The Neretva River flows through Konjic and is one of Bosnia’s hidden gems. It’s beautiful water so clear you can see the rocky walls and river bed over 4 meters below in some spots. It has everything you could need for an awesome rafting trip, including small to medium rapids, shallow rocky river beds and deep clear blue water corridors, waterfalls and cliff edges to jump from, fast flowing water to very slow flowing. It was one of the most beautiful rivers I have seen and exploring it was amazing.
Our rafting experience was quite spontaneous. When we were visiting Bosnia back in August we decided to spend a few days in Mostar to break up our travel and while Mostar is beautiful (the old bridge is mesmerising, especially with thrill seekers jumping off it every day) we found that one day in town will show you everything you need to see. So for the few days we had after we arrived we wanted to do something a bit different which didn’t involve jumping from extreme heights. At the time we were staying at a hostel called Rooms Deny which we found on booking.com. The hostel is owned by Deny, a hilarious local who was super welcoming and gave us help with anything we needed. We stay in a private 2 bed room instead of the dorm which was really well priced and had air conditioning, this was amazing since the days were reaching 35 degrees celcius during August. We spoke to Deny and told him we wanted to do something different (we needed a break from walking around looking at buildings/statues) for one day which we had spare. He suggested rafting in Konjic…we’re so glad he did!
Konjic is situated about a 1.5hr drive from Mostar by bus, which you can catch from the local bus station, just google bus times and purchase a ticket at the station before you get on. Alternatively if you are staying in Sarajevo catch a bus going south towards Mostar and it takes about the same time.
We organised our trip with Visit Kojic tours and they were fantastic! They picked us up directly from the bus stop and after getting fitted for our wetsuits we jumped into a minivan and were driven to the top of the river.
Our guides were local guys who were great fun, they had terrific banter. The boys were incredibly helpful and gave amazing insight into the river’s twists and turns and suggesting the best ways to tackle the rapids safely. They also gave us info on local history and the formation of the river and rocks, which was fantastic. Along the way we stopped for a BBQ lunch which was cooked by our guides.
While they were doing the hard work we took to the rapids with some of the kids in our group. Walking up to the top with our life vests on and jumping into the water to float down through some baby rapids before scrambling back to shore at the lunch spot. We also got the opportunity to do this on a larger scale at one of the faster rapids. Jumping into the water from a rock ledge we were pushed through the water with amazing force to pop up just in time to swim across to shore before drifting further down the river.
The whole trip was a full day with about 6 hours of rafting. Our arms were pretty sore by the end of the day, but it was totally worth it. In terms of rapids they’re not overly challenging, beginners would be reasonably comfortable taking them on but if you wanted a bit more of a challenge ask for a two person kayak which will make the rapids harder to negotiate and require some prior knowledge of rowing or canoeing.
In terms of cost you will need to pay for your bus tickets to and from where you’re staying which may cost around 10EUR return. The trip itself with included lunch, use of all equipment with pick up and drop off at the bus station it was around 40EUR pp which is probably half the price of what it costs to do rafting nearly anywhere else in Europe.
If you’re looking for something to get you out of the cities and get closer to nature this is definitely an experience I would recommend. The Neretva is wonderfully beautiful and the countryside of Bosnia is a must see especially if you’re tired of moving from city to city, get back to nature, even for only a day.