Riding the Black Lava Sands
Sunday – Sunday
July 26– August 2
August: 9 – 16
August: 16 – 23
Sunday – Sunday
July 26– August 2
August: 9 – 16
August: 16 – 23
Country Meadows & Black Sands
Usually we envision yellow or white sands when we think of a beach but Iceland is actually one of the few countries in the world where you can ride on completely black lava beaches. The black sand is washed by glacial rivers towards the shore and is made of basalt lava that has been ground by the massive glaciers along the South Shore into small and soft sand grains. Imagine tölting and galloping over the black sands with magnificent glacier views! Enjoy riding along beautiful trails through the green and diverse landscape of South Iceland!
Stay at a cozy farm house cared for by your wonderful welcoming hosts and ride their horses bred from their own successful breeding lines. The small group of max. 14 riders gives a personal feel to this tour and the hot tub of the farm will provide wonderful relaxation after a long day in the saddle. Your host and guide will tell you all you need to know about Iceland´s past and present, its folk stories and the daily life of a farmer living in close neighbourship with volcanoes and glaciers.
Type: Multi - day tour with spare hand horses
Operated: By a trusted partner of Exploring Iceland
Duration: 8 days / 7 nights/ 5 riding days
Group size: Min. 2 riders/Max. 14 riders
Level of expertise required: Intermediate and experienced riders in good physical shape
Area: South Iceland
Accommodation: Double rooms with shared facilities in farm guesthouse. Accommodation in Reykjavik not included but can be arranged.
Meals: Full board starting with dinner on the first day and ending with breakfast on the last day. Picnic lunch at noon.
Guide: English and German speaking.
Maximum Weight: 110 kg
Price 2020: ISK 255.000.- per person
To find the price in your currency: Currency converter
Day by day itinerary:
Day 1: Welcome to South Iceland – Meet your host and guide
Travel individually to Selfoss town in South Iceland. We recommend to make use of the public buses running from Reykjavík to Selfoss. Here you will find bustables for the needed busline. A private transfer from Keflavík/Reykjavík can be arranged for an extra fee.
In the evening pick up at Selfoss town by your host and guide for the next days. Transfer to the farm for a welcoming dinner and your first night at the cozy farm house with open air hot tub!
Day 2: Towards the Atlantic Ocean
After breakfast introduction into the Icelandic Horse, its special gaits and the Icelandic tack. Practice the tölt, the special smooth and comfortable gait of the Icelandic Horse, on the oval track. Every rider will get his designated horse for the week chosen by your host from their wide selection of excellent riding horses and according to your riding abilities and preferences. After you have become acquainted with your horse we head out for our first cross country ride that takes us via green farmlands and rolling hills towards the Atlantic Ocean. We return to the farm house for dinner and a good night´s sleep after this first exciting ride on the friendly Icelandic Horse. (Riding time approx. 6 hours incl. breaks).
Day 3: Tölting over the black sands underneath the glaciers
Today we will be tölting over the black sands which originate from basalt lava that has been milled down by the glaciers and has been transported to the beach by the glacial rivers. Enjoy the powerful movements and eager spirit of the Icelandic Horse as you almost fly over the beach! On our drive home we visit the famous Landsmót competition grounds near Hella town and majestic Urriðarfoss waterfall before we enjoy a cheerful dinner and the hot tub back at the farm. (Riding time approx. 3,5 hours incl. breaks).
Day 4: River Ride with glacier view
Today´s route will take us along the beautiful river Ytra-Rangá on soft sandy trails – ideal for tölting! We pass picturesque waterfall Ægissíðufoss and enjoy views over to the big glaciers along Iceland´s South Shore. One of them is Eyjafjallajökull, the (in)famous glacier who hides a volcano whose eruption resulted in a complete collapse of North Atlantic Air Travel in 2010. (Riding time approx. 6 hours incl. breaks).
Day 5: Riding the Plains
Today we will take the horses home as we ride over the plains of the Holtar Area while enjoying views over to Mt. Hekla and dormant Búrfell basalt tuya. We pass farms and settlements and enjoy a landscape that comes close to a colorful painting with: the contrast of green meadows, black volcanic mountains and beautiful white Tindfjallajökull glacier with its distinctive peaks. (Riding time approx. 6 hours incl. breaks).
Day 6: Resting for the horses – Sightseeing for us
Our horses get their well deserved resting day while we mount the car for a sightseeing tour off the beaten tracks. We drive through the vast lava, ash and pumic fields shaped by Mt. Hekla in recent centuries. Mt. Hekla has been one of most efficient volcanoes in South Iceland with regular eruptions in the 20th century. We travel back in time as we learn about the often harsh life of the rural population in the past.
Day 7: Along the banks of Þjórsá Glacial river
Today we ride along the Þjórsá river towards the farm Kaldárholt, passing lava formations that are said to be Churches used by the Hidden People, the Icelandic Elves. We ride to a lake on top of a mountain where we enjoy the views in all directions! In the evening we enjoy a farewell barbecue with local lamb and other delicious Icelandic dishes! (Riding time approx. 6 hours incl. breaks).
Day 8: Back to Reykjavík
After breakfast transfer back to Selfoss town where you can catch the bus to Reykjavík to do some more sightseeing or to stay another night. Please note that accommodation in Reykjavík is not included, but we are happy to arrange it for you! From the BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík you can also catch the flybus that will take you to Keflavík International if you have an evening flight.
Make sure you also read our Useful information
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.
- Transfer Selfoss town – farm – Selfoss
- 7 nights in double rooms with shared facilities
- Full board starting with dinner on first day and ending with breakfast on last day
- 5 riding days according to program
- English and German speaking guide