3.5 star rating: Worth doing 2992 Reviews

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  • Location:Venice, Italy
  • Duration:4 hours (approx.)
Explore three famous islands of the Venetian Lagoon – Murano, Torcello and Burano – on a half-day sightseeing excursion by motorboat. Accompanied by a local guide, you'll stop at a glass-blowing factory on Murano, visit Venice's first cathedral on the tranquil island of Torcello and shop for handcrafted lace on Burano. This morning or afternoon tour is a great introduction to the magical islands around the medieval city of Venice and its enclosed bay in the Adriatic Sea.


  • Half-day sightseeing tour of Murano, Torcello and Burano
  • Visit the three most famous islands in the Venetian Lagoon by motorboat from Venice
  • Watch master glass blowers at work at a factory on Murano
  • See Venice's Byzantine churches on Torcello – the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and the Church of Santa Fosca
  • Browse for lace on Burano and admire the painted houses
  • Hear commentary provided by an expert guide
  • Choose from morning or afternoon departure times

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What You Can Expect

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Murano, Burano and Torcello Half Day Sightseeing Tour

Board a comfortable motorboat, departing from the Alilaguna pier in front of the Royal Gardens, and speed along the Venetian Lagoon to three islands famous for their handicrafts and architecture. You’ll cruise past the islands of San Giorgio Maggiore, San Servolo, San Lazzaro degli Armeni and Sant’Elena Gardens to Murano, divided into nine islets crossed by a wide canal. Known for its glassware shops and factories, Murano boasts a long and still-thriving tradition dating back to 1291, when glass artisans moved their kilns from the old city center.

Explore the island on foot and stop at a glass factory to watch a skilled glass blower create works of art. Learn from your guide about Murano’s wealth in the 15th and 16th centuries when the island was central to Europe’s glass making. View the magnificent splendor of Murano’s palaces and Veneto-Byzantine style churches, some with mosaics and ornamental motifs designed in the 12th century, and catch a glimpse of San Michele – Venice’s 19th-century cemetery – across the water. Before re-boarding the boat, you'll have time to visit a museum showcasing the world-famous Murano glass.

When you reach the island of Torcello – established between the 5th and 6th centuries and the earliest center of civilization in the Venetian Lagoon – you’ll see evidence of the island’s glorious past as it once flourished with ornate palaces and churches. First, view the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, founded in the 7th century. Your guide will also show you the excavated remains of the circular baptistery in the Church of Santa Fosca, which showcases a delightful portico and striking Byzantine interior.

Afterward, journey to the island of Burano and admire the picturesque fishermen's houses painted in bright pastel colors. In this miniature Venice, you’ll find the famous lace – abundant since the 16th century and once considered the most refined in Europe. Browse local shops and find lace on display at a museum dedicated to the craft of lace making before your guide returns you to Venice.

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Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Lovely trip, great value for money, interesting information about some of the small islands.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This tour was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Very interesing tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This tour is wonderful and highly recommend it.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This tour was outstanding. Well worth the price. The boat intercom/public address system was a little difficult to understand at times but I have low expectations of those sound systems so it didn't bother me.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Loved Murano glass and even bought a lovely piece. Being out in the boat was great too.

Michelle C
United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

SO WORTH IT! Murano: glass and Burano: lace. WORTH IT. Torcello is take it or leave it, truthfully. The tour is 4 hours, no less, roundtrip. That's approx 1 hour on each island which is barely enough time but worth it! The churches on Torcello cost extra to enter so although my shoulders and knees were covered, there was no need since we didn't want to pay extra to enter. Be warned also that in Venice they sell the same Murano glass items for same prices or cheaper. However, the lace in Burano is hard to come by and worth it!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

The three islands are all so beautiful... mostly Burano which feels so relaxing.
Maybe it would be better if the tour takes a little bit longer so that you can enjoy more the islands.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Great way to see these three islands. Lots of information provided on the boat ride. The tour guide spoke Italian English and Spanish. Was very interesting to see the glass blowers, lace makers and island history. Quite enjoyable

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

This tour has made my day... Venice wasn't just my target - Watching Rick Steve's videos has influenced me to go beyond Venice. I enojyed it as a solo traveller.

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Tour code: 2495ABTOUR2


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