About tour

Uncover Northwest Iceland’s beauty as you paddle the gentle rapids of the West Glacial River down a wild and welcoming canyon.

Highlights

  • Brave white water rapids
  • Soak in otherworldly views of the West Glacial River Canyon
  • Sip hot chocolate made from the water of natural hot springs

There’s no better way to spend a day bonding with family and friends than on an adrenaline-filled whitewater rafting tour. You’ll pass through a rugged canyon and float past natural hot springs, mapped by green botanical oasis. The remarkably graceful and gentle West Glacial River is a perfect playground for summer water adventures in Icelandic nature. Perfect for paddlers of all experience levels, the tour combines Iceland’s enchanting landscape with an exhilarating adventure for the young and old alike.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Expert guides
Availability May - Sept
Duration 3 hours
Departs From Hafgrímsstaðir
Difficulty Easy
Group maximum 7
Minimum age 6
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No

Customer reviews on TripAdvisor

Highly recommended

My girlfriend and I participated in a rafting trip organized by Arctic Rafting. The crew take safety very serious : We were equipped with a neoprene suit and boots, a life jacket, a splatter shirt and a helmet. Before boarding the boats there was a safety briefing and the use of paddles was explained. The rafting trip offers some thrills with a number of rapids and an optional cliff jump but is also family oriented, engaging in water fights with other boats and playing games like keeping your balance while standing on the edge of a spinning boat. Our guide, nicknamed Sanchez, proved very witty and took the trip to another level, assuring great team spirit and keeping everyone thoroughly entertained. Upon our return at base camp we had the opportunity to shower and even enjoy a sauna to warm up.

From

15 990
Per Adult
Child (0-12): 9990 ISK

What's included

Included

  • Rafting equipment (drysuit, helmet, PFD, booties, gloves)
  • Refreshments
  • Transportation from base to the river

What to bring

  • Thermal underwear
  • Warm clothes
  • An extra change of clothes

Not Included

  • Pick Up
  • Dinner (optional for an extra fee)

Contact us for more Information about this tour

Itinerary

Information

Created by volcanic activity and carved by a glacier-fed river, the West Glacial River canyon is the perfect place to unwind with your family and friends. Speeding down the gentle rapids of the river will allow you to explore Icelandic landscape from up close and soak in the beauty of the Land of Fire and Ice. The tour is suitable for the whole family as the minimum age required is only 6 years old. Now, the youngest and the oldest members of your clan can embark on adventures together!

The tour will start when we all meet up at our Hafgrímsstaðir Rafting Base. Once everyone is there, our certified tour guide will deliver a safety briefing and equip you with a dry suit, a life vest, and a paddle. Guides will do most of the paddling, however, everyone is welcome to join in and help out. Next — adventure time! You’ll board the rafts and start cruising down the river.

The river valley is extremely picturesque and as the current gradually carries you onward, you’ll be able to admire the volcanic beauty of the steep moss-covered canyon walls and an occasional natural hot spring or two. The West Glacial River is carved by glacial waters flowing from Hofsjokull Glacier. The meltwater has mildly groomed the volcanic formations, creating a few faster rapids, so don’t be mistaken — the river is just as exciting as it is gentle.

After our white water rafting trip down the Vestari-Jokulsa, or West Glacial River, everyone is invited to join us for a steaming mug of hot chocolate or sit down for a delicious dinner for an additional fee.

The tour will start at Hafgrímsstaðir Rafting Base. It’s approximately 190 miles (305 kilometers) from Reykjavik and 68 miles (110 kilometers) from Akureyri. Please be there at least 15 minutes before departure.

FAQ

Still got questions about the tour? Hopefully you will find the answer here.

Yes, you must be able to swim and feel comfortable in the water. Each paddler on a rafting boat has to know how to swim.

Yes, we have a minimum age limit on all of our river rafting tours.

On the Gullfoss Canyon Rafting, the minimum age is 11 years if accompanied by a guardian.

On the West Glacier River, the minimum age is 6 years if accompanied by a guardian.

On the East Glacier River, the minimum age is 18 years.

Yes, you are allowed to bring your camera with you but if it isn’t 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 will provide a life jacket for everyone on the tour.

Yes, there will be 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. The 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 maneuvers 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, we even have many options for you.
We offer river rafting combined with other activities such as -

Golden Circle
Whale Watching
Horse Riding
ATV
Beer Tasting

We recommend you to bring a spare set of clothes as you might get wet when participating in Rafting. Therefore you can change into nice dry clothes when the activity is finished.

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