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Water Sports in the Balkan Peninsula

The Balkan Peninsula rages with wild beauty in the Julian Alps, the Pindus range, and the Carpathian mountains, along its craggy Adriatic coast, among hundreds of Aegean islands and along inviting Black Sea beaches. Sail the same seas as ancient mariners, shoot the rapids in barely discovered streams, or lose yourself (just figuratively, please) in the maze of the Danube Delta for water experiences you’ll find nowhere else.

Looking for exciting river adventures, or a more peaceful sea kayak voyage? Either way, Croatia’s waters offer great potential for water sports. Did you know that canoeing is a tradition that has been going on for centuries here? Traditional Croatian canoes are called “trupice” are used for fishing and transportation on the river Neretva delta even today, but are great fun for family and group excursions. On a canoe trip with a guide you’ll paddle past castles and fortresses. For unforgettable rafting, remember the names of these rivers: Kupa, Dobra, Mrežnica, Korana, Una, Zrmanja and Cetina. Islands, islets, rocks and reefs fulfil anyone’s nautical dreams. The ideally laid out islands are separated by no more than 10 nautical miles and include about 1500 bays and ports, so the Croatian Adriatic is ideal for sailing under full sail or cruising on motor boats. Experienced divers in search of attractive endemic Adriatic flora and fauna or sunken Roman galleons and naval ships, Croatia is your scuba dream come true!

Enjoy Serbia’s rivers and lakes in kayaks, canoes and sailing boats. The calm surfaces of its lakes are popular not only with top athletes training for competition but leisure visitors having a splendid time. The Velika Morava and Tamiš rivers are partly navigable as well as some lakes, so aspiring captains can set sail on a variety of enticing waterways.

Scuba divers find that the steep limestone cliffs of Montenegro’s seacoast are full of small caverns that fish and flora love to call home. You can take amazing underwater photos of schools of dentexes, giltheads, cantors and many other kinds of fish, as well as very rare big fish like sea pigeons and lobsters. There are a few archeological finds, not completely excavated, on the coast as well. Kayaking, rafting or floating on traditional wooden rafts down the 60 kilometres river Tara is an incredible experience for adventurers and nature lovers. The Tara canyon, some 1.3km deep at some points, is the deepest and longest in Europe. UNESCO designates it as a world heritage site. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon. The Tara River is the biggest European supply of drinking water. As you go rafting down its rapids you can drink it!

Adventure sports in Slovenia are simply enticing in Slovenia. If you want to go rafting or hydrospeeding, head for the River Soča; its smaller tributaries offer exciting canyoning. The Sava, Savinja and Krka rivers are also great for kayaks, while for more relaxed activities like canoeing and old-style rafting, try the Kolpa and Drava. The Slovenian coast is small but perfect for sailing, renting pedalos, or learning to water ski in Portorož. The waters between Piran and Strunjan are excellent for diving: apart from the diverse plants and animals, you can also see the remains of shipwrecks. Divers are also drawn by the mysteries of Karst springs, such as Lake Divje Jezero lake near Idrija.

Greece is all about the sea, an aquatic heaven full of life surrounding its islands and washing the long mainland coast. Water sports are very popular in Greece, the water is so enchanting and awesome natural attractions await in Aegean and Ionian Sea. Dive, sail, swim, paraglide; you can submerge yourself in or fly over the turquoise liquid in a number of ways, or pump some adrenaline in the white water high in the Pindus range when you travel inland.

The resorts ringing the beaches of Bulgaria on the Black Sea coast offer all the aquatic entertainment you’d expect at these highly popular holiday retreats: swimming, boating, water-skiing, para-sailing, and beach-based games. A plenitude of freshwater lakes and rivers also provide for wet and wild active holidays including kayaking and diving to wrecks and caves. Rafting in Romania is the thing to do; the most popular rafting rivers are Crisul Repede, Jiu, Cerna and Nera. Get suited up and safely established with a guide, and you’ll experience the thrill of white water and gorgeous scenery rushing by in a whirl of fun.


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