Looking for a thrill? Want to share an unforgettable experience with friends? then rafting may be the perfect activity for you. Descending a tumultuous river on a raft is the kind of rush that stays with you for a lifetime. Rafting is a must-try for sports enthusiasts who love to be in nature.
So, grab a wetsuit, life jacket and helmet and embark on a memorable family-friendly experience! Paddle over the river’s rapids, bonding as a team through constant communication, and generally have a good time with a great dose of adrenaline. Take a look at our selection of the most beautiful rafting destinations in Europe.
Verdon River, Gorges du Verdon, France
Located in southeastern France, between the Var and the Alpes de Haute-Provence, this canyon is one of the largest in Europe at 700 metres deep. This is one of the best-known spots in France, with a course stretching 45km between Castellane and Lake Sainte Croix. This area is also nicknamed the Middle Verdon, to locate it in relation to the Bas-Verdon which goes as far as the Durance and the Haut-Verdon which goes up to the source of Val d’Allos. Rafting is practiced from Castellane to Rougon, on the first 21km from the Gorges. Due to a number of hydroelectric dams along the course of the river, the class of the rapids that you’ll raft on is dependent on how much water has been released – if the dam is closed, the rapids will be around a class I, if the dam is open they’re normally class II. It is also dependent on how much rainfall has occurred, for instance precipitation levels are often high in April, sometimes making the rapids class III.
This area boasts a wide selection of rafting routes, with rafting being the best way to discover the Gorges du Verdon. A truly accessible family day out, with some activities available for 6 years and over, offering a rare chance to share an unforgettable adventure as a team! There are different sections along the rafting route, with rapids, slaloms between rocks and waterfalls. This area is known for a multitude of other great outdoor sports, including canyoning, kayaking, hiking, via ferrata and rock climbing – explore all our adventure activities at the Verdon Gorge.
Check out our rafting activities at the Verdon Gorge.
Cetina River, Omis, Croatia
Head to Omis, located almost equidistant between the cities of Split and Makarska, about a 40 minutes drive from each of these destinations. Located a couple of kilometers off the Croatian coastline, discover the beautiful canyon of the river Cetina in Omis, with a 10km descent lasting on average around 3 hours. Choose between an extreme or more tame descent aboard your inflatable raft. Both options offer a variety of stops for a quick bathing session, tombstoning in the deep river and taking a refreshing shower under a waterfall. On class II, sometimes class III rapids (though class III only in spring when the water level is often higher,) navigate this thrilling river as a team!
As a bonus, you will get the chance to explore a cave of fresh spring water with stalactites passing through a waterfall. Find your way under the falling water and enter the first room lit by beautifully reflected daylight and swim through the fresh, and drinkable, spring water. To complete your adventure, paddle down the exciting rapids for 5km before ending the day in the deep waters of the Tisne Stine Canyon. Omis is an area of stunning natural beauty, with a plentitude of outdoor activities to get that adrenaline rush, from canyoning to kayaking, windsurfing to hydrospeed, check out all our outdoor activities in Omis.
Explore our rafting experiences on the Cetina River.
Check out our article on the top 5 rivers to go rafting on in Croatia!
Adige River, Province of Verona, Italy
The Adige River is Italy’s second longest river, at 410km long it begins in the north of Italy in the Italian Alps, and makes its way into the Adriatic Sea. The Adige River offers a number of incredible sections for rafting descents! Head to the stretch of this fantastic rafting river as it runs adjacent to Lake Garda, in the Verona province of Italy, for a 3 hour rafting activity through the stunning scenery of the wine region of Valdadige. You will make your way down these tumultuous waters towards the Chiusa di Ceraino Gorge, on this thrilling 13km descent.
Make your way through the Lagarina Valley on a 5 hour rafting ride suitable for all the family, with children over the age of 4 years old allowed to take part too! This 20km descent of a larger stretch of the Adige River occurs in the same Verona Province section of this river. See the beautiful Monte Baldo mountains from afar as you work as a team navigating this whitewater.
One of the best places to try rafting, check out our rafting activities on the Adige River.
Simme and Lutschine Rivers, Interlaken, Switzerland
Interlaken is Switzerland’s capital city for outdoor sports. The Simme is a very fun class 3 river located in a beautiful and picturesque Swiss valley. This whitewater outing is ideal for a group of family and friends looking for a new thrill. Discover the Lütschine river, by far the most exciting of the Bernese Oberland. Once the icy snow of winter has finally melted under the warm spring sunshine it fills the river with exciting rapids.
Rafting on the Lutschine River takes you through a stunning valley with views of the famous Eiger mountain in the Swiss Alps, towards the end destination of the picturesque Lake Brienz. Or, head down the Simme River for a 4 and half hour rafting experience like no other. Paddle and navigate your way down a class III river through the scenic Simme Valley.
Explore our rafting activities in Interlaken.
An incredible location for outdoor sports, such as tandem paragliding, skydiving and jet boating, take a look at all our activities in Interlaken.
Rio Gallego, Aragonese Pyrenees, Spain
Murillo de Gallego is the best rafting area in the Aragonese Pyrenees. The Gallego River that runs through the province of Aragon is nearly 194km long and has different straits that are very popular for rafting and other white-water activities, such as kayaking or canyoning.
Head to Murillo de Gallego for incredible rafting experiences of different levels, with options to suit every rafting adventure, including options that allow children ages 7 years and up to participate. Choose from routes such as a 6.5km descent from Murillo to Santa Eulalia through class II rapids on your way. Or how about class III – IV rapids on a 10km route from Carcavilla to Murillo de Gallego. This region is also a great place to head for other outdoor adventure activities such as, bungee jumping, ziplining and via ferrata. Check out all our activities in Murillo de Gallego.
Take a look at our rafting activities in Murillo de Gallego.
Isar River, Munich, Germany
Take in the magnificent panorama of the Bavarian Alps and have a great adventure on the wild and romantic river of the Isar. The southern region of Germany, near Munich, offers an incredible opportunity to go whitewater rafting with picturesque towns dotted along the route making for a unique backdrop. Head to the starting point of Bad Tolz, just a 45 minutes drive from central Munich, and prepare yourself for some great rafting adventures on class I, II and maybe even some class III rapids!
For those who prefer a smaller craft or just want to experience a chance to surf in Germany, head to the Eisbach. This river, a tributary of the Isar, has a small artificial wave which has been keeping the surfers of Munich happy since 1972.
La Dranse, Thonon, France
Located in Haute Savoie, the Dranse offers a 15km route, arguably one of the most beautiful whitewater sports sites in France, with the route crossing a protected delta. This river originates in the Chablais Alps and finishes in the stunning and famous, Lake Geneva. Head to this relatively short, but powerful river, a great destination for rafting adventures, with a variety of different routes to choose from. Choose from itineraries such as a 6km ‘discovery’ route, able to be participated in by children aged 8 years and up, a 6km ”rodeo” route for the thrill seekers among us or a 12km ‘longo’ route, suitable for ages 13 years and up.
The nearby dam regulates this river’s flow, which means that you’ll be rafting on a similar stream during the whole season. Another positive of this location is that the water of the Dranse is surprisingly warm, even though it’s an alpine river.
Check out our rafting activities in Thonon les Bains.
East & West Glacial River, Iceland
Head to the freezing waters of Iceland for an unforgettable rafting session. Scattered with hot springs and beautiful riverside canyons, this circuit offers the whole family the opportunity to have fun with a paddle and explore the beautiful wilderness of Iceland.
Enjoy a trip through this magnificent canyon, relax and admire the breathtaking scenery. Whether heading east or west on this icy river, you’ll be exposed to a variety of classes of rapids dependent on the activity you choose, with grades II+ – V offered on different stretches of this river. Head to the East Glacial River for intermediate level rafting activities, suitable for 16 years old and upwards, and spend a day navigating the tumultuous icy waters of this stunning river. For a more family-friendly rafting experience, why not head to West Glacial River for rafting experiences suitable for 6 years old and over.
Take a look at our rafting activities in Northeastern Iceland.
Ötztaler Ache River, Tyrol, Austria
The Ötztaler Ache River is located in the Tyrol region of western Austria. This tributary of the Inn and sub-tributary of the Danube is fed by the snow that melts in the Austrian Alps. When spring arrives, the thaw increases the level of the Ötztaler Ache and turns it into a perfect spot for whitewater sports. The water is a little cold, which will help you stay focused. Hold on to your paddle and check out the incredible mountain range that surrounds the river.
Head to this river for some exhilarating action-packed rafting and try a 2 hour route of 13km, on which you’ll tackle class IV rapids and a number of challenging manoeuvres. For intermediate rafters, try a IV – V class rapids section of the Ötztaler Ache, on a 3 hour excursion where your rafting knowledge will be tested greatly. A great location for other outdoor adventure sports, why not try a rafting and canyoning combo activity whilst in the area, or a rafting and MTB pairing?
Explore our rafting activities in Ötzal.
Explore our whitewater articles, for more information about this incredible sport.
Read our complete guide to rafting.
Check out our rafting activities.