One of the most popular outdoor sports activities is white-water rafting. The availability of rivers such as the Noguera Pallaresa or the Gállego in the Pyrenees make Spain a top destination for lovers of this discipline.
With the arrival of the pandemic, outdoor or open-air activities have experienced a boom among consumers and have taken advantage of the opportunity to consolidate themselves as a benchmark nature activity for part of the population. Among them, rafting stands out, one of the sporting activities with most possibilities in Spain due to its geography. Thanks to the richness of the country’s rivers, adventure lovers can enjoy all kinds of white-water descents.
The options are very varied depending on the segment of the river, the difficulty of the descent and the experience of the clients. It is an activity aimed at everyone, from the most inexperienced who have never been on a boat of these characteristics, to the most experienced. Especially successful are the activities and adventure sports with rafting, canyoning, kayaking with family and friends, as each activity is specially designed for the capacity of people who are part of the group, allowing the activity to be carried out in a comfortable, organised and safe way. This is one of the main reasons why these disciplines are so attractive and popular.
On the other hand, it is worth mentioning that there is also a differentiation in terms of the distance of the route. It is possible to do descents of just a few kilometres for beginners or long excursions of up to 52 km over a whole day with several stops for lunch and rest. Aimed at family groups, groups with children or those who love adventure and sport in a natural environment, rafting is one of the outdoor activities available to everyone.
Another of the options offered by rafting is to have exclusive use of the boat. “In January 2020 we decided to offer activities that were a little more exclusive and we did it with rafting. Before, people went down with strangers, and we decided to offer the possibility of hiring the whole boat, not just a place. We did that before the pandemic and it has given us very good results,” says Àngel Panicello, head of RocRoi in Vilanova i la Geltrú, one of the leading companies in southern Europe in the organisation of outdoor sports experiences.
In fact, rafting has made a virtue out of necessity by presenting itself as an outdoor sport that can be done with all the guarantees with the closest nucleus, in the context of the health crisis. The possibility of renting a full eight-person boat is an increasingly popular option among consumers.
The company concentrates all its activity in this discipline at its bases in Llavorsí-Pyrenees and the new centre in Murillo de Gállego – UR Pirineos. In fact, the former is RocRoi’s central base in the heart of the Noguera Pallaresa, one of the best rivers in southern Europe for this activity.
Among the different sectors of the river where the activity is offered are those that go from Llavorsí to Rialp (14 km), to Moleta (5 km), to Montardit (20 km), to Sort (16 km), to Gulleri (8 km) and to Collegats (52 km), as well as the one that goes from Arboló to Collegats (14 km). Some of these routes offer additional services of traditional gastronomy of the area in a “borda Pallaresa”.
In addition to the routes and services available in Catalonia, there are also those on the Gállego River, one of the main tributaries of the Ebro, where the new RocRoi centre also organises rafting descents. Located in the Reino de los Mallos, in the Aragonese Pre-Pyrenees, in addition to rafting it offers other activities such as canyoning, hydrospeed and canoeing, mountain sports, climbing and hiking, among others.