Across iceland in between glaciers
kjölur trail - towards the north
July 2 - 9
July 23 - 30
Small group guarantee!
July 2 - 9
July 23 - 30
Small group guarantee!
Waterfalls, Glaciers, Geothermal baths, free running herd
Join us on a truly adventurous ride across Iceland on historical routes along huge glaciers and through lava fields! We travel with a small group in the traditional style with a large herd of free running horses and stay overnight in rustic mountain huts. Visit the Golden Waterfull Gullfoss, the breathtaking Brúarhlöð canyon and the hot springs of the Geysir Area.
Enjoy fine views of the terrific Kerlingarfjöll mountain range and follow the footsteps of the ancient Icelanders at Thingvellir Parliament place and relax in the geothermal natural bath of the Secret Lagoon. During this tour you will cross several glacial rivers on horseback, ride along narrow trails through vast lava fields only accessible to horses and will feel the indiscribable freedom of the highlands!
On this tour we ride with our wonderful warmhearted hosts Hjalti and Ása from Kjóastaðir farm who know this part of the highland better than anybody else. Look forward to home- made food with love and wonderful singing in the evening! The food provenance is mainly sourced from local family farms and the ultra fresh vegetables come from nearby Flúðir area where the greenhouses are heated with geothermal energy. This tour is only recommended for experienced riders that are capable and happy to ride for 6-7 hours/20 - 40 km a day. You should feel comfortable riding in all gaits over rough terrain and be willing to follow the speed of the free running herd.
Please note: At the end of the tour you can add an optional two day tour to the highlights of the north, to Akureyri town, Goðafoss waterfall and Lake Mývatn with all its spectacular natural wonders
Type: Multi -day tour with spare horses running along in a herd
Duration: 8 days / 7 riding days
Level of expertise required: Experienced riders only in good physical shape.
Area: Across Iceland between the huge glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull
Accommodation: Mainly in sleepingbag accommodation in rustic mountain huts,
Max: 14 pax
Guide: English speaking
Maximum Weight: 110 kg
Please bring your own sleeping bag and a small pillow. Available for extra surcharge if booked in advance.
DAY BY DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 Sunday: Reykjavík - Thingvellir – Geysir -Gullfoss – Tungufell – Secret Lagoon - Kjóastaðir
Pick up at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík or your accommodation at 8 am. If preferred we can arrange a pick up at your accommodation in the capital area between 7 and 8 am. We drive to Thingvellir Nationalpark, situated right on top of the midatlantic ridge and a heaven for everybody interested in geology and history. We can clearly see the landrop caused by the plates drifting apart. At Thingvellir, the ancient parliament, was founded and our guide will take you to all the major points of interest and tell you about the amazing judical system of the past. We continue by bus to the magical geothermal Haukadalur area with its hots springs and erupting geysirs and to the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss. At Kjóastaðir farm we enjoy a light lunch and introduction to the Icelandic horse, its tack and the special gait tölt before heading off to our first ride to Brúarhlöð canyon and the beautiful valley Tungufellsdalur. After the ride we enjoy a bath in the Secret Lagoon, a natural bathing hot spring before returning to Kjóastaðir farm for a wonderful home made meal in the cozy dining room.
Riding distance: ca. 15 km.
Accommodation Kjóastaðir: made up beds in 2-4 bed rooms w/shared facilities.
Day 2 Monday: Tungufell – Svínárnes
After a plentiful breakfast we fix our lunch from the buffet and head towards the horses. Today we leave the farming countryside and head up to the highlands. Now we leave civilization behind and ride only through uninhabited areas for the next days. Only sheep and polar foxes will greet us during the day. During the ride we enjoy views of the huge Bláfell mountain (1204m), a distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a glacier or ice sheet. These types of volcanoes are very rare, being confined to regions which were covered by glaciers and had active volcanism during the same period. The giant Bergþór used to live in Bláfell mountain, look forward to his lovely tale!
Riding distance: ca. 30 km.
Accommodation Svínárnes: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. Water flushing toilets outside in separate building. 4x2 bunkbeds downstairs and sleeping attic for 15 people upstairs.
Day 3 Tuesday: Svínárnes – Árbúðir
We continue our ride with beautiful views of Kerlingarfjöll mountain range to the east and Langjökull glacier to the west before crossing the river Jökulfall. Whereas the first part of the ride will be through a fascinating desert like area we enjoy soft trails through green meadows along the river Svartá during the afternoon towards Árbúðir hut. Truly a day of variations in landscape and topography! From Árbúðir hut we have a perfect view towards the surging icefields of Langjökull glacier and can feel the cold breeze coming from the huge ice cap.
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Árbúðir: Cozy mountain hut with beautiful views towards Langjökull glacier. Shower and water flushing toilets on site. Bunkbeds in one big room.
Day 4 Wednesday: Árbúðir – Hveravellir
Today is going to be a long riding day with breathtaking scenery when we ride from Árbúðir hut to Hveravellir geothermal area situated right in between the glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull. We start along the river Fúlákvísl towards Hrútsfell mountain where the glacier tongues of its beautiful Regnbúðajökull ice cap flow down the mountain slopes. During the later part of the summer this area is covered in purple River Beauty willowherb. Carefully our horses will step through the huge lavafield of Kjalhraun before we ride through the narrow Þjófadalir valley – the most imageable romantic hide away in between steep mountains. At Hveravellir we have the opportunity to bath in the natural geothermal hot pool right next to our hut.
Riding distance: ca. 50 km.
Accommodation Hveravellir: Cozy mountain hut right beside a natural geothermal bathing pool! Inside toilet. Bunk beds in two rooms.
Day 5 Thursday: Hveravellir – Strangakvísl
After breakfast we take a step back in time when we follow the footsteps of Eyvindur the Outlaw who used to have his favorite hide out in this area. We go for a little walk to his cave and over the geothermal field with its little geysers and bubbling hot springs. After we have rejoined the horses we will have some river crossings on horseback ahead of us. We will cross the rivers Blanda, Svartákvísl and Ströngukvísl and ride over the mountain plateau Guðlaugstungur towards Strangakvísl skáli. From here we can already see the mountains of the north such as Peak Mælifell.
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Strangakvísl: Luxurious big mountain hut with bunk beds in two rooms. Plenty of space to party! Inside toilets. Bunkbeds in two rooms.
Day 6 Friday: Strangakvísl – Galtará
Today is going to be an easy riding day when we ride from our mountain home Strangakvísl across Eyvindarstaðaheiði towards Galtará mountain hut. We follow the historic riding routes used by Icelanders for the last centuries when they rode across Iceland. Clearly we can still see the the cairns, the ancient roadmarks or „vörður“ as they are called in Icelandic. They would be placed close enough together so that standing at one, the next was always within sight. The word „varða“ means „guardian“. So the „vörður“ would literally guard the traveler riding across the highlands, often in bad weather. They were also believed to protect people from ghosts, trolls, outlaws, the „huldufólk“ (hidden people) and evil spirits. Sometimes people would put little poems or verses into hollow bones and placed them in the cairns. Those cairns were usually known as „beinakerlingar“ or „bone hags“. Imagine yourself two centuries ago riding across Iceland towards the parliament at Thingvellir!
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Galtará: Luxurious big mountain hut with bunk beds in 2-4 bed rooms. Inside toilets and showers.
Day 7 Saturday: Galtará – Lake Aðalmannsvatn – Gilhagadalur Valley - Skagafjörður
Today is going to be our last day of riding and it is going to be a wonderful day in the saddle on superb tölting trails. Today´s ride will take us to Skagafjöður, a beautiful fjord in Northern Iceland, also known as the „Mekka of the Icelandic Horse“. From Galtará hut we ride towards Lake Aðalmannsvatn form where we have excellent views in all directions. From there we ride down the to Skagafjörður into the rich pastures that will provide wonderful grazing and well-deserved rest to our equine travelling companions!
Riding distance: ca. 35 km.
Accommodation in Skagafjörður: Sleeping bag accommodation with shared facilities in farm house. Inside toilet and showers.
Day 8 Sunday: Back to Reykjavík along the Ringroad or optional two day tour to Akureyri & Lake Mývatn.
After a superb last breakfast we have to say goodbye to our wonderful Icelandic companions. Either take the bus straight back to Reykjavík (arrival Reykjavík in the afternoon) or join the optional two- day tour to Akureyri & Lake Mývatn (see below).
We are more than happy to arrange your Reykjavík accommodation for you!
Exploring Iceland reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables should the necessity arise. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.
To find the price in your currency: Currency converter
- Transfer from BSÍ to farm on first day and transfer to Reykjavík on 8th day.
- 1 night in Kjóastaðir guesthouse in 2-4 bed rooms w/shared facilities in made up beds.
- 6 nights in sleeping bag accommodation in mountain huts and farm house during the tour.
- Full pension during the tour starting with lunch on the first day and ending with breakfast on the 8th day.
- 7x riding days according to programme
- 1x visit to Secret Lagoon & Hveravellir Pool.
- English speaking guide.
ADD-ON PACKAGE in North Iceland
Sunday: Skagafjörður - Akureyri
Pick up after breakfast at the farm and transfer to Akureyri to spend the rest of the day exploring the beautiful town with its botanical garden, harbour and cozy streets lined with cafés and handicraft. Overnight in Akureyri.
Monday: Lake Mývatn - Back to Reykjavik
Start your tour visiting Goðafoss Waterfall on the way to Lake Mývatn. Here you visit all the highlights of the area, such as the hot mud pools of Námaskarð, Dimmuborgir and the pseudo craters of Skútustaðir. The last stop by Lake Mývatn before returning to Akureyri is at the Mývatn Nature Baths, where you enjoy a relaxing bath in the geothermal water based in the middle of lava fields with great views over the area. Return to Reykjavík with the last flight from Akureyri in the evening.