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Tours with Canadian canoes

Taking part in a guided excursion on the Ombrone and seeing the river “from inside” is a relaxing and evocative way to visit the park, and one of the best ways to see the animals.

The Ombrone is the most intact of the great Italian rivers, because it flows in some of the least inhabited areas of our country, without encountering cities or industrial centres. Here it is now in its final stretch, before throwing itself into the sea. The environment of the banks is that of the humid forest which until the reclamations occupied the entire Grosseto plain. One of the richest in food, and therefore a “superconcentrate” of nature.

If you go back inland, the banks are a green wall made up of large white poplars, black poplars, willows and elms that close onto the water. Going down towards the sea, however, the trees become sparser, and alternate with large reeds and tamarisks due to the salinity of the sea water that reaches here with the tide, while the river and the sky expand around us. At the rhythm of the paddle, the canoe glides into a quiet world, almost slowed down, enclosed in the curtain of the banks which quickly makes us forget everything beyond, and the world we have left behind. The songs of birds accompany us, different depending on the time of day and the period. The river itself is always different depending on the time of day in terms of light, colors and even smells.

Sighting animals is always a surprise, and for this reason every excursion is different from the others. On board each canoe, binoculars are available to observe nightingales, sandpipers, gray herons, night herons, rollers or orioles, scrutinize bee-eater nests, follow the low and very fast flight of a kingfisher or the slow patrolling of a sparrowhawk. Every now and then some mullets jump out of the water, chased by bluefish, and it can happen that someone even jumps into the canoe. With a bit of luck, especially at dawn or in the evening, you can see roe deer or wild boars crossing the river (even with their puppies!).

Canoe excursions are done in small groups accompanied by an expert naturalist guide. Weather permitting, we go out every day from March to October, at dawn, in the morning, in the afternoon or at sunset, and at full moon even at night.

The departure is from the bridge over the Ombrone, 4 kilometers from Alberese.

For information and reservations www.canoemaremma.it