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If you’re an adrenaline junky, river rafting will give you a nice fix of all the goodies—excitement, fun, company and even some danger. Accessible all over the world, rafting is a beloved activity of all extreme sports lovers. If you’re ready for your next big adventure, here are the best spots in the world where you can rush down the river and reach your goal, happy and full of life.

Best River Rafting Destinations

East Glacial River, Iceland

East Glacial River or Jökulsá-Austari in the native language is a remote Iceland river with glowing blue waters. The river flows from Hofsjökull glacier and cuts through dramatic canyons and black volcanic rock. On your little boat, you’ll meet a lot of excitement as you slam into appropriately-named rapids such as the Screaming Lady and Alarm Clock at the most northern white water in the world.

Salmon River, Idaho, USA

There are only a few destinations better than the 104-mile tributary of the Salmon River. Located in Central Idaho, the Middle Fork of The Salmon River has over 300 rapids ranging from Class III+ all the way to the Class V rapids of Dagger Falls. Judging from the names of the rapids (Power House, Sulphur Slide, Pistol Creek, Devil’s Tooth, etc.) you’re going to have a blast on this rollercoaster ride.

rafting destination

Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

The Zambezi is unfairly one of the most underrated adventure locations in the world. Actually, the very location of this rafting destination is mind-blowing since you’ll start your journey below the breathtaking Victoria Falls. With 23 rapids on a 15-mile stretch of the river full of pools, drops and some extra tricky sections, Zambezi rafting offers the most exciting one-day adventure in the world. You won’t have to wonder for long why it is classified as a Class V river. And when you’re not on the water, you’ll enjoy amazing wildlife views of hippos, elephants and crocs.

Tara River, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Tara River Gorge is part of the UNESCO World Heritage due to its immeasurable beauty and natural value. If you’re less interested in nature and more into whitewater rafting provided by that nature, it’s great to know that Tara has a rapid rating perfect for all adventure lovers—from Class III to Class IV. If you want to mess with the big boys, you can start your journey at Brstanovica, a very steep section that will definitely rock your bones.

This section of the river doesn’t leave anyone indifferent because it’s basically just a rapid after rapid of amazing fun and challenging waterfalls. It’s best to have the help of a local rafting Tara team by your side no matter how experienced you are, especially if you opt for a multiple-day rafting extravaganza. Local guides know all the secrets and will make your Tara adventure so much better.

Noce River, Italy

Here’s another amazing European rafting destination—Noce River in Italy. Not only does the river have plummeting rapids rushing down the Corno Del Tre Signori Mountain, but it also has legit vineyards right next to the shore—this is something you won’t see anywhere else but here. Most of the rapids are Class II and III, but there are some great Class IV sections and a short 100-meter Class V section that provides a perfect cherry on top of this Italian adventure. Bravo, Italia, bravo!

Burnside River

Burnside River, Canada

Now we’re taking out the big guns, and by big, we’re talking remote! A rafting trip at Burnside River is located seriously far away from it all. Burnside AKA the Wildlife River will treat you with countless animal encounters from caribou, wolves, bears, majestic eagles and hawks and of course a lot of busy trout and whitefish. It might not be as rough as some of the destinations mentioned above, but it doesn’t really get more remote than this. If you’re a true nature lover, you will enjoy and embrace the vastness of the river, land and sky around you when you’re not hanging for dear life on your raft.

River rafting

North Johnstone River, Australia

Here’s another remote gem. To reach the North Johnstone River in Australia, you need to take a helicopter ride and land in the middle of dense rainforest. This adventure can’t be rushed, so expect a 4-6 day expedition with numerous rapids, some of them reaching Class V difficulty. Another thing that makes North Johnstone River rafting so exclusive and elusive is the short season because the river doesn’t have dams and is completely dependent on rainfall. With great rafting and even better flora and fauna, this is Australia’s best whitewater adventure.

Over to you

If you’ve never been whitewater rafting before, these destinations will put you right in the middle of the action and leave an impression you won’t be able to shake for a long time. And if you’re an experienced rafter, you already know the amount of fun and excitement that await you on these trips. Either way, these whitewater spots are ready and waiting to give you the ride of your life!

Mike Johnston

Author Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer. He is a regular contributor to numerous online publications, where he writes about travel, lifestyle, home improvement, and sustainable living.

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