Rafting on the Tara River

Rafting on the Tara River in Montenegro

The Anticipation

When we first signed up for the trip in the Balkans that took place earlier this May, I gotta admit that a huge part of me signed up because we were going rafting in Montenegro and hiking in Bulgaria. If the itinerary would’ve only been about cities, it wouldn’t have been half as interesting! And yes, I know that the blog’s name is CityoftheWeek, but let’s be honest: everyone needs a bit of adventure every now and then, right? 🙂 

Getting There

We arrived to the Rafting Center the evening before the action. The place was actually a camp, with a ton of wooden houses in an awesome valley, right next to the glowing turquoise Tara River. Getting to the valley wasn’t exactly easy, since the road leading down to it was so narrow, our bus just barely fit on it (and may I remind you that on the right side steep walls were bordering our path, with a potential depth of tens of meters). Nevertheless, we made it down safe and sound and even spent a lovely evening in the restaurant area, where locals were singing and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.

Suiting Up!

I think I speak for all of us when I say that in the morning we all woke up with butterflies in our stomachs: some had butterflies of fear, whilst others carried ones of excitement and adrenaline. After breakfast we suited up in the neoprenes, boots and vests provided by the rafting company and headed by 4x4s over to Bosnia (yes, we crossed the border with passports’n all!), where the starting point was. Our package consisted of a 15-kilometer trail starting from Bosnia and ending right at the camp.

Last Pieces of Advice

After a bumpy ride with the 4x4s which elevated our adrenaline levels from the start, one of the guys started a presentation about the must-knows of rafting. In the background the Piva River (which later turns into the Tara) was gurgling loudly, making me nervous and maybe even question myself a little bit. The guide talked about safety, how to pedal and sit on the raft, what instructions the guides would give us and what to do if you fall over. All this, while the other were carrying down the rafts to the riverside.

Introduction to Rafting

Introduction to Rafting 101

Rafting on Tara River Montenegro

Carrying the Boats down to the River

Hop On!

After a few fall-over jokes which got us even more stoked, we headed towards the yellow rafts. Honestly, the fact that I had to sit on the side of the raft made me very nervous, especially because I had a bruised leg which hurt like hell at the time (consequence of a little motorcycle accident, but that’s another story) with which I had to actually sustain myself throughout the waves. At that moment, my excitement turned into fear. You can see my semi-happy-unbelievably-scared face on the photos below:

Rafting on Tara River Montenegro

Realizing what I signed up for

Rafting on Tara River Montenegro

My semi-scared face just glows from the crowd

But it was the point of no return. After the first two rafts started their journey, our guide urged us to hop on. After we were settled in, we actually started our adventure with a selfie (because it’s 2015, right?).

Rafting on Tara River Montenegro

The first rafts are on their way

Rafting on Tara River Montenegro

Our before-selfie

The Big Waves

No, we don’t have any photos of the big waves. We were too busy holding on for dear life and paddling, trying to go towards the directions our guide was shouting at us. So there are no actual visuals of the action. But I can tell you this: IT WAS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! The feeling of rafting is unlike any other thing I’ve ever experienced in my life! It is a mix of fear, anticipation, excitement, anxiety, and a whole bunch of other confusing feelings, topped with a loud scream coming out of your lungs. And the Tara Canyon is just plain and simply breathtaking. Even if you never want to try rafting (big mistake, I highly recommend it!), you should at least walk at the riverside because it’s such an awesome place! After we passed the danger zone, our brave friend Barni managed to take out his phone and took a few shots of the surroundings:

Tara Canyon

Tara Canyon

Rafting in Tara Canyon

Rafting in Tara Canyon

The Chill

After we’ve wrestled with some huge waves doing everything they can to push us overboard, we successfully stopped on the shores of the river in a designated chilling place, equipped with tables, benches, Cokes and even beer! But the best thing was probably the waterfall located right next to the benches, where those of us who weren’t yet wet, took a quick dip in the ice-cold water. Refreshing! 

Tara Rafting Chill Zone

Tara Rafting Chill Zone

Tara Raft Refreshments

Tara Raft Refreshments

The Waterfall Experience!

The Waterfall Experience!

The Splashes

After our short chill-out which lasted about twenty minutes we hopped back onto our rafts for yet another set of adventure. Little did we know at the time that the next part of the Tara River was a bit uneventful compared to the previous segment, meaning that the river wasn’t that turbulent. But luckily our guides didn’t allow us to get bored, starting a massive game of pulling us into the water and turning the rafts on the side. 

Water games - the guide pulling one of us in the water at the Tara Raft

Water games – the guide pulling one of us in the water at the Tara Raft

I was lucky enough not to get pulled/pushed under the water as most of my colleagues, but I did end up getting a huge bucket of icy water right on my head which practically meant I didn’t even have to get into the water to get wet.

Guides throwing buckets of water at us at Tara Raft

Guides throwing buckets of water at us at Tara Raft

The expression on his face = priceless..

The expression on his face = priceless..

Splashed in the head at Tara Raft

Splashed in the head at Tara Raft

All in all I think rafting in Montenegro was one of the best experiences I’ve had this year and I really recommend to everyone to try it at least once in their lifetime! (and no, I am not sponsored, I just really LOVED the experience!)

I would like to give a HUGE THANKS to our dear friend Bán Barni, who bravely took out his phone every time he got the chance to provide us with these awesome action-packed photos. Thanks again! 

If you liked the article, don’t hesitate to PIN the photo below on Pinterest so it can get to as many users as possible! Also, I have a NEW PINTEREST ACCOUNT, used only for CityoftheWeek (the other one had too many boring personal stuff), so feel free to FOLLOW ME there!

Rafting on the Tara River between Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina

If you’re curious about what else Montenegro has to offer, feel free to check out The Picturesque Montenegrin Village of Perast, the 7 Must-sees in Kotor Old Town or Sveti Stefan, the forbidden paradise!

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  • Travels of 2015 | CityoftheWeek :

    […] in Southeastern Europe. We checked out a 500-year old bridge in Bosnia & Herzegovina, went rafting on the border of Montenegro and Bosnia, saw Kotor, Perast, Skadar Lake and went swimming in Budva, […]

    2 years ago

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