Mountains and sea are decidedly different landscapes, but you don’t have to choose one over the other. In fact, some of the most wondrous sites are where water and rock meet, impossibly narrow gorges that poke through massive stone walls or lazy rivers that wind through hidden hills. You may be able to see it from above, but there’s nothing quite like floating through the thick of things; no cars mean no traffic jams, so all you’ll hear is the gentle wake of your boat and the wilderness around you. If you’re looking for a peaceful, humbling experience on the water look no further than these mountain waterways that beg for exploration.

Las Arribes del Duero Natural Park, Spain


This spectacular river canyon carves its way between the Salamanca and Zamora provinces of Spain, running nearly 100 kilometers through the rugged terrain. The water is deep, which makes boating not only possible, but comfortable: scenic boating excursions float wide-eyed visitors from the Zamora-Miranda do Douro border through the soaring cliffs, and there are plenty of points of interest and traditional villages along the river to round out your day.