PWk: Prod, Tlk: GS2, Datacash: Live
Fancy seeing Italy from a different angle? Then take the helm on one of our self-guided boating holidays, in partnership with Le Boat. Each boating holiday includes time cruising the canals on your own boat, as well as a stay in one of our handpicked hotels - spend a few nights in Venice, relax on the beaches of Lido di Jesolo or perhaps head up to the shores of Lake Garda.
As for the boating part of the holiday, you could start with the Venetian Lagoon, taking in the lively canals and masterwork bridges of the city before gliding into the peaceful lagoons with their sheltering border of sandbars and beaches. Alternatively, head north-east of Venice to Friuli-Venezia Giulia, where every river and village has its own story.
The routes are designed by boating experts who know the Italian waters like the backs of their hands. Tours also cover all abilities, from newbies to experienced boaties. An expert skipper will show you the ropes before waving you off, letting you set your own course and pace.
As for the boats, they’re designed with comfort in mind, with en-suite cabins and sundecks for dining al fresco overlooking the water. You can book a range of vessels that sleep between two and six people.
Get some inspiration with our three suggested itineraries below, then call our Italy Experts on 01293 733479* for more information and to book.
Start your holiday with a night or two – or three – in a Venetian beach resort like Lido di Jesolo or Bibione. Your boat trip begins when you pick up your boat from nearby Casale, just up the River Sile. Head downriver to the busy Venetian Lagoon to weave between vaporettos (waterbuses), circle St. Mark’s Square and explore the surrounding islands. Murano stars the world-famous glass workshops, while the craftspeople on Burano create lace masterpieces. Then it’s back upriver to the Riviera del Brenta. You’ll pass grand Venetian villas at Stra and Dolo, before fetching up at the university city of Padua. Head back to Casale to drop off your boat.
Kick off your holiday with a few days (or longer) on the shores of Lake Garda. When you’ve had your fill of waterfront towns and mountain vistas, head east to Casale to pick up your boat rental. You’ll start off along the River Sile, which winds lazily towards the Venetian Lagoon. Here, you can moor up at one of the Venetian islands. Murano is a favourite – it’s only a 30-minute vaporetto ride away from St. Mark’s Square and the Grand Canal. When you’ve completed your tour, drop off your boat and head back home – or treat yourself to a few extra days in Venice or at one of the beach resorts along the Venetian Riviera.
Start your trip as you mean to go on with a stay at one of the beach resorts along the Venetian Riviera. When you’re ready to roll, head off to Precenicco to pick up your boat. This will be your introduction to the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region, where time-warp villages still make a living from fishing and farming. This is also canal country, with Litoranea Veneta serving up more than 600 kilometres of serene locks and waterways. It also runs parallel to the Venetian Riviera, so lively beach resorts like Lignano Sabbiadoro and Lido di Jesolo are in reach, too. Our highlights, though? The tiny ancient town of Concordia Sagittaria and Roman-era Aquileia.