Five Activity Ideas for Your Barge Holiday in France

Cruising along a French canal and taking in the charm of the surrounding scenery is certainly a highlight of exploring this beautiful country by boat, but the joys of taking a barge holiday in France extend beyond the waterways to cover a whole range of exciting excursions and activities, with something to suit every taste and all ages. Read on for some of the most memorable.

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Get Active

While a barge holiday in France is the perfect opportunity to relax, it is also worth taking advantage of the opportunities the French countryside offers for more active pursuits, such as cycling, walking or horse riding, all of which can be combined with barge travel. Canal routes also pass by some of France’s finest golf courses, offering golfers the chance to play a round or two.

 Paint a Picture

The idyllic scenery on display during a barge holiday in France is an artist’s dream, and what better way to preserve the experience than by painting a picture to take home – especially in a country that has produced so many renowned artists? The number of scenes to choose from – including picturesque old towns and villages and peaceful canal banks – offer plenty of opportunities for doing so, and the experience of painting a beautiful scene can be just as special as the results.

Enjoy the Cuisine

As well as the scenery and the culture, one of the most appealing aspects of a barge holiday in France is the fantastic food on offer. France is justifiably famous for its cuisine, which contains regional dishes from all around the country, and exploring the provinces by barge allows visitors to try some of the regional specialties at their most authentic. With the fertile farmland and bustling market towns, the country’s finest produce is at your fingertips.

Discover Local History

The history of France is a fascinating and layered one, filled with varied cultural influences and dramatic events, and some of the country’s most interesting historic sites are to be found along its waterways, from Roman ruins to striking chateaux – and even the canals themselves, some of which date back to the seventeenth century.

Watch the Wildlife

For lovers of nature, a barge holiday in France is a wonderful opportunity to see some incredible wildlife up close. The busy ecosystem of the water’s edge is thriving with plants and animals, with something different to see in every season, so that this is always a journey of discovery. From an exciting array of avian life to the fish that swim underneath the barge, there is plenty to be seen. Especially fun for those travelling as a family is to see who can spot the most different species of creatures along the way.

Catered Ski Chalet: Skiing Vs Snowboarding

Are you a skier or a snowboarder? Often times, people select one of the two sports and become avid advocates of it. There seems to an undisputed rivalry between the two and many people view snowboarding to be more challenging and “hip” than skiing. However, skiing has a well-established reputation of being an extreme sport suited for only the most physically fit. If you are staying at a catered ski chalet in a region that offers both sports, why not judge the two for yourself?

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To Ski or to Snowboard

Lets say that you are quite familiar with both skiing and snowboarding, however you want to dedicate your time and money into one of the two. The best way to make the decision is to consider a few factors: which sport best suits your budget, which activity is best for your physical abilities and which is your overall preference.

If you feel that your physical abilities allow you to participate in both activities and you are financially able to fully commit to buying the equipment necessary for both then selecting one or the other is really not necessary.

When renting a catered ski chalet it is vital to make sure the region or resort in which you are staying has the capability to both ski and snowboard or has your desired sport.

Cost

Both skiing and snowboarding have various costs to consider. For both, you will need to factor in travel costs and the cost of renting a catered ski chalet. The difference between the two sports is of course in the cost of the equipment.

To purchase mid-range snowboarding gear, ideal for intermediate skillsets, it will cost you about $420 for the board, $120 for the binding and $90 for the boots.

For an intermediate skier, you will need to purchase skis at about $600, boots at about $320, $150 for the binding and $120 for the poles.

These are both average prices for equipment and it is possible to purchase used equipment or perhaps find sales. Also, both prices do not take into consideration the cost of lift tickets, which tend to vary from resort to resort.

Skills Needed

Both skiing and snowboarding require advanced physical ability. Snowboarding is often considered to be more difficult, however it very much depends on individual skills sets.

When snowboarding, both of your feet are strapped to a single board and therefore you will need to learn how to move as one fluid object in order to be able to be a good at the sport. Initially, learning this skill is considered to be more difficult than learning how to ski, however, once you have mastered it, it is no longer a challenge.

Skiing is considered a more “streamlined slope experience” because you can use both legs to stand and move which is less labour intensive (at first) than hopping along mountain troughs on a board.

Trails and Slopes

Prior to renting a catered ski chalet you should research the area in which you are planning your holiday to determine whether they are best known for skiing, snowboarding or both.

Snowboarders typically prefer fluffy, powdery terrain while skiers like icier bumpier trails better. If snowboarding is your preference, make sure the area you are looking at allows for snowboarding, as a select few do not.