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Home Italy Kayaking Tours Kayaking Venice and the Laguna

Kayaking Venice and the Laguna

9 days
Venice VCE


Explore the Real Venice

Venice has been dazzling visitors for centuries. Linked to the Adriatic Sea, Venice is defined by the Laguna (lagoon) that has sustained it for fifteen centuries. Our “Kayaking Venice” trip is a journey through the beauty and wonder of the 212 square miles Venice Laguna, the largest wetland in Italy and home to a wide range of migratory and resident birdlife.  


Note: This trip is limited to six participants. 

Photo: Crossing the basin of the Canal Grande

Discover the Secrets of the Venice Laguna

The Laguna is a thriving wetland and an important element of African – Eurasian migratory flyway. Dotted with islands some of which are tiny with the mysterious ruins of ancient structures while others hold farms, villages, and cathedrals. Over centuries the islands have been used to grow food, defend against invaders, provide respite for the elites of the city, and to isolate hazardous activities like the blazing furnaces of Venice’s famous glass craftsmen. The Laguna, its many islands and the city Venice make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Photo: Colorful Burano in the Venice Laguna

Historical Tapestry of Venice

On this trip, you will visit many islands – one with a 12th-century monastery, another dating back to Roman times and enjoy a private glass blowing demonstration on another. Each island has a colorful legacy that fits into the historical tapestry of the Most Serene Republic of Venice – La Serinissima.
Photo: Santa Maria di Assunta cathedral on Torcello island in the Venice Laguna.

Kayak the hidden city of Venice

Experience Venice by exploring the distinctive sistieari (districts) by kayak at a pace that allows an appreciation of the multitude of architectural details; faces of deities, tiny squares and, secret gardens, all hidden from the view of most visitors. Our explorations are timed for the best interplay of light, water, and architecture that has always been central to the Venetian experience.
Kayakers exploring the canals of Venice

Ideal Craft with a Uniquely Venetian Perspective

Like the sleek fast gondolini, sea kayaks are ideally suited to exploring the shallow protected waters of the Laguna and we’ve designed a trip that vividly illustrates the special Venetian relationship with water. It encompasses sights and experiences quintessentially Venetian – gliding through the colorful canals of outlying islands, the shallow wetland channels defined by iconic three posted Bricoli markers and into the heart of the city. 
Photo: Meeting a Venetian rower.

A Culinary Journey

As with all of our trips, we highlight cuisine as a window on culture. In Venice and all across the Laguna, you will dine on the freshest seafood prepared in a range of classic styles as well as a wide variety of tempting vegetable dishes fresh from the fields of farm islands like Sant Erasmo. In towns, you’ll discover the supremely enjoyable tradition of Cicchetti e Prosecco – a small snack with a glass of wine that is a mainstay of daily life in Venice.
Photo: A cicchetti bar in the heart of the Cannaregio sistiere

A Venice Few Visitors Ever See

You will ply the waters of the birdlife rich Laguna by kayak and experience a Venice that very few visitors ever see, each night staying at small, carefully selected boutique accommodations and dining in restaurants favored by the locals. Join us for a unique exploration of Venice, the water city of the world, that combines the natural with the urban and forges a connection between the past and the vibrant present of this most romantic of cities. 
Why kayak Venice?  Learn the story behind this award-winning trip.
Photo: Paddling a back canal in the San Marco sistiere


Day 1

Arrival in Venice - Burano

Our Venetian adventure begins on the very colorful island of Burano that can be reached by Vaporetto ferry from Venice’s Santa Lucia Railway Station and by Alilaguna line or water taxi from Marco Polo Airport (VCE). We’ll enjoy a welcome aperitivo and discuss trip details before dining at an open-air restaurant.
Overnight: Burano Appartamenti
Meals: Dinner
Day 2

Burano Remiera and Mazzorbetto

After breakfast, our first stop is a remiera (or rowing club) in Burano. The Burano Remiera comprises mostly former professional gondoliers devoted to preserving and perpetuating the art of Venetian rowing. We are welcomed as fellow paddlers and will receive an overview of the history of rowing in the Laguna. We’ll also learn some of the special vocabulary the gondoliers use to communicate while paddling the narrow canals. After a kayak orientation we’ll paddle the canals of Burano and the channels of the adjacent island of Mazzorbetto, all the while developing skills to use while navigating the canals of Venice proper. Tonight we’ll have dinner at a beautiful canal-side restaurant.
Overnight: Burano Appartamenti
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3

The Northern Laguna and Lio Piccolo

We launch our kayaks and paddle through the myriad tiny islands of the northern Laguna. Our silent kayaks allow us to approach and view the variety of birdlife in this rich Barene wetland environment. A lunch stop at the tiny outlying village of Lio Piccolo allows us to stretch our legs and imagine living in the tranquility of outer Laguna. Returning to Burano for the late afternoon sun lighting up the village and a paddle through the canals that are a riot of reflected colors.
Overnight: Burano Appartamenti
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4

Burano, Torcello and Mosaics of Santa Maria Assunta

Setting off, we’ll once again go north in the Laguna and explore the island of Torcello, a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway during his days in Venice. Landing, we’ll visit the church of Santa Maria Assunta, which contains the earliest surviving mosaics in the Laguna, some of which date back to the 11th century. Returning to Burano by a different route, we will continue to polish our canal paddling skills.
Overnight: Burano Appartamenti
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5

Burano to San Giorgio Maggiore – Venice

After packing up and arranging our luggage for transfer, we depart Burano and point our bows toward Venice. Following the lines of three posted briccoli channel markers, we’ll paddle past San Erasmo island, the “Garden of Venice,”. The iconic skyline of Venice is tantalizingly close, and it’s not long before we’re paddling past the Arsenale and through a canal in the Venetian sestiere of Castello and entering the basin of the Canal Grande. We are met with a panorama that includes Piazza San Marco, the Salute church and the cathedral and campanile (tower) on San Giorgio de Maggiore, our destination. Our luggage awaits us in the waterfront rooms of the Compagnia della Vela Venezia, one of the oldest yacht clubs in Italy. After a shower, we’ll take the elevator to the top of the campanile for the best view of Venice before boarding a Vaporetto ferry across to San Marco and dinner in one of our favorite local restaurants.
Overnight: Compagnia della Vela Venezia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6

Venice – Giudecca - Dorsodoro and San Polo

Launching from the ramp conveniently adjacent to our rooms at the yacht club, we’ll paddle along part of the sixth sestiere of Venice, Giudecca. Peaceful, working-class, and somewhat bohemian, Giudecca has great views of the city and the islands of the southern lagoon. Crossing the Giudecca canal, we’ll enter the San Polo and Dorsoduro sestieri, which features, among other things, a gondola workshop built in the style typical of the Dolomites. Returning to Isola San Giorgio in the early evening, there will be time to relax, have a shower, and perhaps a glass of wine before catching the Vaporetto ferry to dinner.
Overnight: Compagnia della Vela Venezia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7

Venice – San Marco, Castello, Arsenale San Servolo and San Lazzaro degli Armeni

Once again, we cross the basin of the Canal Grande and, with the best light, pass into the canal by the Doge’s Palace and under the Ponte dei Sospiri, the Bridge of Sighs, and explore the Castello and Cannaregio sestieri as well as the Arsenale, where for over seven hundred years much of Venice’s naval power and economic wealth was manufactured. Heading in the direction of the Lido, one of the outer islands that define the Laguna, we navigate around the island of San Servolo, once a Benedictine monastery and now a university and museum, before continuing to San Lazzaro degli Armeni, home to Armenian monks that maintain a library that famously Lord Byron would row across to use while he was residing in Venice during the early 1800s. Returning to the club on San Giorgio, we can shower and change before crossing to Venice. This afternoon and evening, you are free to discover the city and have dinner on your own.
Overnight: Compagnia della Vela Venezia
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Day 8

Castello, Murano and San Marco

Crossing the Castello district of the city by canal, we will pass the cemetery island of San Michele before reaching Murano, the famed home of Venetian glass. For centuries the furnaces that enabled this Venetian art were considered far too dangerous to be housed in the city itself and were kept at a safe distance on Murano. After exploring Murano’s canals, we’ll stop for a demonstration of glass blowing in the Venetian style. After returning to San Giorgio de Maggiore, the will be time to relax before going out for a celebratory final dinner in Venice.
Overnight: Compagnia della Vela Venezia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9


After breakfast, your guides will assist with onward travel starting from San Giorgio de Maggiore. Transferring to the Santa Lucia train station or anywhere else in Venice is accessible with your Vaporetto ferry pass. At the same time, Marco Polo Airport can be reached by the Allilaguna ferries or private taxi boat. Arrivederci!
Overnight: N/A
Meals: Breakfast


Burano - Casa Burano or Al Raspo de Ua

Burano Appartamenti (site)

Compagnia della Vela Venezia, Venice

Located on San Giorgio Maggiore Island directly across the basin of the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Square) the Compagnia della Vela Venezia is a private yacht club which has a brand new set of well appointed, contemporary styled rooms right on the water. Really one of the very best locations in all of Venice.

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At this time we do not offer any extensions for this trip but please feel free to call us about added travel options at 1-800-677-0877. We have spent a lot of time in and around the destinations we offer and are more than happy to share our experience.

Dates & Availability

Trip Length
10/21/23 - 10/29/23
10/21/23 10/29/23 9 days
2 places
10/14/24 - 10/22/24
10/14/24 10/22/24 9 days
2024 Departure
NOTE: Trips showing as 'Available' have at least 4 places open. All prices are $USD unless otherwise stated.

What Is Included

  • All accommodations as specified in Itinerary
  • All meals as specified in Itinerary
  • Ground transportation and attraction entry fees
  • A personal vaporetto waterbus pass
  • Expedition sea kayaks and equipment including PFDs
  • Group safety equipment including medical kit, radios, and cell phones
  • Support boat and luggage transfers

What Is Not Included

  • Airfares
  • Meals other than specified in the trip itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Single supplement if applicable ($650 US)
  • Tipping of guides
  • Insurance of any kind (we strongly suggest that you purchase travel insurance that covers medical and evacuation as well as cancellations for medical reasons)
National Geographic Traveler
Awarded Best Tours in Europe
Read more ...

Guest Review
"I have traveled to Venice on a few prior occasions, but the use of kayaks to see the city and the surrounding area may have left the most indelible impression on me.
I enjoyed so many aspects of this tour which allowed us to witness the life of the region from a most unique vantage point--in a kayak on the busy canals and back waterways of Venice. I particularly enjoyed the small group size, our interaction with the locals on two or three dinner occasions and our visits to Venetian eateries that few tourists find"
— Kirk Blackard, Arden NC
Kayaking Venice and the Laguna
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NOTE - A trip showing as 'Available' has at least 4 places open.
Total Deposit: $ 75000 USD
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