Europe’s first wild river park is a nature lover’s paradise: Here’s how to experience it on a budget

White water rafting, delicious food and thermal baths await you in eastern Europe’s newest national park.

Vjosa River National Park is something of a miracle. After years of campaigning by clothing brand Patagonia, the IUCN and none other than actor Leonardo Dicaprio, this 6,500 square-kilometre basin of tributaries and wild waterways was given the protection it deserves, making it Europe’s first wild river park.

It may be the first park, but it is Europe’s last wild river, home to 1,110 species of animals and plants, of which two plant species and 13 animals are in danger of disappearing globally. Hence why official protection is so important.

The Vjosa begins in

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