Sometimes, all you need is to escape the shackles of modern life and venture into the wild. Being in nature can have a rejuvenating, energising effect on us. More and more, people are deciding to plug out, at least for a few days, and embark on adventures where they can reconnect with themselves and the world around them. One of our favourite destinations for a trip that's filled with excitement and wonder is the Tara River.
Where is the Tara River?
The Tara River is situated in Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. To be more precise, it winds its way through two countries: Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina, sometimes following, or rather forming, the border between the two. The area is unreal and awe-inspiring in its beauty. The clear, turquoise water of the river has cut a rugged canyon over the period of thousands of years. The Tara River Canyon is, impressively, the longest river canyon in Europe, and the second longest in the world - beaten only by the Grand Canyon in the USA. One of the most stunning natural wonders in the world, the Tara River Basin is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Together with the river Piva, the Tara goes on to form the Drina.
The rafting adventures
Rafting along the Tara River Canyon is one of the most popular activities in the region, and for a good reason too. Depending on your level of experience, physical fitness, the amount of time you have and how brave you feel, there are several Tara rafting tours to choose from. Some of them even go past Tara’s confluence with the Piva and continue down the Drina. The river is crystal clear and ice cold. Because of its temperature, it’s definitely not ideal for swimming, despite how clean it is.
Rafting routes showcase the beauty of the canyon to perfection, leading you over some intense rapids. If you can manage to tear your eyes off the white water, you might spot wild animals on the shore, such as wolves, bears, chamois, rabbits and foxes. However, precisely because the whole experience is so breathtakingly exhilarating, most tour organisers record the descent with a GoPro camera, so you can relive the whole thing later.
What else can you do there?
The Tara River Basin is protected and cherished for its wealth of natural habitats and a rich flora and fauna, including several endemic species. The pine forests and alpine grasslands are a must see for all nature lovers. Visitors shouldn’t miss Djurdjevica Tara Bridge – a wonder of construction built just before WWII. This impressive feat of construction calls to mind the famous bridge from the Harry Potter movies, or the one in Big Sur. The area is also full of waterfalls and cascades. All it takes is a pair of hiking boots and you can be on your way to discover all of the secret beauties of the basin. If you don’t like walking, there’s always a jeep safari or cycling option.
There is a myriad of other activities on offer for adrenaline junkies, such as paragliding, zip lining, horse riding and rock climbing. If you are interested in the mysterious world of caves, spelunking might be just the thing for you. And afterwards, treat yourself to delicious and hearty local specialties made from the freshest ingredients nature has to offer. Those who have more than a day or two can go on to explore the Durmitor National Park, another UNESCO Heritage site, and an oasis of pristine, untouched beauty.
If you are looking for pristine nature and some place to recharge, you needn’t look any further. The Tara River Canyon will fill you with wonder, replenish your energy reserve and leave you in awe of the beauty of nature.
For more natural adventures read Roxana's guest post - Eco Friendly Sports To Try On Your Travels