The Tara Gorge in northern Montenegro is the largest gorge in Europe. The river of the same name is extremely popular for rafting due to its waterfalls, rapids and cascades.
The spectacular Tara Gorge is a special highlight in Durmitor National Park in the north of Montenegro. The Tara, the longest river in Montenegro, has carved a gorge up to 1,600m deep into the mountains over a length of 78km. This makes the Tara Gorge not only the longest and deepest gorge in Europe, but also one of the largest canyons in the world.
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PICTURES: Tara Gorge and Tara Bridge
Experience the Tara Gorge
The Tara Gorge is not only the longest and deepest, but probably also the most pristine gorge in all of Europe. There are several ways to explore the breathtaking canyon. Basically, this can be done on dry feet or amidst the foaming spray.
Rafting through the Tara Gorge
Meanwhile, several providers have specialised in rafting tours through the Tara Gorge. A trip on the wild river is certainly one of the most exciting adventures you can experience in Montenegro.
Whether inflatable boat, raft or kayak, anyone who plunges into the raging floods of the Tara must also bring along a fair amount of courage. Waterfalls up to 60 m high and numerous unpredictable rapids have to be overcome.
In summer, when the Tara is not quite so raging, the inflatable boats often float in the water as if strung on a string. After all, everyone wants to explore the impressive Tara Gorge the best way they can - from the river!
When is the best time for rafting on the Tara?
The best time for rafting on the Tara is in the summer months, when the river is not too raging. In July and August, the water level is not so high and the Tara is comparatively tame. Therefore, even beginners can enjoy the trip through the gorge without any safety concerns. However, even then, some spots are too dangerous to be navigated.
In spring and autumn, melting or rainy water causes the river to swell so much that only experienced extreme athletes and adrenaline junkies are allowed to venture into the raging rapids of the Tara. By comparison, the rafting route from Šćepan Polje takes 2.5 hours in summer, but only 30 minutes in spring. There is no time left for the rafting professionals to enjoy the beautiful landscape! This is also the time when most accidents happen. In high season, Tara rafting is very safe.
Tip: In summer it is also warm enough to spend the night on the idyllic banks of the Tara. Rafting tours lasting several days take you to the remote regions of the Tara Gorge and offer unforgettable moments with campfires and starry skies.
Where do the rafting tours start?
There arenot many starting points for Tara rafting, as the river is only accessible in a few places between the vertically towering steep walls. Most rafting tours in Montenegro start in the villages of Splaviste or Šćepan Polje. At this point, the Bosnian Drina flows out of the equally impressive Piva Gorge into the Tara.
On the last 30km, the Tara Gorge is at its deepest and the inflatable boats have to overcome the most rapids and the highest waterfalls.
The ride on the Tara takes you past waterfalls and wild springs and presents the beauty of the Tara Gorge in all its glory. Stops for swimming, picnicking and photography create time-outs from the foaming waves. Most Tara rafting tours include not only the trip on the river, but also catering with typical Montenegrin specialities.
Half-day excursions and multi-day rafting tours on the Tara River
If the Tara is calm enough, whole rows of tourist inflatable boats often drift down the stream. With good reason - this is clearly the best way to experience the Tara Gorge. From half-day tours to excursions lasting several days, pretty much anything is possible in the Tara Gorge. If you have enough time, you should not miss an overnight stay with a campfire on the beautiful banks of the Tara!
Tip: The Tara Gorge can also be navigated with your own kayak or canoe. However, a fee for the use of the national park must still be paid.
The Tara Bridge as a vantage point
Those who are not quite enthusiastic about rafting can unfortunately only observe the Tara from afar. Due to the vertical walls of the Tara Gorge, there are only a few opportunities to view the canyon from above.
The best place to do this is the Tara Bridge. It was built in 1941 and spans the Tara Gorge at a height of up to 150 metres. The Tara Bridge is about 350 metres long and 7 metres wide.
From the bridge you have a spectacular view into the gorge, whose walls reach up to 1,600m into the sky. By comparison, the world-famous Grand Canyon in the USA is 1,800m deep.
Spectacular photos are guaranteed!
Tip: The very brave can float over the Tara Gorge on a steel cable. The provider of this "test of courage" is located on the northern side of the bridge. There is an outward and return trip over the gorge, i.e. you have a double pleasure.