My group took a rafting trip down the Cetina River in Croatia while staying just outside Spilt in Podstrana. Just a short drive from the city Omis, the mountains hiding the canyon hosting the Cetina River creating a secluded, serene setting for enjoy all the beauty Croatia has to offer. As I love the outdoors, I was expecting to enjoy the trip, however, it ended up being one of the highlights of my two-week trip. The new view of Croatia is one of the many reasons a rafting trip is a must try while visiting.
Ditch the crowds
With Croatia’s beautiful scenery and friendly people, it is not wonder the number of tourist are growing at a rapid rate. Spilt is a port town and on days that boats unload or during the height of the season, I would love nothing more than to avoid it. I am someone who will admit to wanting to ditch the crowds to find the hidden gems or local thing thing to do, and rafting offered me just that; a beautiful day on a river with maybe two other boats of people.
2. Dashing dalmatians
Spilt is located in the region of Croatia called Dalmatia, and who better to guide Americans down a river than some dashing local river guides? These charming guides not only led us down the river, but offered lively conversation and hospitality. They know the area very well and even know the best places to stop and cliff jump. After our trip, we drank Rakija (the locally made brandy) together and made plans to meet up in Split later in the week. We ended up meeting up Split, and it was really great to meet and connect with new people.
3. Beat the heat
When our group was in Split it was more than a little hot, but while going down the river cooling off was nothing more than dunking your head over the boat or standing under a waterfall. The constant swinging and splashing not only lead to lots of laughter, but to a cool relaxing day.
4. Water, water, everywhere
The water in some areas is fresh spring water so the guides will just pull over and you can drink out of the waterfall. I live in Colorado and used to live near Lake Tahoe in California, so I’ve had some good, clean mountain water in my life, but absolutely nothing compares to this water. It is chilled to perfection and fresh like I couldn’t believe. It was the coolest experience to drink straight out of this waterfall and see all the fresh, clean water around us.
5. You just might find something a little unexpected
I’ll admit, at the beginning of the day, I did not realize we were driving along the coast then heading up into the mountains. While the scenery on the drive there was beautiful the canyon that the river has forged is stunning. However, rafting turned spelunking about halfway through the tour and it could not have been more exciting, or unexpected. There was a part of the river that was too narrow for everyone in a boat to get through so we had to walk around, and our options were to a) take a nice, safe walk around and b) spelunk through a cave. Naturally, the majority of us picked the latter. We climbed through a waterfall, jumped into a pool of water, climbed out to enter the cave, climbed through in mostly pure darkness and running water at our feet, and met the guides at the exit only after climbing over lots and lots of rocks. I couldn’t have been more surprised at the adventure that affirms my life motto, “the journey is the joy.”