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We compiled together a comprehensive guide that includes all the necessary information you will need to do rafting. You can find below useful explanations on how to do rafting and its historical origins. Moreover, best locations for rafting in Turkey and all around the world are waiting for you to discover.

What is Rafting?

what is rafting

Rafting and whitewater rafting are outdoor entertainment activities that use a boat or an unsinkable raft. It has different difficulty levels according to the current of the water in which the sport is done. It can be done solo but is more commonly done with groups and needs good teamwork to manage the water. River rafting, canoeing and whitewater rafting are the most preferred styles of this sport.

Historical Origins of Rafting

People have been rafting on rivers for travel or fishing throughout the history of humankind. This adventurous sports activity is known to be done since 1811 and the modern version has become popular around the 1950s. The first known attempt to do this extreme sport was on Snake River without any equipment of today's rafting. The river is named Mad River due to its dangerous route. Later on, the first commercial trip on the river was successfully done in 1940.

Rafting used to be done with an individual paddling with 3 meters to 4.3 meters rafts with double-sided paddles. The modern rafting and whitewater rafting are done with multi-person rafts and single-sided paddles. The boat is propelled by a team on it. The team is guided by a professional raft guide at the stern of the boat, who controls the navigation and the speed of the boat by leading the team.

Rafting can possibly be fatal in some rivers, today it is done by many people and is a safe outdoor sports activity in the commercial areas. This sport also has tournaments and an International Rafting Federation. Most commercial routes are suitable for beginners and you can easily find daily rafting tours, rafting tours camping, and whitewater rafting according to your experience level.

What is Whitewater Rafting?

Whitewater rafting has more action than the traditional rafting. Conquering the river with teamwork and beating the fear of dangerous white water makes this sport very exciting. The best part of whitewater rafting which separates it from the other action sports is the chance to share the joy of the action with the beloved ones. It is 200 years old activity and shares a common history with rafting. Like rafting, it is done with a team of 8 to 12 people with a rafting guide. There are tours for white rafting in different locations around the world. There are six grades of difficulty also known as the International Scale of River Difficulty. 

  • Class 1: Skill level of it is very basic. You can try this level with your family and kids.
  • Class 2: It requires basic paddling skills. It is done on rivers that have some rough water and some rocks.
  • Class 3: You need some experience in rafting for this level. There are tours that do this level of whitewater rafting.
  • Class 4: At this level, you need to be more experienced and be able to do the maneuvers in medium waves.
  • Class 5: Only the professionals are allowed to do whitewater rafting on this level. It has large waves, drops, so it requires excellent maneuvers.
  • Class 6: This level is the top of whitewater rafting and it can be seriously dangerous even for professionals. Rivers with class 6 can damage the best equipment and there are so few who completed all section.

How to do Rafting?

how to do rafting

River rafting can be as long as you want and you can go alone like canoeing. There are multi-day rafting tours where you can camp or you can find daily rafting tours. Whitewater rafting, on the other hand, is more extreme than others and it has daily and 3-4 hours options depending on the location. You can have river rafting tours solo or with 2 to 3 people. Whitewater rafting needs teamwork and is done with 8 to 12 people depending on the boat size. The best time for rafting can change according to the location. Some rafting tours can be good in spring and you can spend beautiful times while watching nature around the river. Some people do canoeing in Norway and Sweden on the fjord to watch whales migrating. You can always find different experiences in this sport.

Rafting is fun to learn and requires attention. The best way to learn is to attend a rafting training but it is good to know some tips about rafting before you try. There are a couple of safety rules that will make rafting more enjoyable.

Rules of Rafting

  • Pick your clothing according to the season that you will go rafting. Wet suit, splash jacket, and proper river shoes are enough for chilly weather.
  • Always wear a life jacket and a helmet. Having this equipment will keep you relaxed and will prevent unwanted dangerous situations.
  • Listen to your guide carefully before rafting. They will talk about the rules and commands. High-siding is one of the most important commands that the rafting guide would give to keep the boat from capsizing. The purpose is to keep the boat and your team on the water.
  • Your paddle is one of the wheels of the boat. Keep it tight and don't drop it.
  • If you fall into water keep your head up and your feet down the stream. This will help you to swim easier and you can use your legs to push yourself from the rocks in the river. You shouldn’t stay in the water for long because your team is with you and if you swim close enough to the boat you will be on the boat soon.
  • Trust your rafting guide, because they won't put you in danger. Tours may include exciting moments but know that they are planned. They will warn you about the dangers at the safety talk before rafting. Always listen to them before and during rafting to enjoy the action safely.

Rafting Equipment List- What Equipment is Needed for Rafting?

rafting equipment list

Like many sports, knowing about the rafting equipment will help you to learn the sport easier and understand the rules better during the safety talk before rafting. You can buy the rafting outfit for yourself and rent a boat and paddles from rafting locations. Good quality equipment will bring a better rafting experience. We have listed some of the equipment you need for rafting for you.

Rafting Boat

There are different kinds of rafting boats according to the style of rafting. Riverboat, fishing rafting boat, canoe, oar boats, paddle boats, and inflatable kayaks are some of them. Inflatable rafting boats are the most common for water sports and you can find them at the rafting tour organizations or rafting shops. The size can change depending on the usage and, quality is the most important thing you should pay attention to.

Life Jacket and Helmet

These equipment are must for rafting for your safety. Never underestimate the power of nature and always wear a licensed brand life jacket and helmet before rafting.

Rafting Shoe

Sandals or special rafting shoes will protect your feet from sharp objects. Open-toe sandals are one of the best options for rafting. Closed-toe sandals are also popular and both of them give enough protection.

Rafting Paddle 

Paddles should be carbon and need to be of good quality.

Rescue Throw Bags

Rescue throw bags are good safety equipment which can be helpful if you fall into the water. The bag consists of a rope attached to you and to the rescue person on the boat.

Rafting Clothing

There are two kinds of rafting suits for body heat insulation. A wetsuit is good in the spring and the drysuit is good to protect the body from the cold in winter. Fast-drying shorts and t-shirts will be enough for summer.

When is the Best Time for Rafting?

when is the best time for rafting

Rafting is a sport that depends on seasonal occupancy rates at rivers and water flow rates. Starting from spring, water comes down from the mountains and fills the riverbeds. So it can be done from March to October but is usually done in summer. You can choose any month according to the crowd. If you want to try this sport without the crowd, you can do it in March, April, and May as the rafting tourism peaks in summer. 

March and April are the beginning of the rafting season and the water can be cold. Also, tours would be cheaper than other months. The summer season, which comes with May, is the period in which rafting tourism activities begin. As of this month, rafting training programs for children begin and it is quite enjoyable to do rafting in May. In summer rafting tourism peaks and these months are the most crowded times for rafting. You can find rafting tours on many days of a week. As the summer season ends after August, rafting tours and the number of people who are doing rafting starts to decline. The fall has the most beautiful natural scenery you can see while rafting.

It is recommended that the beginners try this sport in summer with rafting tours where you can find a guide. Every river has its own time for rafting so you should check information about the rafting location before you plan.  

Best Places for Rafting in Turkey

Rafting has been done in different locations of Turkey for many years and there are professional rafters and tours all around its rafting rivers. Water sports tourism is quite developed and you can find licensed equipment in many places as you can find various kinds of tours for rafting. Turkey has some of the best rafting locations in the world.

WRF World Championships 2019 and Tunceli rafting festival is now held in Tunceli which is a city on the east of Turkey. Turkish Rafting Federation and Tunceli Municipality have built a semi-artificial whitewater stadium on the Munzur River into the city. Rafting tourism has peaked in 2019 in Turkey. Now you can find many professional rafters around and see the excitement of this sport closely by visiting Turkey.  If you want to travel with your equipment you can check here for prices and conditions.

Rafting Tours in Turkey

Rafting is a famous sport in Turkey and there are many professional rafters all around the country. The biggest touristic cities have amazing rafting locations and you can find so many rafting tours. Rafting and river sports activities in Turkey are getting more popular around the world with festivals, and rafting championships. You will be in good hands with all the tours that have licensed equipment for rafting and professional rafters. 

Antalya Rafting

Antalya is one of the most popular rafting locations in Turkey with the magnificent Taurus Mountains and the rivers which adorned with many archaeological remains like castles and aqueducts from the Roman period. It is also one of the best touristic cities of Turkey and summers are quite alive in here so it is easy to find many rafting tours. Antalya rafting tours have professional rafting guides and licensed equipment and Antalya canyon rafting is pretty famous among the rafting community. Get your Antalya flight ticket with the best prices to enjoy this beautiful route. 

Manavgat- Kaş- Kemer Rafting

The closest rafting location in Antalya is around the Manavgat River in between Kaş and Kemer districts. There are two different sections where to do rafting in Antalya on the same river;

Beşkonak Rafting

Beşkonak rafting is made on Köprü Çay with a beginner and intermediate difficulty level. This place has many rafting tours and it is pretty fun for rafting with your family. You have the option to do rafting solo, with 2, 4, 6 and 12 people. Tours take 6 hours approximately.

Köprülü Canyon Rafting

Antalya Köprülü Canyon rafting is the most popular one in the city. You can find so many different activities around the canyon such as canyon rafting, jeep safari, canyoning, hiking and whitewater rafting. Köprülü Canyon rafting tours offer amazing rafting experience for you and your family with the daily multi-day tours in the astonishing nature of the Taurus Mountains.

Mugla Rafting

Mugla is another touristic city in which you can find rafting tours. The city is a neighbor to Antalya and is the place where the mountains meet the Aegean Sea. Muğga is famous for its touristic districts all around the world. Fethiye and Dalaman are among these places and are great in the summer season. You can find many rafting tours from April to September. Get your Dalaman flight ticket to feel the excitement of rafting and have a great summer. 

Dalaman Rafting

The Dalaman River has magnificent beauties of nature with the spring water coming from the edge of the Taurus Mountains. There are daily rafting tours which take 6 hours. The Dalaman River is a challenging place for rafting but healthy persons between 18 and 55 can attend the tours.

Fethiye- Saklıkent Rafting

Saklıkent is an ancient canyon in Fethiye. This place is amazing for rafting and has many rafting trail options with 45 minutes and an hour and a half. It is safe, fun and suitable for kids. Anyone from 5 to 70 years old can participate. You can find tours accompanied by professional guides.

Rize Rafting

The Black Sea region is famous for its mighty mountains, plateaus and strong streams coming from the hills of the mountains. Rize is located in the Black Sea region of Turkey. The city is popular with rafting sports tourism and has perfect rivers for rafting. Rize is the center of the Black Sea rafting in Turkey and the nature around it is breathtaking. 

This city hosts many rafting lovers each year and rafting becoming more and more popular. To get to Rize, you take a flight to Trabzon and drive the rest of the way. You can also take advantage of the car rental services by Pegasus airlines for a comfortable trip. 

Fırtına River Rafting

Fırtına River is an important area for rafting enthusiasts. The river provides a suitable track for rafting all year round. Translating to storm river in English, it is a challenging river for rafting. It is 57 km long and has four difficulty levels in different sections. There are many Black Sea rafting tours with professional rafting guides in Fırtına River. It has a beautiful surrounding with tea gardens and decorated with bridges.

Ayder Rafting

Ayder rafting is pretty similar to Fırtına River rafting and has similar difficulty levels but you can find tours for beginner level rafting. In rafting tours, you will be guided by the professionals who are in the Turkish rafting sports team so it is safe and fun. The Black Sea region has a beautiful nature with endless forests and clear water. We recommend you to try Ayder rafting if you want an exciting rafting experience.

İstanbul Rafting

There are many rafting tours in İstanbul due to its close location to the Melen river. It is the biggest metropolitan city of Turkey and is a beautiful place for a holiday in many ways. İstanbul rafting tours offer unforgettable rafting experiences and activities. Be ready for an exciting holiday with your İstanbul flight ticket.

Düzce- Melen River Rafting

Melen River is located in Düzce and takes its name from the village through which it flows. The geographical location of the Melen River is very attractive for nature lovers and adventure seekers. It has a vast forestry area, plateaus, waterfalls, natural caves. Düzce Melen River rafting is one of the most exciting activities you can do on your İstanbul trip. You can find many rafting tours in Düzce with professional rafting guides and it is safe for beginners.

Best Rafting Locations in the World

There are many places in the world where you can have great rafting experiences and meet with others who like the sport. Here are the best places in the world for rafting.

Vltava River- Czech Republic

Vltava River is easy to go from Prague and has surrounded by beautiful farms and villages. Easy access and natural scenery make it quite a popular rafting location. It has 60 miles of parkour with different difficulty levels. Rafting is one of the main outdoor activities in this place and you can find professional tours here. Get your Prag flight ticket and go on an adventure in Vltava River.

Noce River- Italy 

Noce River is located in the Valley of the Sun and has one of the best routes in Europe. With the difficulty level of Class IV-V rapids, it is calling the rafting professional to an amazing experience inside a lush green valley all summer long. Get your Milan flight ticket and don’t miss the adventure.

Sjoa River- Norway

Sjoa River is the best river in Scandinavia with a difficulty between Class 2 and 5. You can also go camping on beaches in the Norwegian wilderness. Get your Oslo flight ticket and experience Sjoa river rafting.

Lutschine River- Switzerland

The Lutchine River in Switzerland is one of the best spots for whitewater rafting. The Class III-IV+ difficulty level river is calling you for a breathtaking rafting experience on the foothill of the Alp Mountains. To go on an adventure in Switzerland, get your Zurich flight ticket today and visit the Lutchine River for a great rafting experience.

Murillo de Gállego- Spain

Murillo de Gállego is located in the north of Spain and pretty close to Barcelona. The river is good for beginners and intermediates with a variety of guided rafting tours. You can experience this exciting adventure, rafting in Spain with your Barcelona flight ticket.

If you are planning to travel with your equipment, there might be additional costs. You can click here to check the extra services price table.

Sports Equipment Additional Fees

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