What you can expect to see when traveling through the lagoon on a kayak. This article will show you how to experience the lagoon, where to start, how to start and what to see. Our guide can be used for your personal kayak experience in the Venetian lagoon. Our join the team from Venice Kayak on Certosa island to see our recommendations below.
Venice is a city known to all, but its lagoon is known by few.
This guide will allow you to be among those who can say they have visited one of the environments where the combination of history, art and nature has reached its peak.
Imagine the silence around you, now think of the lapping of the paddles, the veil of water broken by a fish jumping and the call of a wild bird indistinct. All this a stone’s throw from Saint Mark’s Square, does it seem impossible to you? With a kayak you can escape from the crowd and from everyday life, relaxing and paddling in the midst of nature and history less than 20 minutes by vaporetto from San Marco.
Exploring the lagoon with a kayak means seeing Venice more natural and ignored by mass tourism, visiting the major islands of the lagoon from a more authentic as well as from an intimate point of view, discovering local traditions, admiring the nature that lives undisturbed.
How will we do it?
With kayaks, the ecological vehicle par excellence and the only one that will allow you to reach places inaccessible to motor boats, naturally accompanied by local guides and this helpful guide. We hope you discover the islands of the lagoon through an unusual path and from a point of view detail: that of the water-level kayak.
We will start from Certosa island where the Venetian connection to water can be heard and seen in every corner as evidenced by the trees of the moored boats, but also by the carpenters who build the boats there and we who use them, but where will we go? In the North Lagoon towards Torcello and the famous Burano, but there are not only these two islands to see or discover … Here is a list below along with Burano of great islands to visit by Kayak in the Venetian Lagoon.
First inhabited center in the lagoon (its basilica was founded in 639 AD) and formed one of the most important centers in northern Italy. In the 11th century, up to 50,000 inhabitants lived there, now there are about 16 (not 16,000!) Or perhaps 17.
Obviously nature has taken over, but on the surface of the water you can see the remains of the Roman salt marshes and the ancient foundations among which fish swim undisturbed, find remains of pottery dating back to a period between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries century and see the birds that create their nest in the ruins of some of the oldest buildings in the lagoon. Which, in turn, observe us as we slide away towards…
Once it formed a whole island with Torcello together with Burano, now the salt marshes separate them. Mazzorbo is a pleasant destination where vegetable gardens and vineyards alternate with old houses, calm and tranquility reign supreme. Passing under the long wooden bridge we will arrive at..
Called the “pearl of the lagoon” for its houses colored with bright colors and one of the favorite destinations for tourists in the Northern Venetian Lagoon. According to tradition, the coloring of the houses was used by fishermen to recognize their home from afar in order to orient themselves on the return from fishing trips. Venetians say maliciously that if a buranello wants to paint his home, he must use a color different from that of his neighbors.
The island is in fact a fishing village, as evidenced by the fishing nets laid out to dry along the banks, but not only: it is also the center of the lace and in fact on the island there is the Lace Museum. Of ancient tradition and difficult to make (just think that once the hair of old women was used to make some passages instead of thread) now it is increasingly difficult to find real handmade lace and in the shops there are often imported lace.
It is easier to find the favorite biscuit by the Venetians, the “buranello”. Flour, butter, eggs and sugar are the ingredients of a recipe that seems simple, but that really isn’t. So much so that it is passed down in the family and jealously guarded. Therefore they can be bought, tasted, given, but hardly made at home.
After stopping in the noisy Burano, we will move to another island where silence is normal.
Among the tall cypresses you can see buildings: it is the convent complex of the Franciscan friary founded in 1233.
By flanking the banks you can recognize the tombstones of the nobles who donated the island to the friars and the olive tree which according to legend was born from the stick collected on trip on one of St.Francis’s many journeys. St. Francis planted the stick in the soil when, in 1220 returning from the V crusade, he stopped on the island to pray.
Here the rule of silence applies and you can breathe an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that you can hardly find in other places. Then, we will turn the bow of our kayaks to the south and cross a stretch of sandbanks to reach…
The garden of Venice is the most bucolic place in the entire lagoon. Think that half of Venice is big but only 700 people live there. Although there are some places of interest such as the Torre Massimiliana, its nature attracts visitors from all over the world while still remaning a hidden gem in the Venetian lagoon.
Almost all the land is cultivated and the island’s specialty, the violet artichoke of Sant’Erasmo. A Slow Food presidium and a real delicacy for those who love artichokes. Particular is also the sandbank honey which has a slightly salty aftertaste, unusual for honey.We will wander in the inner canal and if we are in the right season, we will be able to pick the blackberries that grow at the edges of the canal from our kayaks. Then passing under a low bridge we will head towards the…
Divided from Sant’Erasmo through a canal, this island hidden and often overlooked, quietly hides a very current story. If you find a place called “Nuovo” in Venice, it does not mean that it was built recently, but built after the 16th century. In fact, the Lazzaretto Novo has been used since 1468 to house goods and crews to be quarantined. Devastated over the centuries, there are few but significant buildings that now house a museum with some surprising objects.
To discover its treasures you can book a tour with the team from Venice Kayak, or Classic Boats Venice and the gates of the island will open before your eyes. Around the island there is a small canal, a Venetian “ghebo”, and going through it we will discover some plants and flowers that can live even if submerged by water. Once out of the ghebo in front of us we will see the silhouette of Venice and on our left the island of…
Turning south-east we will reach the island of Vignole and our entrance will be a passage between a pomegranate tree and a stone called “cippus” erected by the Republic of Venice to indicate the borders of the lagoon. It is a tiny island that has always been inhabited by only 50 people, as evidenced by the small church which, built in the 16th century, can contain a maximum of 50 people! The agricultural vocation is undoubted, as well as a place of culinary pleasures such as the “Trattoria alle Vignole” where you can dine with a spectacular sunset over Venice in front of you.
Silently we will slide towards the Charterhouse and the end of your journey.
Departure and destination of our trip, its past remains very little but the pleasure that each of us can enjoy in this city park is immense. If you have come to read this far, you can book a tour with Venice Kayak or Classic Boats Venice whose offices are located on Certosa island, because there is much more to see than what is written here and should be discovered paddling in the extraordinary Venice Lagoon.