Rivers in Iceland

South Iceland

Hvita River

The Hvita River sources from the glacier lake Hvitarvatn at Langjokull glacier in the highlands of Iceland. The river flows for 40km (25mi) before dropping down into a narrow gorge at the Gullfoss waterfall.
Soon after Gullfoss, the river joins with three other rivers including Tungufljot, Bruara and Stora-Laxa.
After running behind Ingolfsfjall Mountain, the river joins with the Sog River, seemingly becomes Olfusa River and flows into the Atlantic Ocean. As one of the most popular rivers in Iceland, many Icelandic river rafting trips take place along this river given its proximity to Gullfoss and Geysir. 


Thjorsa River

Thjorsa, Iceland’s longest river, sources from the glacier Hofsjokull. At 230 km (143 mi), it flows out through narrow gorges in the highlands of Iceland. Before it enters the lowlands, it meets the Tungnaa River before passing the valley of Thjorsardalur. The river also has several small islets, the largest being Hagaey and Arnes, where from Arnessysla county takes its name. At Arnes you can see the ruins of an ancient local parliament, Arnesthing.
Thjorsa also offers great opportunities for fishing in Iceland. Salmon, trout, tar, salmon trout, stickleback, eel and the European Flounder are all found in this popular river in Iceland. Thjorsa and its tributaries are among the most abundant salmon rivers in Iceland. Seals are also found in the river and have long been hunted there. Last, but not least, river rafting on Thjorsa is a popular and exhilarating experience.


West Iceland

Nordura River


The Nordura River runs through the Borgarfjordur region in the central west of Iceland. It is one of several tributaries to the glacial river Hvita and is consistently among the very best salmon rivers in Iceland.
By Icelandic standards it is a slightly larger than medium river in volume and is often called “the most beautiful river” in Iceland. The upper part is rather flat, with the river bottom being mostly gravel.
The middle section, up and down from the beautiful waterfall Glanni, is predominated by rocks and lava mixed with bushes and trees and green grass flats. The lower part of the river, below the Laxfoss waterfall, is particularly picturesque with the river running strongly through a woodland canyon with some of the most beautiful and inviting pools you will come across anywhere in the world.


North Iceland

Jokulsa a Fjollum

As the second largest river in Iceland, Jokulsa a Fjollum sources from the Vatnajokull Glacier. At 206 km (128 mi), it flows into the Arctic Sea. Feeding into the waterfall of Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, it runs through the canyon at Jokulsargljufur National Park.