For years, the Sesia has been considered among the most interesting rivers with regards to its form and land character which allow for the practice of all the specialities under the river sports heading. Its course is classified as one of the top under international standards; the phenomenon and its popularity have developed since the end of the last century with a constant series of events tied to canoeing and kayaking that eventually it became the site for European and World Championships.
The series of characteristics present in the Sesia are rare to find all together in one course of water: cleanliness and clarity of the main river and all its effluents, different features along the flow which present various grades of difficulty and significant water pressure through gorges, rapids and jets. Considering the physically demanding tracts as well as the exceptional beauty of the natural surroundings along the Sesia, this athletic pursuit is one of a kind.
Canoeing, despite the initial fear that may be felt by the inexperienced athlete, is easy and even popular. It is not dangerous and the ability to swim is all that is required to practice this gratifying and exciting sport. Further to the guides’ expert advice — who know these waterways like the backs of their hands — the canoeing schools active in the territory can initiate even the beginner down the first fun and relaxing simple tracts, and as the hydrogeological formation of the river transforms, to the adventurous, adrenaline-rush that will follow and test your courage.
The kayak, another means to travel down the river which shares some similarities in appearance to the canoe, has an elongated body flattened at the extremities and is rowed with a paddle with two wide blades. Like canoeing, kayaking is very popular sport in the Valsesia especially for the Sesia’s 54-kilometre length and the 35 kilometres of its effluents.
The most popular tract among canoeists is between Campertogno and the source of the Sesia in Varallo where, from the month of May to the end of summer, the water is abundant and the rowing on canoe or kayak is extraordinary.