Picture the splendor of the Grand Canyon in the US together with the vastness of a twisting Colorado River. Now, try to picture this backdrop adorned with lavish greenery and complemented by crystal-clear turquoise water. If you are wondering whether this unbelievable scenery is fictive or real, you are on the right page to find out. This jaw-dropping and exhilarating setting is probably the best-kept adventure secret of the Balkans. A spectacular Tara River Gorge offers top-notch rafting experience in Europe’s deepest canyon. So, if you are a thrill seeker and a rafting lover who wants to discover why the adrenaline junkies love Colorado of the Balkans, keep reading.
Considered one of the most breath-taking rivers in Europe, Tara River stretches along the border between Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro. It originates from two smaller rivers at the foothills of Mt. Komovi in northern Montenegro at the altitude of 1250 m, and it flows 146 km until it meets Piva River in Šćepan Polje, at 430 m above the sea level, only to create a legendary Drina River. Only last 40 km of its flow belong to Bosnia & Herzegovina. Tara River is one of the clearest and cleanest watercourses in Europe. Basically, it is drinkable throughout its entire flow, and therefore, it was named “the tear of Europe”. Besides its purity, Tara River is also a wild stream that is fed by the mountain rivers.
Over the centuries, due to a process of erosion and powerful flow of Tara River, a marvelous 82 km long canyon was created. With its depth that reaches incredible 1300 m, this gorge is the deepest canyon in Europe and the second deepest in the world, after the Grand Canyon in Colorado. As a part of Durmitor National Park in Montenegro, this beauty is protected as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the canyon, you can find amazing landscapes – steep cliffs, cascades, sandy beaches, all you can imagine. The canyon boosts in gorgeous waterfalls, Skakavac Waterfall being the most beautiful but also the most intriguing since it hides 80 caves.
Over 90 km of Tara’s length is in cascades, while the last 15 km are considered the most challenging due to more than 20 rapids. On the rafting scale, Tara River is rated between 3-5 depending on the season, making it one of the most attractive watercourses in the world. The best time for rafting here is between April and September. Usually, the rafting tours start in the place called Brstanovica (Montenegro), and after 25 km of intense descent, you arrive at the confluence of Tara and Piva River, where they create Drina River, and where the ride ends. It can take you between 2-3 hours to finish the course, depending on the water conditions and wishes of the group. Be aware that it is an audacious task to control Tara River rapids, and you will need to testify your courage. On this same section, the World Rafting Championship took place in 2009, so riding this part of wild Tara River is quite an experience.
Being the center of adrenaline activities in this part of Bosnia & Herzegovina, this place has 22 rafting camps that provide a complete service, including the accommodation, food and transport. But a true pioneer of rafting tours is Rafting Center Drina-Tara, that has 20 years long expertise. Situated on ideally located hill that overlooks the turquoise river, this camp has more than 100 bungalows (some of them are luxurious) and all other facilities. All you need to do is to book your next adventure in this peaceful wildlife paradise and get ready for the rafting of your life.
BONUS: If after the top-notch rafting in Europe’s deepest canyon, you still need some adventure, Hrčavka - Europe’s last conquered gorge nearby Sutjeska National Park should be your choice. Alternatively, you can opt for climbing the highest peak of Bosnia & Herzegovina – Mt. Maglić, hiking Bosnia’s most beautiful mountain – Mt. Zelengora or exploring the last jungle in Europe - Perućica. No nature lover leaves this region unsatisfied, that’s guaranteed!
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