Coruh River is one of the most spectacular white-water rivers in the world– the backdrop of the majestic Kackar Mountains when descending its pristine clear-blue waters is breathtakingly magnificent. Coruh River is ideal for those interested in white water sports ranging from rafting to kayaking.

Practical Information

  • Most organized trips use 10-person inflatable rafts.
  • It’s easy to arrange day trips in Yusufeli but it’s best to book longer trips in advance.
  • Several international and Turkish agencies offer rafting holidays, sometimes combined with trekking trips. Check that the company supplies wetsuits as well as safety equipment.
  • Some agencies arrange riverbank camping and others offer village stay or pensions along the route.
  • The water level in the Coruh drops dramatically through the season. In the summer, there isn’t much rain on this side of the mountains and by the end of August some parts of the river are almost too shallow for a raft.
  • The most reliable time to enjoy one of the finest multi-day white water trips is early June. After mid-June the water level starts to drop so this is the time to come if you’re looking for a more relaxing trip.

Detailed Info

 Professional rafting athletes can take a five day trip that starts from Ispir and ends in Yusufeli. A fullfilling trip suggestion is trekking in the mountains then rafting daily in Yusufeli.

Between the start of the real white water at Ispir and the take-out at Zeytinlik some 140 kms later, the rapids come thick and fast. Soon after the river passes Ispir, the gradient steepens, the valley narrows into a gorge, and five major rapids greet the paddler in the space of three kilometres. As the river exits this gorge, the valley opens up and the paddler is rewarded with ever-changing scenery.

The “Joan Collins Set” is the first five big rapids 15 kilometers to Ispir. This amazing rapid set in high waters impress even the most professional rafters. After this “opening” excitement the river flow calms down. But the river offers a constant flow of class three rapids and one or two big rapis evey day until it reaches Yusufeli.

The rocks change color from brown to yellow to red and back again; castles and lookout towers perch on rock outcrops; an ancient bridge survives; and medieval churches are hidden up the side valleys. But it takes several runs to spot all these off-river attractions, as the paddler’s attention is on the rapids – there is never more than seven kilometres between rapids on this helter-skelter ride. Yusufeli appears after 90km, providing a great stopping place to relax. The valley narrows, the river gets closer to the road but the rapids get bigger where the river joins the Barhal River. The Oltu River which had brought in the Tortum Stream joins the Coruh River 8 km under Yusufeli, at a point called the “sukavusumu” (water joint). It’s imporant to be more careful here as the rapids have a genuine “big volume” feel to them. At the area called the “King Kong” where the River is the most dangerous it would be better to go around the high waters.

From Sarıgol to Yusufeli on the Barhal is an 18km raft-and-kayak run; above Sarıgol, it is a kayak-only trip.

Between May and September the river’s flow drops steadily and so the paddlers can pick levels of difficulty.

In 1993, the 4th World White-Water Rafting Championships were held on the banks of the Coruh. Some 250 paddlers gathered from around the globe to compete in a week-long festival of events and competitions. In 2005, the 1st Coruh Extreme Week was held for white-water kayak paddlers. Thirty-six paddlers from 14 nations competed for five days on the rapids on the river from Ispir to Yusufeli. First time in May 2010 rafting activities has begun in Uzundere.