Calabria has more than 800 km of coastline surrounded by an extraordinary sea with beaches and rocky coasts. But there is not only sea water here. The majestic mountainous places are full of rivers and streams with small and large waterfalls, natural pools and artificial lakes.
The Mercure river was born in the Basilicata side of Pollino National Park and reaches Calabria by flowing into the Battendiero and Jannello rivers, and takes the name of Lao. The course of this river crosses a spectacular and beautiful valley, between gorges and woods, until it flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea near Scalea on the coast called Riviera dei Cedri (Cedar Riviera).
The Lao River Valley offers natural landscapes with its paths in the woods and its extraordinary villages set in the mountains but facing on the sea. The presence of this river has influenced the social and economic life of all the villages in the valley.
For this reason we called them The Water Villages.
Mormanno, on the border with Basilicata, is considered the gateway to Calabria and overlooks the valley crossed by the river Lao. Papasidero is the closest to the Lao river where mostly you can live water activities such as rafting without forgetting the past thanks to the Romito Cave dated back to the Upper Paleolithic. Finally, Santa Domenica Talao, halfway between the mountains and the sea, stands out for its gastronomy rich in delicious recipes and traditions.