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About tour

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 who enjoys a little adventure in an outstanding landscape.

This tour is available both as a meet on location and with a Reykjavík pick-up.

Highlights

  • River rafting
  • Hvítá River (pronounced kvee-tow)
  • Brúarhlöð canyon (Bruarhlod canyon)
  • Hot sauna after the river rafting

Not Included

  • Meals

What to bring

  • Warm undergarment clothing including fleece/wool sweater and pants
  • Warm socks
  • A change of clothing
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel

Tour Snapshot

Availability May - Sept
Duration 3h / 7h with driving
Departs From Reykjavik / Drumboddsstadir
Level Easy Suitable for most people in fair condition.
Minimum age 11 years
Ratio 1:8 Guide to client ratio
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes

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Itinerary

Rafting down the Hvítá River is a magnificent way to enjoy 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. Afterward, 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, and food and drink are extra.

Pick-up information: Gullfoss Canyon Rafting is both available with a Reykjavik pick-up and as Meet on Location. 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: For safety reasons, you are required to be able to swim to go on this tour. You are unable to participate if you are pregnant.

In the booking process, you can rent a towel or a waterproof GoPro Camera to make sure this memory will last forever, or why not make your day extra Icelandic and add a traditional lamb BBQ after the rafting for an extra fee.

The tour is 3 hours in duration if you meet us on location.

FAQ

You are not able to participate in the rafting tour if you are pregnant.

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.

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
ATV’s
Golden Circle

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.

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…

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

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.

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

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.

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

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