Arnarfell Trail

For 9 days we will ride through unspoiled nature, to Þjórsárdalur valley, which was blossoming farmland in the early settlement. But our most active volcano Hekla had her say in the matter, with many great eruptions and a large number…

For 9 days we will ride through unspoiled nature, to Þjórsárdalur valley, which was blossoming farmland in the early settlement. But our most active volcano Hekla had her say in the matter, with many great eruptions and a large number of ashes.

Experience waterfall day where you’ll get to see Gljúfurleitarfoss, Dynkur, and Kjálkaversfoss. We will ride along the mighty mountain cluster Kerlingarfjöll, great river Þjórsá and the bright glacier Hofsjökull.

  • Duration

    9 nights and 9 riding days
  • Riding skills

    Advanced Riders
  • Departures

    Dates 2019: July 26 - August 3
  • Accommodation

    Sleeping bag
  • Note

  • Reservation code

What is included

  • Return transfer to the starting point of the tour.
  • During the ride full board is provided. The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.


  • Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour
  • Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland.
  • Flight to and from Iceland is not included
  • Bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases
  • Pack light because transport space is limited.

  • Day by day itinerary
  • Useful information
  • Accommodation

Day 1: Arrival and pick-up
Bus transfer to Ásólfsstaðir farm, where we get refreshments/lunch pack, before mounting the horses. We ride up to valley Þjórsárdalur, that was blooming farmland in the early settlement. But our most active volcano Hekla had her say in the matter, with many great eruptions and a huge amount of ashes; years 1104, 1300 and 1693 we had such big eruptions, and the last farmers left the valley in the last one mentioned. The archeologist has been studying the valley for 150 years, and we will stop at an excavated chieftain’s farm called Stöng, where we can get some idea of how the settlers of Iceland lived. We ride up to Hólaskógur guest-hut (showers and water toilets), leave the herd there and our mounts take us up to waterfall Háifoss for a sight to be remembered, and then down again. 32 km .. 5-6 hours.

Day 2:
The paths take us eastward from the luxury at Hólaskógur, up Sandafell mountain to witness a big lagoon for the electric power plant Sultartangi, that is built underground in the south end of Sandafell. We are headed to the local sheep Summerland, where the little lambs grow into delicious steaks. We pass a big stone, sitting alone in the grassy field, .. a story coming up on location. We end the day at Glúfurleit mountain hut, which is built like other huts we visit, to service farmers gathering sheep from the mountains in the autumn. It is primitive, however, there are flushing toilets, but no showers. 27 km .. 5-6 hours.

Day 3:
Today is waterfall day. Paths drawn on the map are the paths the herd will take but we will leave them to see three waterfalls in the mighty Þjórsá river. This means more walking on and off the horses, but really worth the ‘trouble’. Gljúfurleitarfoss, Dynkur, and Kjálkaversfoss are the names of the waterfalls. We see the first two in the forenoon, leaving the herd with the staff. At Dalsá river we meet the herd and staff to lunch and prepare for the afternoon and the third waterfall. We’ll reach the destination; mountain hut Bjarnalækjarbotnar, (no showers, water-free toilets) in a day that looks short and easy on the map, later than expected, but happy and feeling privileged. We are out of tourist tracks, and even not that many Icelanders live to see these sights. Don’t forget your cameras. 20 km .. 7-8 hours.

Day 4:
Ahead lies the black desert Fjórðungssandur, which the horses love, and like to speed on. It is a fun ride unless it’s dry and windy, then goggles would be nice. With mighty mountain cluster Kerlingarfjöll on the left, great river Þjórsá on the right and the bright glacier Hofsjökull ahead, we should find our way to mountain hut Tjarnarver, (no showers, water-free toilets) where we spend two nights. 27 km .. 5-6 hours.

Day 5:
Today we will be at the top of the world. A long riding day with all kinds of possible paths; wetland, swamps, glacial river crossing (with pits hazard), superb tölting paths and glorious views in all directions, birdlife, plants, and flowers, you name it. Adventure of your lives ends in the primitive Tjarnarver hut again (no showers, water-free toilets). 50+ km .. 9-10 hours.

Day 6:
From Tjarnarver we ride west a bit until turning north/right to the pass between Kerlingarfjöll and Hofsjökull. A sandy/rocky terrain makes the day feel long. We get to ride close to the icefield though when we make our way towards the beautiful geothermal area of Kerlingarfjöll Mountains. This is a fascinating place with plenty of hot water, steaming mud pools and small geysers, surrounded by colorful mountains and glaciers. Here we can bathe, if not in the showers at the cabin, then taking a dip in the warm water old drilling hole a 10-15 minute walk from the cabin. The beauty of Kerlingarfjöll catches the eye, multi-colored mountains all around, some with snow-capped hats, and steam clouds rising to be one with the skies. 45 km .. 8-9 hours.

Day 7:
From Ásgarður we take the paths to another primitive mountain hut called Leppistungur (no showers, water-free toilets). The terrain still mountain-ish but the paths are good for tölting. Langjökull fills up the scene in the north, and Bláfell mountain guards the west; Kerlingarfjöll still to our left, all day. The hut is located on banks of river Kerlingará, running in a small canyon close to the hut. 27 km .. 5-6 hours.

Day 8:
Today we ride south into more grassy heath terrain, and we’ll probably see some sheep along the way. Good paths and a fun ride, rather easy one I’d say. Our hut Helgaskáli, (no showers, water-free toilets), stands beneath a rather low Geldingafell mountain, an ideal climb for mountaineers, I guess. Close by there runs river Stóra-Laxá, who will be our traveling partner tomorrow. 30 km .. 5-6 hours.

Day 9:
From Helgaskáli we head east, in the direction of Þjórsárdalur, the valley in which we started the tour. We are in for amazing highland views, still riding in the mountains. We’ll change horses at Hólaskógur, where we spent the first night and then cross Þjórsá river on a bridge heading through the lava field towards Hekla mountain. Accommodation in the nice, cozy mountain hut at Áfangagil. with water toilets and warm showers. 40 km 7-8 hours.

Departure Day:
Breakfast at 9:00 and a transfer to BSÍ at 10:00 and we will arrive in Reykjavík around 11:00.

Here you can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building.

Terms & conditions:
Íshestar requests a confirmation payment upon booking of a minimum of 30% of the tour price. When the confirmation payment is received the seat is secure. The remaining balance is due 6 weeks before the tour departs. If you book the tour through the website the full amount is requested. Children’s under 12 years receive a 25% discount on our multi-day tours.

Íshestar reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables without prior notice, should the necessity arise. No liability is accepted for loss or expenses due to delays or changes of arrival or departures of flights or other services, injury, sickness, accident, strikes, damage, negligence, weather, wars or other causes outside the control of Íshestar. All such losses and expenses are the personal liability of the traveler. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.

For more information please see also our Frequent Asked Questions and/or contact us at

Recomended on Trip Advisor

Testimonials from happy riders