Rafting is an outdoor recreational sports activity, where inflatable rafts called ‘rafts’ are used. This is a relatively recent sport, officially born in Italy in 1987.
Thanks to the will of a group of enthusiasts who, in order to promote and spread this activity, founded the Italian Rafting Association (AIRaft), now the Italian Rafting Federation which, since 2010 is recognized by Coni as a sports discipline associated with the Italian Canoe Federation Kayak (FICK).
Those who practice rafting engage in the descent of rapids in rivers or streams which, depending on the degree of difficulty, offer adrenaline moments. Normally a crew consists of 7 people: six passengers who paddle and are the driving force, and a guide who, through commands and skills, creates fun and safe trajectories.
The Lao River
The Lao River takes its name from the ancient Greek colony of Laos, polis of Magna Grecia.
It is born in Basilicata in the Pollino National Park on Serra del Prete, high ground of the Pollino Massif at over 2,000m above sea level, in the territory of Viggianello (PZ).
In the Lucanian territory it has the denomination of river Mercure, and runs through the central-southern part of the Mercure Valley. Entering Calabrian territory at the centers of Laino Borgo and Laino Castello, it welcomes the waters of the tributaries Battendiero and Jannello, changing the name here to Lao.
From Laino Borgo to Papasidero, the Lao river is a breathtaking natural spectacle.
As you cross the “Gorges of the Lao”, the canyon stretches up to 11km long and others just 300mt, offering a truly incredible panorama, all enriched by waterfalls, lush vegetation, a fairly varied flora. Also, in some places of the canyon it is possible to see marine fossils on the rocky walls.
Being a karst river, it guarantees an average flow all year round, which in turn makes it a popular destination for river sports enthusiasts, an ideal spot for rafting and kayaking.
The Lao river is navigable for about 38 km in the part that goes from Laino Borgo to the Grotte del Romito in Campicello.
It crosses the most exciting stretch with an imposing rocky canyon, while in the stretch that goes from Campicello to Papasidero it offers us the lushest nature that frames the Lao river. All of this is further enriched by waterfalls, lateral streams of rain, fossils, caves, wooden bridges, and much more, totally immersed in nature in a wonderful scenery.