Thu, 04/29/2021 - 17:13

Rafting on Struma is not just for adrenaline junkies

whitewater rafting bulgaria

City fatigue is one of the most acute consequences of the Covid-19 travel restrictions. For the weary Sofianite, there is somewhere in Bulgaria that offers rapid relief. An hour and a half drive out of town, the jagged and winding Struma Gorge is hell for motorists and heaven for nature lovers. At this part of its course, the Struma squeezes through narrow bends, flings itself from rocks and creates whirlpools. It is a pleasure to contemplate and take photos, but negotiating it on a raft is much more: an adventure, an adrenaline boost, a much-desired close contact with nature, plus the feeling of belonging to a team striving towards a common goal.

This part of the Struma is considered to be the most technically challenging whitewater strip in Bulgaria. For 12 kilometres, the river alternates between rapids and calmer stretches. Under the guidance of an experienced instructor, this extreme sport is accessible to people of all ages, both beginners and experienced rafters.

whitewater rafting bulgaria

Commercial whitewater rafting in the Struma Gorge started in earnest in the 2000s, when companies recognised the river's potential and built infrastructure to serve the growing number of visitors ready to pay a fee for a thrilling ride. Today, whitewater rafting in the Struma Gorge is a popular, affordable and accessible way to have fun and get wet with friends or strangers. HRs claim that few activities can compare to whitewater rafting as a means of team building, and while you paddle your way through the gushing water next to your company accountant, avoiding the rocks, muscles straining and heart thumping, you may well agree. After such an experience, company meetings and water cooler conversations are supposed to improve.

In short, if you have the opportunity, take it.

You can interpret the whole experience as a metaphor for humanity struggling to cope in a turbulent situation, unsure and afraid of what awaits round life's next rocky bend, but nonetheless concentrating on victory, no matter what. You might let yourself go in the experience of being wet and physically active in the company of others. You might just enjoy the feeling of camaraderie, or freedom, or adrenaline coursing through your veins.

whitewater rafting bulgaria

It does not matter, really. The Struma is there: as white, pristine and turbulent as Sofia is stuck in its dust, congestion and restrictions.

Early spring, when the Struma is swollen with the snowmelt from the mountains, is the best time to ride, but – water levels permitting – rafting can take place even in summer and early autumn. 

us4bg-logo-reversal.pngVibrant Communities: Spotlight on Bulgaria's Living Heritage is a series of articles, initiated by Vagabond Magazine and realised by the Free Speech Foundation, with the generous support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, that aims to provide details and background of places, cultural entities, events, personalities and facts of life that are sometimes difficult to understand for the outsider in the Balkans. The ultimate aim is the preservation of Bulgaria's cultural heritage – including but not limited to archaeological, cultural and ethnic diversity. The statements and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the FSI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the America for Bulgaria Foundation or its affiliates.

Подкрепата за Фондация "Фрий спийч интернешънъл" е осигурена от Фондация "Америка за България". Изявленията и мненията, изразени тук, принадлежат единствено на ФСИ и не отразяват непременно вижданията на Фондация Америка за България или нейните партньори.

Issue 175 Nature America for Bulgaria Foundation

Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.


Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

thracian gold wreath
Who were the first kings of Europe? Homer heroes such as Agamemnon are the first to pop up in the minds of educated Westerners, but hierarchical societies on the continent predate the ancient Greeks.

fishermen settlement bulgaria sunset
Any chance visitor who has detoured midway from the Burgas-Sozopol highway, on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, will end up in an odd location.

industrial ruins bulgaria
When you plan a trip in Bulgaria, Pernik is rarely on the list (except for one event, more on this below).

Monument to Aleksandar Stamboliyski in front of the Sofia Opera and Ballet house
When you visit the Sofia Opera and Ballet House you will see an imposing bronze statue of a heavy-set man beside the grand entrance.

Kardzhali Dam is a preferred spot for picnic, photos and some water fun
When you have a long weekend ahead and the weather looks good for a trip, heading to Kardzhali is a great option.

veliko tarnovo fortress.jpg
When Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, the expectation was that membership would bring the struggling former Communist country closer to the more developed economies in Europe.

uzundzhovo church mosque gate
Notwithstanding online shopping, it is hard to imagine what the experience of purchasing goods from far and wide in a highly cosmopolitan society was like in pre-industrial times. A quiet village in southern Bulgaria offers some illumination.

gorge bulgaria mystic
Bulgaria's most stunning caves and gorges, along with thick forests and sites to discover and explore: the Western Rhodope is one of the best places in Bulgaria for a summer escape for both dedicated hikers and chance travellers.

russian church bulgaria
When travelling near Kazanlak in the Valley of Roses (also known as the Valley of Thracian Kings), your attention will be drawn to three monuments on the slopes of the Stara Planina mountain range.

The monument at Petrova Niva area is the focal point of the August commemorations of the 1903 uprising
Men dressed in early 20th century military uniforms, patriotic songs and speeches, lots of banners and grilled meat stalls: if you crave attending a mass event after the end of the Covid-19 travel restrictions, consider visiting Petrova Niva in the third we

veleka river
The Strandzha mountains coast, roughly everything along the Black Sea south of Burgas, is about 100 km long as the crow flies. Yet it is very varied.

soviet airplane bulgaria
In the spring of 2022, Bulgarian military aircraft used during the Cold War suddenly became hot news. Should Bulgaria offer its old Soviet MiG- 29s to Ukraine, or shouldn't it?