Kayaking the Mreznica River with Raftrek Travel - an activity so close to the Plitvice National Park
We came across Raftrek Travel online and were blown away with how many different adventure tours they ran! We were planning to spend four days near the Plitvice National Park, so we were stoked when we learnt that Raftrek had a Kayaking Tour that they run less than an hour away from the National Park.
The hostel that we were staying at, Falling Lakes, also highly recommended the company and the Kayak tour, and it was perfect that they had an arrangement where they would pick-up / drop-off hostel guests as part of their package.
We were picked up around 9am in a spacious shuttle van, along with a few other hostel guests who would also be coming along for a day of kayaking fun. After just under an hour, we arrived at the Raftrek Travel base where we were introduced to our friendly guides for the day, Beli and Lepi! The guys made sure that we were correctly fitted out with lifejackets, helmets (which even had a go-pro attachment!), water-shoes, and also gave us the option of wearing a wet-suit. We were provided with a waterproof bucket to store all of our belongings that we did not want to get wet, so this meant that we could even bring along our professional camera, lunch and a change of clothes without worrying about them getting ruined.
Beli and Lepi made sure everyone was feeling good and comfortable, and off we went in a jeep for a quick ride down to the river-bed where we would be commencing our kayaking adventure. With a group of people of all ages, fitness levels, and experience participating in today’s tour (there were a number of kids from around the age of 5 - 12 coming along wth the family!), both Beli and Lepi did a wonderful job at explaining to everyone how to use the equipment, and gave us all some basic kayaking instructions for when we were in the boat.
“But before we start kayaking, let’s go for a swim and jump off a waterfall!” - Beli tells the group! We walked to the edge of the river where there was a small waterfall that you could walk all the way to the edge of and leap into the river below. The guides gave everyone the option of jumping off, just swimming, or watching from above. For those of us who did decide to jump off the waterfalls, Beli & Lepi ensured that they explained to everyone the safest way to do so, and assured us all that there was no danger or rocks beneath us.
With most people taking the plunge, (even the kids!) it was such a great introduction to the day to get everyone feeling excited and enjoying the beautiful water, which was a perfect temperature of around 23 degrees! We all had a bit of time to swim around in the water, go for another jump if we wished to do so, before climbing back out to where our kayaks were waiting.
Big smiles on everyones faces, we paired up so that there were 2 x people per kayak. We jumped in, and it wasn’t long before we were all paddling about in the river, and having the best time! Getting straight into the fun, we immediately found ourselves rafting down some of the smaller waterfalls where it was safe to do so, before arriving at yet another waterfall and swimming area to have some fun.
Here we all jumped out of our kayaks and were given the option to again have some fun jumping off of the waterfalls into the waters below us. There was a 3 meter and a 7 meter jump, and of course we did them both! For anyone who hasn’t had much experience in jumping off of cliffs, waterfalls, or anything of the sort before, this tour was a great introduction to it as everyone was fully equipped with safety gear and clothing, as well as given options as to which heights they felt comfortable with jumping from, until they were able to slowly work their way up higher! And if this is not your thing, then that was okay too, with options for people to just walk down to the swimming spots and enjoy relaxing near here instead.
After spending around 45 minutes here having lots of fun, it was time to jump back into our kayaks and continue along the river! We kayaked again for some time along gorgeous scenery, a little bit of rafting here and there, and lots of opportunities to take photographs and go-pro footage. Everyone was having a great time, but all this physical activity was getting us hungry, so we stopped off along a river bed/rocky area where there were lots of spots for us to sit and enjoy our picnic lunch that everyone had been advised to bring along with them.
We found a spot in the sun, and enjoyed our fruit and sandwiches as we sat with our feet in the water, soaking up our peaceful and beautiful surroundings. The guides setup a fun slippery-slide for everyone to enjoy during our lunch-break, which was definitely a crowd favourite !
After a nice little rest, we all jumped back into the kayaks where we continued to paddle down and along the river, passing lots of gorgeous sights and even a natural spring-fed part of the river where you are able to drink the cool and fresh water! With one more small-waterfall jumping stop-off, within an hour or so we had made our way to the final part of the river where our transport was waiting for us to return us back to the Raftrek Base.
Once back at base, we enjoyed a delicious cold beer, changed into our dry clothes, and sat chatting in the sun on the outside couches for a short-while with the other people who were part of our tour, everyone raving about how good of a time they had, and how it was a highlight of their time spent near the Plitvice National Park!
Raftrek kindly transferred us back to our hostel in Korenica, and we thanked our wonderful guides Beli & Lepi for such an awesome day full of fun, new experiences, and memories of Croatia to last us a life-time!
For anybody travelling through Croatia who finds themselves in the area of Plitvice National Park, make sure you check these guys out and sign yourself up for the incredible Kayaking day-tour, it was SO much good fun and you will not be disappointed! An activity for all ages, couples, families, individuals, and whether or not you have prior experience in kayaking is not necessary at all.
Otherwise, if you are not lucky enough to be visiting this area on your trip, there are many other types of tours and experiences they can offer you also in different parts of Croatia, with all details found on their website at https://raftrek.com
We will be putting together a blog-post shortly with our top recommendations of what to do and see while in the Plitvice National Park area, but this day definitely took the cake for us and was our highlight of our time here!