Italy Kayak into history

June 20th-July 2nd 2018
Includes superior lodge and hotel accommodation, most meals, kayaks, & guiding.

12 days just $7,450

A feast of spectacular sights, history and magical waterways. You could only be in Italy!


From the stylish streets of Florence and the option to paddle the Arno River passing under the four main historical bridges, from the sparkling seas of the Italian Riviera, to the natural beauty of Cinque Terre National Park, to the soaring peaks of the Alpi Apuane range and its exquisite villages and walking tracks, from the rugged coastline of Elba Island to a spectacular finale – paddling the famous canals and lagoon of Venice. Celebrate Italy on this unforgettable kayaking and walking tour. 13 nights, 7 paddles on Italy’s most beautiful waterways plus many walks. Each place we visit has its own unique character and charm. All are quintessentially Italian, yet each is quite different from the others. Fully escorted by Freedom Outdoors, with expert local guides.

Highlights Include


  • One of life's great experiences, paddling the Grand Canal in Venice

  • Kayak and hike Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre National Park, the Italian Riviera, Alpi Apuane Mountains, and Elba Island.

  • Superbly guided by locals who really know their stuff.

  • An insight into local culture

  • World renowned cuisine

  • Extra time in Florence


Every day is different - every day is special.
Florence pre-trip add-on

Monday June 18, 2018:

Meals: nil

Group members are welcome to check in to the accommodation anytime from 2pm onwards - the gorgeous Hotel Palazzo Guadagni (3 star) Because we are all arriving in Florence at different times, no group activity is organised or meals provided today, however a list of suggested sights and recommended eateries will be supplied.

Tuesday June 19, 2018:

Meals: BLD

9-11am - a privately-guided tour of Florence led by historian-guide Alessia Rossini. This comprehensive walking tour begins and ends at the hotel. 4-6pm – Pontevecchio Rafting through Florence. Take photographs and admire the city’s beautiful architecture from a unique perspective. You get to paddle the raft - and it’s great fun! The gently-flowing Arno River passes under the four main historical bridges of the city centre and you’ll stop to enjoy Aperitivo right under Pontevecchio’s arches. Astonishing! Accommodation: 2nd night at the Hotel Palazzo Guadagni. Meals included: Breakfast.

Wednesday June 20, 2018:

Meals: D

A free day to enjoy Florence at your leisure. Plan your day over breakfast on the balcony at the hotel - you’ll have time to explore the major historical sites such as the National Library, Uffizi Gallery, Pontevecchio and Santa Trinita bridge with its Ammannati sculptures, at your cost. Meals included: Breakfast. Add-on tour ends.


Italy: Kayak into History tour begins: Group members may check into the accommodation any time from 2pm onwards. 6pm: our group, the guides and your Freedom Outdoors host rendezvous at the hotel for introductions, trip briefing and a short walk to dinner for traditional Florentine cuisine in a specially-chosen trattoria. Accommodation: Hotel Palazzo Guadagni (3 star) in Florence’s Oltrarno district. This elegant hotel was designed by Simone del Pollaiolo in 1505. Rich and spacious in atmosphere, it has painted ceilings and fireplaces and wonderful views. Meals included: dinner.

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Italy Kayak into History tour begins

Thursday June 21, 2018

Meals: B

9am departure from the hotel in private vehicles, with an English-speaking guide in each. Drive (2 hours 30mins) to Campiglia, a small, hill-top village in Cinque Terre National Park. After lunch, a guide will lead the downhill walk (2 hours 30 mins) to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town of Portovenere. Spectacular views of the Cinque Terre coastline where we’ll be kayaking and the Alpi Apuane mountain range, where we’ll be walking. Around 5pm we’ll arrive at our hotel for the next three nights on the water’s edge in Portovenere’s neighbouring village Le Grazie. The evening is free. The hotel has an excellent restaurant. There are other dining options around the picturesque harbour. Accommodation Hotel della Baia (3 star). Meals included: breakfast

Friday June 22, 2018

Meals: BL

Following a safety and skills session in the sheltered waters of Le Grazie’s harbour, the group will kayak to Portovenere and around the islands of Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto. The trip starts at 9am and ends at the hotel at 3pm (14kms). Late afternoon/evening explore Portovenere. Accommodation: Hotel della Baia (2nd night). Meals: breakfast & lunch.

Saturday June 23, 2018

Meals: BL

At 9am, we’ll travel by ferry from Portovenere along the coastline of Cinque Terre National Park to Monterosso. Then we’ll paddle from Monterosso along the spectacular, indented coast, with close up views of Vernazza, Corniglia and Manarola villages. We’ll stop enroute to swim and snorkel and enjoy a beach picnic prepared by our guides. Then back to Monterosso and return ferry to Portovenere and our lovely hotel in Le Grazie. Free evening. Accommodation: 3rd night at Hotel della Baia, Le Grazie. Meals included: breakfast & lunch.

Sunday June 24, 2018

Meals: B

At 9am, we check out of our hotel and drive one hour to Vernazza. We do the legendary walking trail to Monterosso (2-hours). For a less strenuous experience, group members can choose more time in Vernazza, then travel by ferry (10 mins) to Monterosso. From 2-5pm, we paddle from Monterosso to the Punta Mesca promontory and finish in Levanto (8 kms). Late afternoon the group drives one hour to the seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure, in the heart of the Italian Riviera. Accommodation: Hotel Sant’Andrea (3 stars), Santa Margherita, Portofino peninsula. Meals included: breakfast.

Monday June 25, 2018

Meals: BL

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive 20 minutes to the town of Recco and the start of today’s paddle. Departing at 10am, we’ll follow the coast around the Portofino peninsula all the way back to Santa Margherita Ligure. We’ll snorkel the Marine Reserve and enjoy lunch at the 10th century abbey of San Fruttuoso (kayaking distance 16kms). Accommodation: 2nd night at Hotel Santa’Andrea, Santa Margherita Ligure. Meals included: breakfast, lunch.

Tuesday June 26, 2018

Meals: BD

The morning is free to rest and relax, with the opportunity to do more kayaking if any of our previous trips have been cancelled because of weather or water conditions. At 2pm, we’ll drive (2-hours) to Pruno, a small village high in the Alpi Apuane mountains. After dispersing to our various private accommodations, we’ll gather for a short walk to dinner in the neighbouring village of Volegno. Accommodation: Vacation apartments throughout Pruno. Meals included: breakfast and dinner.

Wednesday June 27, 2018

Meals: BLD

Guided walking in the Alpi Apuane mountains over well-formed trails, with alpine meadows and forests, magnificent views, historic churches and bell towers and small villages. Accommodation: 2nd night in Pruno’s vacation apartments. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Thursday June 28, 2018

Meals: B

Depart Pruno after breakfast and drive (2-hours) to Piombino and the midday ferry to Elba Island. Ferry trip duration: one hour. Once on the island, famously associated with Napoléon, we’ll drive 15 minutes to Enfola peninsula. At 2pm, we’ll commence kayaking along Elba’s northern coastline to our beachfront accommodation in lovely Marciana Marina (paddling distance 12kms). Accommodation: Hotel Marinella (3-star). Meals included: breakfast.

Friday June 29, 2018

Meals: BLD

At 10am, we commence our paddle around Elba’s western coastline, from Marciana Marina to Patresi, with a picnic lunch provided by the guides (paddle distance 12kms). On our way back, we stop off for a stroll around the historic hillside village of Marina, with its enchanting cafes and craft shops. At 7pm, we rendezvous for a special farewell group dinner at the open-air restaurant L’Africhella. Accommodation: 2nd night at Hotel Marinella at Marciana Marina. Meals included: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Saturday June 30, 2018

Meals: B

Depart Marciana Marina at 8.30am and drive (20 mins) to Portoferraio for the 10am ferry to Piombino on the Italian mainland. Ferry trip duration 1 hour. Then we drive through beautiful Italian countryside to Ferrara, stopping en-route for a light lunch. Arrive Ferrara at 4pm and board the Regional Veloce (Fast Regional) train to Venice. Arrive in Venice at 6pm. From Venice railway station, the group will travel by private water-taxi to the door of the hotel. Accommodation: the historic Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo, in Venice’s San Polo district. Meals included: breakfast.

Sunday July 1, 2018

Meals: B

Welcome to spectacular Venice. We have a wonderful day in store starting with what may well be the highlight of the whole trip for you – guided kayaking on Venice’s canals and lagoon, from 9am to 3pm. There is no place like Venice, with its atmosphere, history, traditions, food, magnificent palaces and churches; but Venice is not only the city built on canals. Venice is the lagoon, the outer islands, the small villages, the natural world – and a perfect place to explore by kayak. The sheer thrill of paddling the Grand Canal is something few have done and you’ll never forget (see pic above). 5pm-7pm: A privately guided two-hour walking tour revealing the history of Venice with visits to many of the city’s most significant buildings. Accommodation: 2nd night in Hotel al Ponte Mocenigo, Venice. Meals included: breakfast.

Monday July 2, 2018

End of tour

Check out time from the hotel is 10am. This concludes Freedom Outdoors Italy: Kayak into History. Thank you for joining us.

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Ask a question about this tour?

9 days just $7450

Includes superior lodge and hotel accommodation, most meals, kayaks, & guiding. A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required to secure your booking.

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How to sign on for this great adventure

A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required to secure your booking. Balance payable by March 31, 2018 - $5,950.  

We will then email you bank details for the balance. 

If you do not bank electronically, payment may be made at any Westpac branch or by cheque (add $5 for processing). No credit card payments for balance. Limited numbers – allocations strictly in order deposit received.

Single supplement add $960. Florence add-on $980. Italy has introduced a system of city taxes payable in cash at hotel check out. Typically these are 2 to 3 Euros per night per person and are not included in the cost of this tour. Cancellations advised in writing within 2 months of the trip start date will be charged at 50%. Cancellations within one month of the trip start date will be charged at 100%. Participants must arrange their own travel insurance. This should include cover for the cancellation charges noted above, personal injury, emergency medical treatment and transport costs, itinerary changes, delays, interruptions, and loss of or damage to personal items. While we are confident that demand for this trip will be strong, if fewer than 12 people register, Freedom Outdoors may choose to change the trip or not to proceed. All payments made, including the deposit will then be refunded if requested.


The price includes Guides/drivers throughout, at a guide to guest ratio of 1:8. All necessary vehicle, water-taxi and ferry travel from the Florence rendezvous on day 1 to the conclusion of the programme in Venice on July 2. 12 nights’ accommodation in hotels and vacation apartments (twin/double rooms with ensuites). 10 x breakfasts, 3 x lunches and 5 x 3-course dinners with wine. 6 guided kayaking trips including all necessary equipment hire. The 3-hour guided walk and bacari-tour in Venice (not including any personal food or drink purchases).  Cinque Terre National Park two-day trail passes. Advice and assistance with other travel arrangements in Italy. Arrive early or stay on and see more. Excludes Sydney/Italy airfares.


… and other things you should know.

Itinerary and trip details correct as at August 12, 2017 but are subject to change. If currency fluctuations exceed 5%, the final price of the trip will be adjusted. Should you decide to voluntarily alter your travel arrangements after the commencement of your trip, Freedom Outdoors is not responsible for any additional costs you may incur.

Your personal safety on the water is always our top priority. For that reason it may be necessary to alter, substitute or abandon planned itineraries without advance warning. The programme outlined above may not be carried out in the order suggested. If conditions on the water are not suitable for kayaking, we may substitute walks. All paddlers must wear PFDs (supplied) while on the water. Trip guides will decide on safety matters, coordinate the group and advise changes.

No compensation will be paid should itinerary changes be necessary. Guides will carry a first aid kit and have Senior First Aid experience, however no doctor will accompany the group. You should ensure you are in sufficiently good health and are of at least average fitness. Guides cannot provide prescription medication. It is your responsibility to bring sufficient quantities of any specific medications you require. It’s a good idea to have a check-up prior to departure.

Please advise any specific dietary requirements. Inappropriate behaviour will result in you being required to leave the trip without compensation.

We strongly recommend you undertake at least three Freedom Outdoors day paddles in the three months leading up to the trip and that you attend one of the company’s Skills Workshops. Click here for details of upcoming trips and workshops. The fitter you are and the more aware you are of paddling technique, the better you will enjoy the trip.

This trip is not suitable for children under 14 years of age. All participants will be required to sign the standard Freedom Outdoors Risk Waiver document and complete a confidential personal information form. Freedom Outdoors has for sale suitable dry bags, kayaking gloves and shoes, which should be purchased before departure from Sydney. We recommend you bring a camera that is waterproof.

Freedom Outdoors is not a travel agency. From the monies transferred by you to us, we pay the companies providing the services in Italy and retain an amount to cover the administration of your booking in Sydney.


Contents and travel concept copyright 2017/8.