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Historical archives tell us ancient Earth was once mainly ocean with barely any visible land, so since the beginning of human life, explorers have taken to water to discover new lands.

Over time, leisure travellers throughout history would seek coastlines and rivers to enjoy the calming effect of the beach or flowing water. Meanwhile, doctors in the Victorian era often prescribed 'sea air' as the ultimate cure for fever and sickness. Even where you're sitting now, if you relax and close your eyes whilst breathing deeply and visualise being near the water, hearing it, watching it flow, the likelihood is you will soon feel calmer.

The Blue Spaces of Paris

All natural and created 'blue spaces' seem to have this innate healing power. Those lucky enough to live by the water agree it gives them a sense of wellbeing that can rejuvenate the mind and reset the nervous system. It is no surprise that travellers express a desire to embrace such spaces when visiting new destinations. Experiencing a big city from the water offers visitors a different perspective and opportunities for unique and memorable experiences.

We have recommendations for those seeking to tap into this watery wellness while travelling. This time, within the blue spaces of Paris - one of the most iconic cities on the planet.

The Waterways of Paris

Although Paris is known as the 'City of Light', it was built on water, aqueducts and fountains. The famous Seine river runs through the city and is a vital part of its history, attracting visitors since pre-medieval times. The Guild of Boatsmen based in Paris during the 14th century gave the city its motto, "Fluctuat NEC mergitur", translated as "tossed but not sunk", and its coat of arms, which features the boat of the Nautes.

Today, the Seine divides the city into the left bank, 'rive gauche', and the right bank, 'rive droite'. This rich history and placement of the river at the heart of the French capital make Paris a great place to connect with water when visiting. Even better, when near the water, you are usually close to a glorious variety of Parisian eateries, too—the perfect combination.

Simply strolling beside the Seine is a perfect way to familiarise yourself with the delightful blend of urban and natural environments. As you meander alongside the water, you will discover a surprising diversity of flora alongside historic bridges and famous monuments, including the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower, as well as stunning boulevards, pretty cafés and colourful tree-lined districts.

To maximise the time spent on foot, there are walking tours that incorporate both traditional and contemporary flavours of France, from coffee and croissant to escargot, fine wine, and much, much more. This is a city of cultural gastronomy.

The Fountains of Paris

Extraordinarily, Paris has more than 200 fountains in its gardens and squares. However, the Wallace Fountains is the most beautiful and the only one providing free drinking water. If you plan to explore the Latin Quarter, you will find the Fontaine Saint-Michel among typical Parisian bistros; nearby, the Medici Fountain tucked away in a pretty garden, is a wonderful place to sit and relax away from the bustle of the city.

Another scenic spot is Fontaine des Innocents. Previously an ancient cemetery until the fountain's construction during the 16th century, nowadays it is always surrounded by people enjoying the nearby cafes and restaurants.

Remember to visit the canals of Paris, especially the Canal St Martin, which offers a great way to enjoy this 'blue space' within the city. You can walk along the canal, rent a boat or bike, or just find a spot to sit and enjoy the views.

The Scenic Seine

The Seine is simply enchanting. It is no surprise that Monet and Renoir featured it within their art, nor that plenty of memorable movie moments have taken place against the backdrop of the famous river and tower. This wonderful waterway offers something different throughout the day and night but caters to all. During the day, you can relax and enjoy the water from one of the many terraces. At night, a different energy emerges, with many bars featuring live music and an upbeat atmosphere.

While the summer months in Paris are often busy and hot, the river offers respite as the banks change into beaches, featuring deckchairs, potted palm trees, ice cream carts, and free sports and activities.

The ‘passerelles’ or pedestrian footbridges offer ways to navigate the river and the many beautiful bridges in Paris. Pont Neuf is a must if you can find a quiet time as it gives you access to Ile de la Cité - a wonderful spot to enjoy some self-catered al fresco dining, perhaps from one of the food outlets that will customise a picnic full of delicious French morsels for you to take away.

There are plenty of classic French eateries with glorious views of the river. If the terraces are full, restaurant hatches are thrown wide open to provide a natural open-air al fresco ambience. In Paris, you can even dine in a floating garden on the Seine, allowing you the unique opportunity to enjoy a meal in a green and blue space. For a more personalised, exclusive experience, you can connect with tours and guides for private culinary tours.

Paris by Boat

A visit to Paris would only be complete after enjoying a serene ride along the Seine. Many offer a variety of meal options to suit your desires. Daytime cruises are ideal if you want to sit back and enjoy the attractions, perhaps over lunch, or if you prefer, hop on and off at your leisure in the fashion of a water taxi as you explore the city.

If you visit Paris for a special occasion, what could be more wonderful than taking in the sights of this iconic city while sipping some gorgeous French champagne? The water provides a tranquil setting, and good-quality bubbles are a lovely accompaniment!

A slow cruise offers the chance to enjoy the stunning architecture of Paris and more beautiful bridges such as Pont Alexandre III, Pont des Artes and Pont au Double for amazing views of Notre Dame.

Dinner Cruises in Paris

A wide range of luxurious dinner cruises in Paris often feature sophisticated gourmet cuisine in a magical setting for an indulgent waterways extravaganza. For those who crave something livelier, there are combination cruises that include a Moulin Rouge visit - take in the illuminated scenery from the water before heading north up the river to see the infamous cabaret show.

A sunset cruise is a fabulous way to watch the light change and the city's twinkling lights emerge as darkness falls. Watching the sun disappear on the horizon is stunning and offers unforgettable memories.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can take to the waterways independently. There are plenty of rental options, including sailboats, motorboats, barges, and even a jet ski. Don't worry if you don't have a boat license; a captain can also be provided!

Experience the Blue Spaces of Paris

Paris is one of the most captivating cities in Europe and for a good reason. It is steeped in history, romance, culture, beauty and an atmosphere found nowhere else. Is Paris busy? Yes, pretty much all year round. However, can you enjoy the city without feeling rushed or overwhelmed? Oh absolutely.

Our advice is to plan your trip to see the blue spaces of Paris and in particular, the romantic River Seine. It is the heart of Parisian magic - the perfect spot by which to nurture yourself while satisfying a desire to explore. Simply book one of our food and drink experiences in Paris as you relax and contemplate life alongside this glorious meandering waterway.

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