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Gullfoss Canyon Rafting

River Rafting in Hvítá River

Enjoy beautiful landscape from a new angle! Rafting down the Hvítá river is a splendid way to spend the day.

4.8 rating based on 13 ratings

Want to do this trip for free? Tag us @arcticadventures on your social media stories and photos during your trip and enter a chance to win a full refund. The winner will be picked once a month!

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.

  • Availability

    May. - Sept.

  • Duration

    4 hours / 7 hours with driving

  • Duration Overwrite

    4 hours

  • Level


  • Pickup


  • Meet on location


  • Min. Age

    11 years

  • Ratio


  • Departs from

    Reykjavik / Drumboddsstadir

  • Departs from Overwrite

  • Price from

    13.990 ISK

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

Rafting down the Hvítá River is a magnificent way to enjoy the Icelandic nature. Hvítá means ‘White River’ and the people who named it knew a thing or two about the kind of roaring white water you will encounter!

Cruise down the great glacier river running all the way from Langjökull Glacier, Iceland’s second-biggest glacier. For eons, the roaring river has sculpted the landscape, with Brúarhlöð Canyon one of the major highlights. The canyon has grand rock formations and portholes and you can see how the water has carved out the breccia walls.

Hvítá River also feeds into Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most visited attractions in Iceland.

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.

Practical information

What to bring: Warm undergarment clothing including fleece/wool sweater and pants, warm socks, a change of clothing. Bathing suit & towel.

Pick-up information

Gullfoss Canyon Rafting is both available with a Reykjavik pick-up and as Meet on Location.

Pick up: The pick-up is at 12:30 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 11:00 AM & 15:00. Please be at Drumboddstaðir 15 minutes prior to departure.

Please note

The tour is 4 hours in duration if you meet us on location.

What does meet on location entail?

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.

How is it best to be ready for a pick-up for a tour with Arctic Adventures?

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.

Can I drink alcohol before or during Arctic Adventures tours?

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.

Do you offer any family friendly tours, for younger children?

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 Elding 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 summertime).

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.

Can the itinerary for the tour change?

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.

Is there a guide on each Arctic Adventures tour?

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.

Can the guide advise if I am eligible for rescheduling the tour and/or a refund?

No, for all your questions and concerns you would need to contact our customer service.

What type of power outlets are used in Iceland? Do I need to bring an adapter?

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.

How are the tours rated in terms of difficulty?

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.


How does carbon offsetting work?

We’ve partnered with the Kolviður Fund in a new carbon offsetting program, which passengers can select to participate in at the time of booking.

The Kolviður Fund is the oldest, most respected carbon offsetting program in Iceland. With your support, one tree will be planted in special Kolviður forests in Iceland to carbon offset your tour with us.

Kolviður forests are strategically planted to absorb the maximum amount of CO2 and the forests are protected for a minimum of 60 years. During their lifetime the trees absorb carbon and store it in their root system, trunk, and branches. Trees also prevent soil erosion and maintain storage of carbon in the soil.

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/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.

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.

How far is Drumbo Base Camp from Reykjavik?

Drumbó is located about 98 kilometres from Reykjaík. See map for directions.

What are the facilities like at Drumbo Base Camp?

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…

What should I bring/wear on a river rafting tour at Hvita?

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.

Can I combine River Rafting with other activities in a one day tour?

Yes and we even have many options for you. We offer river rafting combined with other activities such as –
Beer Tasting
Whale Watching
Horse Riding
Golden Circle

Do I need to bring an extra set of clothes?

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.

Book this tour

Price from: 13.990 ISK


You have chosen: Meet on location


You have chosen: From Reykjavik


Gullfoss Canyon Rafting | Average rating: 4.8/5 based on 13 customer reviews

"The best rafting" | 5 stars By Vale 19/08/2018
"The rafting gas Bernardini really exciting and the Canadian guide was excellent!! After rating Theresa was a hot shower and sauna forum all' ora uso! Great time"
"Rafting on the Hvita" | 5 stars By Dan Casper 26/07/2018
We really enjoyed this excursion. Our driver was very personable as well as very knowledgeable and even though it took quite a while to get out to the launch site, the trip was well worth it. The river guides were skilled and very nice to all of the rafters. We met some very nice people and had a great day on the water. We are "senior citizens", but found this activity to be very easy to do. I recommend the lamb barbeque after the trip.
"Fun for the whole family" | 4 stars By John Genz 25/07/2018
Had a great time. Our tour guide was excellent and all staff were helpful and accommodating. The experience was very safe for the whole family. The rapids were medium to mild and the water was COLD. Wool knit hat, wool socks, and gloves are recommended. Cliff jumping and swimming in the rapids was a blast. Also played some fun games on the river. Highly recommended.
"Excellent fun session" | 4 stars By Rebecca 22/07/2018
"Good briefing prior to activity and supply of appropriate clothing/safety items. The tour guide made the session fun for selection of people within the rafting boat. Good selection of post activity beverages Would highly recommend."
"Great Adventure" | 5 stars By Amanda Long 17/07/2018
Great experience! The guide was awesome, wish I could remember his name! First time rafting and appreciated the focus on safety prior to getting on the water. The staff was all very kind and accommodating! Highly recommend.
"Wonderful tour" | 4 stars By Lara Marschall 07/07/2018
Everything went really well, we had an awesome guide from Barcelona, they offer everything you need for your tour - we definitely recommend it to everyone who is looking for an adventure in the wonderful landscape of Iceland!
"Rafting fun" | 5 stars By West coast 04/07/2018
Chill out with a great guide on a beautiful river. Mellow experience with baby rapids. A chance to jump from a cliff and a hot sauna at the end. Would recommend for families and first time rafters.
"Wild Ride" | 5 stars By Thomas Hughes 02/07/2018
This is a must do on any trip to Iceland. A beautiful tour of a river of Iceland and a great adventure.
"Just the right amount of excitement!" | 5 stars By Vicky Just 22/06/2018
The guides were excellent and pitched the trip at just the right level, with fun and games with the other rafts. We laughed a lot! The lamb BBQ afterwards was excellent too. Would definitely recommend.
"Awesome experience!" | 5 stars By Christine 22/06/2018
Had an absolutely amazing time! I would definitely do it again if I have the chance. Even though the water is cold, I completely didn't notice because of the fun I was having (and the wetsuit). Our guides were lots of fun too, but beware of them trying to get you wet! Even if you can't swim, or can't swim well, they provide life jackets, so anyone can experience this. They also had extra guides on kayaks so if someone did end up in the water, there is someone available/around to help if needed. My group had lots of laughs, instructions were easy to understand, and the sauna at the end feels so good if you got cold. This was probably one of the best tours/experiences I did when I visited Iceland.
"Great Experience!" | 5 stars By C.D. De Graaf 13/06/2018
We had a great time rafting and so much fun with Arnau and the other guides. We were with a lot of boots because of a trip with 2 school classes. In our boat we sat with the teachers and had so much fun with the students. Afterwards we had a nice drink and chat with Arnau. The only thing was that is was so crowdy I had to change in my own car which was a bit uncomfortable, but managed fine after all. Give my greetzz to Arnau, he was the best!! :-)
"Fun rafting trip!" | 5 stars By Patti Glenn 05/06/2018
Our guide was great - we had a ton of fun, we had aged 10 to over age 60 on our raft with all levels of experience, the water was especially high and fast, so our only disappointment was that it ended rather too quickly. The lamb and beer after was wonderful. The sauna, sadly, was out of order on the day I went, but otherwise, this was a great way to spend the day.
"Great experience" | 5 stars By Mariavittoria Scala 01/06/2018
Great experience! The guide made it fun and at the same time was very professional. Cannot recommend it enough!
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