Get ready for an amazing short break trip – you will spend 3 or 4 days riding on scenic routes over varied terrain. What even better, each night you will stay at Hótel Eldhestar and/or a nearby hotel, so you only have to unpack one time!
The ride explores the surrounding area and you will be amazed to discover the incredible contrasts – a bounty of varied Icelandic nature all around – from the fast-flowing, glacial waters of Ölfusá-River over broad meadows and mountains to the hot, geothermal streams of Reykjadalur – everywhere you turn is resplendent. One of the highlights of the 4 day option is a ride on the black volcanic beach – completely otherworldly…….
At the end of each day, you can enjoy a soak in the hot tub, a good dinner and comfortable accommodation. Bring your swimsuit!
Dates: Jan-May 14, 2023: any day of the week
May 14-Sept. 10, 2023: Sunday and Thursday start days only
Sept. 15-Dec. 31, 2023: any day of the week
Rates: 3 Day Option: $1,240.00 USD per person sharing (Single Supplement: $195.00 USD)
4 Day Option: $1,630.00 USD per person sharing (Single Supplement: $260.00 USD)
- 3 or 4 days of guided riding
- 3 or 4 nights accommodation
- All meals except dinner on the last night
- Horse and all tack
- Guiding services (English)
- All local taxes
- Riding and safety equipment
- Transfer from/to Reykjavik.
- Travel and medical Insurance
- 1 dinner
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuities for the guide at the end of the ride
Day 1: Arrival
After arriving at Keflavík Airport, participants take the “Flybus” to BSÍ bus station in Reykjavik. There you will be greeted around 17:30–18:00 by a representative from Eldhestar, who will drive you to our farm Vellir, close to the village Hveragerði. The day ends with dinner at Hotel Eldhestar.
Day 2: Ölfusá River Delta
Your guide meets you after breakfast for a short introduction before you get to know the horses. The program starts with a practical riding demonstration, followed by a few rounds in the riding hall or paddock. We then start riding out into nature, discovering the beautiful landscape opening up between the volcanic mountains and the Atlantic ocean in southern Iceland.
We begin the tour on nice riding trails along our green meadows which are ideal for trying the special gait of the Icelandic horse, tölt. The trail continues along the river Gljúfurá to an old cemetery close to the mighty glacial river Ölusá, where we stop for a lunch break and enjoy the panoramic view of the river delta and the famous volcanos Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, weather permitting. We then follow a grassy path further down to the soft, black lava sand on the river banks and through shallow water to the green islands in the river delta. We enjoy riding on soft ground on the islands, across sand and water, with good chances of seeing various kinds of birds living in the wetlands of the nearby bird sanctuary Ölfusforir.
We end the ride on trails along meadows and relax with coffee and home-baked cake in our Cafeteria. Afterwards, you have the possibility to soften up in the comfortably warm hot tubs at Hotel Eldhestar.
Day 3: The Hot Spring Tour Reykjadalur Valley
This day offers spectacular views and a surprising variety of magnificent Icelandic nature. We first ride along the slopes of Reykjafjall mountain and continue on nice riding trails surrounding the small village Hveragerði. The path then takes us through a green forest to a colourful geothermal valley with hot springs, an area which expanded dramatically during an earthquake in 2008. On our way towards the green hills surrounding the volcano Hengill, we have good opportunity to try the “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse.
The horses then take us on a leisurely pace following narrow trails up into the valley Reykjadalur. We pass the beautiful waterfall Djúpagilsfoss and some hot springs before we reach Reykjadalur valley and will have the opportunity to take a relaxing bath in a warm stream.
During the ride down the valley, we enjoy fascinating panoramas over the surroundings, the village Hveragerði, picturesque farmland and all the way down to the coastline, where we might see the Westman Islands, weather permitting. We continue along the mountain slopes again back to the farm, where coffee and home-baked cake are waiting for us. This tour includes about 30 minutes of hiking (four short walks).
Day 4: Ingólfstrail
After breakfast and check-out we start the day tour following the route of the “Heritage Tour”. The trail takes us through a small river, a lava field and along meadows, passing by several horse farms that give us an idea of how agriculture has developed in the last decades in Iceland. On our way we enjoy the fascinating scenery of volcanic mountains towering over green hills and pastures, riding between large fields with grazing horses on excellent paths that are ideal for a brisk tölt.
After the lunch break we head towards the table mountain Ingólfsfjall, named after the first settler of Iceland, Ingólfur Arnarson The landscape is changing drastically at the foot of the mountain, and we take a break between huge rocks, soft pillows of green moss and perhaps some grazing sheep. We then follow a scenic, narrow old Viking trail along the slopes of the mountain, riding in the footsteps of the first settler Ingólfur Arnarsson.
On the way back to our farm Vellir we ride along the mountain Reykjafjall, where both sheep and horses graze in the summer, with nice views over the surrounding area and the village of Hveragerði. After the ride, we enjoy some refreshments before the bus takes you back to Reykjavik at about 16:15.
Option - Day 5: The Beach Ride
After breakfast and check-out we take the horses in the trailer to the small fishing town Thorlákshöfn, where we start the tour with a ride on the long, black beach. We follow the scenic beach along the surf of the North Atlantic for a few kilometers, riding on soft black lava sand until we reach the beautiful area where the mighty glacial river Ölfusá meets the sea in a large delta.
We then continue through shallow water at the edge of the river delta and ride on grassy river banks and along wetlands and meadows towards the farmland in the Ölfús area, where our farm Vellir is located. On our way we have plenty of opportunities to try the smooth gait of the Icelandic horse “tölt” on nice trails in beautiful scenery which seems to be far from civilization and enjoy spectacular views of mountains and the volcanos Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, weather permitting. We also have good chances to see the sea- and wetland birds of various kinds living in the Flói Bird Reserve between the ocean shore and the river.
After we have reached the old cemetery at Arnarbæli we ride along the river Gljúfurá and pastures with grazing horses back to Eldhestar. The bus takes you back to Reykjavik at about 16:15.
***The tour can also start at Vellir and end at Thorlákshöfn, depending on tides.