If Ljubljana visitors usually sport the Ljubljanica, an enchanting river that flows through the city centre, cruising along the river on easy boat rides, real water enthusiasts usually go for the more thrilling option: white-water kayaking and rafting on the Sava River. The best part? It’s incredibly well organised and practically anyone can give it a try.
Summer vibes in Ljubljana: family rafting and kayaking on Sava rapids
With summer temps in town, it’s either chilling in a shade or enjoying invigorating water activities to keep you cool through the heat. A stretch of the Sava River on the northern fringes of Ljubljana offers a most exciting white-water rafting and kayaking suitable for anyone who wishes to unveil a whole new perspective of the green capital.
Last week, my little family together with our friends and their families headed out to the Sava River with a big raft and a few sit-on-top kayaks and unanimously agreed it had been one of the best adventures so-far this summer. Our kids have been cheering “More, more, more!” ever since.
Our group of complete beginners to experienced kayakers found their own challenge either on a raft, kayak, or a multi-seat sit-on-top kayak.
How to experience white-water rafting and kayaking in Ljubljana
Starting in Tacen on the northern fringes of Ljubljana, you embark on a 2-hour trip (or more) where the pace varies from an easy flow, gentle rapids to adrenalin rides along the Sava River. Suitable for rafters and kayakers of all skills, the activity organiser Skok Sport Centre with its founder Janez Skok at the head, an ex-Olympic competitor and a Slovenian national kayak team ex-coach, take you for an unforgettable ride to the wild side of Ljubljana.
Highly recommended, you can also combine the water fun with off-road cycling up to the starting point in Medvode over the colourful countryside of Ljubljana suburbs. Take it from an outdoor enthusiast as I am, the cycling-paddling combo is the best way to spend a hot summer day in Ljubljana!
While we left our kids with the organiser to take a ride to the starting point in Medvode in a van, we decided to cycle there instead, passing vast golden fields of wheat, crossing the river over a hanging wooden bridge, and refreshing ourselves with natural spring water.
If you’re staying in the city centre, you should take the no. 8 bus and get off at the “Tacenski Most” stop. More information on city buses. Then, cross the bridge, turn right at the traffic lights and continue along Marinovševa Street until you’ve reached the Skok Sport Centre, conveniently located by the famous Tacen Whitewater Course, which hosts international kayak slalom competitions.
Preparing for the trip
Since the Skok Sport Centre provides all the gear needed for comfortable and safe kayaking and rafting, all you need is a swimsuit (or regular underwear which you don’t mind getting wet) to wear underneath the wet suits. Anything else? Exactly nothing! You don’t even have to worry about getting thirsty during the trip as they bring natural mineral water along on the rafts.
Rafters of all skills and ages
If you’ve never rafted before and are a bit worried about the rapids, don’t be! The rafting instructor, who’ll be also your guide for the trip, explains the basics first, in particular safety precautions, and then manoeuvres the raft throughout the trip in a way to balance out all the wrong moves of other rafters. So, for us, you know, the less experienced bunch, it’s just a bit of paddling and screaming for joy. Cheers to that! :D
Other things to do in Tacen
When done with rafting and kayaking, you can sit down in a local restaurant Košir for a tasty lunch, and indulge in excellent raw desserts, ice cream and coffee next door at the Dvor Tacen. Then what? To burn all the extra calories, obviously, one needs an extra sport activity. And since you’re already in Tacen, hiking Šmarna Gora is almost a must. Enjoy!