. The name comes from the bright cliffs of this historically turbulent island, which has been inhabited for more than 100,000 years. In the Middle Ages, during the Byzantine period, the island was an important naval base - which it is again today, for charter yachts. The Mysrina is also popular with long distance sailors, liveaboards and for many owners who have conveniently based their yachts here. Since 1864 the formerly Turkish and then Venetian island belongs to Greece. It is connected to the Greek mainland by a swivel bridge. The west is characterised by steep cliffs and rocky coastline, while the east coast has fantastic bays and beaches and picturesque villages. Tours to the neighbouring islands such as Meganisi, Kalamos, Ithaca and Kephallonia complete the advantages of the region.
According to Scansail Yachts, the sporades are also very trendy. There is a charter base on Skiathos, but it is not so easy to reach - at least not without your "own" boat. It is easier to take over the charter yacht on a base in Volos and head for the islands on a chartered keel.
Northern Europe attracts with rough charm
Northern Europe, on the other hand, attracts mostly weatherproof sailors who then succumb unconditionally to the rough charm of Scandinavia. There is also a lot going on here, with a wide variety of ports of departure from the Norwegian west coast for a detour into the spectacular fjords (for example from Stavanger) to the heart of Pippi Longstocking's homeland in the wondrous archipelago of eastern Sweden. Big agencies like Argos and Scansail are offering very good bases and yachts here as well.
Little adventures in the Eastern Atlantic
A more adventurous trip would be to visit the archipelago of the Azores, an outpost of Europe (Portugal) about 1000 nautical miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, where the distances between the islands are still long and bring a real offshore feeling. The islands themselves radiate with sublime mountains, quiet valleys, lush subtropical flora, hidden crater lakes, lush meadows, interspersed with endless hydrangea hedges and, above all, magnificent coastlines with picturesque villages and historic towns. Always surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, which is occasionally garnished with the fountain of a whale. The evergreen Azores islands are full of surprises - a dream destination for anyone seeking nature, tranquillity and authenticity. Argos has three charter bases in this archipelago.
Inland Boating & House Boat Holidays
The classic for epicures, wine connoisseurs and gourmets is still a relaxing holiday on the Canal du Midi. Relax on board and let the landscape with vineyards and southern villages pass by. On the former barges, converted into comfortable ships, a nice crew takes care of the passengers. They provide tasty meals on board or organise restaurant visits. Excursions to the sights are organised according to the wishes of the passengers.
The hotel ships with room for four to ten guests have comfortable cabins with bathrooms and toilets. The "Clair de Lune", for example, offers three luxurious double cabins for one-week cruises. The "Le Haricot Noir" is a floating holiday apartment with room for 12 people and can be rented complete with crew. But of course there are also plenty of bareboats that can be booked without a driving licence, for example by the large provider "Le Boat", via most of the agencies exhibiting at "boot".
On the banks of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal, there are a number of magnificent sights, including the medieval Cité of Carcassonne and the spectacular staircase lock at Béziers. However, the Canal des deux Mers is not only a popular spot for amateur captains, as the former towpaths are ideal for cycling trips. Thus, those who want to be active can, at least in stages, follow the boat by bicycle. Or you can hurry ahead, because often the bikes will be faster.
With Le Boat you can experience a houseboat holiday in a whole new way in the first sailing area outside Europe. Explore the Rideau Canal (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and cruise the endless chains of lakes, rivers and canals from Ottawa to Kingston. Canada combines the lush green of Ireland, the picturesque villages and towns of France, the wildly romantic lakes of the Mecklenburg Lake District and the cultural towns along the Thames.
Travelling slowly is the motto! On a total of 202 km of waterways, you will experience a holiday far away from the hustle and bustle of the hectic pace of life, shape your day according to your own pace and needs and moor wherever you like. 24 of the comfortable Horizon boats will be available from 2020 in both Smith Falls and Seeley's Bay bases in Canada. They offer generous space for two to twelve people. One-way trips are possible.