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White water rafting in Iceland’s Golden Circle

White water rafting in Iceland's Golden Circle

Have you ever wished to expertise the joys and great thing about river rafting within the coronary heart of Iceland‘s Golden Circle? Since 1985 Arctic Rafting have been doing precisely that, enabling you to take pleasure in a perfectly-balanced mixture of serene canyons and adrenaline-pumping waves and rapids. Read on to be taught extra about their hottest tour – River Fun Rafting.

What to anticipate

You’ll raft down 7 kilometres of the Hvítá River fed by the Langjökull glacier, having fun with the view, while floating downstream in an inflatable raft, with a couple of surprises alongside the best way.

Who’s it for?

The rapids are described as “easy to moderate”; this stretch of the river is graded 2+, with 1 being the gentlest and 6 being probably the most excessive, so means it’s accessible for most individuals. No earlier rafting expertise is required, and kids from 11 years of age are welcome to take part. Just be ready to get somewhat bit moist and somewhat chilly… however it’s all value it!

The location

Drumboddsstaðir – aka Drumbó River Base – is the place all Arctic Rafting’s rafting excursions start and the house of their raft guides. It’s 98 kilometres from Reykjavik and takes about 1.5 hours by automotive to get there from the capital. Drumbó is conveniently situated on the route of the Golden Circle. The rafting takes place on the Hvítá River which comes from the Langjökull glacier – the second largest glacier in Iceland – and creates Gullfoss, one among Iceland’s most iconic waterfalls.

The drive from Drumbó River Base takes about 20 minutes to the beginning of your river journey. The river journey itself takes about 1 – 1.5 hours rafting down a 7-kilometre part with Class 2+ rapids, which which suggests it’s accessible for most individuals. It’s thought-about ‘easy to moderate’.

What’s included

The tour features a river rafting expertise down the river with an skilled information, in rafts that maintain 8-10 individuals. All crucial rafting tools is offered, and that features wetsuit pants and splash prime, life-jacket, neoprene sneakers, helmet and paddle.

Also included is a go to to the well-known Brúarhlöð canyon by way of the river, and a scorching bathe and sauna after the chilly river journey. If you want, you possibly can rent a GoPro with a Arctic Rafting-branded reminiscence card already loaded, which you get to maintain after the tour. Some of the helmets include helmet mounts; alternatively, you possibly can mount the GoPro to the entrance of the boat (and select to have it dealing with both forwards or backwards).

What to carry

All you could carry is a washing swimsuit (to be used underneath your wetsuit), a towel (for the bathe and sauna after the rafting), a heat prime layer to put on underneath the splash prime… and a way of journey!

The expertise

Our expertise started with a briefing from Julia on the Drumbó River Base. We have been suggested that we might go away issues like iPhones behind within the altering rooms as a result of… effectively, they already had their very own. Everything was delivered in a enjoyable, jovial method, while nonetheless getting vital security data throughout to us.

Once we’d modified and grabbed a paddle, it was time to get on to a bus. Two buses headed all the way down to the riverbank from the bottom, every pulling 4 rafts behind them – a journey of in all probability simply 10 minutes or so.

We then had a second briefing by the river because the guides transported the rafts to the waters edge. We have been talked by means of some primary security measures, once more all executed in a enjoyable but skilled method. The paddle needed to be held together with your hand over the T-bar on the finish, in any other case we might find yourself with faces just like the guides. And we have been informed that the rope that runs across the outdoors of the raft known as the “oh, shit!” line as a result of, for those who’re ever end up falling out of the raft, you could seize it and can likely shout “oh, shit!” within the course of!

With the briefing over, everybody was put into teams and assigned a information. We shared a raft with one other household with two women, and our information was Anshul.  At first it was a really calm stretch of water, and we simply bought used to paddling on Anshul’s command.

But, earlier than lengthy, we have been taking over more difficult situations – rapids the place we being thrown a couple of bit extra and splashed with icy chilly meltwater!

It was al good enjoyable, although… and, after one set of rapids, we regarded again, solely to search out our information was not sitting on the again of the boat!

Anshul was within the water and had grabbed the “oh, shit!” line!!! At first, we thought he was simply messing about… however he wasn’t. This had by no means occurred to him earlier than, he stated, as soon as he’d managed to clamber again on board.

Our journey continued down river, navigating rapids of various severity however by no means something too drastic, till we had a cease on the river financial institution at Brúarhlöð canyon.  This was a time when individuals might stretch their legs, benefit from the view and, in the event that they so wished, do a cliff leap into the icy river!


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And, in fact, we have been silly sufficient to provide it a go. There was a mini-briefing for this – we have been merely informed to kind a queue if we wished to do it and, when our time got here, we have been to not dither… he would say “3… 2… 1… jump” and it’s essential to go there after which. This was really a good suggestion because it stopped individuals over-thinking it. The solely different two items of recommendation have been to leap out so far as we might in order to not be near the rocks, and to land like a pencil for a extra comfy touchdown.

As we neared our flip to leap, one of many guides checked our lifejackets to make sure it was tight and safe, in order that it didn’t ‘ride up’ when hitting the water.

Another stood by to say “3… 2… 1… jump”…

…after which there have been guides, ensuring that you simply swam to the sting after leaping.

With all those that wished to leap having jumped, it was again on to the rafts for extra enjoyable.  There weren’t many rapids, however loads of alternatives to lark about.

There was plenty of splashing, guides pulling individuals into the water, video games balacing on the inflatable sides of the raft, and so and so forth.

Other guides would name out “where’s your guide?” and we’d look again in alarm, solely to see he was nonetheless there. We have been notably gullible for this one, on condition that our information had really fallen out as soon as already!

Back on the river base, we had entry to scorching showers and a sauna. Our subsequent cease after this journey was the Friðheimar tomato restaurant however Arctic Rafting additionally has its personal restaurant and bar on web site.

The entire tour had been nice enjoyable, and the guides actually entertaining and fascinating. It is a really efficiently-run operation from begin to end and an expertise that we might heartily advocate.

Planning a visit to Iceland your self? You can watch a video from our journey to Iceland right here. Footage from our journey with Arctic Rafting might be seen between 2m 22s and 3m 30s.

Disclosure: This publish is sponsored by Arctic Rafting. Our journey to Iceland was additionally sponsored by Helly Hansen.

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