FORCES OF NATURE

Please note that we operate a different itinerary in 2024. We ride clockwise 

 

Our ride starts in the beautiful and renowned Fljótshlíð area which is south-east of the town Hvolsvöllur and leads alongside Markarfljót River up into the mountains. Despite the fact that this is our first day in the saddle – please make sure you take a look around and enjoy the breathtaking landscape and scenery!

We are in ancient Viking country, home to one of our most renowned and tragic sagas, The Saga of Njáll.  Looking south on a bright day you can see the Westman Islands, home to some 4.300 people and one of Iceland´s largest puffin colony. We follow good riding tracks through black ash from Mt. Hekla’s past eruptions but Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes, as we venture out into the heart of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.

 

 

We continue across the black sand desert Mælifellssandur and into lava fields originating from Laki’s craters during Skaftáreldar, a devastating eruption in the 18th century. About 135 craters erupted on a huge fissure and they covered the area with lava and the whole country with ashes for about two years.

Animals succumbed to hunger or volcanic poisoning, a large part of the human population died and only 38.500 people survived the disaster. We spend a day close to Eldgja, the biggest volcanic canyon in the world until we pass through the Northern Fjallabak and reach Landmannalaugar. We spend a day riding through this amazing volcanic and geothermal area with its hot springs and colourful mountains. We head back counter-clockwise towards the lava fields of the Hekla volcano and with stops close to Tindfjallajokull.

 

This tour travels with a herd of loose horses, however, the herd will travel at a distance behind our group of riders so we will most likely not ride with them. You can read more about travelling with a herd in the Icelandic highlands here.

 

This tour is operated by Kiddi and Birna and you can read more about them here.

 

If you would like to round this trip up with a two day beach ride, please contact us for information about our black sand beach tour!

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BOOK NOW

4.150 €


    DURATION

    7 nights - 8 riding days

    RIDING SKILLS

    Advanced riders

    MINIMUM AGE

    16 years

    DEPARTURES

    2024: 4-11 August

    ACCOMMODATION

    Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Accommodation after the tour are to be arranged individually.

    WHAT IS INCLUDED

    Return 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 on request 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.

    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

    Bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases

    Pack light because transport space is limited.

    Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour or rent one from us

    Day 1:  Entering the Highlands: Fell – Einhyrningur (ca. 25 km)

    Morning Pick-up in Reykjavik

    Pick-up at your hotel in Reykjavik between 08.15 and 09.00.  We travel by private coach to the Southern part of Iceland to the cabin Fell where we will find our horses  and which will be our point of departure.  We start our ride alongside the mighty Markarfljót River. We follow on its Western banks through majestic scenery with the Highlands towering ahead of us. Our path leads us up to the slopes of Mt. Einhyrningur, to our cabin Bólstaður where we spend the first night. Enjoy the great view of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and Thorsmörk Nature Park.

     

    Day 2:  Passing the Peaks: Einhyrningur – Mosar – Hungurfit (ca. 30 km)

    This day takes us across the mighty Markarfljót River (on a bridge). We ride through the scenic Emstrur area to Mosar. This lush grazing area in the highlands pleases our horses and we spend some time there before we continue to the new and cosy Hungurfit cabin just north of Tindfjallajökull, the smallest glacier in Iceland. It is easily recognisable by its two symmetrical peaks Ýmir and Ýma, both over 1400 meter high. A warm shower is available there, together with great views of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier where the notorious Katla crater is hidden.

     

    Day 3:  Through the Steamy Valley: Hungurfit – Landmannahellir Mt. Cabin (ca. 45 km)

    We continue our ride into the mountains, past the prominent table mountain Laufafell, through a black lava desert. Our ride takes us past the black obsidian lava fields of Hrafntinnusker and through the fascinating Reykjadalur valley with its hot springs, small geysers and colourful mountains. We end this riding day in the traditional sheep herding station of Landmannahellir where we spend the next two nights.

     

    Day 4: The Kaleidoscope of Iceland´s colours: (car transfer to) Landmannalaugar – Landmannahellir (ca. 40 km)

    Today we ride into to the famous Landmannalaugar, with its natural hot pool, surrounded by colourful mountains and lava from 1480. We spend the morning there with the opportunity to hike or take a dip in the pool or to go on the special ride further into Jökugil Canyon. For this ride we need to leave the herd behind while we venture further to explore. You will be riding through an area of outstanding beauty without the crowds from the Landmannalaugar area. After that de-tour we embark with our herd on the scenic ride returning to Landmannahellir. The colours change from the blue-yellow-reddish of the rhyolite mountain ranges of Landmannalaugar to the greenish black lava fields and unreal dots of blue lakes in between. We cross rivers and lakes and pass through an obsidian field before arriving back in Landmannahellir.  This day will be without a doubt, one of the highlights of this tour.

    We leave the horses but will not spend the night here, instead drive back to the more remote and serene cabin Landmannahellir.

     

    Day 5: On the road to Nowhere:– Landmannalaugar to Lambaskarðshólar  (ca. 40 km)

    A long exciting day lies in front of us. We ride with our herd Southwards through the mountains until we reach the remote area of the Laki eruptions. We ride past the Eldgjá Canyon when everything turns green again, crossing rivers until we enter the Southern part of the Fjallabak Nature Reserve.

     

    Day 6: Fire and Ice: Lambaskarðshólar (55 km)-Mosar

    The longest day of our tour lies ahead of us. We pick up the herd in Landmannalaugar again. Our ride will take us North East, between Mýrdalsjökull and Torfajökull Glacier. We follow the Fjallabak Trail across Mælifellssandur, a black sand desert named after the prominent cone shaped volcano Mælifell that rises above the black sand and provides great contrast with it’s moss green slopes. We ride around it and turn North through the Álftavatnskrókur grazing area and past Lake Álftavatn and we cross several small glacier fed rivers on our way to the cabin. Before reaching the cabin, we have to pass Ófæragíl, a narrow canyon where the horses have to pass through one by one. We end our ride at Lambaskarðshólar cabin, close to River Skaftá. After this long riding day, the hot showers at the cabin will be highly appreciated (55 km).

     

    Day 7: Where the wild sheep roam: Around Mosar (ca. 25-35 km):

    We leave the herd behind and continue on individual horses to further explore this wonderful area some more. We ride into the beautiful Botnar valley and stop at a cave used in earlier times as a shelter for farmers when gathering their sheep. The highlight of this day will be looking down at the impressive Markafljotsglúfur, a gorge that is 200 meter deep. Before heading back to the cabin we stop at a hilltop and enjoy a great 360 degree view over the Southern highlands, including Mýrdalsjökull Glacier and the notorious Katla crater.

     

    Day 8: Winding down: Mosar - Fljotshlid

    Our last riding day leads us down the slopes of Tindfjallajökull  with amazig views of Markafljot River and the Eyjafjallaökull. This is the perfect day to wind down and let all the impressions from the trip sink in. Departure to Reykjavik in the evening.

    Airport Transfer

    We recommend you to book with Airport Diorect as they offer the most frequent departures.

    Keflavik - Reykjavik (Bus hostel)

    Reykjavik (Bus hostel) - Keflavik

     

    Terms & Conditions:

    If you book online you will be asked to pay the full amount. Please contact us for different payment options.

     

    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 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 Frequently Asked Questions and/or contact us at multidaytours@ishestar.is

    Accommodation is in shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. We will be staying in the following cabins. Toilets and water are all cabins but showers can be limited.

    • Fell
    • Mosar
    • Lambskarðshólar
    • Landmannahellir
    • Hungurfit
    • Foss