When visiting Venice, of course you will want to see Sant Mark’s Cathedraland the Dodge’s palace. Many will definitely want to take a gondola ride through the canals or tour Venice on a classic boat. No matter how you choose to see Venice, in our opinion no trip is complete without visiting the lagoon.
Many will already be aware of the Venetian island of Murano and it’s famed artisanal glass blowers. Some will know the beautiful island of Burano, home to local fishermen and their lovely colorful houses.
But many visitors often overlook the immense nature and beauty contained within the Venetian lagoon. The Venetian lagoon is the largest wetland in Europe and is one of the largest lagoons in Europe. With this comes the opportunity to experience an expansive unique nature on your next trip to Venice. The lagoon is home to many unique species of birds, fish, plant life and animals. You can find over 100 species of birds and over 200 species of fauna in the Venetian lagoon.
If you are planning to see the nature in Venice, we recommend seeing it with locals who know and respect the lagoon. For such experiences we have two options. Visit Venice Kayak, with over 10 years’ experience in navigating through the lagoon for a natural athletic approach to seeing the nature of the lagoon. Paddle along with your expert guide and gain keen insight into the lagoon of Venice. For a more relaxed approach to enjoy the birds and nature of the Venetian lagoon, rent your own electric boat from Classic Boats Venice. Each of their bareboat charters comes equipped with an eco-friendly electric engine easy to use on their traditional Venetian handcrafted wooden boats. Each boat comes with a GPS, sun cover and Bluetooth speaker. If you are not feeling like the captain and would like to be more relaxed try CBV’s luxury vintage tour boats with a driver to guide you through the nature of the lagoon.
Pink Flamingos not the John Waters film!
Getting a chance to these beautiful creatures in the Lagoon of Venice is indeed a treat. Although, it is rare they can be seen in rather large beautiful pink groupings together each spring near the Po delta. These beautiful birds can also be seen visiting near Torcello and Burano for a few days each year. The Pink Flamingos look for shallow, muddy waters near fish farms in the lagoon normally near Burano, Torcello andmost often in the Po delta. The shallow water is a great spot for them to feed easily and they have been coming to the lagoon throughout history. You could call the Venetian lagoon their vacation home. Getting a chance to see these lovely birds in the lagoon provides the most idyllic background for that perfect Venetian lagoon snapshot.
Egrets the most relaxed bird in the lagoon
While there are many of them throughout the lagoon, what makes them special is that they are a lot less aggressive than seagulls. They are also really interesting birds. They tend to patiently wait for shallow waters near the shallower parts of the lagoon when the tide is low. They feast on sardines and smaller fish. They sometimes canbe seen fishing for bigger fish as well. They tend to keep to themselves and are rather docile in comparison to the Hulkier seagulls of Venice. At night they like to meet up on the island of Vignole or on other smaller islands in the lagoon where they can be seen perching together on large trees for a sleep for the long day ahead. They are noted for their thin legs and long narrow black beaks.
Rabbits and wild herbs on Certosa Island
Certosa is a unique island, with a history and nature that has been quite untouched. Certosa is home to hundreds of rabbits some locals have joked that the rabbits have become the guardians of the island. These rabbits can be seen throughout the island in big groups late at night or just before sunset, where they come out when the island is a bit quieter. While walking around the island you can also see, loads of reptiles including non-poisonous snakes (which are surprisingly quite big) extremely cute lizards rushing about different holes throughout the island. If you find yourself walking around Certosa, you can see many types of wild herbs which have been growing there for hundreds of years still flourishing. These herbs include rosemary, thyme, sage and lavender.
Fish, crabs and jellyfish
You don’t have to go the Rialto fish market to see fish, but head out to the lagoon where the waters are teaming with fish and sea life. You can see schools of fish, small crabs, squid and even smaller breeds of octopus. You can sea bass, sea bream, sardines all moving about in the lagoon. In shallow parts you can even catch people searching for clams and mussels. If you find yourself in the hotter months on a local Venetian boat like the traditional fisherman’s sanpierota or topo, fish have been known to jump out of the water sometimes landing in the boats of fishermen by luck. Just be careful if you find yourself swimming in the Bacan of Sant’Erasmo as there can be quite a number of jellyfish, some quite pretty looking while others can be poisonous. (Not lethal.) We recommend if you have snorkel gear on a clear day you can see some of the Venetian sea life calling the lagoon their home.
Venetian Saltmarshes, a world within a world
The Venetian Saltmarshes are an absolute paradise for nature loversand we think are best enjoyed by taking a kayak or an electric boat. These beautiful marshes are the home to an array of species of birds as well as unique flora that is native to these marshes as the plants are salt resistant. It is regarded by many Venetians as a natural oasis. There is a gentle quietness there which really caps of the perfect trip to Venice. Catch birds fishing, see rare sea plants native to Venice’s lagoon in a quiet surrounding. Due to the shallow waters near the saltmarshes, you won’t get a lot of boat traffic either.