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If you were dared to jump from a cliff in the middle of a magnificent canyon in Iceland, and plunge into arctic waters for some glacial river swimming, would you do it?

What if you were dared to jump into a raft and navigate your way through some of the most pumping waves and rapids South Iceland has to offer?

Well, I’m daring you now!

White Water Rafting is a fairly epic adventure, and Iceland is a pretty spectacular location for it. Rafting the Hvítá River with Arctic Adventures was a fantastic way to explore Southern Iceland, and a great way to combine intense adventure with spectacular sightseeing. 

We gently floated through scenic canyons, paddled furiously through exciting rapids, and put our balance to the test by standing on the side of the rocking raft, dangerously close to the edge!

Throw in some cliff jumping for glacial swimming, and a relaxing hot tub and sauna back at basecamp at the end of the day, and you’ve got yourself an incredible amount of river fun!

The River Fun rafting day trip is a grade 2 white water rafting trip, suitable for every skill level! The team at Arctic Adventures was absolutely fantastic and really made our trip memorable.

Fun, personable guides had us racing with other rafts, engaging in incredibly fun river games (which generally saw the uncoordinated (me) land in the river), and competing to see how many members of the other boats we could give a good old glacial water facial!

While you may instantly shiver at the thought of glacial swimming, with the amount of warm, waterproof clothing and gear provided by Arctic Adventures, we truly didn’t notice the cold! Plus, once you hit the water and your adrenaline starts pumping, the Icelandic chill quickly becomes a distant memory.

Not only were the team at Arctic Adventures phenomenal guides, they also doubled as pro chefs. After an incredibly active afternoon out on the river, we returned to base camp to an incredible BBQ dinner. Hot potatoes, fresh salad, and genuinely the most succulent, mouthwateringly delicious steak I have tasted in my life, this particular day tour had the whole package covered.

Not only can the staff navigate a mean river, they're also pro chefs!

Not only can the staff navigate a mean river, they’re also pro chefs!

We fully utilized the basecamp bar over dinner, and spent spare time before our departure yelling and screaming at the flat screen TVs over the world cup score.

We shared social beers with our newfound rafting friends, because for the first time in a pretty decent while, I wasn’t driving! I was more than happy to allow Arctic Adventures to chauffeur us all back to our accommodation in Reykjavik.

 About Megan Claire

Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

We were guests of Arctic Adventures. All opinions are our own.


  1. Yes and yes! Sounds like so much fun! I visited Iceland in 2012 but only for a couple days as a stopover so although I loved it I didn’t get to See too much. Guess I need to go back!

    • Sounds like you definitely have an excuse to head back! We spent two weeks and still felt like we didn’t spend enough time there :D!

  2. A day of adventurous rafting followed by steak and one of those beers on the table sounds perfect! I’m dying to get to Iceland and this looks like an ideal way to stay active and see a lot of the country.

    • Iceland is an amazing country and you’ll absolutely love it! This is one of many ways to stay active – the country is just built for outdoor adventure! Definitely check out Arctic Adventures though, they run a tonne of great outdoor activities from rafting to glacier hiking!

  3. YES! Iceland is my obsession right now (planning for a trip there next year) so I’m devouring every post I can find about it. This white water rafting tour sounds perfect – definitely going to be looking into it further. I also love that it’s good for all skill levels :)

    • You’re in a lot of luck then – we have a lot of posts coming about our trip! Just have to get through editing all of the photos – lol we went a little crazy and have aorund 3-4 thousand from our two weeks there :S!!!

      You’ll have an amazing time though – I highly recommend also renting a car and driving the ring road. Take at least a week to do it :)

  4. Haven’t tried white water rafting in Iceland but this looks like a lot of fun! Arctic Adventures is an awesome company, I went Ice climbing and Snowmobiling with them in Iceland last year, they’re really amazing :)

    • I really want to head back and do their Ice climbing and snowmobiling tours! Heading over to your blog now to check if you have any posts on your trips!

  5. We’re definitely up for these sort of shenanigans. Although, like you, we’re normally end up in the water too. That’s half the fun.

    • It really is half the fun :D You can’t say you’ve been whitewater rafting without falling in the white water :D!

  6. Great photos!!! Did you use the GoPro? I love how great the picture quality is, Megan!

    • Some of the photos are actually from Arctic Adventures themselves – but we used our GoPro for all of our video footage and photos – love the GoPro; it’s surprisingly amazing quality!

  7. Now this is what I call a cool outdoor adventure!! And what better place to sample white water rafting than in Iceland – I am very envious indeed. Definitely agree with Raphael that your pictures of the experience are amazing and I really love the mosaic style gallery you have adopted (probably because we do something similar on our photo galleries/essays).

    I have never really considered myself to be much of an extreme outdoorsy person but after reading this experience, I definitely want to sample this when we head to Iceland! Thanks for sharing such a cool adventure Meg!

    • Thanks Chris! We really did have a truly amazing day!I really like the gallery effect for sharing photos – I can fit more photos into a post without making people scroll down to view 50 of them one at a time :D!

      Definitely give white water rafting a go when you do get to Iceland – you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!

  8. Great outdoor adventuring! I loved Iceland but did not get out and raft. I plan on heading back there in the future, so I will definitely keep white water rafting in mind!

    • Definitely do! It was a really fun way to explore the area :)

  9. Yes please! But do they take 7 year olds, doubt it. We can’t wait to get to Iceland, now we’re based in the UK for a while it’s do-able.

    • I believe the minimum age requirement is 12. So only a few more years!! It’s definitely do-able from the UK, and I highly recommend spending a few weeks there because it’s an amazing country and the worst thing you could do would be to not have enough time!!

  10. Wow, amazing pictures! We have been to Iceland twice, but never went white water rafting… after reading your post I am not sure why ;-)

    • Sounds like a great excuse to get back for a third visit!! We loved Iceland, and it’s one of the few countries we would go back tp in a heartbeat. :)

  11. When I think about “Iceland” (which admittedly doesn’t happen every day), white water rafting has never been the first thing that comes to mind and glacial swimming was waaaay off my radar. You’ve convinced me that wet suits (and a little adrenalin) work.

    • Wetsuits are seriously such a lifesaver! We actually purchased our own wetsuits before we left for our big trip; we figured with Iceland and the Galapagos and a few other places along the way it was a great investment. Though the company provides really great clothing and equipment anyway…

      Maybe you’ll start thinking about glacial swimming :D!

  12. Wow I love this adventure! and I hope to do it asap in Iceland too…this means I’ll be there to visit that wonderful island :-)

    • Happy and safe travels! Definitely check out the white water rafting while you’re there :)

  13. Ahhhh I need to go back to Iceland! This looks like tons of fun.

    • Definitely! It was truly a blast!

  14. I love rafting! I did it last year in Slovenia, on the Soca River and that was simply unforgettable experience. So much fun! :D

    • I really want to get to Slovenia eventually, so will have to make a note of the Soca River!!

  15. Looks like a lot of fun!! I went in the winter so I couldn’t do this tour but I did the ice climbing one with Arctic. It was a blast!

    • I saw your photos from the glacier hike and it looked amazing!! I’ll have to go back in the winter to do the ice climbing!

  16. After seen this pics am relay excited for my rafting trip.

    • Hope you have a great one! You’ll love rafting, it’s so much fun!

  17. Oh man everything I read about Iceland just looks incredible!

    • You would seriously LOVE it, it’s by far one of the most memorable and spectacular destinations I’ve visited. I would head back there in a heart beat! Let me know if you ever want any tips on travel there! I hope you can get there soon :)

  18. I love rafting and after watching your blog i am happy to do rafting on that type of adventure with my friends. Amazing pictures!!! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Thanks Pawan – so glad to hear you enjoyed the post! Happy rafting with your friends! You’ll love the rapids in Iceland! :)

  19. This is one thing that me & my friends want to try in Iceland. I morally wasn’t that curious in rafting, but from your images & videos, it looks significant. Maybe we’ll have to head over to the Iceland for a tour next time for adventure!

    • I highly recommend it, rafting was fantastic fun! And Iceland was a pretty spectacular location for it :)

      I hope you have the chance to plan a visit soon. Happy travels Larry!

  20. Oh man. That looks like a great river. Out of everything I like to do outside, whitewater is probably the biggest thrill.

    • Definitely recommend looking up Arctic Adventures in Iceland then! You’ll love the Hvítá River!

  21. WOW! This seems like an awesome time, and the photos are beautiful. I would love to try something like this.

    • Thanks McKenzie! Yes, it was an epic activity, highly recommend it!

  22. Great read, Megan! Thank you for the insights in Iceland. If you ever find your way to Colorado, I would recommend rafting with Defiance Rafting Company in Glenwood Springs – they are super experience oriented and always looking to please the guests! Plus, you can’t beat the scenery! Thank you again for the post.

    • Thanks Stu, glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for the recommendation, will be sure to look up Defiance Rafting when we get back to Colorado. Rafting there is something I would love to do eventually!

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