Rafting in Iceland

Rafting in Iceland is an experience unlike any other. Iceland has underground springs with water popping out, creating streams that offer very unique rafting adventure. Because of the continental plates Iceland is sitting on, water from these underground springs is pushed up on the surface in a variety of different ways and combined with volcanic topography of the island, it creates unique set up for river rafting, white water rafting and cliff jumping.

River Rafting in Iceland, Photo: Sturla, Flickr

River Rafting in Iceland, Photo: Sturla, Flickr

Best River for Rafting in Iceland

There are many great rivers that offer opportunities for rafting, as there are many established companies that will make your rafting adventure a fun and enjoyable one. Hvita River is very popular among demanding rafters, but so is Markarfljot River. If you’re a first time rafter, or if your heart is no longer made to handle extremes, West Jokulsa River or Holmsa River would be your best bets.

Recommended Icelandic Rafting Companies

Reykjavik based Adventure Highlander has been around since 1994 and has become one of the authorities in rafting business in Iceland in the last few years. They provide a multitude of different options to experience, but one and two day tours count as the most popular ones. The groups are small, no more than 11 people and the day trips begin in the early morning and bring you back right around dinner time. With the two day trips you will be given a mountain hut to stay in with sleeping bags provided. If you wish to take longer trips, Adventure highlander will take you on a series of Jeeps that are designed for the off-roading. Some of the waters are off the beaten path so all terrain vehicles are necessary. One of the best things about Adventure Highlander is that they offer rafting tours all year round, even in winter, when most other companies are shut down.

If you’re looking for a rafting adventure with a family, try Arctic Rafting. They’re also based out of Reykjavik and offer a variety of options also including canoeing, rock climbing, ice climbing, kayaking, and skiing. Their rafting packages are built in a way so there is at least one additional activity on top of rafting involved during your tour. If you’re a rafting novice, your best bet is to go with their “River Fun” trip which is especially tailored for first time rafters to get their feet wet in rafting. If you are more experienced or dare for something more challenging, Arctic Rafting has a trip named “River Action”. This tour takes you on some really wild white water and is intended for experienced rafters.

Rafting in Iceland

Don’t forget that if you’re a family with small kids, rafting may not be a suitable adventure. River water has uncompromising power that is not to be underrated. The best advice on staying safe and avoiding injuries is to follow advice of pros who run the rafting tours and know what it takes to handle the river.

Do take advantage of combined trips though. Going on an adrenaline filled adventure in the morning and a snorkeling trip in the afternoon will make your day unforgettable. Rafting will get your heart pumping, while snorkeling will leave you in awe over how far you can see in the lakes and bays of Iceland.

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