Are you a water lover looking for an water activity for the summer that's either fun, sporty or gentle? Then welcome to the Grand Duchy, where the lakes and rivers are great for swimming and a host of other water activities.
Thrill-seekers can experience the joys of wakeboarding, or set out on a kayak or canoe adventure. Or you could hire a stand-up paddleboard, or try waterskiing on the Moselle or the Sûre. Fishing fans will be able to find a number of lakes and stretches of river for hunting down trout. And there are plenty of places surrounded by nature where you can cool down, sipping a fruit juice in a deckchair. We have put together a selection of the top water pleasures. So put your swimsuit on and follow us!
Your tour of the Grand Duchy's water activities starts here, on the banks of the Moselle. The river's source is in the Vosges mountains; it travels 314km through France before crossing the border into the Grand Duchy at Schengen. The Moselle forms the border between Germany and the Grand Duchy by way of a condominium arrangement, becoming German after the border at Wasserbillig.
After that short geographical aside, let's get down to business. There are several ways of travelling on the Moselle. You can either take a calm, peaceful journey on a passenger boat - on the M.S. Marie-Astrid or on the Roude Léiw - , admiring the greenery passing before your eyes, or you can go up- or down-river at a bit more speed in a motorboat. Note, though, that you will need a boat licence (permis de navigation), and that there is a speed limit of 30km per hour. There is the added requirement that you will need your own boat, as it isn't possible to hire pleasure craft on the Moselle.
Our next stage takes us to Grevenmacher, still on the Moselle, for a session of wakeboarding. This is a bit like waterskiing – the boarder has to stand and stay on the board as it is pulled along by a motorboat.
Don't worry – you don't need to be a top-level athlete to be able to wakeboard. What's most important is to listen to the advice given by the instructors before you – literally – take to the water. Being reasonably fit is not a bad idea, though, so that you've got enough strength to get back on the board after you've fallen in a few times. One thing's for sure – it's quite a thrill.
Canoeing and kayaking
This summer offers you a perfect opportunity to try out kayaking or canoeing. Before you paddle away with your family or friends, you need to know that a canoe can take several passengers, and has an open cabin. Whereas a kayak is usually just for one person, and has a closed cabin. But either is perfect for discovering quite simply the beauty of river plant and animal life. Fast-moving stretches of water and easy to moderately difficult routes turn canoe and kayak trips into unforgettable memories.
With its numerous stretches of water, the Grand Duchy offers a bewildering choice of places throughout the country where you can indulge in this sport. Although it's mainly in the Sûre valley that canoeing fans meet up to travel the length of the river. The classic starting points are Wallendorf-Pont, Dillingen, Rosport and Wasserbillig.
On the Upper Sûre lake, the youth hostel in Lultzhausen also organises canoe and kayak trips, and you can even rent equipment on the spot. If you're an early riser, we recommend an 'earlybird' kayak trip to start your day. A great way to discover the Upper Sûre lake at dawn, taking advantage of being on the water before breakfast at the youth hostel.
Welcome to Echternach, the oldest town in the Grand Duchy. This historical jewel in the Mullerthal region is known not only for its ancient abbey and its hopping procession, but also for its lake on the outskirts of the town. This huge stretch of water is perfect for taking out a pedalo, which can be particularly refreshing when the weather is really hot. It's an activity that's fun to do with your family or friends, and you get a bit of exercise as you pedal along at your own pace. Pedalos can be hired at the lake entrance from Easter until October. You can set out between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
But while you're by the lake, take advantage of the many other activities available. There are long circular walks and children's playgrounds, and you can even find out about the Romans at the Roman villa and its educational museum.
If meanwhile you've taken a fancy to pedalos but would like a change of scene, you could always try the lakes at Weiswampach. Pedalos are available for rent all round the lake here. You could also add a stroll in the park.
The Norwegian fjords and Connemara's lakes are undoubtedly fabulous places for salmon fishing. But you can also have fun at the water's edge in the Grand Duchy. Every place, in its own enchanting setting, offers peace and quiet - it may be a valley, a lake, or a stream.
The Grand Duchy is the perfect place for successful fishing, with waters that are home to many species of fish - trout, pike, zander, eel, carp, etc. The Grand Duchy is a preferred destination for fishing fans.
But before you set out on your fishing trip you'll need to get a fishing licence (permis de pêche), which is issued on the spot. It's often a day licence, or a licence for a maximum of two weeks, available from either a municipal office, a tourist office, or your hotel. But if you want to cast your line in the waters bordering Germany (Moselle, Sûre, Our), you'll need a special licence, which you can apply for online.
Now it's time to get your fishing rod and have fun by the water while visiting new regions.
This is a really trendy activity! Paddleboard or stand-up paddleboard consists of standing upright on a board. It's really booming, and you can do it in the Grand Duchy. You don't need much equipment for this activity: a board, a paddle, and a life jacket. Once the basic principles have been explained, you can stand up on the board. And here you go!
Paddleboard lets you take full advantage of the wonders of nature while you're having fun. That's why we're taking you to Lultzhausen, in the heart of the Oewersauer nature park, on the Upper Sûre lake. It's a fabulous place for this sport – you're surrounded by the green hills that are characteristic of the amazing scenery here. All you have to do to take advantage of this natural beauty is follow the river as it meanders for several kilometres. What's more, the calm water here offers totally different surroundings and is ideal for beginners – you won't be taken by surprise by waves and currents.
There you are – you're ready to go out and discover the entire lake. But there are plenty of other places for paddleboarding in the Grand Duchy, including the banks of the Sûre in Dillingen and Rosport.
And if you're not interested in any sporting activity after all, and just want to chill out beneath a parasol and take a dip in natural surroundings, you have a number of options throughout the Grand Duchy.
The Upper Sûre lake has some lovely beaches and shady grassy areas to either cool down or top up your tan. Swimming is allowed at Lultzhausen, Insenborn, Baschleiden, Burfelt and Liefrange.
A little further north, you can also spend a sunny afternoon surrounded by the flora of the Oesling. The artificial lake at Weiswampach is open all summer; you can swim, or try a number of water activities.
As soon as the temperature starts to rise, the cool water of the Baggerweieren ponds in Remerschen makes this the perfect place to have a great time with family or friends. There's a swimming area, a paddling pool, a beach, and a signposted walk for your pleasure – it's unforgettable! And when you've had enough of lounging in the sun, you can get refreshments from the restaurant-bar on the site.