Aug 23, 2012 12:01 - holly | 1,556 views
Measuring 82 kilometers long and 1300 meters deep, Tara River Canyon is not only the longest in Montenegro, but also the deepest gorge in all of Europe. Located in the Durmitor National Park, it’s a popular place for hiking, camping and picnicking, but most travelers visit here for one reason and one reason alone; the chance to experience white water rafting in one of the world’s deepest canyons, second only to the USA’s Grand Canyon.
Hopping in an 8 person inflatable dinghy is certainly a far cry from the 2000+ occupancy Europe cruise liners that frequently dock in Montenegro, but being on the water deep beneath the Durmitor Mountain really is one of the best ways to experience the canyon up close and personal.
The complete end to end rafting adventure along the Tara River spans almost 100 kilometers, but the 18 kilometer section between Brstanovica and Sćepan Polje is by far the most exciting. Of the 50 rapids along the river, more than 20 are located in this section alone, and they’re all ranked as class 3 or above, meaning big waves and even bigger adrenaline!
On your alternative Europe cruise you’ll take in plenty of sights, as well as taking the trip of a lifetime. Waterfalls and cascades, traditional Eastern European villages, old windmills and abandoned monasteries are just a small selection of attractions along the Tara River. Take the chance to sample some of the natural waters; they’re perfectly safe to drink!
The 18 kilometer route should see you back on dry land after about 3 hours, so there’s plenty of time to swap to the hiking boots and head up to one of the 48 peaks of Durmitor Mountain, situated to the south of the canyon. These peaks command great views over the rapids and gorge as well as the impressive Europe cruise ships heading in and out of nearby Kotor and Dubrovnik, Croatia, just 90 kilometers up the coastline.
Montenegro itself is well worth a visit. The country boasts 72 kilometers of white sandy beach along the Adriatic coast and one of the only rainforests left on the continent; Biogradska Gora. It may be the smallest of Montenegro’s national parks, but it’s certainly one of the most popular with the virgin beech forest, huge areas of unspoilt foliage and no less than six glacial lakes.
If you decide to take a trip through the wild waters of Tara River Canyon, there are plenty of tour companies that can help arrange your vacation. Make sure you take the opportunity to see more of Eastern Europe as well. Many Europe cruise operators who dock in Montenegro and Croatia offer day trips to the gorge as part of their excursion programs. But beware: you WILL get wet!
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