Wonders of Laxárgljúfur Canyon
Upon request for private groups only
Upon request for private groups only
Join us on a truly adventurous ride across the fascinating highland of Iceland in the remote wilderness south of Kerlingarfjöll Mountain range! Ride along the magnificient Laxárgljúfur canyon with spectacular views of wide open space and the wild running Laxá river. 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. 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 certainly feel the indescribable freedom of the highlands! On the first day you will visit the Golden Waterfull Gullfoss and the hot springs of the Geysir and enjoy fine views of the terrific Kerlingarfjöll mountain range.
On this tour we will travel 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 up to 6-7 hours/50 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.
Type: Multi days tour with spare horses running along in a herd
Duration: 5 days / 4 nights/ 4 riding days
Level of expertise required: Only experienced riders in good physical shape.
Area: Highland area along Laxárgljúfur Canyon south of Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Range
Accommodation: Mainly in sleeping bag accommodation in rustic mountain huts. Accommodation in Reykjavik not included but can be arranged.
Meals: Full board during the ride
Included: Kerlingafjöll hot pool.
Guide: English speaking, other languages upon request
Maximum Weight: 110 kg
Price 2020: Depending on group size
For more information and prices please send request to email@example.com
Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Reykjavík - Geysir - Gullfoss – Kerlingafjöll by mountain Bus
Depart from BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík at 8 am by Mountain Bus to Hveravellir. The bus will take you to the magical geothermal Haukadalur area with its hots springs and erupting geysirs and to the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss. In the early afternoon you will arrive at Hveravellir Geothermal Area and will have plenty of time to take bath in the natural geothermal hot pool. After dinner 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.
Accommodation Kerlingafjöll: Cozy mountain hut! Inside toilet. Bunk beds in two rooms.
Day 2: Kerlingafjöll – Fosslækur
Riding underneath Rjúpnafell through the huge lava field we will pass Grettishellir, the cave of the famous outlow Grettir and Beinhóll, the place where the Reynisstaðir brothers found their final resting place at the end of the 18th century. Their wretched expedition across the highlands in 1780 has fascinated Icelanders for many centuries and many mystical stories have sprung from their ill fated travel. Tonight we stay in the most authentic mountain hut found in the area! Listen to folk stories and ghost stories like you have never heard them before!
Riding distance: ca. 40 km.
Accommodation Fosslækur: Original turfhouse hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in the autumn. Very basic but beautiful and authentic!
Day 3: Fosslækur – Leppistungur
Today is going to be a short riding day to give the horses a well deserved rest. After a late and sumptious breakfast we start for our scenic ride south of the majestic Kerlingarfjöll Mountains. The 1,477 m tall mountain range is part of a large tuya volcano system of 100 km2. The colourful volcanic rhyolite stone and minerals paint the surroundings in yellow, red and green. Named after a troll women the „Old women´s mountains“ have been a popular set for movies!
Riding distance: ca. 20 km.
Accommodation Leppistungur: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. Inside toilets.Bunk beds for up to 24 people.
Day 4: Leppistungur – Helgaskáli
Today is going to be another long riding day when we ride over the plains of Mikluöldubotnar and underneath Geldingafjall mountain to our next mountain hut accommodation. During the ride we will enjoy terrific views of the high mountains around us! This area is pure uninhabited wilderness. In late summer large flocks of wild geese choose this area to prepare for the autumn departure to warmer climates. A wonderful sight to behold!
Riding distance: ca. 40 km.
Accommodation Helgaskáli: Simple and basic hut used by the farmers when they gather the sheep in autumn. Inside toilets. 3 rooms with a total of 24 bunkbeds.
Day 5: Helgaskáli – Laxárgljúfur Canyon - Kjóastaðir - back to Reykjavík
Today is going to be our last day of riding and it is going to be a day with breathtaking scenery! Today´s ride will take us along the magnificent canyon Laxárgljúfur. We ride along the river Laxá, the „Salmon river“ and enjoy amazing views over the almost 200 m deep canyon. We stop and rest the horses at the abandoned farm of Hrunakrókur, while our guide tells you about the harsh and remote life of the ancient Icelanders that used to live here. The farm was abandoned many times due to volcanic eruptions but the people tried to come back again and again until the farm was finally given up in 1902. We understand perfectly well why people tried to come back again and again...you will not find many more romantic settings for your home... Crossing River Hvíta at Brúarhlöð canyon takes us home to Kjóastaðir farm for a lovely coffee and cake treat! Transfer back to Reykjavík and drop off at your accommodation or at BSÍ Busterminal. Please note that the accommodation in Reykjavík is not included but we are more than happy to arrange it for you!
Riding distance: ca. 40 km
Please make sure you also read our Useful Information about Riding Tours
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.
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- Transfer from Reykjavík to Hveravellir on first day and transfer back to Reykjavík on 5th day
- 4 nights in sleeping bag accommodation in mountain huts during the tour
- Full pension during the tour starting with dinner on the first day and ending with coffee and cake on the 5th day
- 4x riding days according to itinerary
- Entrance to Kerlingafjöll Pool
- English speaking guide