World-class whitewater in a spectacular remote canyon: Iceland's signature rafting trip and wildest day tour!
The ultimate rafting tour in Iceland! This World-class whitewater rafting day tour is only for the courageous. You have to be a strong swimmer to participate in this grade 4+ rafting tour.
May. - Sept.
7 hours/ 9am - 4pm
Meet on location
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- Iceland’s most extreme rafting experience
- World-class whitewater in a spectacular remote canyon
- Grade 4+ river
- All rafting equipment needed for the tour
- Qualified, professional raft guides
- Transportation between base and river
- Riverside refreshments
The raging waters of the East Glacial River gorge (Austari-Jökulsá) is the stage for our most challenging and action-packed day trip, appropriately named the “Beast of the East”! A spectacular combination of deep canyon scenery and relentless heart-pumping whitewater, the East Glacial River has consistently been rated one of Europe’s best rafting rivers and topped popular guide books’ lists of Iceland’s “must-do” highlights. Arguably the most remote single-day rafting trip on the planet, this whitewater adventure delivers an unforgettable journey into the raw beauty of Iceland’s river wilderness. Never rafted before? Not to worry! Despite its challenging nature, this trip doesn’t demand previous rafting experience. The ability to swim, enthusiasm for hard physical work (paddling & swimming), and a powerful thirst for adventure are all you need to take on the Beast!
What to bring: Warm, lightweight, layered clothing made of fleece, wool, or other synthetic materials that keep their insulating ability when wet (no cotton), warm socks, change of dry clothes for after the trip. Dress for cold and wet conditions!
Available as a day trip from Akureyri or as an overnight trip from Reykjavík.
From Akureyri: daily departures available throughout our rafting season, but due to limited seating pick-up must be booked in advance. Pickups leave at 7:20 from Akureyri Backpackers @ Hafnarstræti 98.
Hafgrímsstaðir is located about 350 kilometers from Reykjavík. See map for directions.
Yes, we offer a pick up service from Akureyri for an added cost of 6000 ISK per person but due to limited seating pick-up must be booked in advance.
For the pick up you must be ready at Akureyri Backpackers at 07:20.
You will be provided with a life vest, wetsuit and helmet for the tour and also any other necessary equipment that you may need for rafting.
Meet on location means travelling to the location of the tour yourself and then meeting our tour guides rather than being picked up and taken to the location.
This is a great question. We ask all participants to be ready from the start of the pickup time indicated. This is because you may well be the first pick up of the day. Please be at your assigned location at the start time that you chose when booking the tour.
Here you should wait for your guide.
Have your email and phone number listed with us so we can contact you if we run into any trouble finding you.
View our pick-up locations in Reykjavík.
Before and during activities on the multi-day tours consumption of alcohol is prohibited. If we suspect that a participant is intoxicated, we will prohibit them from joining the activity.
After the activities of the day are finished, you are welcome to have a drink and relax.
Yes, we do. Langjökull Ice Cave is a magical experience, the tour has no minimum age and is a wonderful option for the whole family. Whale Watching with our partner company Special Tours, has been a favourite with families traveling with young children, these guys have a great success rate in seeing whales (upwards of 98% in the summer time).
Another option would be the Landmannalaugar Safari on this tour you get to explore parts of the Icelandic highlands and bathe in natural hot springs. Most of our jeep tours are also suitable for children over the age of 6 years old. If you would like a nice and relaxing experience we would also recommend the Golden Circle & Secret Lagoon tour.
Your safety is our number one priority! Keeping this in mind, Arctic Adventures reserves the right to adjust the itinerary and/or take different routes depending on conditions. Please read more information in our cancellation policy.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified guide on each of our tours. The only exception to this is for our self-drive tours.
All of our tours are guided in English.
The standard in Iceland is 230V and 50Hz and we use F-type power sockets and plugs, so you might have to bring an adaptor if you are visiting from UK, USA, Canada or other countries using a different voltage, Hz or plugs.
Our tours are split into four different categories that help participants to understand what to expect from the tour. The categories are Easy, Moderate, Challenging and Demanding. Each tour is rated making it easier to find tours that suit you.
For further information about the difficulty ratings and descriptions.
Yes, absolutely, each paddler on a rafting boat has to know how to swim.
On the Gullfoss Canyon Rafting, the minimum age is 11 years if accompanied by a guardian.
On the Wonderful West, the minimum age is 6 years if accompanied by a guardian.
On the Beast of the East, the minimum age is 18 years.
On the 3 Day River Rush the minimum age is 18 years.
Yes, you can bring your camera if you like, but if it is not waterproof then it will 100% get ruined.
At Drumbó your options are: bringing a waterproof camera, renting a GoPro from us or buying a disposable waterproof camera.
At Hafgrímsstaðir your options are bringing a waterproof camera or getting a copy of the photo/photos one of the guides takes during the tour. A photographer/guide is not a guaranteed part of the tour, so should you wish to arrange photos in advance, please let us know and we will make sure to have a photographer along on the trip.
Yes, we provide life jackets for everyone on the tour.
Yes, there is a specially trained and certified river guide in every boat.
GRADE 1: EASY
Fast moving water with very small waves and without obstructions. Passages are obvious and easily navigated. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
GRADE 2: NOVICE
Simple rapids with regular small waves, easy eddies, and gradual bends. Wide, clear channels make navigating easy without scouting. Little manoeuvering is required, and rocks and obstructions are easily avoidable. Rapids that are at the upper end of this difficulty range are designated Class II+.
GRADE 3: INTERMEDIATE
Rapids with strong currents, large waves, powerful hydraulics, and obstructions that may be difficult to avoid. Controlled manoeuvres are often required to navigate, although passages are simple and have relatively little objective danger. Scouting is advisable for inexperienced parties. Rapids at the lower and upper end of this difficulty range are designated Grade 3- and Grade 3+ respectively.
Grade 4: ADVANCED
Difficult yet predictable rapids with large, irregular waves, boiling eddies, powerful hydraulics, steeper gradient, and some unavoidable obstructions. Passages are often difficult to recognize, and require precise boat control and skillful manoeuvering to navigate. Scouting is likely necessary for safe passage, and self-rescue is difficult. Rapids at the lower and upper end of this difficulty range are designated Grade 4- and Grade 4+ respectively.
GRADE 5: EXPERT
Long, powerful, obstructed, and unpredictable rapids that expose paddlers to significant danger. Rapids are steep with large, unavoidable waves and major hydraulics, congested chutes, and many obstructions. Complex, demanding routes require precise boat control, “must make” moves, and a high level of mental and physical fitness. What eddies exist may be small, turbulent, and difficult to reach. Scouting is necessary but may be difficult. Swims are dangerous, and rescue is often difficult even for experts. Proper equipment, extensive experience, and practiced rescue skills are essential.
GRADE 6: EXTREME
All previous difficulties increased to the absolute limit of practicability, suitable for teams of specially prepared experts only. Runs of this classification are rarely attempted and often exemplify the extremes of difficulty, unpredictability and danger. The consequences of errors are very severe and rescue may be impossible.
Drumbó is located about 98 kilometres from Reykjaík. See map for directions.
The Drumbó Base Camp has a reception, bar, seating area inside and out, showers and a sauna. It’s pretty much the perfect rafting base, or at least we think so…
For lower body: Swimming wear (or a change of underclothing) to wear under your rafting pants and/or for the sauna and warm woollen socks.
For the upper body: Bring a warm fleece or a wool sweater to wear under your rafting jacket (it will get wet), any necessary medications (asthma inhalers, etc.) and a towel to dry off after your trip. Everything else we will provide.
It is recommended that you bring a spare set of clothes as you will get wet when participating in Rafting. It will mean that you are able to change into nice dry clothes when the activity is finished.
All our tours are undertaken on the responsibility of its participants. Arctic Adventures does not assume any responsibility for accidents that are caused by its customers or can be traced to their own actions. Participants have to sign a waiver before undertaking all trips stating that they realize that all outdoor activities carry an inherent risk.
Price from: 24.990 ISK
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