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Beast of the East

Grade 4 white water river rafting

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.

  • Availability

    May. - Sept.

  • Duration

    7 hours/ 9am - 4pm

  • Duration Overwrite

  • Level


  • Pickup


  • Meet on location


  • Min. Age

    18 years

  • Ratio


  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    24.990 ISK

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.

Too wild? Check out our Wonderful West trip!
Want more? Dive into a River Rush adventure!


How far is Hafgrimsstadir Base Camp from Reykjavik?

Hafgrímsstaðir is located about 350 kilometers from Reykjavík. See map for directions.

What should I bring with me on the river rafting tour?

Warm, lightweight, layered clothing made of synthetic materials, fleece, or wool (no cotton if possible and not jeans), warm woolen socks, any necessary medications (asthma inhalers, etc.) and a change of clothes for after the river.

Can I be picked up from this tour?

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.

Do I have to know how to swim to go on river rafting with Arctic Adventures?

Yes, absolutely, each paddler on a rafting boat has to know how to swim.

What is the minimum age for a participant on a river rafting tour with Arctic Adventures?

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.

Can I bring my camera with me on the raft?

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/guides is not a guaranteed thing though 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.

Is there a guide in each river rafting boat?

Yes, there is a specially trained and certified river guide in every boat.

How does the river grading system work?


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.


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+.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

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Price from: 24.990 ISK

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