Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

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What constitutes a “beautiful landscape”?

Opinions on this may vary, but most people will agree that a beautiful landscape must contain some  ….

1. Body of water

"Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions - it's a body of water: "

For the simple reason that we are programmed to find beautiful what is good for us, and water happens to be the number 1 condition for an environment that can sustain human life. If you don’t believe me: check any book on art history and you will notice that nearly all painters, when asked to produce a landscape, have included a river somewhere. (Even the Mona Lisa has one.) So if you look for a destination that is ISO-certified with a beauty guarantee: make it a river.

2. Variety

"Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions - they offer variety: "

Where there is a river, there is a gradient, and where there is a gradient, there are often rolling hills, craggy cliffs and scenic valleys – or, at the very least, where rivers are slowly meandering through the flatlands on the last stages of their voyage to the sea, there are frequent bends where a new scenery is waiting for you behind every twist and turn of the trail. Either way, rivers are a guarantee for variety, that most precious of commodities in a longer hike. Follow the banks of a river and you will never get bored.

3. Structure and orientation

"Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions - offer structure and orientation: "

I am sure we all agree that the best way to experience a landscape is on your own two feet. Walking and hiking do, however, throw up their own specific challenges, and not only to the “directionally challenged”: it is all too easy to get lost in the woods (just ask Hansel and Gretel), and sometimes, in the thick of a forest, not even the best map can give you a clue as to where you are. Rivers, conversely, provide landscapes with an easy-to-read structure, and where the trail runs right on the river bank, even the most helpless hiker will know where to go. And for the more experienced walker, it is simply one less thing to worry about.

4. History

"history: Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions"

Where there is a river, there are not only rolling hillsides and lush valleys, but also people who have inhabited them for hundreds, sometimes for thousands of years – in villages, towns, and cities with often colourful and fascinating histories. Stop by, rest for a few minutes in an old country church or enjoy a meal in an ancient roadside inn: there is always something to see and some story to discover along your way.

And finally, ….

5.  The comfy option

"comfort: Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions"

The best way of experiencing a landscape may very well be on your own two feet, but it is not the only way. For those who cannot go on a hike (or simply do not feel like it), there is another option: CroisiEurope River Cruises. This has the added bonus that you can cover a lot of ground in a relatively short time and see much more of the river than you can cover on foot. (Try to walk from Vienna to Budapest, for example, and you will know what I mean.) This is certainly the best option if you are pressed for time.

Can you contribute other reasons why rivers make great travel companions?

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5 comments to Five Reasons Why Rivers Make Great Travel Companions

  • So very true, Gareth. Happy birdwatching and thanks for dropping by.

  • Gareth Phillips

    The great thing for me is that the birdlife and countryside is amazing while traveling by river. I always take a bird ID book and a good pair of binoculars. It’s also well known that cities originate in a small area next to the river, in fact where the boat docks. All the history is there s well as the essence of the country.

  • Good point (of view) Ted! Thanks.

  • I would like to add point of view. The world looks different when you view things from a boat on the river. This is kind of covered in the variety section, but I think deserves its own distinction. I love viewing the city skyline from the Chicago River and I also love fall colors from the seat of a canoe. You get a much different perspective from a canoe on the river.

  • Great post and I agree. Rivers are amazing travel companions in our area of Canada too, We have a number of exceptional waterways here including the Ottawa, Madawaska, and Mattawa Rivers and combined, they hold a tremendous amt of water. More water flows down the Ottawa, for example, than all the rivers of Great Britain combined.

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