Although Bulgaria is a small country, its nature is so highly varied that there are many possibilities for different sports. One of them is rafting. Since country's nature is diverse, there are different places to practice this sport. In this story, I will tell you more details about rafting on Struma River, and I will do my best to introduce you to the process of rafting in Bulgaria. Stay with me until the end of the story, and you will see what makes this water sport so special!
The rafting season lasts between seven and eight months – from April to November. If you want to have a faster and more adventurous experience, you should do it in April or May, when the rivers are deep. But if you want to have time to enjoy the flow of the river and beautiful nature around it, then you should go rafting in the summer. One of the most popular places in Bulgaria for this water sport is Struma River. If you are somewhere else in the country, you can also do it there, like for example on Arda River, where the rafting experience is organized in the form of an expedition, or on Iskar River, which offers a more relaxed, family-friendly adventure. Still, no matter which place you choose, the usual age of the participants ranges between 6 and 70 years old.
Rafting on Struma River was established in 2002. This river offers different rafting experiences at different times of the year, and there is no age limit. The route is about 12 km long. The place where the rafting ride starts is located about 120 km from Sofia, near the town of Simitli. This area is 60 km from the Rila monastery, so that you can combine the extreme water sport with some sightseeing.
The rafting experience itself ranges, as I already mentioned, in accordance with the wishes of the participants. Even if you cannot swim, you can still practice this sport and have a lot of fun doing it. There is an instructor on every boat, who controls the direction and gives commands. In the beginning, the instructors teach you how to row, what to do and not to do. The rafting is a group sport – in the boat you are part of a team of 4 to 8 people, and everyone has to act as one in order to keep the boat afloat. Along the path of the river, there are possibilities to jump in the river from the boat or to stop for a break to admire the nature.
Extreme water sports such as rafting are not only a way to stay in good shape, but much more. The experience is an adventure for which your body and mind work together, and as a result, the synapses between neurons grow stronger. You learn to think faster and react accordingly in every situation. So, next time you are in Bulgaria in spring or summer and feel like doing something more exciting than lying on the beach or by the pool, rafting is a great way to have a lot of fun!
Cover Photo © credits to iStockphoto.com/StrahilDimitrov
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