There are countless opportunities to enjoy water sports wherever you are in Europe, but if it is specifically whitewater rapids you are after, you should choose your destination carefully to ensure the best thrills.
You need to consider whether you are a novice or an expert and go from there. There are some rivers in Scotland, UK boasting class V rapids for large sections which are only suitable for experienced rafters, while other rivers in Europe such as the Simme in Switzerland are suitable for the entire family.
Coruh River, Turkey: Turkey as a holiday destination is not just about sun, sea and sand. There is also the opportunity to enjoy some extreme sporting action such as whitewater rafting or kayaking. The Coruh River boasts exciting rapids, stunning gorges and many local villages along the way.
Soca River, Slovenia : This is a pristine river surrounded by beautiful countryside. It does not boast particularly fast rapids, but it is perfect for kayaking and taking in all the stunning sights as you paddle along.
Reykjavik, Iceland: The rivers in Iceland are famed for their rapids and, as a result, the country has become a top destination for water sports enthusiasts. There are whitewater rafting tours available throughout the country, although the best are found in Reykjavik. After you have got your adrenalin pumping, what better way to chill out than at a spa in the town center.
Dalmatian coast, Croatia: The Dalmatian coast in Croatia is one of Eastern Europe’s most picturesque locations. There are many pristine beaches, plenty of sunshine and Tuscan-style countryside. The coast is simply stunning and a popular past time is sea kayaking. There are many tours to undertake in a kayak and allow you to see Croatia’s nature at its very best.
Rhine River, Switzerland: The Swiss part of the Rhine is in the east of the country. The rapids are suitable for beginners, but should only really be tried by adventurous beginners as they can be quite fast for someone who is nervous. It is possible to whitewater raft or kayak and is perfect for a family with older children.
Simme River, Switzerland: The Simme was originally a spring which forms part of the Simme waterfalls. Whitewater rafting takes place on a section of the river in the Simmental Valley. The rapids are not too fast, making it suitable for children although they should be over 12 years old. There are larger rapids available as well, making it an ideal choice for rafters of all levels.
Tirol, Austria: The Tirolean Alps allows keen rafters to test out the rapids on pure aqua waters. These waters come straight from the bottom of an Alpine glacier, allowing for a unique experience in the purest of rivers. The rapids are fast and the scenery is stunning, making for an all-round great trip.
Cotes du Rhone, France: This region in France is famous for its vineyards although it is also popular with water sports enthusiasts. The l’Ardeche River has class III-IV rapids which are sure to please all levels of rafters and kayakers.
Pyrenees Atlantiques, France: This area of France is home to some excellent rapids, perfect for those looking for a bit of adventure. The best whitewater rafting can be found on the River l’Aude, le Gave d’Ossau, le Gave de Pau, and le Gave d’Oloron.
Braan River, Scotland: This river in Scotland is not well known among many holiday makers; however, it boasts an excellent location for whitewater rafting. In just nine kilometers, the river has three Class V rapids and a number of class IV sections; it really gets the blood flowing. It is, however, not really practical for novices or those who fear water and should only really be attempted by experienced rafters and those with strong swimming skills.