Enjoy beautiful landscape from a new angle! Rafting down the Hvítá river is a splendid way to spend the day.
Just below the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, a magnificent canyon makes up a fantastic rafting location. Enjoy beautiful landscape from a new angle! Rafting down the Hvítá river is a splendid way to spend the day. You do not need any prior rafting experience for this adventure and it’s great fun for all ages. This tour is for everyone that enjoys a little adventure in an outstanding landscape.
This tour is available both as a meet on location and with a Reykjavík pick-up.
May. - Sept.
4 hours / 7 hours with driving
Meet on location
Reykjavik / Drumboddsstadir
Departs from Overwrite
- Tour highlights
- River rafting
- Hvítá River (pronounced kvee-tow)
- Brúarhlöð canyon (Bruarhlod canyon)
- Hot sauna after the river rafting
- Wetsuit, life-vest, helmet and all equipment for rafting
- Entry to sauna and shower facilities
- Guidance by a certified rafting guide
Gullfoss Canyon Rafting is both available with a Reykjavik pick-up and as meet on location.
Rafting down the Hvítá River is a magnificent way to enjoy the Icelandic nature in a different way. Cruise down the great glacier river running all the way from Langjökull glacier, Iceland’s second biggest glacier, and take in the incomparable surroundings that the roaring river has created over the years, with Brúarhlöð canyon as one of the highlights. The canyon has grand rock formations and portholes and you can see how the water has sculptured the breccia walls. Hvítá river also feeds the grand waterfall, Gullfoss, that is one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.
This incredibly exhilarating rafting trip is sure to make your spine tingle as you ride through the whitewater rapids the Hvítá River is famous for. Hvítá means ‘White River’ and the people who named it knew a thing or two about the kind of roaring water you will encounter! This is the most amazing way to get a great new perspective on Icelandic nature and the incredible scenery and features created by the flow of Iceland´s thundering rivers.
On this rafting trip you will, though, encounter incomparable contrasts, sometimes cruising through far more serene sections surrounded by unbelievably beautiful and peaceful scenery. This amazing glacial river has its source at Langjökull, Iceland’s second largest glacier. This great torrent of meltwater crashes through Gullfoss, the most often-visited waterfall in Iceland. You will be see how this river has shaped the features of the landscape around it. When you pass through Brúarhlöð, a magnificent canyon, you will be amazed at the manner in which the river has sculpted the breccia walls, there are also extraordinary cliff and rock formations, the scenery is epic. Those who want to can take a refreshing leap from the Brúarhlöð cliffs into the glacial waters of the canyon – a fitting end to an incredible river rafting adventure.
Rafting the river takes between 60 and 90 minutes. Afterwards, you have time to relax in the Drumbó sauna, there is also the option to enjoy a delicious local lamb barbecue dinner in the restaurant, or simply to take a shower and enjoy a drink in the bar. A local beer tasting session may also be booked. Sauna and shower facilities are included, food and drink is extra.
What to bring: Warm undergarment clothing including fleece/wool sweater and pants, warm socks, a change of clothing. Bathing suit & towel.
Pick up: The pick-up is at 11:30 from our available pick-up points in Reykjavik. Picking everyone up can take up to 30 minutes so your patience is greatly appreciated.
Available pick-up points: Arctic Adventures’s pick-up list.
Meet on location: If you prefer to meet us on location the tour begins at 10:00 AM & 14:00. Please be at Drumboddstaðir 15 minutes prior to departure.
The tour is 4 hours in duration if you meet us on location.
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/guides 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, sitting 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.
"So Much Fun!!"
We had so much fun river rafting on our Arctic Adventure ~ This is a great outing to have with family and friends! The guides and staff were friendly, knowledgeable and easy to interact with!! We laughed a lot!! It was not hard or strenuous but, you do need to be able to move quickly and put in some effort. Be prepared to get at least a little wet; it was cold for a second, then the gear provided kicks in and keeps you warm. We are a family of 5; 22 & 20 year old son & daughter & 16 year old cousin ~ absolutely worth doing!!
“Incredible white water rafting”
Spent an amazing afternoon rafting with AA! The guides were sublime, a really great group of hilarious guys who made it so much fun on the rapids. All equipment was provided and we were well briefed on safety etc. Pick up from reykjavik was seamless, couldnt ask for a better experience. I can’t recommend this tour highly enough.
"Fun Family Rafting Trip"
My family of four (including two teens) did the River Fun/Gullfoss Canyon Rafting trip. The drive to the base lodge was easy. Arctic Adventures provided wetsuits, life vests, water shoes, helmets and paddles, and provided a good safety overview. The rafting was fun, but not too technical. The scenery in the Gulfoss canyon is beautiful. After rafting, we hung out and sampled some local beers in the funky base lodge. A great day on the water!
“Stellar time at the Gullfoss Canyon Rafting!”
All I can say is WOW! What an awesome time! I booked our family of 4 for a fun time on the glacial rapids and it was even better than expected. Their base in Drumbó is super accommodating with free coffee and water while you’re waiting and change rooms to get dressed in. They even have a sauna ready to use once you get back from the freezing rapids! Our guides were a bunch of great guys from around the area or from abroad. They were professional with their safety advice and instruction on how to get the rafting outfits on, but were also very funny so it was never a bore to listen to them talk. We definitely appreciated that. Each raft had it’s own knowledgeable guide. Ours was awesome. I believe his name was Mike. He had us do some work with the paddling so definitely be ready to do lots of that. The tour was a few hours long and was a great time. There were “splash wars” between the rafts and lots of laughs. We even got the option to do some cliff jumping into the river from 5 metre, and 7 metre cliffs at one point. The water was absolutely frigid but it was such an exhilarating experience to try it out. Towards the end we had some great times playing different raft games with balancing and getting to fall into the water. Keep in mind that you will probably be going into the water, so be prepared with wool long johns, shirts, fleece/wool sweaters, and wool socks to wear underneath your suits. Only one person out of the 9 of us didn’t go in, and so all of the wool stuff underneath was vital in keeping some kind of warmth. Don’t bring cotton stuff to wear underneath! I definitely recommend doing this specific tour with this company. It was a wonderful time and if I’m ever back I will be doing this again!
“Gullfoss Canyon with school-group”
We had a blast down Hvítá – 24 pupils aged 17-19 – with you guys. It was the second day of the season, and we were pampered through and through. Competent guides (and pleasant and funny), good pre-trip instructions, top security – and GREAT fun. The class 15ð from Glasir in Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands, sends thumbs up and warm recommendations. We’ll do it again, some day
“Rafting fun in Iceland”
I went on the Gullfoss Canyon rafting day tour and it was super fun. The guides were experienced and very thorough about safety practices. I had never gone rafting before but now I look forward to doing it again, plus the guides made kayaking look awesome so I want to try that as well. The post-rafting sauna was blissful.