Every summer, hundreds of people go to the south of Munich to spend a full day in inflatable boats on the Isar, Munich’s beloved river. Beyond a doubt, Isar rafting is some of the best fun you can have. In this blog article, I will tell you how to raft and what to watch out for.
1. Get the Appropriate Equipment
Of course, how much fun you have, depends on procuring the appropriate equipment. You should collect the following things before starting:
- Inflatable Boat with Paddles
Take a proper inflatable boat that fits everybody. You can purchase cheap ones from a discounter, but they are more likely to break and are much less comfortable. For safety reasons, it’s best not to take anything else.
- Water shoes
It can get very uncomfortable walking around in the Isar without these, especially when you need to move the boat from time to time.
- Duct tape/Gaffer tape
Not only helpful when something breaks, this can also be helpful with attaching the beer (see 3).
- Air pump
Use this to inflate your boat, instead of your mouth. And make sure to bring it with you when on the boat.
- Repair kit
This is necessary because small holes in your boat happen quite often.
- Sun screen
- First aid kit
Once you are on your way, you will not easily reach a doctor or hospital. Sp, as a precaution, it’s best to have something. Just in case.
- Waterproof bag
Depending on whether you have an extra driver (see 3) or not, this might be necessary.
- Cap or other protective headgear
There will be sun.
It’s not really useful to purchase anything upfront. Buy your beverages at a local shop near your final destination before you depart (see map), but make sure to bring water.
You can get some snacks upfront, otherwise I’d suggest to purchase at your final destination before you depart (see map).
2. Get the Appropriate Optional Equipment
Let’s be honest. The tour is even more fun with music and beer.
- Beer holder
I have not yet tested this equipment because we usually take another approach (see 3).
- Waterproof speakers
3. Preparing for the Isar Rafting Tour
Download the map, read the instructions and distribute it to your friends.
The best weather is 26° and partly cloudy. Be careful if it’s warmer and sunnier.
- Extra driver
The best way to go is to have a driver take your equipment to the Isar. Then you can take all your valuables in the car and meet with the driver at the final destination. Also, if the driver is a very nice person they might prepare everything to BBQ at the Flaucher.
Either you buy this equipment or you take some duct tape and 4 empty 1.5l plastic bottles and build your own beer transport equipment.
4. Decide Where to Start
There are many options for where to start. In general, you must first decide how long you want to be on your way. Many people start from Wolfratshausen. This is the longest tour you can take with public transport in Munich. I’d suggest going from one station before Wolfratshausen, namely Icking or even two (Ebertshausen-Schäftlarn). The second option is not only a bit shorter, but also little bit less challenging. Depending on your breaks and your speed, the total duration is approximately 5-7 hours. So make sure to be at the departure point no later than 11 am.
Plan your way with MVV.
5. Follow Some Simple Rules
- These guidelines are for adults who can swim. Please take the appropriate precautions when you complete this tour with kids or non-swimmers. I would not recommend Isar rafting with young kids or non-swimmers.
- Follow the directions at the weirs (“Wehr”). See map.
- Beware of the sun. Drink plenty of water and wear protective headgear.
- Don’t throw any garbage into the Isar.
- Don’t go when there’s a flood or too little water (check here).
- Don’t get wasted. Seriously, drinking is ok, but you don’t want to be drunk.
- Start early. The tour can take up to 7 hours depending on where you start. If you start too late you will end up freezing on the river.
- Avoid rapids and the Isarkanal. It’s not half as beautiful as the natural Isar.
- Bigger boats have the right of way.
6. Have Fun
When you follow the rules, Isar rafting is a lot of fun and not dangerous. Grab your friends and get started next weekend.
7. Additional Information
- A Google map with all important locations.
- The official Munich laws.
- Detailed downloadable maps of the Isar.
Any liabilities excluded. Isar rafting can only be done at one’s own risk.