Rafting in Tara Canyon, Bosnia and Herzegovina

White water rafting in the Tara Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina is still one of my fondest memories from a few years agon, when I visited the country.

I am updating the article today to make it more useful for those interested in rafting the Tara River, but I will also keep my original personal experience which will probably convince you that it is indeed something worth doing.

We spent an entire weekend in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with one day experiencing first-hand white-water rafting in the Tara Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Want a headache-free experience? Book this guided tour with a transfer from Zabljak to experience high quality Tara River rafting.

Why should you choose rafting on the Tara River and Tara Canyon?

Tara river aerial view
Beautiful aerial view over the Tara River

The Tara River is considered one of the jewels of the Balkans. It is located between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, but for this particular adventure – and for the Tara Canyon itself, you have to choose the former.

Renowned for its emerald-green waters and especially its thrilling rapids, it’s not just a river but a true treat for any adrenaline junkie out there.

And while the river itself has plenty to offer in terms of rafting experiences, it’s actually the Tara Canyon that steals the show.

Second in depth only to the Grand Canyon, it offers one of the world’s best settings for white-water rafting – and it’s also pretty cheap compared to other options you have across the world.

Moreover, the river’s water is considered to be among the cleanest in the world. You will see what I mean when you get there and see the crystal clear waters.

view of the beautiful water of Tara river

I also recommend choosing a guided tour or a local operator when going rafting. They prioritize safety and respect for the environment, ensuring that you can enjoy this thrilling adventure safely, while preserving the river’s pristine condition.

I repeat – this is the tour that I recommend trying, although there are plenty of alternatives when you reach your destination. Just choose one operator with experience and you will be fine.

My original adventure white-water rafting at the Tara Canyon

rafting adrenaline

It was several years ago when I left with a group of friends to the city of Zabljak, the closest larger town to Tara River.

I recommend going here, as you have a few great restaurants in the area, as well as plenty of accommodation options.

The place we stayed at no longer exists, so I can’t really recommend one from personal experience, but a quick Google search showed me that there are plenty of nice looking options in the area.

The Bosnian culture is amazing and the locals are friendly, and even though you might not meet many English-speaking people in Zabljak (or any of the other villages close to the Tara River rafting area), you will still feel welcome.

Now, back to the original experience!

group preparing to go rafting

After breakfast on the second day we are given our safety briefing, which everyone listens to intently because we all realise the importance of the subject. W

e are given the necessary safety equipment and we would be soon on our way. We are taken by jeep to our starting point for our 25 km rafting adventure to begin.

When you first see the river you get a feeling of the strength and ferocity of it. It’s now or never.

Once in, the raft events happen very quickly. All the instructors hold an international rafting license, but you do need some experience rafting, I would say. It’s not a course for beginners.

This really instils you with confidence as you have to listen to every command they tell you to do. It’s safety first out here, always! “Paddle up”, “Paddle harder”, “Lean in”, “Hold on” are the instructions we heard for the next few hours.

Tara Canyon is a UNESCO protected area of outstanding natural beauty and I now see why.

Whilst navigating the rapids, you are closed in by towering canyon walls that reach up to 1.3 km high. The scale of this canyon is immense and it gives you that feeling of being very small indeed.

You really are at the mercy of the elements. It’s only through the expert skill of our instructors and the effort we all put in that will help us navigate the river successfully.

This stretch of river is scaled from a 3-5 grade out of 6; 6 being un-navigable for rafting activities. This is extreme sports at its finest and it does get adrenaline pumping like nothing else.

Air ballooning in Cappadocia? Well, it’s nothing compared to this!

Once finished, we are taken back to camp where we can shower, put on a new set of clothing, and look forward to a hearty lunch. The rest of the day is free to spend at your leisure. Many of us took a well-deserved nap before dinner was served.

I have to say the food here is fantastic. It’s tasty and substantial and you really need those calories after a day’s rafting. I absolutely love the food in the area and I am sure you will too, from pastries to meats and everything in between.

Wrapping up

If you are looking for a new challenge, like extreme sports and are a bit of an adrenalin junkie like me, then go white-water rafting in the Tara Canyon; you will not be disappointed.

This experience will never be forgotten – the only problem is you may get hooked on wanting more. In a word, wow!

Have you been rafting on the Tara River? If so, don’t hesitate to share your experience with us all in the comments section below.

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