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Venice Islands Tour

Plan a self-guided day trip in the Venetian Lagoon.

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ABOVE: Your excursion begins at the Fondamenta Nove waterbus station, which faces the Venetian Lagoon on the northern edge of the historic center.

If you're spending more than a few days in Venice, take time to visit the islands of the Venetian Lagoon. The itinerary in this article will take you to:

San Michele, the walled cemetery island of Venice.

Murano, known for its glassmaking, Glass Museum, and several historic churches.

Burano, an island of fishermen, lacemakers, and colorfully painted houses.

Mazzorbo, a small rural island connected to Burano by a footbridge.
Torcello, once a city larger than Venice; today, a bucolic island with a 1,000-year-old cathedral and a handful of outdoor restaurants.
The Lido di Venezia, a beach resort on the strip of land that separates the Venetian Lagoon from the Adriatic Sea.

You'll reach the islands on water buses operated by ACTV, the Venice public-transportation company. Allow a full day for the entire excursion, or half a day if you skip San Michele and the Lido.

ACTV's lagoon water buses can be crowded during peak season, on weekends, or if local groups of senior citizens or schoolchildren are traveling between the islands. If crowds bother you, or if you're unwilling to stand on a moving boat when seats aren't available, consider one of these alternatives:

Tips:

  • Organized tours don't give you much time on the islands, so we'd recommend traveling independently unless you're in a hurry or have limited mobility.

  • Instead of buying individual tickets for the boat trips between the islands, buy a 12-hour to 7-day  tourist card at any Hellovenezia or ACTV ticket booth. (See our Vaporetto Fares article.) Or order the tourist office's Venice Connected pass before you leave home, if you can figure out the byzantine pricing scheme.

  •  If you have access to the Internet during your trip, you can check boat schedules at the official ACTV Web site.

Next page: San Michele Cemetery


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