Venice Islands: Tours and Excursions

A visit to its islands can not be missed when thinking about what to do in Venice !

The islands of Venice have a unique geography in Italy: they are hundreds of islands enclosed in the largest lagoon of our Country. From the largest islands such as the Lido and Pellestrina (the two long “cords” that delimit the lagoon from the Adriatic Sea) to the medium size ones, such as Sant’Erasmo and Murano, to the smallest ones such as the tiny San Francesco del Deserto, Certosa, Torcello and Burano. In the lagoon of Venice there are many islands that are worth a visit! Let’s see together the best options for organized tours and private tours!


In the lagoon of Venice there are many islands which are worth a visit, but which ones should you actually go and see? Let us introduce you to the main ones and their highlights, so that you can start getting to know them! 

Murano Venice island and its artistic glass

murano glass veniceMurano is the world capital of artistic glass. It is still a totally artisan workmanship and is very fascinating to observe the process. The Murano glass furnaces offer free demonstrations of glass processing. You can see master glassmakers at work in giant ovens, while creating wonderful glass artifacts with delicacy, precision and great physical strength. It is worth assisting to understand the merits and value of these glass objects, especially if you think about buying a typical souvenir and want to ensure that you purchase an original piece of Murano’s art. The art of glass has developed in Murano for about 800 years;  it may certainly be worth visiting the precious Glass Museum to learn about the most significant stages of the evolution of this art. Murano is also a beautiful destination for a simple walk away from the crowds of St. Mark’s Square:  you will find yourself walking in a Venice of smaller dimensions, in a very particular and somewhat industrial landscape characterized by furnaces.

Burano island: the island of a thousand colors and one of the most picturesque places in the world

Burano, the homeland of lace is one of the most photographed places in the world for its colorful houses. The houses are painted in bright colors and you will have the impression of crossing a rainbow suspended between water and sky! Unique in the world is Burano lace, due to the type of bobbin lace created on this island. With this very particular and extremely laborious technique, laces of unparalleled grace and of a very complex design are created. In the past, Burano lace have been requested by kings and queens of Europe. The island’s lace makers spent even years on a single lace job, so much was the required processing. The Lace Museum, located in the center of the island, is splendid. Here you will have the opportunity to retrace the unique history of this artisan production and admire some examples of precious lace works.

Torcello island:  the first island of Venice ever inhabited

The Island of Torcello is a tiny green piece in the panorama of the Lagoon. However, its importance in the past has been fundamental. In fact, Torcello was the first settlement in the Venetian lagoon. In ancient times it was inhabited by thousands of people and was the center of commercial traffic before the rise of Venice. Even if today the island is inhabited by only 12 people, it still has an exceptionally remarkable architectural set. The Byzantine style Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, dating back to the XII century, is the oldest church in the lagoon. Together with the Church of Santa Fosca, they are unmissable for art lovers. In the square that represents the monumental center of the island there is also an ancient stone throne, the so-called Throne of Attila. Finally, in this small islands you can also find the famous locanda Cipriani, one of the best restaurants in Venice!

Venice Islands: departure points to visit them 

Tell me where you start…and I’ll tell you the most suitable itinerary for your travel organization!

There are tours departing from St. Mark’s Square, Piazzale Roma or other points of the historic city ideal for those who stay in Venice or arrive in the city by public transport. Other tours start from the north Venetian coast (Punta Sabbioni, Treporti), for visitors who reach the lagoon from the north and east and for those who stay on the beaches of the Veneto region. Finally, there are also lagoon landings on the south side of the lagoon, such as Chioggia and Fusina. From here you can also leave for splendid tours of the islands of Venice

Venetian islands: scheduled tours

For individual visitors (individuals, couples, families) a good value for money and effective way to visit the islands of Venice is to join a group tour with scheduled departures. Group tours start from the centre of Venice or the Venetian coast and allow you to visit Murano, Burano and Torcello, the three most famous islands in the lagoon. They last from 4 to 6 hours and tickets for adults are around 20/25 euros per person depending on the option you choose. These tours include explanations during navigation and disembarkation with free time to explore each island. All these boat excursions also include a visit to a glass factory in Murano with free demonstrations. Hence, amongst the several options for day trips, group tours certainly are a good solution for a pleasant day in the lagoon. Below you will find our guaranteed departure tours to visit the islands of Venice.

Murano and Burano: Half day Morning Tour

The ideal tour for those who have very little time and want to dedicate half a day to visiting Murano and Burano. The tour takes place in the morning and lasts approximately 4 hours. It includes the visit of Murano and Burano. Two departures for each tour: from Piazzale Roma / Santa Lucia train station, and from Riva degli Schiavoni, 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco. Departures all year round. Rates: 20 E adults, 10 E children. For more information and to book click: Murano and Burano morning tour.

Murano, Burano and Torcello: Half day Afternoon Tour 

The ideal tour for those who want to visit Murano, Burano and Torcello but do not have very much time available. The tour takes place in the afternoon and lasts approximately 4 and a half hours. It includes the visit of Murano, Burano and also Torcello. Two departures for each tour: from Piazzale Roma / Santa Lucia train station, and from Riva degli Schiavoni, 5 minutes from Piazza San Marco. Departures all year round. Rates: 20 E adults, 10 E children. For more information and to book click: Murano, Burano and Torcello afternoon tour.

Special summer tour to the islands from St. Mark’s Square, duration 6 hours

This tour provides a little more time to stop at the islands than half day tours and is ideal for not having to hurry from one visit to the next. Climb aboard from Riva degli Schiavoni, a few minutes from Piazza San Marco, and embark on a one-day sightseeing tour to discover Murano, Burano and Torcello! On board the boat you a multilingual assistant will give explanation and history about the places visited. When reaching the islands you will have free time to walk, photograph, visit or shop. The stop in Murano includes a demonstration of glass processing in a furnace. Departures from May to September from Riva degli Schiavoni, near San Marco. Rates: 20 E adults, 10 E children. For more information and to book click: Murano, Burano and Torcello full day tour

Excursion to Murano and Burano from Punta Sabbioni

This excursion starts from Punta Sabbioni, the water transport hub of the northern lagoon of Venice. Those who stay on the beaches of Veneto in the towns of Cavallino, Treporti and Lido di Jesolo will be able to easily reach Punta Sabbioni to embark towards Venice. The excursion lasts a full day, starting at 10.30 from Punta Sabbioni, stopping in Murano and then in Burano. A first return is expected at 3.00 pm to P. Sabbioni for those who can’t wait to go back to sunbathe on the beach. Alternatively, for the same price, you can stay on board the ship and reach Venice for a free visit of the city. Return of your choice from Venice from 17.00 to 19.00. Rates: 20 E adults, 10 E children. For more information and to book click: Murano and Burano from Punta Sabbioni

Venice Lagoon: more interesting islands to visit

Murano, Burano and Torcello are the three main islands of Venice Lagoon to consider for a day trip. However if you have more time or if you have any specific interest in any of them, there are numerous other islands which are well worth a visit. For example:

  • Giudecca: “reserved” and authentic, a living and creative island to discover
  • Lido of Venice: the beach of the Venetians and home of the Venice Film Festival
  • Island of Pellestrina: a jewel of the lagoon between seaside villages and unspoiled oases
  • Sant’Erasmo Venice: visit the garden of the lagoon
  • San Francesco del Deserto: how to visit this oasis of peace in the heart of the lagoon

Venice islands: Private and customizable tours

To follow a personalized itinerary dedicated to the smaller islands in the lagoon, the ideal is to opt for a private boat trip. In this way you can discover the peculiarities of the lesser known but fascinating islands: San Giorgio Maggiore, San Lazzaro degli Armeni, Sant’Ariano and the ghost islands, Poveglia, San Clemente, San Francesco del Deserto, Lazzaretto Nuovo, the small island of San Michele and others.  This option is ideal for organized groups touring Venice, so if you are organizing a group outing please contact us! We will be able to give you various suggestions for an optimal organization!

Venetian Lagoon: private excursions for groups on ecological boats

Venezia in due Giorni: Tour delle Isole della LagunaDiscover our itineraries in the north and south lagoons, or design your itinerary to the islands that interest you most. On board of ecological boats you will get to know the lagoon and its natural environment, all in a convivial and relaxing atmosphere, typically Venetian! The tours are ideal for organized groups. Do not hesitate to contact us to discover more!

Bragozzo: board a typical Venetian boat

The bragozzo is the most picturesque of the Venetian boats. Its flat bottom allowed excellent fishing even on shallow waters and allows you to reach the islands of the lagoon more remote. Ideal for naturalistic excursions with departure from Altino or Venezia Fondamenta Nove.

Here are some other articles you may like to read for more inspiration on how to organize your holiday in Venice

  • Venice Attractions – the main points of interest as well as some off the beaten path attractions
  • Venice Events – every season has its own! 
  • Venice Carnival – one of the most famous in the world and deeply part of our culture!
  • Best time to visit Venice – should you come in summer, winter or…. ?
  • How many days in Venice – this is a tricky question!