Stretching 161 km, the Ombrone is the third longest river in Tuscany. Its windy and meandering course starts on the south-east side of the Monti del Chianti and steers across the Maremma. After winding close to Grosseto, it crosses the Maremma Nature Park and flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea at the Bocca d’Ombrone, between Principina a Mare and Marina di Alberese.
The stretch from Buonconvento to the mouth of the Ombrone is completely navigable, but the section between where the River Merse merges with the Ombrone, near Molino di Pari, and Monte Antico is particularly interesting for water sport lovers. This part, around 13km in length, runs through an unspoilt valley, far from everything, where time seems to stand still. The most recommended sport for this part of the river is rafting, but it is also possible to travel by kayak or on a SUP.
In this area, the river runs gently, sometimes becoming yellow, but not due to pollution. This particular colouring is due to the sands of the Chianti that the Ombrone carries along its course.
The route’s landscape is a condensed version of Tuscany: rolling hills covered in oak forests, rows of cypress trees, olive groves, fields covered in spring flowers, pebbly riverbeds turned from the passing water, river beaches and all types of animals, from birds of prey to foxes. This is a thermal spa zone (the starting point being only 15 minutes by car from the Petriolo thermal springs), as well as an area famed for its excellent wine production, so there are many opportunities to visit farms and wine cellars.
It is an adventure that can be had in a day, though it’s also possible to stay longer, perhaps sleeping in a farm house halfway along the route and finishing the tour in Paganico ,ten minutes from Monte Antico, in front of a plate of tortelli maremmani and a glass of red wine.
There are no equipped zones or sports centres directly on site, therefore if you want to undertake this adventure, it is necessary to contact authorised companies that offer rafting, kayak and SUP excursions.
Alternatively, it is possible to contact tour operators, specialised in adventure tourism, but bear in mind that it is necessary to organise the excursion ten days in advance.