Trips to the lagoon of Venice by boat

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The majority of Venice vacationers do not only visit the world famous old town of Venice, but also the lagoon of Venice with many interesting islands.

The lagoon in the Adriatic Sea is unique. It is a lagoon (about 50 x 15 km), which is largely separated from the Adriatic Sea. There are only 3 small connections to the open sea. The water in the lagoon is not very salty. The lagoon has a depth of less than one meter in most places. There are many islands and tidal flats. At low tide large parts of the lagoon are not covered with water. It is a unique landscape worth seeing and a paradise for birds and other animals.

Some inhabited islands of the lagoon can be visited by public transport Waterbus (ferry). But there are also hundreds of uninhabited lagoon islands. Very popular among tourists are excursions into the lagoon with ships from private tour operators. Such day trips are often not much more expensive than the high-priced public transport of Venice. In the following two recommendations for worthwhile boat trips into the lagoon of Venice. The first tour is particularly inexpensive, the other in the evening light with a historical ship including menu.

On the island of colorful houses (Burano, Lagoon of Venice)

Tip 1: Trip by boat to 3 interesting islands around Venice

This very inexpensive tour goes to three very popular islands (Murano, Burano and Torcello). The duration of the boat trip is about 4.5 hours, you have about 45 minutes on each island. Information about the islands can be obtained during the boat trip, the 3 islands can be visited independently without a guide.  >>> More info

The price of the boat trip is only 20 Euro for adults. For Venice, this price is an absolute bargain, bearing in mind that even a one-way ticket to an island by public transport costs 7.50 euros (one way). The boat tour is multilingual, in total in 5 languages. German is of course included. Meeting point for the tour is near St. Mark's Square in the old town of Venice. This daily excursion is booked gladly and frequently.

The 3 islands of the boat trip: Murano, a stop on the day trip, is famous for glass and glassblowing and is the most visited island around Venice by tourists. Burano is famous for lace (textiles) and for the legendary colorful houses. Torcello is also an exciting island with the oldest church in the lagoon of Venice. >>> More info about this excursion

Tip 2: Tour with an old sailing ship in the evening (incl. grand dinner)

This ship tour usually receives the best reviews on the Internet. You sail on a historic ship (Galone) through the lagoon of Venice in the evening light. An excellent dinner is served with it. The fish menu of best quality is always praised by participants. We especially liked Venice and the other islands in the evening light. The ship has a heating system (winter) and a roof (when it rains). The boat tour starts centrally in the old town of Venice, you can see islands like Sant Erasmo, Murano and Burano in the evening light. Duration of the sailing trip with the old Galone: about 3 hours. The tour takes place several times a week.  >>>  On this link you will find more information and you can book the great boat trip to the lagoon of Venice

Venice and the lagoon are especially romantic in the evening

General information about the lagoon of Venice

What is a lagoon?

A lagoon is a body of water with mostly shallow depth. It is separated from the open sea to a large extent or completely. Similarly, in the German language the names Haff and Bodden are used.

The lagoon of Venice (Laguna di Venezia) is a very famous lagoon, but there are much larger ones. The largest lagoon in the world is near Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil. The Lagoa dos Patos is over 10.000 kmē, the lagoon of Venice has an area of 550 kmē.

Lagoons are usually very interesting landscapes with many animals and plants that only occur here or are otherwise very rare. Lagoons consist mainly of swamp. Such swamps have always been difficult for humans to colonize. Many lagoons are therefore largely preserved in their original form. However, they are often heavily polluted by humans through sewage discharge. Lagoons have a low water exchange with the sea and the sensitive ecosystem is therefore highly endangered by pollution.

Lagoons also exist in Germany. Examples are the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft (even one of the 16 national parks in Germany) or the Stettiner Haff (ogar somewhat larger than the Laguna di Venezia).
Die Lagune von Venedig: Geografie

Size: about 550 km, length from north to south: 50 km, width about 15 km

Many parts are above water at low tide, the whole lagoon has a low water depth. In the past, navigating the lagoon was therefore very dangerous and reserved for captains who knew the area well. Thus Venice was very well protected against attacks from the sea. Today in the age of good maps, GPS, etc., navigating the lagoon of Venice is of course easy. In addition, the waterways are of course marked with buoys.

The lagoon of Venice has 3 exits to the open Mediterranean Sea: between the mainland (municipality of Cavallino-Treporti) and the island Lido, between the islands of Lido and Pellestrina and between Pellerstrina and the mainland in the south (near the city of Chioggia).

It is very difficult to determine the exact number of islands in the lagoon of Venice. The question is whether to count every sandbank of only a few square meters as an island or how to define the term island. Some islands are completely under water at high tide. Also the old town island of Venice itself actually consists of many small islands.

Many larger islands in the lagoon are hardly habitable, since they consist only of swamp and are completely flooded at high tide.

Inhabited lagoon islands: To our knowledge there are currently about 11 islands in the lagoon of Venice that are permanently inhabited. Most people live on the island of Venice itself, of course, but Lido also has almost 20,000 inhabitants. About 15 Venetian lagoon islands can be reached by ferries (water buses). Also some islands that are not permanently inhabited are served. For example, one serves as a cemetery (San Michele), on another a hotel. In past centuries some lagoon islands were more inhabited.

3 big rivers flow into the lagoon (Brenta, Sile and Piave). They feed the lagoon with fresh water. However, due to the alternation of high and low tide, a lot of salt water also enters the lagoon of Venice through the three openings. This leads to the fact that the salt content is very different. In the north of the lagoon there is little salt in the water, near the 3 connections to the Adriatic Sea there is a lot. Therefore, very different animals and plants settle here. The nature in the lagoon of Venice is therefore unique. The mixture of fresh water and salt water is called brackish water.

In other languages

Venice is "Venice" in English and "Venezia" in Italian.

The English name of the lagoon of Venice is "Venetian Lagoon", Italian "Laguna di Venezia".

Brackish water is in English "Brackish water" and in Italian "Acqua salmastra".

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