In the immortal lyrics of The Beatles, "Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream." There's no way to connect quite like a river journey. Whether you're canoeing, kayaking, or rafting, you'll literally be going with the flow. We've put together five of our favourite trips for summer 2024 to inspire your own riverine wanderings.

Big Bend

Big Bend, Texas

There’s a saying that everything’s bigger in Texas; and that claim, er, holds water when it comes to its rivers. The Rio Grande oxbows and meanders along the Mexican border and through the epic Big Bend National Park. While there’s some great hiking in the area, there’s nothing quite like unplugging, relaxing and floating downstream on a multi-day trip where you can set up camp on sandy banks, pour a glass of wine, and watch the sunset unspool in pastel colours.

Big Bend Far Flung Outdoor Centre. From £498;


Conwy, Wales

While we champion canoe trips, we’re aware that a lot of readers won’t be experienced and might not want to commit to long-distance travel without dipping their toe in first. Well, the staff at Plas Y Brenin National Outdoor Centre in Conwy, Wales are on hand to make sure you learn the fundamentals before taking to the water. From whitewater to coastal navigation to advanced classes, as well as introductory and intermediate tutelage, you can be sure you’re equipped with all of the skills necessary to enjoy a multi-day paddling experience.

Plas Y Brenin National Outdoor Centre. From £357;

Madawaska Canoe Museum

Madawaska, Canada

Aside from the Royal Mounted Police, there aren’t many things quite as Canadian as a canoe. Ontario’s storied history of trapping and pioneering simply couldn’t have come to pass without the humble boat, which is still the perfect vessel for exploring the province’s 250,000 lakes and thousands of miles of rivers. Of these, the Madawaska is the best known and, for the paddling neophyte, possibly the best of entry. Lose yourself among endless tracts of dense forest while sharing space with beavers, white deer, black bears, and moose. Don’t miss the Canadian Canoe Museum, which will help put your voyage in profile.

Madawaska Kanu Centre. Price: From £279;


Mreznica, Croatia

While the country may be celebrated for the excellent sailing along the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia has interior waterways that are just as stunning, and make for the perfect summer break for families. No matter what your experience level, get ready for aquatic ecstasy on the Mreznica, Kupa and Korana rivers, which are known for being the country’s cleanest and most pristine. Whether you’re spotting fish, canyoneering, snorkelling, threading kayaks through deep gorges or cycling along the riverbanks, tap Families Worldwide and get ready to experience Croatia from a frog’s eye view.

Families Worldwide. Price: from £1,595 per adult;


Ulriksdal, Sweden

Some of the last great European wilderness exists in the hinterlands of Sweden, and if you really want to reconnect with nordic nature, we recommend that you grab a paddle and spend a week doing your best Huckleberry Finn impression. Not a veteran canoer? Canoe Sweden will provide everything you need, offers a bushcraft and survival course taught by a certified instructor, and covers park, shelter and fishing fees. All you have to do is drift. If you’d rather strike out solo, there are self-guided tours, too. Packages cater to all personalities, no matter whether you want solitude or sociability.

Canoe Sweden. Price: From £218;