Top-notch rafting in Europe's deepest canyon

Ljiljana Krejic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

Picture the splendor of the US Grand Canyon and 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 wonder 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 a 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 adrenaline junkies love the Colorado of the Balkans, keep reading.

Tara River - the tear of Europe

© Rafting Centar Drina-Tara / unknown author

Considered one of the most breathtaking rivers in Europe, the 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 1250 m. It flows 146 km until it meets Piva River in Šćepan Polje, at 430 m above sea level, only to create a legendary Drina River. Only the last 40 km of its flow belongs 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, the Tara River is also a wild stream of mountain rivers.

1300 meters deep Tara River canyon

© Belikart / unknown author

Over the centuries, due to erosion and the powerful flow of Tara River, a marvelous 82 km long canyon was created. With a depth that reaches an 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. In addition, the canyon boasts gorgeous waterfalls, Skakavac Waterfall being the most beautiful and intriguing since it hides 80 caves.

The most attractive rafting in the world

© Rafting Centar Drina-Tara / unknown author

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 a place called Brstanovica (Montenegro), and after 25 km of intense descent, you arrive at the confluence of Tara and Piva Rivers, where they create the Drina River, and where the ride ends. It can take 2-3 hours to finish the course, depending on the water conditions and wishes of the group. Be aware that controlling Tara River rapids is an audacious task, and you will need to testify your courage. In this same section, the World Rafting Championship took place in 2009, so riding this part of the wild Tara River is quite an experience. 

Rafting Center Drina-Tara

Being the center of adrenaline activities in this part of Bosnia & Herzegovina, this place has 22 rafting camps providing complete service, including accommodation, food and transport. A true pioneer of rafting tours, Rafting Center Drina-Tara, has 20 years long expertise. Situated on an ideally located hill that overlooks the turquoise river, this camp has more than 100 bungalows (some luxurious) and all other facilities. So all you need to do is book your next adventure in this peaceful wildlife paradise and prepare for the rafting of your life. Alternatively, you can opt for the Outdoor resort TaraSport or Rajska Rijeka. Both options have great facilities, like facing the beachfront and offering a variety of outdoor activities. In addition, both accommodation providers have restaurants that offer a wide range of local and international dishes, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options. 

© Rafting Centar Drina-Tara / uknown author

BONUS: If you still need some adventure after the top-notch rafting in Europe’s deepest canyonHrčavka - Europe’s last conquered gorge near 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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