The canals of these 3 cities have nothing to envy of Venice

When we think of canals, we inevitably think of Venice, Bruges, Amsterdam or Strasbourg. Victims of their success, these destinations are prey to mass tourism. However, other cities offer the possibility of strolling along the water. Here are three.

The Portuguese city is located on the Atlantic coast, between Lisbon and Porto. Its network of canals is well developed: you can follow it on foot or board a “moliceiro”, a typical small boat. There are three main ones. The Central is lined with Art Nouveau houses, the Cojo canal leads to a small lake and the São Roque canal leads to the fishermen’s quarter.

In France, the Canal du Midi connects Bordeaux (Atlantic) to Sète. The Mediterranean city is crossed by canals which form a circuit to be discovered by boat. The movable bridges are an attraction, as is the picturesque Pointe Courte district, made up of small fishermen’s houses on the Etang de Thau, a lagoon where oyster farmers work.

The Haute-Savoie city is crossed by the Thiou, one of the shortest rivers in France (3.5 km). We walk along it to the historic center (medieval period), at the edge of the lake. While strolling, you should not miss the Saint-Dominique canal or the Gruffaz passage, which you can see from the bridges. The Vassé canal, dotted with boats, is charming.

Of course, there is also Colmar (F), whose facades are richly decorated with flowers, and Hamburg (Germany) whose network of canals forms a real maze. Impossible to name all the beautiful European cities whose canals are a charming asset.

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However, if you really want to avoid the big destinations taken over by overtourism, it is better to head for Martigues (photo above). The cheerful city of Bouches-du-Rhône, west of Marseille, is literally built on water. Wonderful summer excursion: a canal cruise.

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