"Whitewater Rafting" by Sigurd Rage via Flickr Creative Commons

The fantastic scenery of the Alps paired with raging mountain waters are not just for 20-year old fratpackers. Some of the world’s most hard core whitewater junkies make this their home base, exploring not only the whitewater sanctuary of Switzerland, but also Austria, Germany, Italy, and elsewhere. There are hundreds of raftable rivers and even more for kayakers.

  1. Corhu River, Turkey The Coruh’s Class V rapids in May and June, thanks to melting snow in the Pontic Mountains, are run on multi day trips past ancient ruins and through vast canyons and valleys. This is an extreme run suitable for only die hard whitewater fanatics.
  2. Rhein, Switzerland The 12.5 mile stretch of the Rhein from Ilanz to Reichenau sits in a gorge known as Swizterland’s Grand Canyon. The Class III-IV rapids are among the country’s best.
  3. Lütchine River, Switzerland Lütchine is considered the top whitewater river in Swizterland. The Class III-IV+ rapids near adventure capital Interlaken are short, an three hours in the water is sufficent, but very accesible.
  4. Noce River, Italy Il Val di Sole, or the Valley of the Sun, is the setting for one of the best runs in Europe, and without question the best in Italy. The lush green valley has Class IV-V rapids blasting all summer long.
  5. Inn River, Austria The Inn, a 510 mile tributary of the Danube runs through Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. The jagged Alps of Austria’s Tyrol region see the Inn at its best, with Class II-III rapids.
  6. Sjoa River, Norway The Sjoa is Scandinavia’s best river, with Class II-V rapids depending on the water level. Camping on beaches in the immaculate Norwegian wilderness, canyons, chutes, and access to numerous other adventure activities are among the highlights.
  7. Dobra River, Croatia Whitewater rafting has only recently caught on in Croatia. The Dobra, a dam controlled river, has a number of short Class IV-V runs.
  8. Katun River, Siberia The Atai mountain range in Russia’s Siberia region is home to the Class III-IV rapids of the Katun River. The run is lined with rolling pools and drops stops get you up close and personal with the people and cultures of Siberia.
  9. Västerdalälven River, Sweden The best rapids in Sweden are in the picture perfect Dalarna region. The rapids themselves are for beginners, but the scenery can’t be beat.
  10. Vltava River, Czech Republic It’s a fairly mild trip on the Vltava, but the easy access to Prague makes it quite a popular run. You’ll pass through the quaint farms and villages that line the Czech countryside while paddling the 60 or so raftable miles.

Click here for the Top 10 Whitewater Rafting Trips in North America