Water World: Rafting, Kayaking and Diving

Raft roaring rivers, explore sunken shipwrecks and even kayak underground as you get to know Slovenia and Croatia via their stunning, vast waterways and undersea treasures.

The Capital of Adrenaline

Making your way through the Julian Alps, you won’t be sure if it’s the lush scenery along the emerald Soča River that’s taking your breath away or the adrenaline-filled, heart-pumping rapids your seasoned guide is charging you through. Once you catch your breath and can take in the panoramic views of the surrounding 2,000-meter peaks, you’ll quickly see why the Soča is known as one of the world’s most beautiful rivers.

Such is life in Slovenia, Europe’s capital of adrenaline, where adventure elevates the already extraordinary to the unforgettable.

Over in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps flows the lively Savinja River, where even more rafting, wildwater kayaking and canyon opportunities abound. And if you just want to spend a “lazy” day paddling tranquil waters, no worries, there are plenty of peaceful stretches along all of Slovenia’s rivers.

Up for something totally different? How about underground kayaking?

Yep, you read that right.

In Slovenia, you can find excitement and awe below ground at Mount Peca while kayaking through the flooded tunnels of what was once Europe’s largest lead and zinc mine. Rowing 700 meters below the earth’s surface may sound like a singular experience but it’s not the only cave you can float through! Križna Jama, in Karst region Slovenia, has 22 underground lakes and is among the most biodiverse caves in the world.

Rapids, Islands and UNESCO World Heritage

Back in the sunlight, spend those hot summer days rafting along the rapids of Croatia’s Zrmanja River, through one of Europe’s most spectacular canyons and past teeming waterfalls. Or, spend a day on the Cetina, making sure to stop at its thoroughly Instagrammable source before you start paddling the river.

If there’s one thing Croatia has a lot of, it’s islands, to the point that even the islands have islands. Case in point, the Pakleni Islands, a 14-island archipelago off the coast of the island of Hvar, are chock full of caves, cliffs and bays to paddle as well as not-to-be-missed sunsets. A kayaker’s dream.

Oddly enough, one of the most unique ways to take in Dubrovnik, the UNESCO-listed Pearl of the Adriatic, is to avoid the crowds on Stradun and take to the sea. Looking up at the colossal walls gives an entirely different perspective and appreciation of what went into building Dubrovnik. From there, paddle out a half mile to Lokrum and its botanical garden.

All of that is still on top of the water though, what about exploring the underwater world beneath the surface?

Scuba Diving with Crystalline Clarity

The exceptional visibility of the Adriatic – up to 50 meters – makes diving in Croatia a divine experience.

Get up close and personal with a wide array of marine life, including protected species like seahorses and dolphins. Marvel at the colorful reefs at the west end of the Pakleni Islands or get a few tanks sorted so you can discover the Mediterranean’s largest coral reef in Mljet National Park. Swim through history at the shipwrecks off the coast of Rovinj and the island of Vis.

For those wanting to live a little dangerously, try diving into some of Croatia’s many caves, the most well-known being off the islands of Vis, Mljet, Dugi Otok, Cres and Krk.

Above the sea’s surface or below, underground or above, the waters of Croatia and Slovenia are an endless source of adventure and inspiration.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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