Rafting in Iceland has never been so exciting! Austari-Jökulsá, or the East Glacier River, is well-known among rafting enthusiasts. This is your chance to experience the adrenaline rush that can only be found on one of the best white water rivers in Europe.
Whether you’re an experienced rafter or a novice paddler, this tour is available to everyone! Get ready to paddle through Class IV rated rapids and enjoy the views of an untamed river canyon on our white water river adventure.
If you’re looking for the best white water rafting tour in Iceland, you’ve just found it!
Our rafting tour will take you on the most famous white water river in North Iceland. Aptly dubbed “The Beast of the East,” Austari-Jökulsá has been consistently rated as one of Europe’s best rafting rivers. It’s ranked as a Class IV white water river, which means that the East River has medium waves, some rocks, and considerable drops. Sharp maneuvers may be needed when paddling on a Class IV river.
Even if you’ve never been on a rafting tour before, you have a unique chance to experience an exciting white water adventure. To join our tour, you don’t need to have any prior rafting experience! However, you must be in good physical shape, because this tour involves intense paddling. You must also be a good swimmer.
The tour begins at 9 a.m. at our base camp in Hafgrímsstaðir. Our local guides will brief you and get you ready for your ultimate rafting adventure. We’ll provide all the necessary rafting equipment and dry suits. All you need to bring is a dry change of clothes and enthusiasm!
Dry suits are perfect for river rafting, but you should keep in mind that while they do keep you mostly dry, they do not keep you warm. In order not to get cold, it’s a very good idea to dress in layers. Try to avoid cotton since it holds water and will only make you colder when it gets wet.
You’ll spend three hours rushing through a magnificent canyon over thrilling rapids. The Austari-Jökulsá runs through some of the most remote places in Iceland, so you can expect to see plenty of unspoiled wilderness around the deep river canyon.
We recommend wearing multiple layers. Avoid cotton, because if it gets wet, it will make you cold. Wool, fleece, and synthetics are the best materials to wear since they’ll keep your body warm even if your clothes get wet.
Don’t bring anything you don’t want to lose. We cannot stress enough how easy it is to lose something while rafting through heavy rapids. Please leave all your valuables somewhere safe and dry.
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.
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.