We love white water rafting! You might have seen the amazing course we tackled in Switzerland last year in which we made our way down the wild waters of the glacial melt from Jungfrau in the most amazing scenery! What could ever come close to that? Well when we were researching which countries on our Balkan adventure were the best for adventure activities Montenegro came up tops. Well, with a name that means Black Mountain is it any surprise!? We headed off to find out if these rapids would live up to our already amazing rafting experiences?!
The Tara Gorge
The Tara river canyon is the worlds second largest canyon in the world, behind the Grand Canyon. As such this unsurprisingly stunning location is home to one of the worlds most beautiful rivers, surrounded by high rocky cliffs, stunning waterfalls and lush green forests. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site that is 81km (51 Miles) long and 1,300 meters (4,300ft) at its deepest point, this makes it the biggest in Europe! But how many people even know about it in this tiny and stunning little country?!
Sitting up in the northern corner of the country and on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, this little known region is home to some of the most dramatic landscape in Europe . Also given the small size of Montenegro is only a couple of hours away from even the furthest points, including Kotor, so it makes it easy to travel to.
The rafting here is some of the best and most highly renowned in the world, the rafting world championships have even been held here and the full length of the course runs over 61 miles! We took the 11miles stretch that includes 21 of the canyons 50 rapids and takes around 2 to 3 hours!
Rafting down the worlds second largest gorge!
We weren’t really sure what to expect from the rapids and the river here, after tackling a grade 4 river in Switzerland (one of the most powerful a commercial guide will even be taken down) we were sure that Montenegro couldn’t have anything that would rival this ferocity…we were proven wrong!
After taking a jeep ride through the thick forests of the region we arrived a the start point of the river. The water was frothing and foaming and it made its powerful way down the canyon, now we knew we were in for a wild ride!
Our skipper first gathered us around and gave us a stern talking too, one of the things I love about White Water Rafting, even with a guide, is that it isn’t a tame river cruise. But it is dangerous and a real adventure, you have to pay attention and listen to the instructions of your skipper if you want to make it to the end of the course. These rapids are not to be messed around with and he made sure we knew that and that we were fully prepared for what was ahead.
As soon as we hit the river it was straight into the torrent of white water. There was no messing about or warming up, the river took us with is and the adventure was in full swings. As we tackled the first rapid one of the young lads in the front of the boat flew into the air and crashed into the ice cold water we were traversing. Luckily a fast thinking American who we shared the boat with grabbed his life jacket and pulled him back in. This was beginning to feel like a survival epic! But we loved it!
Now we all realised just how fierce the river really was we concentrated and got ready for the amazing battle ahead. Flying over wild rapids the boat was almost vertical at one point. We flew from side to side, getting splashed with the icy waters in the face as we raced down the gorge!
Then there were quieter moments when the rapids died down and the river became flat and peaceful, in was in these breaks that we could get our breath back, take a moment to settle our rapid heartbeats and to also take in the stunning scenery we found ourselves exploring. Here we had the most amazing views of the hidden waterfalls and huge rocky cliffs that make this place so impressive.
After a brief rest stop in Bosnia (we cross back and forth over the border during the entire route, not many people can say they crossed an international border on a raft!) to see a secret waterfall that resembled a tropical island paradise. Swimming in the clear waters in the dense overgrowth was worth stepping of the amazing fun of the river for a few moments!
The 2+ hours we spent flying at speed down the river just went all too fast, as we pulled into the river bay we were exhausted but couldn’t believe just how far we had gone! This had to rank amongst one of the craziest and most fun adventures we have been on!
An unforgettable day!
What made this trip even more of an amazing day was not only the main event, but the fact that we saw so much of the country too. On our way to and from the Tara Canyon we stopped off at several stunning view points, over the Kotor bay and the mirror like lakes with their picture perfect islands along the way. We also saw the huge dam and the man made lake Bileca, another gorge which was flooded to create this deep and impressive body of water that hides below it a sunken village!
What we loved though it that they made time for these stops and as well as the scheduled ones they had planned they didn’t mind any of the party requesting a short stop to take photos or stop for a break. The journey itself as just as much a part of the adventure for us, travelling through such breathtaking landscape is something we will never forget!
Another thing that really topped the day off was the inclusion of two meals, it was an early start and a long day of travel and adventure. Included in the trip was a lovely breakfast to give you the energy you needed to tackle the river and a filling late lunch to refuel you after what an exhausting but amazing experience!
How to do it for yourself?
There are several options and companies out there but we decided to go with Montenegro Travel Services as they offer the most comprehensive packages and the most competetive prices.
With Montenegro Travel Services you know you are guaranteed a professional, fun and safe adventure down the Tara River Canyon. They also have one, two and three day trips available if you fancy extending your trip, camping and exploring the entire length of the stunning canyon!
Check out the various options available here:
Our particular trip cost 80 Euros per person for the one day adventure!
Check out our video here:
Have you ever been white water rafting or visited the Tara Gorge?
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Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Montenegro Travel Services. As always, all opinions are our own!