Rafting in the Tara River Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina

rafting adventure on the tara river canyon in bosnia and herzegovina

My alarm rang at 4 AM, and it was time to get up. I was simultaneously excited about the upcoming adventure and daunted by the long journey ahead of us.

I had just returned from a long trip to China and South Korea and hadn’t had the chance to rest and recharge yet.

Despite this, I had been looking forward to this trip even before I started my trip to Asia. I was headed on a rafting adventure in Bosnia and Herzegovina, an experience that has been on my bucket list for quite a while now.

In this article, I’ll tell you all about the trip and what you can expect when visiting the Tara Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina for rafting.

I was invited to experience rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina by Rafting Tara BG. We traveled from Sofia, Bulgaria. This article, however, will be useful not only for other Bulgarians planning to make the same trip and traveling with the same company but also for anyone who has rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina on their bucket list. I’ll share practical tips, insights, and my personal experience to help you plan your adventure.

So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!

Why Rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina? 

Rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina offers a unique blend of adventure and natural beauty. The country is home to some of the most pristine rivers and breathtaking canyons in Europe.

the beautiful tara river in bosnia and herzegovina

Where to Go Rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina? 

If you’re wondering where to go rafting in Bosnia and Herzegovina, one of the best places is the Tara River Canyon. With a length of approximately 93 km and a depth of 1300 meters, the Tara River Canyon, the biggest canyon in Europe, provides an ideal setting for rafting, with its crystal-clear waters and stunning surroundings.

About Tara River

The Tara River springs at 1850 meters above sea level at the foot of the Komovi mountain. Spanning 141 km, it connects with the Piva River to form the Drina River. The Tara River is known for its transparent blue waters, earning it the nickname “Tear of Europe.” Furthermore, the Tara River forms a natural border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, is Europe’s largest drinking water reservoir, and is included in the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage list.

What Time of the Year Is Best for Rafting in the Tara River Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina? 

The best time for rafting in the Tara Canyon is from April to October. During this period, the water levels are optimal, and the weather is generally favorable. Springtime, particularly May and June, offers the most exciting rafting conditions with higher water levels and more challenging rapids. Summer months, from July to August, are ideal for those who prefer a more relaxed rafting experience with warmer temperatures and calmer waters.

tara river canyon

How to Get to Rafting Center Drina Tara? 

The best and easiest way to reach Rafting Center Drina Tara is by car. The nearest airports are Sarajevo (85 km), Podgorica (178 km), and Dubrovnik (184 km). There are also public buses from Belgrade and Foča (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Additionally, the rafting center provides various pick-up services from the nearest major cities and popular tourist destinations such as Sarajevo, Mostar, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Podgorica, Tivat, Zabljak, and Budva.

Sofia is about 560 km away from Rafting Center Drina Tara. Google Maps says it takes 8 hours to reach, but we all know how long it can take sometimes to cross the Serbian border, so…

My First Rafting Experience

This rafting adventure in Bosnia and Herzegovina was my first ever rafting experience.

rafting in the tara river canyon in bosnia and herzegovina

I anticipated a rush of adrenaline, but to my surprise, most of the time, we just floated and rolled down the river. Despite this, it was still fun and joyful, just not the heart-pounding thrill I had hoped for. Nonetheless, it is still worth going, as the region is gorgeous, and there is so much more to do, even if the conditions aren’t ideal for rafting when you visit.

The river conditions vary, and I guess we just weren’t as lucky. The level of difficulty for rafting on the Tara River ranges from grade III to V, varying throughout the year. Still, our experience rafting on the Tara River Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina included some exciting rapids, and we even spun around in a few of them. We also stopped halfway at a waterfall, which was a nice break. There’s also a spot on the river where you can jump from a cliff into the water, adding to the excitement.

white river rafting

Of course, this is just my experience and how I felt about our rafting adventure. The majority of the people from our group absolutely loved it. For them, it was what I expected and hoped it would be for me. But that is also one of the charms of the place and experience—it caters to a wide range of thrill-seekers and nature lovers. Overall, while my first rafting experience might not have been the wild ride I thought I was going on, it was still a great journey through one of the most beautiful regions in Europe.

*The rafting tours are always led by professional skippers and equipped with safety gear for a secure rafting experience.

rafting center drina tara

travel bloggers rafting in bosnia and herzegovina

About Rafting Center Drina Tara

We stayed at the Rafting Center Drina Tara, which specializes in adventure tourism and organizes rafting tours on the rivers Drina and Tara in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The campsite is located on the riverbank and offers 450 beds in double, triple, quadruple, and quintuple bungalows. The campsite also features a large restaurant, which is the heart and soul of the camp. It serves delicious and traditional food, predominantly meat dishes. The most famous specialty of this area is old cream cheese. It is made in huts of fir, covered with wooden shingles, and kept in wooden vats or sheep skin. It has a strong taste, and it goes very well with baked potatoes, banitsa, and bread. We had it every day for dinner and breakfast.

food you need to try in bosnia and herzegovina

the food of bosnia and herzegovina

Some of the bungalows offer private bathrooms, but for most guests, there are shared facilities for the entire campsite. The shared bathrooms and toilets were very well-maintained and always stocked with paper and liquid soap. Girls, if you want to dry your hair, I recommend bringing your own hairdryer if you have space in your luggage. The campsite has one available at reception, but it’s quite weak.

rafting adventure in bosnia and herzegovina

a camp on the tara river in bosnia and herzegovina

Additionally, the campsite has several hammocks and swings, basketball hoops, and a volleyball net. There are two large meadows that can be used for various activities like football, badminton, acro yoga, dancing, etc. Within the campsite, there is also a small souvenir shop that sells ice cream and snacks. There are no other shops in the area.

rafting center drina tara in bosnia and herzegovina

On weekends, the campsite turns into a party spot with live music in the restaurant. The music is very loud, and there’s no escaping it, so if that’s not your thing, I recommend not visiting on the weekend (around 500 people gather in the entire campsite and restaurant). On the other hand, if you’re curious about what a typical Balkan party is like, don’t miss out on booking your rafting adventure for the weekend.

balkan party in rafting center drina tara

What Else to Do There? 

Apart from rafting, there are plenty of other activities to enjoy in the area, such as hiking, 4×4 jeep safaris, canyoning, zip-lining, via ferrata, ATV quad tours, e-bike tours, and team-building activities.

After our day of rafting, our group went on a jeep safari (included in our program). We climbed to the top of the canyon with the jeeps, where we had lunch and had free time to explore the area. Some people signed up for horseback riding, whereas the rest of us signed up for the zipline. The zipline was extra adventurous because to reach the launching point, you have to navigate via Ferrata path. It’s a true via Ferrata, where you move secured by ropes and cross suspended metal cable bridges. I 100% recommend it. So fun!

zipline and via ferrata on the tara river canyon

About Rafting Tara BG

I traveled with Rafting Tara BG, a Bulgarian company with over 17 years of experience in organizing rafting trips in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Overall, the organization was good, and I would recommend the company to other enthusiasts planning a rafting trip in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company offers customized packages tailored to your schedule and preferences, as well as organized tours from April 1st to October 1st. Prices vary depending on personal or organized transport, choice of 3 or 4-day packages, etc., and include accommodation, rafting, additional excursions outlined in the program, and all meals during the stay at the campsite.

For more information and reservations, visit the Rafting Tara BG website.

I hope that this article gave you a good overview of what it is like to go on a rafting adventure along the Tara River Canyon in Bosnia and Herzegovina. If you have any additional questions or comments, please let me know in the comment section below, and don’t hesitate to contact me.

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