Anniversary Special 2017: Arnavatnsheiði, the Northern Gem

In the summer of 2017 we are celebrating our 35th anniversary and on that occasion, we are offering an adventurous anniversary tour in the north in Arnavatnsheiði. Haukur and his team of the farm Hvammur will make sure that the tour will be an unforgettable experience.

Horseback riding in Iceland

In the summer of 2017 we are celebrating our 35th anniversary and on that occasion, we are offering an adventurous anniversary horseback riding tour in the north of Iceland in Arnavatnsheiði. The tour leads us through Vatnsdalur valley to unspoiled nature of Arnavatnsheiði heath with its uncountable waters and majestic beauty north side of the glacier Langjökull. Haukur and his team of the farm Hvammur will make sure that the tour will be an unforgettable experience.

On our journey through the highlands, riders experience the one-of-a-kind quality of the Icelandic horse. The tour leads us over unscathed terrain and historical riding paths that have been used since the beginning of Icelandic civilization. During the ride we’re most likely to encounter sheep, foxes, birds and hopefully elves and other spirits.

Whilst departing from Hvammur, the riders are faced with the task of driving a herd of mares, foals and youngsters to the vast highlands where they can roam freely in their summer pastures. It is a real adventure to participate in the herding action with the light-spirited farmer Haukur and his family.

Endless highlands, majestic glaciers, and the peaceful wilderness triggers an indescribable feeling deep in the hearts of travelers in these parts. A special guest will be joining us on this special tour, the entrepreneur and founder of Íshestar Einar Bollason. This is horseback riding tour in Iceland will only take place in 2017, so limited seats are available on this adventure. Please contact our sales representative to book


  • Duration

    8 nights - 7 riding days - approx 225km
  • Riding skills

    Advanced riders
  • Departures

    Dates 2017: July 21 - July 29
  • Accommodation

    2-4 made up beds in each room at Hvammur Guesthouse. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Please bring your own sleeping bag!
  • 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.


  • 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

Friday: July 21: Reykjavík – Vatntnsdalur Valley – Hvammur Farm
Pick up from the Reykjavík Main Bus Station (BSÍ) at 17:00. Transfer from Reykjavík to the north where our farmer and his team receive us at Hvammur. 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. Welcome dinner at Hvammur where we get to know each other and go through the riding adventure of the coming days.

Saturday: July 22: Hvammur – Vatndsdalur – Haukagil – Hvammur
Today is our first riding day. We start off by gathering up the herd, mares, foals and young horses which we will bring up to the summer pastures. The stallions are kept separated at home. On our ride, we pass the historical farm Hof and cross the river Vatnsdalsá. Vatnsdalur is the setting of one of the ancient sagas, the Vatnsdælasaga. 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 the guesthouse Hvammur. The hot tub offers a nice relaxation after today’s ride. (Approx. 20 km)

Sunday: July 23: Hvammur – Haukagil – Driving herd to highland pastures – Álkuskáli Mountain Cabin
We ascend towards the highland plateau Haukagilsheiði heath. It is great to drive the horses to 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. It is peaceful and beautiful to see the horses enjoy their freedom as we leave them and continue our trip with our riding horses to Álkuskáli where we spend the night. (Approx 35 km)

Monday: July 24: Álkuskáli – Arnarvatsheiði Heath – Arnarvatnsheiði Cabin
Further into the mountains, we set course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned by the farmers of Víðidalur valley. There we have the lunch break 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 ahead. 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 to our cabin beside the beautiful lake Arnarvatn where we spend the night. A truly fascinating mystical place of silence and tranquillity we will never forget. Fertile highland vegetation and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area. (Approx. 40 km)

Tuesday: July 25: Arnarvatn – Langjökull Glacier – Fljótsdrög Mountain Cabin – Arnarvatn
We spend the day exploring this beautiful area. Our ride brings us closer to the black Volcano Krákur (Raven) and one of the biggest glaciers of Iceland. The majestic Langjökull glacier. As we move further away from Arnarvatn the landscape gets rougher. We sense the qualities of our Icelandic horses as they bring us towards this unspoiled extreme area of lava fields and ice. We have lunch at Fljótsdrög Cabin before we return to Arnvarvatn for another overnight stay. (Approx. 30 km)
Wednesday: July 26: Arnarvatn – Stóri Sandur (Big Sand Desert) – Grímstunguheiði Heath – Öldumóðuskáli Mountain Cabin
Our route today leads us to the north over the mystical sand desert Stóri Sandur. This impressive area without any vegetation reminds us on how tough nature can be here up in the north. As we get further we pass the mountains Svartahæð (Black Mountain) and Grettishæð (The Mountain of Grettir the Strong). We are following a historical route still used by the farmers today when they get their horses and sheep from the summer pastures. We get closer to our mountain cabin which is located by the river Strangakvísl. The grass and other highland vegetation make a warm welcome to us and our horses after the empty desert. Overnight stay at Öldumóðuskáli. (Approx. 45 km)

Thursday: July 27: Öldumóðuskáli –Friðmundarvötn Lakes – Forsæludalur Valley – Hvammur Farm
We continue our ride and enjoy the great view riding in fast tölt on the old soft highland routes. We ride downwards from the mountains, along with the river Strangakvísl and cross the river Vatnsdalsá through the famous tide flat Lestammannavað. The wideness and freedom feeling is inspiring for horses and people. It is impressive to see the fertile Vatnsdalur valley in the north with all its fields and vegetation. As we ride down to the valley the canyon of the river Vatnsdalsá appears with some of its many waterfalls. Our horses stay at the farm Forsæludalur which is the first farm to reach in this area when you come from the highland. We stay overnight at the guesthouse Hvammur. The hot tub offers again a nice relaxation after today’s ride. (Approx. 35 km)

Friday: July 28: Forsæludalur – Vatndsalsá River – Hvammur Farm
Great riding tracks along the banks of Vatnsdalsá river give us the opportunity to enjoy a fast ride in the soft tölt. We have to cross the river several times so better wear the boots today. We pass the place where the famous outlaw Grettir had his fight with the ghost Glámur and more mystical places from the ancient Sagas. Our last stop before the homestretch is at the farm Hof were the first settler of this area built his farm around year 900. As we come home to Hvammur, the horses get a rest and we will enjoy the evening with delicious Icelandic food, celebrating a great tour, singing and sharing our experience of the Icelandic adventure. (Approx. 25 km)

Saturday: July 29: Hvammur – Reykjavík
We say good-bye to our farmer and his crew. Transfer back to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Approx. return at 14:00.

– We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

Here you can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Buses 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.

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

  • 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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