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Zrmanja rafting challenge

“Kayakers come out to play!"
Raftrek Adventure Travel / Outdoor Travel  / Zrmanja rafting challenge

It’s here! It’s here! It’ here!

Winter season is over! Its tranquility is slowly being replaced with the warm spring sun and the warm air is being filled with sounds that indicate joy of life.

The first day of spring is here!

Perhaps I am biased, but spring in Croatia has a special significance. A country with so much natural beauty awaits the spring with arms wide open and one can feel it in every pore. The exceptional nature, the flowering of rare plants, an expanse of forests, vast meadows, rivers, mountain peaks and emerald sea, recall us to Vivaldi’s notes placing spring in everyone’s heart. Ok, ok enough about spring, everybody, and everything looks forward to it bears and bees, leaves and flowers, songs and humans, yes, yes we know.

Zrmanja Rafting challange

Winter is over! Santa Claus caught napping in Zadar, Croatia

So let’s start with WHY it brings smiles to our faces. For all adventure lovers, yes for us, finally spring time is the perfect time to go outside and play, play with whatever your heart desires. Like the Warriors once said “Kayakers come out to play!”:)  As already announced, our time has come and we opened the kayaking season on the river Mreznica
(read more: Kayak Season opening).

That was a point of no return.  Mreznica River was mastered by kayaks, it was time to accept the Zrmanja rafting challenge never earlier in the season.

Zrmanja rafting in March

Our river guides Tin, Marko, Philip and Marin readily accepted the “rafting challenge” and set off towards Zrmanja River accompanied by four guests from Zagreb and their friend from Georgia. As I write this, the snow still melts on top of the mountains and pours the remnants of winter in the strong water of Zrmanja. The river has carved its way towards the sea for millennia and it created one of the most impressive canyons and decorated it with numerous waterfalls and cascades, travertine thresholds, infinite sandbanks and gravel deposits.

Zrmanja RIver Canyon

Perfectly clear water, a spectacular canyon with magnificent waterfalls… Zrmanja is among the most beautiful rivers in Europe!

Zrmanja is ideal for an exciting rafting trip, at this time of year. With a paddle in hand, it is an ideal time to ride down the extraordinary beauty of its rapids. The trip starts in Kastel Zegarski village. At that point, the guests are greeted by our cheerful guides. Equipped and dressed in the necessary gear for these cooler days on the river. Thorough safety talk and familiarizing with the gear, give them a snapshot of what they will later discover by themselves. The guests are ready to raft the most beautiful and most exciting 14 km of the river if we consider a visit to the river Krupa.

So we have our guides ready to rumble, we have all the equipment we need, we have the strong, beautiful river waiting for us and we have the challengers.

Zrmanja Rafting

Raft approaching the big waterfall on Zrmanja, Croatia

Let’s roll.

Our team embarked on the river. Rowing and steering the raft is significantly different from kayaking. It is necessary that all participants act as one. Their strength and synchronized movements force the boat to follow the river. With each stroke, they were closer to the strongest tributary of Zrmanja, the river Krupa. Hidden beneath the slopes of Velebit, Krupa River deserves much more attention than it is usually given to. On its short flow, Krupa built around 19 waterfalls, most of which height, indented and shape are among the most beautiful falls in Croatia. Krupa spring, near the village Mandici, forms a typical karst spring.

Leaving Krupa and her beauty behind, our team gets closer and closer to the “Great Waterfall”. The sound of its force can be heard from afar. The majestic sound reveals the hinted amazing beauty of the waterfall. This is where the love relationship starts. Everybody, read well, everybody falls in love with Zrmanja rafting at this point.

The guides tell you to slow down and keep left, just before reaching the waterfall drop we all stop, we leave the raft boat and continue by foot. Walking around the great wall of water you start admiring it so much you forget all your troubles and love takes over.

“Živjeli”!

Once you get down beneath the waterfall, you sit down on rocks around the water pools and then you start admiring again. This time, it is the moment when guides throw the raft boat down the waterfall, just to catch it in time downstream. During low water levels, you can feel strong sea influence beneath the fall itself. Specifically, under a thin layer of sweet water, there is salty water.

We finish up the trip in the quieter part of Zrmanja flow, where water lilies and sedge grow. We take the gear off, we change into dry clothes with a smile on our face we say “Živjeli”!

If an active holiday was a person, Croatia would certainly be his/her home. Vast possibilities of this small country will encourage every adventurer to explore them. We’re moving forward and we offer trips that will take your breath away, if Zrmanja rafting is not sufficient reason, then because of the indescribable beauty and diversity provided at a relatively small area, called Croatia.

 

Branka started working as a guide back in 2007. University of Economy graduate, major in marketing. Fluent in English, German, and Spanish and has recently started learning French. She is a very passionate skier and snowboarder. Traveling and trekking through Croatian mountains, Slovenian and Austrian Alps took her all the way to Argentina, Chile and Patagonia trekking routes. Thanks to her big love towards nature, her travels and sports she enjoys, she accumulated lots of experience in working with tourists.

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