Here at Avalon Waterways, we believe that river cruising might just be the most authentic and inspiring way to see and experience the world.

On the world’s rivers, travellers bend and wind through historic and dramatic landscapes reminiscent of impressionist paintings depicting vineyards, castles atop hills and medieval villages from the days of yore. And while river cruisers can enjoy access to thriving cities like Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Amsterdam and Prague (to name a few) byway of the continent’s waterways, they also have the opportunity to step back into history and experience lesser-known towns and hidden landmarks that time – and most travellers – have passed by. 

With so much waiting to be explored, it can be hard deciding where to start. These are some of our favourite, off-the-beaten-path places and experiences you can find along Europe’s Rivers.

Bourgogne, France

Pic by @remoissenetpereetfils

Wine abounds throughout France, however, it’s not every day that you get a chance to sample Chardonnay in the salubrious grounds of a 12th-century castle above the Rhone River!

Viviers, France

Pic by @onnohofstra

Is there anything better than ending a day of cruising by Southern French villages and chateaus than with a picnic in the lavender fields near the famous Madame Sevigne Chateau Grignan? We’ll wait for you to dare tell us no 😉

Normandy, France

Pic by @ger_gan_

The only place in the world where can you explore Monet’s home and garden (with its famous water lily pond), hike up to Richard the Lionheart’s Castle, admire a countryside donning historic thatched roofs and walk through World War II history on landmark beaches.

Regensburg, Germany

Pic by @kracian_92

A walk through the city of Regensburg will take a visitor to bygone centuries. The Porta Praetoria, the original Roman Gate, the Old Stone Bridge, the Gothic Cathedral and the house of Oskar Schindler. One thing is for sure; this is a very special place!

Roth, Germany

Pic by @abroadpix

Roth is Germany’s best-preserved, walled medieval town – it’s an absolute must-see! Here, travellers can stroll through cobblestone streets and around every corner, they will enjoy a picturesque view.

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

Pic by @kosolsen

If you have read the Grimm Brothers Fairytales, you have already been to Cesky Krumlov in your childhood dreams. Time has stopped in this town, where colourful buildings stand tall, cobblestone streets are small and crooked and the bridges are timelessly romantic.

Rudesheim, Germany

Pic by @ulaszczepanowicz

Rudesheim is truly a special place! The townspeople are one-of-a-kind and the views of the Rhine here are incredible!

Les Andelys, France

Pic by @merveillesmediavales

This is a place where time has stopped and history has remained intact.

Ready to explore somewhere new? Check out our Europe river cruising itineraries here!

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