Val Sesia, Piemonte (Northern Italy)
Excellent low volume steep bedrock creek boating, some of the best in Europe. Easy road access to short single-day runs with reliable waterlevels in the area's brief season.
- A map of the rivers in the Sesia valley and nearby (the "Carte Fluvial") is available at local tourism offices or the campsite at Campertogno (scanned copy).
- Pete Cornes wrote a mini-guide for Plughole magazine.
When to go
April-May. The rivers are fed by snow-melt and the season is very short: to catch the best water, find out when the Teva Mountain Games are running and a week on either side of the event tends to be perfect.
How to get there
Choice of flights into the the nearby major cities: flying into Milan is most popular.
The area is very popular with kayakers so if you managed to get yourself there it would be easy to hook up with other boaters for lifts, etc. Public transport would be difficult, you need your own vehicle but shuttles are short and can be done by bike/foot/hitching.
Plenty of campsites (Campertogno is justifiably popular with paddlers), hotels and self-catering accomodation is available. The rivers are close together so it is feasible to stay in the same place every night especially for shorter trips.