Imagine a day that starts at 7am, finishes at 10pm and includes nothing but laughter, adrenaline, sunshine and good food. That is the best way to explain my day trip from Kotor and the mini-road trip we took to experience a day of Tara River Rafting….
Tara River Rafting in Montenegro with Modra Rijeka
The Tara River Canyon is the deepest river canyon in Europe, which should indicate just how strong the river is!
Last year I experienced river kayaking for the first time, but this was my first time river rafting so here’s the best way to explain it for other newbies reading this…
Rafting the Tara River combines peaceful drifting, hectic paddling, cold-water river diving and waterfall photo-bomb experiences all in the space of three to five hours!
Timing really depends on the strength of the river during the season you go, and whether you want to pull over at various stops to explore the canyon banks. But the one thing that is certain is that a day of Tara River rafting is exhilarating!
Don’t believe me? Just look at their faces below…!
One of the best parts for those of you that love adventure combined with beautiful, historic scenery is that the Tara River (also known as the Drina) is part of the Durmitor National Park of Montenegro and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Tara River Canyon cuts 1,300 metres deep, and is alluringly framed by forests, alpine fields and peaks that rise over 2,000 metres high. So if you can’t get enough of the views below, you might as well combine a day of rafting with hiking, mountain biking, and lake cruises. All of which are also offered by the Modra Rijeka Rafting Camp!
On the calm moments that we drifted along this stunning turquoise conveyor belt between rapids, the skipper of the boat shared small tidbits of history and local knowledge about the area.
As I was the only English girl in a boat of Montenegrins, the skipper explained the safety rules in perfect English as I clambered onboard. But after that I insisted they spoke in Montenegrin and then one of the boys would translate. Which led to this hilarious conversation about beavers.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give for your first time Tara River rafting is to take sun cream! The summer Montenegrin sun is hot and if you’re not used to it, you will burn!
Luckily, the river water is incredibly refreshing and incredibly…cold! I jumped in only once and just couldn’t handle it! But the boys seemed to be in and out of the boat floating downstream as often as they could! And if you’ve watched the video at the top of this post you’ll see them cliff diving too!
But if being rushed through rapids with only your life-jacket for support doesn’t sound appealing then the next best stop to cool off is at the waterfall. Clambering up the slippery rock to pose under the waterfall is a (freezing cold) must-do on your day of river rafting!
But the best thing? Some of the water from the waterfall has been re-routed to flow over an area I call ‘the Tara bar’ – it’s a rock ledge that holds cans of cold beer!
We were all very happy about this…
A Day Trip from Kotor
Getting to the Modra Rijeka Rafting Camp for Tara River rafting took a few hours drive from my base at Old Town Hostel Kotor. But the drive to the canyon was just as stunning as the canyon itself and makes for the perfect road trip!
Andrija was driving myself and Ranko for our day trip from Kotor, and I was soon told that the drive would end with breakfast and… Rakija.
I was sure they were joking. Rakija is a ridiculously strong Montenegrin fruit brandy that will knock your socks off any time of the day – let alone at breakfast! Trust me, I’d done it before.
But, after a few hours on the road and a lot of laughing we all rolled out of our two-car convey and into the restaurant at the rafting camp on the Tara River – where we found Rakija waiting for us!
Luckily (for my liver) they also had a full breakfast waiting for us to soak up the alcohol!
The breakfast was a delicious plate of eggs, cheese, ham and what looked like fluffy dumplings that went perfectly with the jams on the table…
Homemade by the generous owners, who have also built the rafting camp on land that has been in their family for generations, the breakfast was the perfect start to a long day and I found myself stuffing dumplings into my mouth as we got dragged away to get ready for rafting!
And when we returned, we were treated again to the same homely hospitality for dinner, as well as a truly insightful talk with the owner of the camp who told us more of his history and love for the area that surrounds Modra Rijeka.
Sitting on the veranda of the wooden chalet-style restaurant at the camp, it’s not hard to empathise with the owner’s love for the beauty of his surroundings.
Inspired by summer, the sunlight streamed over the woodlands that creep up the peaks of the canyon and settle over the guest chalets and small bell tents. It would be a dream to stay overnight here, and next time I think I will…
Plus a three night stay plus rafting, plus breakfast and dinner costs just €70!
Where to find the Modra Rijeka Rafting Camp
Address: Scepan-Polje, 81435, Montenegro
How to book a day of Tara River Rafting
*prices for August 2016
I went whitewater rafting with Modra Rijeka Rafting Camp as a guest of National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro and the Tourism Organisation of Kotor, but my experiences of the people of Montenegro are truthful and honest. Really, seriously really…
Lots of love,