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ImagePhotos by Darko Labudović

The largest canyon in Europe, the river Tara - With a length of 150 kilometers, the Tara is the longest river flowing through Montenegro. The canyon is 1000 meters in depth, in places reaching 1300 meters, and the average drop is 3.6 meters/kilometer with numerous waterfalls, cascades and rapids.

This is what the river is like in figures, but in reality it is much more than these statistics however impressive, because Tara is a natural pearl of Europe, a relic of pretechnological times. Here the human factor is of little significance.

ImageTara is located between the mountains of Bjelasnica, Sinjajevina, Ljubisnja and Durmitor. Its fantastic views, the gentle valleys and wild forests, the rapids with black pine trees soaring up behind them, and the wonderful blue color of the water, take away the breath of even the most hard-to-please world travelers. ImageA significant amount of the water in the Tara comes from the large number of springs that feed it. The most well-known are Bajlovic falls, an extremely plentiful source of water, where the water, which springs up in the lake inside the Bucevica cave plunges 30 meters into the Tara, as well as the tributaries: Ljutica, Susica Draga and the river Vaskovacka.

A special treat for the eyes as well as the ears are the Tara cascades of which there are more than 40: Djavolje Lazi, Sokolovina, Gornji (Upper) and Donji (Lower) Tepacki cascades and many more whose roar can be heard all round the canyon. ImageThe Tara and surroundings are rich in native species and species left from past ages, some of which date from the ice age. ImageThe commonest types of trees are cerris, ash, beach and juniper, while the black pine is the commonest of the conifers. In the canyon the most well-known location covered with black pines is Crna Poda. There the trees reach 50 meters in height, and are up to 400 years old. The area has been designated as a strict nature reserve. Of the numerous flowers we must mention the beautiful harebells, Turkish bells, edelweiss, mullein… ImageThe Tara basin is the ideal place for mountain goats to live, as it allows them to move according to the seasons (winter in the Durmitor peaks and summer in the areas of the canyon). Apart from them the other inhabitants of the Tara forests are deer and wild boar. ImageIn the river basin you can find river trout, a fish which will only live in exceptionally clean water, together with grayling, chub, sneep and many other species.

If you are planning to visit Tara don’t miss the place called Curevac (1625 meters above sea level), with its views of Durmitor on one side and Tara canyon on the other. This is a great attraction for nature-lovers and members of the New Age movement. Lovers of extreme sports shouldn’t miss the opportunity of rafting down the Tara. ImageThe majority of travel agencies in Montenegro offer rafting holidays. There are one, two or three day packages which include from 15 to 85 kilometers by river.

They start from Splaviste (from where you can see the Ljutica waterfalls and the Tara bridge) and then pass through cascades (Funjicki and Bijele ploce), Misovo vrelo (the deepest point in the canyon at 1100 meters), beneath Curevac (1650 m), along the river Draga and Radovan port. Then come the Tepacki cascades, the Susica canyon and the Bailovic falls as well as the Brstanovacki cascades. This section of the route is simply breathtaking! The raft journey ends near Scepan Polje. ImageThe rafts used for rafting on the Tara are made exclusively for white water. Each rafter gets a life-jacket and the children a helmet. The guides know the river and its moods perfectly. You are safe if you go rafting with them.
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