Cyprus is a sunny holiday island in the southern Mediterranean, famously much fought over by Greece and Turkey. It’s not hard to see why both countries have been so keen to lay claim to the place. Breathtaking beaches, whitewashed fishing villages and fragrant olive groves make up much of it. So what if you want to take a Cyprus white water rafting holiday?
The island does have a mountainous heart, but no white water rivers. Paddling on the island is usually restricted to sea kayaking. But if you need a white water fix, just hop on a ferry or a budget flight over to Antalya, in neighbouring Turkey.
It’s a well-kept secret, but Turkey has some fantastic rafting rivers. A short drive from the city of Antalya is the Koprulu Canyon. For 14 km, the River Kopru runs through a narrow canyon up to 400m deep. It’s surrounded by national park that is thick with wildlife, snow-capped peaks and ancient ruins. The rapids are challenging enough to be interesting, but easy enough for beginners, with most class 2-3.
If you want something more challenging, try the less visited Alara River. Rafting trips start close to Koprulu: you could do a combined visit to both rivers. Rapids are mostly class 3 and 4, and can be pretty tough – less experienced rafters will need to carry their raft around a couple of the rockier sections! As with the Koprulu trip, you’ll be surrounded by fantastic views, including Roman ruins and stunning valleys.
A Cyprus white water rafting trip means travelling to Turkey…but don’t let that put you off. The flight time between the two is under half an hour! It’s certainly worth the effort.