From the Baltic to the Black Sea

The best rafting spots

Ardent greetings to the most disaffected nation in the world! We have already scolded the sanatoriums and made a promise not to go to agro-estates with an exorbitant price tag. But 30% of the summer is over, most of the borders are closed, and something needs to be addressed, even if you are reluctant to give up a lot of money for a vacation with a touch of the USSR or a hut with a fake spindle and clay bowls. Otherwise, this year there is a risk of being left without a vacation at all or spending it within the four walls of your own apartment. Today we will tell you about water trips along the endless rivers of our blue-eyed state. You plan for yourself an easy route, rent kayaks, tents, sleeping bags, negotiate with a driver who will throw you at the beginning of the journey and pick you up at the end, and buy non-perishable food in a hypermarket. Dream of a Belarusian: cheap, cheerful and no chewed sheets in the hotel.

A few words about water trips

They do not need to learn kayaking for a long time, if you do not aim to become a master of sports. All science is given to beginners in half an hour of hard work. And if there is a person in the team who has gone on a kayak trip at least once, even less. Belarus is not Karelia, there are no seething rivers with dangerous rapids, the kayak can go downstream even by itself, and the rowers' task is only to direct its path and not go astray.

Small rivers with a narrow channel are chosen for water routes: they have a fast flow, landscapes change dynamically, and you don't have to wave the oar too much. Tourists like this movement.

Most pop: Isloch

Isloch is chosen for weekend hikes, because its tributary is located only 30 km from Minsk. The high sandy coast, clean clear water, the Naliboki forests, stretching along the banks, make Isloch one of the most picturesque rivers not only near Minsk, but throughout Belarus. However, these advantages attract tourists, and therefore on a "bazaar" day on Isloch, as on Komarovka, it is crowded and hot from people. In addition, you will have to sail through several settlements.

You can retire to Isloch only in the worst weather, so it's up to you: if the noisy company with guitars in the neighborhood does not embarrass you and spoil your rest, then Isloch is really an excellent option for kayaking.

The river flow is fast, the banks are picturesque, there are simple obstacles: wooden bridges and trees felled across the river, which can be skirted by kayak or, in extreme cases, "encircled" along the bank.

You can start the route near the village of Mezhdurechye, and end it near the village of Pervomaisky, Volozhin district. The length of the route, taking into account its tortuousness, will be about 40 km; you can walk it without much stress in two days.

The most transparent: Narochanka

Narochanka can compete with Isloch in pop, but still it is less crowded due to the fact that the route starts farther from Minsk. It passes through very picturesque places, hills and plains, past high banks, and the water in the river is famous for its absolute transparency. In addition, on the banks of the Narochanka there are parking lots equipped with tourists. There are suspension bridges, bungee bridges, forest baths. There are many sandy beaches and few wetlands on the river, which is also a plus.

One of the route options starts near the village of Korolevtsy, Vileika district, then near the village of Krasnitsa, Vileika district, Narochanka flows into Viliya, and the route ends near the Zalesye railway station in Smorgon district. The distance of 55 km can be covered in 3 days.

Rafting is a special kind of water tourism and sports. It means descent on an inflatable boat through the water with obstacles: rapids, small waterfalls, etc. All this is present on mountain rivers and rivers in terrain with level drops.

Yes, there are even professionals in this business and rafting sports competitions. They take place on difficult rivers and special canals. And for amateurs, they select not very dangerous rivers and with a low level of difficulty.

Rafting spots around the world

Rivers for rafting have different levels of difficulty (from 1 to 6), the lower the level, the easier the descent. In European countries, most of the rivers for rafting have a low level of difficulty (up to 3). Tourists are especially fond of the rivers of Croatia. Of the close foreign countries, Turkey can be noted, there are different rivers in complexity.

For experienced rafters, Zimbabwe with its Zambezi River can be advised. This river has 5 levels of difficulty. The Pacuare River in Costa Rica is also considered difficult.

Now here's a list of the most popular rafting spots in the world.


The Zambezi River attracts all professional rafters with its complexity. The famous Victoria Falls in Africa is located just on this river. A large number of rapids will make the descent difficult and unforgettable, which only the names of the rapids are worth: "Draining the Devil", "Washing machine", "Oblivion". The rapids have difficulty levels up to 5 and 6. Plus, crocodiles can also be encountered. The best time is autumn-winter.

The Colorado River, in addition to its descent, will delight tourists with its landscapes. Going down this river you can visit the famous Grand Canyon. It is a turbulent river with many rapids. You can choose routes from 1 to 18 days. For one day you need to pay about $ 200.

The Snake and Salmon Rivers in Idaho flow among beautiful mountains and rich greenery.


The Yangtze River is one of the deepest and longest. You will also be delighted with beautiful landscapes.


Prime Minister of Ukraine Oleksiy Honcharuk, speaking on September 14 at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) forum in Kiev, announced a number of ambitious projects that the Ukrainian authorities plan to implement.

“We have several ambitious infrastructure projects about which we are starting to communicate,” the Ukrainian prime minister said. - We need to try to build and connect the Baltic and Black Seas by water. It's absolutely real. "

Honcharuk said that for this it is necessary to come to an agreement with Poland and Belarus, and "the discussion of this topic is already underway." Of all the projects announced by Aleksey Goncharuk, the project of the canal between the Black and Baltic Seas aroused the greatest interest. Some greeted him with skepticism and derision, while others considered it proof that Ukraine was capable of solving ambitious tasks.

Long history

The idea voiced by Honcharuk first appeared so long ago that even historians cannot agree on when it happened. Known from the school curriculum "the way from the Varangians to the Greeks" is just one of the first routes connecting the Black and Baltic Seas. It was used both for campaigns by the warlike Vikings, and for trade, which was already very active in the VIII-IX centuries. The route was not completely water - in certain places the ships had to be dragged overland. Raw iron, amber, walrus bone, whale skin products (ship ropes, etc.), weapons, amber were brought from Scandinavia to Byzantium. Furs, linen fabrics, timber, honey, wax followed from the Russian lands to Constantinople. In the opposite direction, wines, spices, jewelry and glass items, expensive fabrics, icons, and books were brought from Byzantium.

With the change in the political situation and the borders of states, the path connecting the Black and Baltic Seas temporarily lost its significance, but it was never forgotten.

In 1655, the Crown Chancellor of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Jerzy Ossolinsky at the Polish Seim announced the idea of ​​building a navigable canal connecting the basins of Pripyat and Bug. True, it did not come to practical implementation until 120 years later. The construction of the Royal Canal began in 1775 during the reign of King Stanislav August Poniatowski. The first ships along the canal passed in 1784 - they carried fish, honey and wax from Pinsk to Warsaw and further to Gdansk.

Despite the fact that the navigation on the canal was opened by the king himself, the actual construction was not completed. After the division of the Commonwealth and its disappearance from the world map, the channel ended up on the territory of the Russian Empire. Only by the second half of the 19th century were dams built, which made it possible to maintain the water level necessary for stable navigation at any time of navigation. The width along the bottom of the track was increased to 14 m, and the maximum draft of the vessels was 70 cm.

By the end of the 19th century, the Royal Canal, which was also called the Dnieper-Bug Canal, was of strategic importance. It entered the inland water system of the Russian Empire, which, thanks to a network of canals, connected the Baltic and Black Seas. Even military vessels built in the Baltic were transferred to Sevastopol along it.

Waterway E: Will Never Pay Off

The Dnieper-Bug Canal has not lost its significance in the 20th century. It was actively used by the Polish authorities, who controlled this territory in 1919-1939, and then by representatives of the USSR. During the occupation, the Nazis transported cargo along the canal, until in 1943 the partisans put it out of action, blowing up the locks. After the Great Patriotic War, the canal was restored, and its development continued until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.

In 1996, the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance was concluded. According to him, the Dnieper-Bug canal became part of the main Dnieper-Vistula waterway E40 (Gdansk - Warsaw - Brest - Pinsk - Mozyr - Kiev - Kherson).

For the movement of cargo and passenger ships on the water by the shortest route, in order to reduce time, labor and material costs, artificial waterways - canals were laid. Today, existing hydraulic structures have a significant impact on the development of commercial shipping and the economies of the countries to which they belong. In this article, we will look at some of the most important shipping channels in the world.

White Sea-Baltic Channel

One of the longest shipping routes is located in Russia, in particular on the territory of the Republic of Karelia, and it is called the White Sea-Baltic. The canal connected the White Sea within the boundaries of the city of Belomorsk and Lake Onega near the village of Povenets and allows ships to move further into the Baltic Sea.

The shipping line stretches for 227 km with a minimum fairway depth of 4 meters and a width of 36 meters. During its construction, more than 120 hydraulic structures were erected, including 19 sluices.

The history of the construction of the White Sea-Baltic Canal is very tragic, because it was built by the forces of prisoners, whose number, according to some estimates, reached 280 thousand. The waterway was built using only manual labor and was commissioned in less than two years in August 1933.

Volgo-Don shipping channel

From Volgograd to Kalach-on-Don stretches one of the canals of Russia - the Volga-Don named after V.I. Lenin. He connected the two largest rivers - the Volga and the Don. The channel stretches for about 101 km, of which 45 km are in reservoirs. The minimum depth of the navigable canal was 3.5 meters.

To completely overcome the waterway from the Volga to the Don, the ships have to face the passage of thirteen lock structures. They represent the Volzhskaya and Donskaya sluice stairs. The height of the first reaches 88 meters and includes nine single-chamber single-line locks, and the second rises by 44.5 meters and consists of four locks of a similar design.

The dimensions of the airlock chambers are 145 × 18 meters. The distance between the locks ranges from 700 m on the Volga slope to 20 km on the Don slope. The canal is laid along the Bereslavsky, Varvarovsky and Karpovsky artificial reservoirs. The time of passage of the water area by ships is 10-12 hours.

Panama Canal

The location of the next shipping canal can be easily guessed by its name - this is the Panama Canal, which spreads over the territory of a small and amazingly beautiful country located in two parts of the world - Panama. The canal is recognized as one of its most important attractions. In addition, it is positioned as a unique monument to the perseverance and heroism of the people who built it.

The shipping canal was created to reduce the length of sea routes, following which you had to go around the South American continent.

Taking into account the terrain, the artificial channel is not laid in a straight line, but bends, so its length is 81.5 kilometers. About 65 kilometers were built on land, and the remaining 16.4 kilometers were laid along the bottom of the Panama and Limonskaya bays for the ships to reach great depths. The total width is 150 m, in the lock chambers it is 33 m, and the depth is 12 m. On June 12, 1920, the canal was officially opened.

St. Petersburg is a city on the water. If you are going to relax here, be sure to book several water excursions along the rivers and canals. They will help you view the estate of Peter the Great from an unusual perspective and are suitable for any audience, including children. In addition, a wide selection of excursions along the Neva will allow you to order and visit several different interesting programs and not get bored while walking.

So, we present to your attention the best water excursions in St. Petersburg in 2021.

Let's take a look at St. Petersburg from the water!

Group sightseeing boat trips

These excursion programs are great for your first acquaintance with the city. They are a great addition to traditional walking tours with sightseeing in the city center.

Boat trip "Venice of the North": rivers, canals and bridges

Hurry up to buy a ticket for “Walk on the motor ship“ Venice of the North ”: rivers, canals and bridges”! The cost is 600 rubles. Duration - 1 hour/1 hour 15 minutes.

An unusual look at the main attractions of the city.

This is the most popular daytime boat trip in St. Petersburg, which is held several times a day. Suitable for travelers with children. You will see the 15 most famous bridges of the city, follow the route "Neva River - Fontanka River - Moyka River".

The undoubted advantages of the tour are the ability to pay for it on the spot or (if you have changed your plans) cancellation free of charge 72 hours before the start of the trip. From the audio guide, you will learn about the past and present of St. Petersburg, its architecture, culture, values. From the sights, the Winter Palace, the monument to Chizhik-Pyzhik, the Peter and Paul Fortress, the Summer Garden of Peter the Great and a dozen more striking monuments will open to your eyes.

Irina, Nina and Svetlana, friends from Novosibirsk, write in the response:

Northern Islands with access to the Gulf of Finland

Another great program with our best recommendations is called "Northern Islands with access to the Gulf of Finland" (850 rubles per person, 1 hour 45 minutes in time).

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