Where is the Balkan Peninsula?
The Balkans refers to the region of southeastern Europe from Slovenia in the north, to Greece in the South; from the Adriatic Sea over to Romania and Bulgaria. With no definitive border, the Balkans covers about 470,000 km2 (300,000 square miles) A topographical map of the Balkans shows a web of thick blue lines that represent the area’s rich river systems. European environmental conservation groups call the Balkans the Blue Heart of Europe, referring to clear creeks, steep canyons, and lush forests that make it an area like no other. This is one of the last places where the snow that melts in the mountains flows undisturbed to the sea.
Is Balkan Rivers Tour a travel agency?
No. It is a name for river defending action, annual one-month long expedition organized by the NGO Leeway Collective Institute for the Protection and Promotion of Aquatic Ecosystems via Balkan River Defence.
How much does it cost to join Balkan Rivers Tour?
Nothing. You are responsible for your own food, gear and transportation and together we become a happy caravan saving rivers through kayaking, protesting, sharing meals and partying.
Can I rent a kayak/bike/fishing rod/hiking shoes from you guys?
No. We are not an agency, but if you come from a far away part of the world (meaning that you are flying in) you can still fire us a message and we will try and help you get the right contact where you can rent kayak gear and/or car from the right person and the cheapest, but travel plans are your responsibility.
Can you pick me up and later drop me at the airport?
Once we are on tour we are super busy, racing from one place to the next. Every major airport in the Balkans offers car rentals so joining the tour can be easy and quick.
Can you make an itinerary for my travel plans?
Sorry, you are on your own there buddy. Once you join the tour we are all a big family, but travel itinerary and plans are up to you.
Do I have to be an expert kayaker to join?
If you plan to kayak white water, you must be an experienced and confident paddler. Each participant is responsible for her/his own safety on the river. This is not a guided tour or lesson. If you are a less experienced paddler, we still want you to join. It just means selecting a lake section or flat water river section to paddle with us.
Am I insured when doing crazy things with you?
Insurance and travel insurance is your own responsibility.
Will we have the cell reception all the time?
No, you most likely won’t have reception throughout the whole tour. We paddle and play in some remote canyons, rivers and villages that don’t always have cell service. So no, you won’t be in touch with your mom the whole time.
What about the food, can I expect 3 meals served per day?
Food is your own responsibility. If not otherwise stated in the program we all take care of our own meals. Some actions/days have an option to get some food on the go. But snacks, water and meals are up to you.
What does a protests look like?
Every protest is different but they all share one thing – NO aggression!
Where will we sleep?
We usually sleep in sleeping bags. Most often in tents, sometimes in a van, sometimes just under the tree. If there are campsites we use them, otherwise we sleep next to the river after checking with locals if they are ok with that. In towns or cities we find a hostel to sleep in and help provide direction for accommodation for others.
Will I get a badge after I have joined one of your actions?
No, but you will get a sincere hug, thank you and some stickers. Maybe we will even have badges one day.