Fun Rafting & Kayak
Taking a paddle and setting off on a kayaking adventure either on the calm waters of the Ticino River or in the foaming gorges of Verzasca is a truly one-of-a-kind experience! Easily descending the Ticino River on a kayak, between Cresciano and Arbedo, while paddling amidst small beaches and rocky outcrops, in a spectacular environment boasting Mediterranean palms and alpine woods sets the mood. In this area you will also have the chance to experience the thrill of braving the river’s rapids. The Maggia and Moesa rivers (Grigioni) are more challenging. However, the real gem is Verzasca: with its gorges and rapids it is, in fact, one of the most beautiful spots in the world for kayak descents.
Rich in rivers, Ticino offers many options for kayak adventures, from peaceful navigation on its lakes and a stretch of the Ticino river, to the more challenging descents of the rivers Maggia and Moesa (viable depending on river’s conditions), or the spectacular Gorges of Verzasca, recommended for more daring, expert paddlers.
Descent on the Ticino River from Cresciano to Arbedo
Paddling on the waters of the Ticino River - which flow downwards from the San Gottardo massif to the valley and onwards to the lake - is like moving from the Alps to the Mediterranean. A relaxing adventure, stretching over 8km, between Cresciano and Arbedo, set against a stunning natural scenery amidst mountains and chestnut woods, sunny beaches, and palm trees.
The kayak moves gently across the wide river, along forked routes surrounded by small islands and large sandy beaches, until the Arbedo rapids, where paddlers can challenge the waves amidst whirling sprays of water.
Upon arrival you can admire the majestic fortresses of the three Bellinzona castles.
Between May and September group excursions are also available on the Ticino River and expert guides accompany and follow the participants on a “safety kayak”. This unforgettable experience, suitable for both children and adults alike, winds along a route that even beginners can enjoy. As a matter of fact, no specific qualifications are required: basic swimming skills and familiarity with water suffice. The age limit for participants is 12 and reservations are mandatory (www.swissraft.ch / www.swisschallenge.ch).
Interesting is also the rafting activity offered to schoolchildren that envisages a descent on watercrafts designed specifically for this purpose, so that youngsters can learn how to handle a kayak by themselves under the constant supervision of expert guides.
Professionalism of the organizers and safety are guaranteed by the brand “Safety in Adventures”.
The Maggia River
The navigable section, stretching over 18km, winds its way from Bignasco to Gordevio, amidst forests and rocks jutting out of the water, stony islands, sandy beaches and rocky outcrops scattered along the river. The route is varied, from calm pools of water crowded with bathers, to areas with fast currents or small waterfalls. Those navigating it will have a chance to fully enjoy the beauty of the surrounding natural landscape.
The Verzasca River
Insiders acknowledge the Verzasca Gorges as one of the most spectacular locations in the world for kayak descents. The layout of the area, featuring huge granite rocks in the middle of the river, narrow gorges and steep, particularly challenging jumps, crystal clear waters, woods overhanging the banks and, last but not least, the picturesque villages of the valley, guarantee a one-of-a-kind experience.
The upper part of the river is the least difficult and the most popular, while the final stretch is the most challenging of all, reserved for more expert, daring paddlers. A large number of enthusiasts from all over the world set out to participate in this breathtaking adventure, reserved however, solely to those boasting the necessary skills and experience.