If you are following Itinari stories on a regular basis, you have learnt that Bosnia & Herzegovina is home to some of the best canyoning spots in Europe, such as Rakitnica Canyon. But I bet that you didn’t know that this country also hides Europe’s last explored canyon. Concealed in the vastness of Sutjeska National Park, the Hrčavka River and its beautiful wild canyon are every adventurer’s dream. Discovered only a few years ago, this canyon boosts in cascades, waterfalls, steep cliffs and lush forests. If climbing the rocks only to jump off into the dazzling rapids and crystal-clear water, followed by some rope-work and sliding through narrow gorges sounds great to you, then canyoning Hrčavka is for you. So, get ready to test your canyoning skills in Europe’s last conquered gorge.
Canyoning is an extreme sport suitable for only well-prepared nature enthusiasts, that gained ever-increasing popularity in the last decade. Considered as a thrilling adventure, it offers a perfect fusion of adrenaline and natural beauties. As its name suggests, it is performed in the remote and rugged regions, where the rivers have carved out impressive canyons over millions of years. Instead of using just one technique, in this case, the participants are trekking, climbing, swimming, diving, jumping and rope-hopping. Since those canyons are often hardly accessible and with many obstacles, the appropriate equipment (belts, helmets, diving suits, boots, etc.) is needed. While navigating down fast rivers, the gorge walking will make you feel the rush of adrenaline and experience nature in a totally new way.
Hrčavka River is an exclusive watercourse of National Park Sutjeska, as its entire flow of 13 km belongs to this park. It originates on the eastern slopes of an awe-inspiring Mt. Zelengora at 1570 m above the sea level, and it continues downstream the narrow canyon only to join the Sutjeska River at an altitude of 530 m. Being located in the totally protected and remote area of Europe’s last jungle – Perućica Rainforest, this wild canyon has remained unexplored for centuries. Only a few years ago, the Hrčavka canyon was explored for the first time, and since 2014, the first canyoning tours have been organized. A genuine treat for canyoning enthusiasts, the last discovered canyon in Europe is at the same time a real challenge.
Canyoning down the Hrčavka River lasts between five and six hours, depending on the number of participants as well as their preparedness. While exploring the canyon, you will overcome many obstacles by jumping into the waterfalls, climbing the steep cliffs, rope-hopping, but also walking through stunning forests of Mt. Zelengora. It will be a perfect blend of sport, fear, joy and immense splendour. One thing is sure - you will be under the impressions of this beauty all day long. Speaking of beauties, there is one that will steal your heart – an impressive Skakavac Waterfall, completely hidden in the wildness of Perućica Rainforest, that plunges off 75 m high cliff.
Six hours of extreme adrenaline is a privilege of only experienced nature and sports lovers. Simply put, canyoning Hrčavka, Europe’s last conquered gorge, is the adventure in its purest form. After exploring this canyoning paradise, the best way to finish your journey is to indulge in some traditional specialties made of organically grown meat, vegetables and fruits, complemented by the locally produced brandy called Rakia. If you are staying longer and longing for further adventure, you are at the right place since here you can conquer Mt. Maglić - Bosnia’s highest peak. Alternatively, you can explore Mt. Zelengora with its eight glacial lakes, or check out the view of European Yosemite from an eagle’s perspective.
Did you like the travel story?
Get more! Subscribe to our monthly inspiration newsletter.