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Montenegro Packrafting, Tara River
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions
Brand New!

Packraft the Tara River in Montenegro

A mini-expedition navigating the white waters of Europe’s longest canyon, wild camping in remote spots along the way

Duration

4 nights

Annual Leave

3 days off work

Group Size

Up to 12 people

Season

Jun-Sep

Location

Montenegro

Meeting Point

Podgorica Airport, Montenegro

Classic Accommodation

Chalet · Wild camping · Hotel

Customer Reviews

This trip is brand new

Difficulty

Moderate

From

From

What's it like?

Montenegro Packrafting, Tara River
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions
Packraft expedition, Tara River, Montenegro
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions
Montenegro Packrafting, Tara River
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions

Tackle a riotous packrafting journey down the stunning Tara River Canyon, traversing crystal clear rapids flanked by sheer cliffs

Learn how to packraft from expert guides as you immerse yourself in this natural adventure playground, spotting wildlife as you go

Wild camp your way down the Tara River, sleeping on remote riverside beaches along the Montenegrin and Bosnian border

Fancy spending longer in Montenegro? Check out our Packraft, Hike & SUP adventure to add in mountain rambles and epic lake paddles

Day 1

Straight to the river

https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEpX7tcCnc-tara-river-canyon-or-tara-river-gorge-located-between-high-mountains-canyon-is-the-largest-and-deepest-canyon-in-europe-/

Driving

3hrs · 145km

Touch down at Podgorica Airport, meet your host and settle in for the scenic drive through Montenegro, heading straight for the banks of the Tara River. Reach a riverside camp, check in to your chalet here and chat through the adventure to come with your guides and fellow adventurers – all the while soaking up the surroundings, with a beautiful bar right on the river bank. Tuck into a traditional cooked dinner at the restaurant here to kick things off in style.

Day 2

Intro to packrafting and the expedition begins

Packrafters on the Tara River, Montenegro

Packrafting

5-6hrs · 28km

Drive through stunning mountain scenery to the put-in spot near Žabljak, where your host will give you a crash-course in packrafting. You'll learn how to paddle efficiently, how to manoeuvre the raft and how to stay safe on the river. Have a few practice paddles in the calm section here at the put-in spot, before preparing the packrafts with everything you'll need for the next three days. Setting off on the water, the liberating feeling of being far from civilisation – carrying everything you need to be self-supported – will hit you straight away, as you tackle the first few kilometres. The canyon is part of a large wilderness area and you'll have chances to spot chamois and deer, or if you're extremely lucky, wolves or bears.
Stop for lunch on the banks and grab a swim in the river if you like, before paddling further downriver this afternoon, navigating rapids and learning how to read the river to pick lines. Your first night in the canyon is spent wild camping on a remote beach, pitching your tent a few yards from the water and settling in for dinner and a memorable sleepout in this stunning spot.

Day 3

Deeper down the canyon

Packraft expedition, Tara River, Montenegro
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions

Packrafting

5-6hrs · 32km

Wake up to the sound of river rumbling through the canyon, brew up some coffee and tuck into breakfast on the banks before packing down camp and cracking on with the expedition. You'll journey deeper into the canyon, with towering cliffs and cascading waterfalls flanking you as you go. You'll make regular stops during the journey on both days to stretch your legs, have a snack, enjoy some waterfalls and wild swim at the calmer sections. Your second night in the canyon is spent wild camping on one of the most beautiful beaches on the river, close to the border with Bosnia.

Day 4

Big rapids to the finish line

Packrafting, Montenegro, Tara River

Packrafting

4-5hrs · 14km

Driving

2hrs · 95km

The final day of the expedition is full of adrenaline all the way to the finish line. Hit the water and get ready for the biggest rapids of the trip as you tackle the fastest section of the river, a 6km long run with a number of class III rapids. By now you'll be at home on the river and in the packraft, and had plenty of practice at controlling the raft down rapids. Your expert guides are on hand to help, and if anyone feels uncomfortable on any rapids there are ways to skirt around them on foot via the banks of the river.
Finish the final stretch of the packrafting route down to the Bosnian border crossing, which marks the end of your expedition. Pack down the gear and hop in the van for the drive back through Montenegro to Nikšić, the second largest city in Montenegro and your host's hometown. Check in to a hotel and grab a well-earned shower after three days out in the wild. Head out and enjoy a celebratory dinner and drinks in town to toast an epic mini-expedition successfully completed - your host knows the best spots in Nikšić.

Day 5

The adventure ends

Packraft expedition, Tara River, Montenegro
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions

The trip comes to an end this morning as your host drops you off at Podgorica Airport in time for onward flights (these generally depart in the morning, depending on your destination). If you are staying on in Montenegro you can enjoy a lie-in at your hotel and check-out later in the morning to continue your travels or be dropped off in Podgorica.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking guides

Accommodation

2 nights wild camping, 1 night at a riverside chalet, 1 night in a hotel

Meals

All meals throughout the trip

Transfers

To and from the airport and everything in between

Equipment

All packrafting gear, safety equipment and camping gear

Permits

National park permits and river taxes

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Visas where required

Day 1

Chalet · Triple share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 3

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Food on the Tara River expedition, Montenegro
Photo: Host/Balkan Expedition

Breakfasts on the trip will vary from omelettes, oats with fresh fruit, breads with meats, cheeses and jams, plus tea, coffee and juices. Lunches will be picnic style with breads, cheeses, olives, prosciutto, fresh fruits, snacks and chocolates. Dinners will be hearty pasta dishes to fuel your escapades, roasted vegetables, meat dishes with rice and potatoes. Cooking together on remote beaches on the riverbank after epic days on the water is a real highlight of the trip.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for – please just request this on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Camp Grab

Your launchpad for the expedition is Camp Grab – you'll spend the night here preparing for the expedition before your time on the river. The camp has a network of bungalows and chalets right next to a private beach on the Tara River, surrounded by nature. You'll stay in a wooden chalet in same-sex, triple-share rooms with a private bathroom.

Montenegro Packrafting, Tara River
Photo: Host/Balkan Expeditions
Wild camping

You'll spend two consecutive nights wild camping on the banks of the Tara River during the expedition section of the trip, on the border between Montenegro and Bosnia. This is a memorable part of the adventure: after epic days on the water, you'll pitch up on remote, rarely-visited, sandy river banks for a true wilderness experience. You'll sleep in twin-share expedition tents with inflatable sleeping mats provided. You'll need to bring your own sleeping bag or hire one from your host – see the Kit List and Optional Extras for further details.

Nikšić

Your final night of the trip after 3 days out in the wild on the Tara River will be spent in Nikšić, the second largest city in Montenegro and the hometown of your host. Here you'll stay at Garni Hotel Atrium in twin-share rooms with ensuite bathrooms - a welcome slice of comfort and hot showers after your wild camping exploits.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private tent for the two nights of wild camping on the Tara River can be requested for no additional charge. Private rooms are not available at Camp Grab and Garni Hotel Atrium for the 2024 season of this trip – however, these will become available for 2025 dates in the near future.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Podgorica Airport

12:30 on Day 1

Ends

Podgorica Airport

08:00 on Day 5

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at Podgorica Airport and transfer you through the country to the banks of the Tara River, a three-hour drive away. On the last day of your trip, your host will transfer you from your accommodation to the airport in Podgorica in time for your flight home. These generally depart in the morning from Podgorica to the UK.

Airport transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 5. If you wish to arrive before the trip start date, your host can arrange private airport transfers from the airport to Camp Grab. See Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

There are numerous direct flight options to Podgorica with various carriers from London and Manchester in the UK, and various other hubs across Europe. Travellers from the west coast of North America will generally transit through major hubs such as London, Paris and Frankfurt.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Packrafts, paddles and all safety gear
  • Tents and sleeping mats
  • All expedition cooking equipment for your time camping on the river

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof liner or drybags for kitbag/rucksack

CLOTHES

  • Lightweight down jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof trousers
  • Breathable wicking layers
  • Fleece jacket or similar for evenings at camp
  • Thermals (merino best)
  • Buff or neckscarf
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sunglasses with strap (for while on the river)
  • Sunhat
  • Sleepwear
  • Hiking boots (worn-in)
  • Sandals for camp

SLEEPING

  • Sleeping bag (3-season)
  • Travel pillow

OTHER

  • Small dry bags for valuables/phone/camera etc.
  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Power bank or solar charger
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Headtorch or torch
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre (or x2)
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks
  • Water purification tablets/treatment system (optional - if you wish to fill up from streams and waterfalls on the expedition part)
*Requests for optional extras can be made after booking on your “My Bookings” page

Sleeping bag hire

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag hire

Private airport transfer - Podgorica to Camp Grab

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - Podgorica to Camp Grab

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 28kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. We partner with the World Land Trust to ensure this trip achieves Net-Zero emissions. We also support their Buy an Acre programme, helping local communities to buy and protect natural habitats in perpetuity, ensuring the protection of the reserve and its wildlife.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

You don't need any packrafting experience. Full instruction is provided, with an introduction to packrafting and a practice run on the river on the morning of Day 2, before you start the mini-expedition later that day. Packrafting here can be done by anyone with average fitness levels, it's more important that you have a sense of adventure and feel comfortable being in a remote environment for three days and two nights. You'll be on the water for a lot of the time, and while there are plenty of stops to stretch your legs and have a break from the rafts, you'll need to keep pushing on to the finish line on Day 4.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline, shared between the group:

€5-10 euros per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality – a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

You will need to bring reusable water bottles and/or a water bladder to carry water with you on the expedition and other activities on this trip. There are two taps with safe drinking water on the expedition section (from Day 2 to Day 4) – so you can fill up in the morning at Camp Grab and then again at the two taps on the expedition. Your host will bring along a support raft for groups of six or more, which will carry additional water for the group. Generally speaking, the water from the streams and waterfalls that flow into the Tara River is drinkable; however, it cannot be completely guaranteed that there is no bacteria in the water, so if you wish to fill up from these sources on the expedition for some added wild factor, we advise that you bring your own water filter: have a read of our guide to the best water filters for adventurers.

Average temperatures from May to October are generally in the mid-20s (°C) but can reach into the 30s(°C) in July and August. Note that temperatures do drop in the evenings by several degrees. High up in the summits you may also encounter cooler conditions and stormy weather cannot be ruled out at any time of year. Although your host will do their very best to run the itinerary as scheduled, this will be always subject to safe weather conditions.

You can leave excess luggage at Camp Grab ahead of the mini-expedition part of the trip (see 'Do I have to carry all my stuff for the trip?' below) to be collected at the end of the expedition on Day 4 before your transfer back to Podgorica. Your host does not have storage options in Podgorica at the start of the trip.

We recommend checking out the country specific information and also talking to a travel nurse.

Your host knows Montenegro incredibly well having guided rafting, packrafting, kayaking and SUPing trips on rivers throughout the Balkans for many years. They will monitor the conditions and make alternative plans if required, but this is a rare occurrence. In the very unlikely scenario that the Tara is not raftable, your host will pivot to another river canyon in different part of Montenegro for a very similar expedition.

For the expedition part of the trip, you will leave your excess luggage and anything you don't need at Camp Grab which will be locked securely away. You will be given dry bags to pack your clothes, sleeping bag and personal items for the three days and two nights of the mini-expedition.

There are different size packrafts available which have a passenger weight range of from 50kg to 130kg, not including luggage.

Depending on the size of the group there will be 2-4 guides on the trip. This equates to one guide per 3-4 people, depending on the water levels throughout the season.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're always in good company on one of our adventures.

Our trips are typically made up of a mixture of solo travellers and small groups of 2 or 3 friends, with most in their 30s-50s.

Our sociable adventures are solo-friendly by design and naturally attract outdoorsy people with a shared mindset; a love for adventure, a desire to push themselves and meet awesome, like-minded people along the way.

It’s this camaraderie that has so often turned a great adventure into a life-changing one.

Don't just take our word for it:

  • 95% of people rate the group dynamics on our trips 5/5
  • 90% of people recommend joining a trip to make new friends
  • 75% of people have met people on our trips that they would now consider friends

See here for more info about the Much Better Adventures tribe.

Interested in a more exclusive experience? Opt for a 'Private Group' through the dates and prices tab to book this adventure for just you and your chosen companions.

Our team of Adventure Hunters create exclusive adventures with highly vetted, specialist hosts. We only work with independent, local in-destination experts who know the very best places to explore and how to stay safe. See here for more info about the local teams we partner with.

TRIP DEPARTURE DATES

July 2024

Wednesday • 31st July 2024

to Sunday • 4th August 2024
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 4th September 2024

to Sunday • 8th September 2024
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 11th June 2025

to Sunday • 15th June 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 25th June 2025

to Sunday • 29th June 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 9th July 2025

to Sunday • 13th July 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 23rd July 2025

to Sunday • 27th July 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 13th August 2025

to Sunday • 17th August 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 27th August 2025

to Sunday • 31st August 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 10th September 2025

to Sunday • 14th September 2025
Guaranteed to run

Wednesday • 24th September 2025

to Sunday • 28th September 2025
Guaranteed to run
Private trip

Go private and split the bill with ease.

Forget complex logistics, we've taken care of all the details to ensure a hassle-free get together. All of the adventure, none of the faff.

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