10% early booking disc.

The Kings Trail – Across Iceland´s Western Highlands

On horseback in spectacular nature and unique historical sites! Vatnsdalur-Arnarvatnsheiði-Húsafell-Þingvellir The Kings Trail is a unique tour in the summer of 2018 where we ride across Iceland´s western highlands, from the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley in the north and shrine of…

On horseback in spectacular nature and unique historical sites!

Vatnsdalur-Arnarvatnsheiði-Húsafell-Þingvellir

The Kings Trail is a unique tour in the summer of 2018 where we ride across Iceland´s western highlands, from the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley in the north and shrine of the nation Þingvellir in the south.

1907 the King of Denmark and Iceland, visited the country. Because of this huge event, some improvements were made on the ancient tracks to Þingvellir, to make it easier for the population to ride to the old parliament place and see their king. That is why we still today call parts of our trails leading to Þingvellir Kings Trail.

We enjoy the true quality of the Icelandic horse in the mystical inspiring landscape and peaceful wilderness. Our historical riding paths lead us across the legendary Arnarvatnheiði Heath with its countless lakes and myths. During our ride, the majestic glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull are on the east side of our tracks. We visit the geothermal area Húsafell. Húsafell is often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers with its natural forest and great outdoor pool. This is the perfect location to enjoy the midnight sun in Iceland. The Þingvellir National park is a number one location to visit in Iceland. There is nothing more authentic then visiting the UNESCO park than on a horseback like the Icelanders have done for centuries! At this heart of the nation, the first parliament was founded in the year 930 AD. Þingvellir is not only designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical importance but also because of the very special geology and natural features. Along with this magnificent trail, we travel with a herd of 60-90 free running horses and everyone will find his/her favorite horses. Haukur, his team and his horses as well as the many spectacular natural and historical sites make the Kings Trail an unforgettable experience.

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  • Duration

    6 nights – 7 riding days
  • Riding skills

    Advanced riders
  • Departures

    Dates 2019: July: 6 – 12 July: 14 - 20
  • Accommodation

    2-4 made up beds in each room at Hvammur Farm Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation as well as in Guesthouses during the ride.
  • Note

    Please bring your own sleeping bag!
  • Reservation code

What is included

  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm.
  • During the ride full board is provided. Our 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.
  • Rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.

Attention

  • 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
  • Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour
  • Bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases.
  • Pack light because transport space is limited.

  • Day by day itinerary
  • Useful information
  • Accommodation

Day 1: Reykjavík – Vatnsdalur Valley – Hvammur Farm – Haukagil
Pick up between 8 and 9 in the morning from pick up points in Reykjavík. Drive to the north where our farmer and his team welcome us at Hvammur farm. The farm is in the valley Vatnsdalur which is said to be one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys in Iceland, shaped by water, glaciers and volcanic activity.  On our ride we pass the historical farm Hof and cross Vatnsdalsá river. Vatnsdalur is the setting of one of the ancient sagas, the Vatnsdælasaga. On our way we hear tales from Iceland´s heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge and love. You can sense the happiness of the free running horses as we are heading towards the highland. The horses stay at Haukagil farm which is the last farm on this side of the valley before we enter the highland plateau. We stay overnight at Hvammur. The hot tub offers a nice relaxation as we get ready for the riding adventures of the coming days. (Approx. 20 km)

Day 2: Haukagil – Haugakvíslarskáli Mountain Cabin
We start off by gathering up the herd of horses we take with us on the adventurous trail. Today we are riding through the summer pastures of horses and sheep from the farmers in the north of Iceland. We ascend towards the highland plateau Víðidalstunguheiði heath. It is great to drive the horses through the very free fields of the highlands. The highland opens up for us and we see the mighty Álkugil gorge with picturesque waterfalls tumbling down over rock formations. The wideness and freedom feeling is inspiring for horses and people.  It is graceful to see the free running herd tölt on the soft paths of the peaceful area. We see the remains of the old Kings Trail and the tracks from travelling horses through the centuries. Here the only inhabitants are foxes, birds and maybe some trolls.  We spend the night at Haugakvíslarskáli Mountain Cabin. (Approx 35 km)

Day 3: Haugakvíslarskáli  – Arnarvatnsheiði Heath and Lake Arnarvatn – Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin
Further into the mountains we set course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned by the farmers of Víðidalur valley. There we have the lunchbreak of the day. The strong riding horses bring us safely through the ancient highland paths. We enjoy the magnificent view over the impressive highland mountains and the glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull as they get closer step by step. We can see how the vegetation is changing into lush green colours, created by rich soil and water from many lakes as we ride to the heart of Arnarvatnsheiði. We pass the lake Réttarvatn on our way beside the beautiful lake Arnarvatn. Truly a fascinating mystical place of silence and tranquillity we will never forget. Fertile highland vegetation and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area. As we say goodbye to the north we ride further to the impressive part of the high plateau that belongs to the west area Borgarfjörður. Further on we ride to Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin where wanted men were supposed to hide out from the law enforcements long ago.  (Approx. 35 km)

Day 4: Álftakrókur – Eríksjökull Glacier  – Hallmundarhraun Lava – Surtshellir Cave – Borgarfjörður Area
Our ride continues beside one of the biggest lavafields in Iceland Hallmundarhraun. This is a mystical area filled with legends of outlaws and tales from the past. You have the feeling you see elfs and trolls in the formations of the lava. The horses already sense that we are getting closer to the grasland of the farms in Borgarfjörður Area, and tölt happily as we ride on the banks of the glacial river Norðlingafljót, which we will also cross during our ride. Eríksjökull Glacier, which also is a Vulcano, is majestic on the east side of our trail. We will see the best known cave in Iceland Surtshellir. The spectacular 3500 m long lava cave was a hide out for bandits back in the days. The horses will stay at Þorvaldsstaðir. Accommodation at Hótel Á. (Approx. 30 km)

Day 5: Þorvaldsstaðir – Húsafell – Hraunfossar – Augastaðir
We spend the day riding through and exploring the extraordinary area of Húsafell. We sense the qualities of our Icelandic horses as they bring us through the biggest natural forest of Iceland, Húsafellsskógur.  Húsafell, often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers is a unique natural gem in a magnificent landscape. The place has a big historical importance. There are tales all the way back from the settlement as well as stories of witchcraft and ghosts from later centuries.  Today we will visit the exceptionally beautiful waterfall Hraunfossar. The water seems to appear from the lava but is actually a cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the river Hvítá. After a great day with the horses they rest at Augastaðir and we enjoy the geothermal pool of Húsafell. Accommodation at Húsafell Gamli Bær Guesthouse. (Approx. 20 km)

Day 6: Húsafell – Ancient Ok Trail – Brunnar Mountain Cabin – Brautartunga Community center in Lundareykjardalur
Our route today leads us from Augastaðir over the mystical ancient trail of Ok. This fascinating highland trail is named after the 1190m high impressive glacier Ok on the east side of the trails, there we also see the glaciers Geitlandsjökull, Langjökull and Þórisjökull. This impressive area without any vegetation reminds us on how rough nature can be in Iceland. We leave our horses at Brunnar Mountain Cabin to rest and go for an overnight stay to the community center Brautartunga in Lundareykjadalur Valley, were we have our own private hot tub and swimming pool. A great place to enjoy our last evening of the tour together with a good Icelandic meal, storytelling and singing. (Approx. 35 km)

Day 7: Brunnar – Skógarhólar – Þingvellir – Reykjavík
We continue our ride and enjoy the great view riding in fast tölt on the trail over Bláskógarheiði Heath towards National Park Þingvellir. These tracks were used for centuries by the people travelling to the parliament in Þingvellir. Here are the historical sites by every foot step as we get closer to our destination. Only a few km from Brunnar we pass the legendary stone cairns Hallbjarnarvörður. The Sturlunga Saga, that describes battles of families in Iceland in the 13. Century, mentions this location as a meeting place of armies and their chieftains. Our trail brings us south by the Kaldidalur road, further on great riding tracks by Draugabrekka (Ghostslopes) and Tröllaháls (Trollhill). As we see the Ármannsfell Mountain we are close to Skógarhólar Fields were our great ride ends this time. Skógarhólar is run by the Icelandic Horse Clubs Association and is located in Þingvellir National Park. We thank our horses and say good-bye until next time. We experience the beautiful sites and history of Þingvellir often called the national shrine of Iceland. Here was the oldest existing parliament in the world assembled. The spectacular Geology of Þingvellir is very visual in the Canyon Almannagjá which is formed between two tectonic continental plates drifting from each other. Transfer to Reykjavík, Landsmót Horse Festival and your accommodation. Approx. arrival in Reykjavík between 17 and 18. (Approx. 20 km)

South-North

Day 1: Reykjavík – Þingvellir – Skógarhólar – Brunnar Mountain Cabin
Pick up between 8 and 9 in the morning from pick up points in Reykjavík. Drive to the Skógarhólar Fields where our Horseman and guide Haukur, his team and horses from Hvammur farm will meet you.  Skógarhólar is run by the Icelandic Horse Clubs Association and is located in Þingvellir National Park. We experience the beautiful sites and history of Þingvellir often called the national shrine of Iceland. Here was the oldest existing parliament in the world assembled. The spectacular Geology of Þingvellir is very visual in the Canyon Almannagjá which is formed between two tectonic continental plates drifting from each other. We enjoy our first riding day in fast tölt with a great view over the Bláskógarheiði Heath. These tracks were used for centuries by the people traveling to the parliament in Þingvellir. We pass Ármannsfell Mountain and ride further by Tröllaháls (Trollhill) on the tracks by so-called Draugabrekka (Ghostslopes). Our ride brings us north on Kaldidalur road. Here are the historical sites by every footstep as we get closer to our destination of the day, Brunnar. Only a few km from there we pass the legendary stone cairns Hallbjarnarvörður. The Sturlunga Saga, that describes battles of families in Iceland in the 13. Century, mentions this location as a meeting place of armies and their chieftains. We leave the horses for the night at Brunnar. We stay over night at the cultural heart of Iceland, Þingvellir. (Approx. 20 km)

Day 2: Brunnar – Ancient Ok Trail – Augastaðir Farm – Hraunfossar Wateralls
Our route today leads us from Brunnar over the mystical ancient trail of Ok. This fascinating highland trail is named after the 1190m high impressive glacier Ok on the east side of the tracks, there we also see the glaciers Geitlandsjökull, Langjökull and Þórisjökull. This impressive area without any vegetation reminds us of how rough nature can be in Iceland. We leave our horses at Augastaðir Farm to rest and go for an overnight stay at Hotel Á by the farm Kirkjuból. Today we will visit the exceptionally beautiful waterfall Hraunfossar. The water seems to appear from the lava but is actually a cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the river Hvítá.  (Approx. 35 km)

Day 3: Augastaðir – Húsafell – Þorvaldsstaðir Farm – Surtshellir Cave
We spend the day riding through and exploring the extraordinary area of Húsafell. We sense the qualities of our Icelandic horses as they bring us through the biggest natural forest of Iceland, Húsafellsskógur. Húsafell often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers is a unique natural gem in a magnificent landscape. The place has a big historical importance. There are tales all the way back from the settlement as well as stories of witchcraft and ghosts from later centuries.  After a great day with the horses, they rest at Þorvaldsstaðir. We will visit the best-known cave in Iceland Surtshellir. The spectacular 3500 m long lava cave was a hideout for bandits back in the days. It is a great feeling to relax and enjoy the geothermal pool of Húsafell. Accommodation at Hótel Á. (Approx. 20 km)

Day 4: Borgarfjörður Area -– Eríksjökull Glacier – Hallmundarhraun Lava – Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin
We are leaving the grasslands of the farms in Borgarfjörður and heading for Iceland´s Western Highlands. Our ride continues beside one of the biggest lava fields in Iceland Hallmundarhraun. This is a mystical area filled with legends of outlaws and tales from the past. You have the feeling you see elfs and trolls in the formations of the lava. Our horses tölt happily as we ride on the banks of the glacial river Norðlingafljót, which we will also cross during our ride. Eríksjökull Glacier, which also is a Vulcano, is majestic on the east side of our trail. Further, on we ride to Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin where wanted men were supposed to hide out from the law enforcement long ago.    (Approx. 30 km)

Day 5: Álftakrókur – Arnarvatnsheiði Heath and Lake Arnarvatn – Haugakvíslarskáli Mountain Cabin
Further, into the mountains, we set course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned by the farmers of Víðidalur valley. There we have the main break of the day. The strong riding horses bring us safely through the ancient highland paths. We enjoy the magnificent view of the impressive highland mountains and the glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull. We can see how the vegetation is changing into lush green colors, created by rich soil and water from many lakes as we ride to the heart of Arnarvatnsheiði. We pass the lake Réttarvatn on our way beside the beautiful lake Arnarvatn. Truly a fascinating mystical place of silence and tranquillity we will never forget. Fertile highland vegetation and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area. As we say goodbye to the south we ride further to the impressive part of the high plateau that belongs to the North Area Húnvavatnssýsla District. Here the only inhabitants are foxes, birds and maybe some trolls. We are riding through the summer pastures of horses and sheep as we ascend towards our Mountain Cabin for the night, Haugakvíslarkáli in Víðidalstunduheiði Heath. (Approx. 35 km)

Day 6: Haugakvíslarskáli – Haukagil Farm – Vatnsdalur Valley – Hvammur Farm
Today we are riding down from the highland plateau Víðidalstunguheiði heath to our beautiful valley Vatnsdalur. The horses already sense that we are getting closer to the juice grassland of home and tölt happily direction north.  It is great to drive the horses through the very free fields of the highlands before entering the civilization again. We see the mighty Álkugil gorge with picturesque waterfalls tumbling down over rock formations. The wideness and freedom feeling are inspiring for horses and people.  It is grateful to see the free running herd tölt on the soft paths of the peaceful area. We see the remains of the old Kings Trail and the tracks from traveling horses through the centuries. We spend the night at Haukur´s Farm Hvammur. Here we enjoy our last evening of the tour together with an outdoor jacuzzi, good meal, storytelling and singing (Approx 35 km)

Day 7: Haukagil – Vatnsdalur – Hvammur Farm – Reykjavík
Vatnsdalur is said to be one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys in Iceland, shaped by water, glaciers and volcanic activity.  On our ride, we pass the historical farm Hof and cross Vatnsdalsá river. Vatnsdalur is the setting of one of the ancient sagas, the Vatnsdælasaga. On our way, we hear tales from Iceland´s heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge, and love. We experience the spirit of our horses as we are heading towards home on the great riding paths at the banks of Vatnsdalsá River. We thank our very special friends the horses and say goodbye to Haukur and his crew until next time. Our bus will bring you to Reykjavík, either to BSÍ (Main Bus Station) or to your accommodation. Approx. time of arrival in Reykjavík at 18.  (Approx. 20 km)

Please take notice of following:
Participants organize their accommodation before and after the offered program individually.
Dinner is not included on departure day / last riding day
The tour operator may have to change the route under sudden unexpected conditions.
Time of arrival in Reykjavík after the riding tour may vary, depending on conditions on the trail. 

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. Book my ticket.

Terms & conditions:
Íshestar request a confirmation payment upon booking of minimum 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 25% discount on our multi-day tours.

Liability:
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 traveller. 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 ishestar@ishestar.is

  • Hvammur farm

    Hvammur farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley which is so full of the old Sagas and has the famous salmon fishing river Vatnsdalsá running down the middle. The farmhouse was renevated 4 years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

    • Number of rooms: 6 rooms
      Number of beds: 2 – 4 beds in each room, altogether max 19
      Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
      Number of showers: 2
      GSM connection : Yes
      WiFi: Yes
      Made up beds: Yes
      Number of WC: 2
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