Hot spring in Reykjadalur causes itinerary changes


Living and travelling in Iceland means being regularly reminded of the forces of nature.

The valley Reykjadalur is well known for geothermal activity and bathing in the warm stream is one of the highlights on many of our tours. Several hot springs are located next to the riding trail, and some of them are slowly expanding. One of the springs close to the bathing area has now opened up on both sides of the narrow trail, which had to be secured with a bridge for hikers. Unfortunately, this part of the trail is now impassable for horses.

This has no major effect on our popular day tour 5a Hot Spring Valley Reykjadalur (also included in tour 7 Volcano Contrasts and tour 8a/b Natures Treasures and Riders Pleasures), as the only change will be walking the last 10 minutes.

However, we will have to change the itinerary for all tours where we planned to ride through the valley coming from above:

Tour 6b Volcano Hengill & Hot Spring Valley (now riding up and down the valley, see description here).

Tour 8c Best of Eldhestar

Tour 9 Around the Volcano

Tour 12 Thingvellir

Tour 13 Golden  Highlights of the South

On tour 8c, 9, 12 and 13 we will start this day tour from our farm Vellir (riding tour 6b).

These changes will be necessary during the summer season 2016. We are working on a solution together with the town of Hveragerði.

Eldhestar Local 2016


The third Eldhestar Local staff competition took place in our riding hall on Saturday, April 23. This year we had 20 riders participating, many of them with new horses, some bought by Eldhestar and some owned by our staff members.

Each rider had to show a full loop in slow tölt, followed by a loop in slow tölt on the small sides and faster tölt on the long sides and finally high speed tölt. In the finals, this program had to be shown in both directions. Quite a challenging program, especially for those riders and horses who took part in a competition for the first time.

We had a great time training together, competing and enjoying delicious food á la Nico.

We congratulate the winner Anna Kronhed with her mare Dögg frá Strandarhjáleigu!

The results were the following:


1. Anna Kronhed (Sweden) / Dögg frá Strandarhjáleigu, owner Anna Kronhed, F: Sær frá Bakkakoti, 5,75

2-3. Marieke Huurenkamp (Netherlands) / Klettur frá Horni I, owner Eldhestar, F: Hamur frá Þóroddsstöðum, 5,50

2-3. Louisa Hansen (Denmark) / Brana frá Mosfellsbæ, owner Eldhestar, F: Álfasteinn frá Selfossi, 5,50

4. Simone Nielsen (Denmark) / Skörungur frá Kánastöðum, owner Eldhestar, F: Garpur frá Auðholtshjáleigu, 5,42

5. Jóhanna Bettý Durhuus (Iceland) / Steini frá Jórvík, owner Jóhanna Bettý Durhuus, F: Gnýr frá Árgerði, 4,75


6. Annina Wilhelm (Germany) Birna frá Ásbrú, owner Eldhestar, F: Ás frá Ásmóti, 5,50

7. Marianne Giesswein (Austria) / Sörli frá Sauðanesi, owner Irina Fjóla Jónsdóttir, F: Kjarkur frá Sauðanesi, 5,00

8. Lea Wiesendanger (Switzerland) / Ösp frá Grásteini, owner Eldhestar, F: Orri frá Þúfu, 4,58

9. Smári Sæmundsson (Iceland) / Saga frá Völlum, owner Smári Sæmundsson, F: Glóðar frá Reykjavik, 4,50

10. Corinna Frahm (Germany) / Gjósta frá Heiði, owner Corinna Frahm, F: Dynur frá Hvammi, 4,42

All results

11. Atli Már Atlason (Iceland) / Seðill frá Flekkudal, owner Atli Már Atlason, F: Fáfnir frá Fagranesi

12. Sonja Weinberg (Germany) / Víðir frá Flagbjarnarholti, owner Eldhestar, F: Tónn frá Torfunesi

13. Yngve Söderstrand (Sweden) / Ör frá Strandarhjáleigu, owner Yngve Söderstrand, F: Þóroddur frá Þóroddsstöðum

14. Lisa Gerstenmeyer (Germany) / Finnur frá Hala, owner Eldhestar, F: Þytur frá Neðra-Seli

15. Johanna Nilsson (Denmark) / Peli frá Enni, owner Eldhestar, F: Kvistur frá Enni

16. Ida Lungnér (Denmark) / Breki frá Brúnum, owner Eldhestar, F: Ægir frá Móbergi

17. Martina Cervenková (Slovakia) / Ófelía frá Hurðarbaki, owner Eldhestar, F: Andvari frá Ey

18. Ida Thorborg (Denmark) / Hrist frá Völlum, owner Hróðmar Bjarnason, F: Þröstur frá Hvammi

19. Nicolas Gadanyi (Germany) / Geysir frá Velli II, owner Nicolas Gadanyi, F: Glæsir frá Litlu-Sandvík

Guest rider:

Brigitte Baumgartner (Switzerland) /Huginn frá Völlum, owner Brigitte Baumgartner, F: Þröstur frá Hvammi

Spring at Eldhestar

Spring has officially arrived in Iceland with the first golden plover, the bird marking the end of winter, spotted about two weeks ago, a bit late this year. This time when the birds return into awaking nature, causing the only, very welcome noise on the quiet,  bright evenings is very special and great for riding along meadows and rivers surrounding Eldhestar.

The winter season is just about to come to an end with the last groups of the Northern Light Tours and the Winter Riding Course currently enjoying their stay at Eldhestar. We will continue to offer the Winter Riding Course with both a 3-day program and a 5-day program next season, the dates for can be found on the tour pages.

The last months were quite busy in the stable with daily riding tours, often in great winter weather and snow until mid March. Training of young horses and basic training of foals went very well and it will be interesting to see how the offspring of the relatively young breeding line of Eldhestar will do in the future. Now we are very much looking forward to welcoming this year’s folas! We will soon add information about the Eldhestar breeding and introduce the horses on our website.

As every year, many new tour horses will join our team in the summer season and we look forward to getting to know them better.

On Saturday, April 23 the third Eldhestar Local Tölt competition will take place in our riding hall. We expect even more participants then last year and interesting new horses as some of our staff members will compete on their own horses for the first time and we will see some youngsters from Eldhestar breeding as well. Of course visitors are welcome to cheer. The local riding club Ljúfur also uses our riding hall for competitions and a riding course for children this spring and summer, so there is often something going on at Eldhestar.

The construction work at Hotel Eldhestar will be finished soon with 10 new rooms opening on May 1st. In April we started introducing something which is becoming increasingly popular in Reykjavik but has not been known in South Iceland so far: Sunday Brunch! We were very happy to see how many Icelandic families with children visited us for the first brunch. Brunch will be offered until the end of May and again in September with the possibility of brunch & riding and  horse riding for children.

January Impressions


While days are getting longer quickly and half of the winter is already over it is quite busy at Eldhestar, with many day visitors, guests on tour packages and  groups of horses arriving and leaving for vacation. South Iceland has been covered with a white blanket of snow for most of the winter with beautiful cold, sunny days with powder snow and stunning Northern Lights in between.

In January, when horse life is getting interesting with most riders taking their horses in the stable, we always fill our stable with new horses, training horses and young ones. Unlike our furry herd outside they easily get too warm, so we  shave them under the mane to give them some air condition. Besides the regular riding they spend some hours a day outside in the paddock and we often let them run a few kilometer to strengthen them and give them the opportunity to move freely, just like we do to prepare our tour horses. The herd enjoys the outdoors, either playing in the snow or cuddling tight together close to the solid wind shelter, with piles of hey.

Ida continues the training of Eldhestar’s really promising youngsters “frá Völlum”, perhaps a soon to be well known breeding name…? The youngest group went off to almost one year in freedom  with the large herd, now she’s working with the horses which had their basic training last autumn. We are very happy with the offspring, some of them you might meet on tours while other will do well in competition or further breeding.

The new shape of Hotel Eldhestar is starting to look nice with construction work going very well despite of the long period of heavy snowfall.  The interior work will soon be started and the first guests are scheduled to move in on May 1.

At the office, we have started preparing next season as bookings for summer are floating in. Many of our multi-day tours are already fully booked, but we still have spots available, in particular on the tours with many departures such as Tour 20 Kjölur,  Tour 13 Golden Highlights of the South, and Tour 15 Volcano Hekla. 

As for now, we are looking forward to welcoming participants of the Winter Riding Course, who will enjoy a nice week with us and our horses and visit one of the highlights of this season, the four gait competition of “Meistaradeild”. We still have a few spots available on the departures in February, March and April (either 3 or 4 days).





We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Your Eldhestar Team

Winter Riding Course – New program 3 or 5 days

In October and November three of our popular winter riding courses took place at Eldhestar. Participants had a great time with lessons in the spacious, bright riding hall and during rides in the beautiful scenery surrounding our farm.  Considering some valuable feedback and inquiries regarding riding courses we have decided to offer the Winter Riding Course not only as a 3-days program but also a longer version including 5 days.

This will enable us to create a new, interesting program for the Winter Riding Course, and we will also improve the short version. We would like to be flexible with regard to the schedule, to be able to create an individual program for each course depending on the season and number of participants.

The new program will include the following:

  • Riding / training demonstration by a qualified trainer (attended Hólar University of Equine Sciences)
  • Lesson in working horses from the ground
  • Riding with a herd of free running horses
  • Riding tour to a breeding farm in the neighborhood and breeder´s lecture
  • Theoretical instruction and film
  • Optional: Visit to the Horse Theater at Fákasel
  • Optional: Excursion to Geysir, Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir national park instead of half a day riding on the last day

As an additional highlight, participants on all dates (except for March 23) will have the opportunity to see the best horses and riders competing on the Meistaradeild Champions League in Horse Sports. Another great horse event, the famous “Ice-Tölt” competition, can be visited on March 26.

More information about the program and the price will be available in the beginning of January.


The dates for the Winter Riding Course 2016 are the following:

January 27-30 or January 27 – February 1
(28. January: Four gait competition, see Video Fourgait Meistaradeild)

February 10-13 or February 10-15
(11. February: “Gæðingafimi” Icelandic dressage, see
Video Gæðingafimi Meistaradeild)

February 24-27 or February 25-29
(25. February: Tölt T2 competition, see Video Tölt T2 Meistaradeild)

March 9-12 or March 9-14
(10. March: Five gait competition, see Video Fivegait Meistaradeild)

March 23-26 or March 23-28
(26. March: Ice Tölt Competition, see Video Icetölt)

April 6-9 or April 6-11
(8. April: Final evening Tölt T1  flying pace, see
Video Tölt T1 Meistaradeild and Video Flying Pace Meistaradeild)

The dates for autumn 2016 will be announced next spring.

Please contact us if you would like further information or book the Winter Riding Course!




Construction Progress & Christmas Preparations

Only about two months ago we started with construction work, now the wooden structure is already finished and the walls are up. The roof will follow soon, hopefully before the first heavy snow. In May 2016, the new part of Hotel Eldhestar will be opened with 10 more comfortable rooms.

Right now the first snowflakes are already dancing in the wind and the mountains look like sugar-coated, but the sun is shining in between so the real Icelandic winter might not arrive within the next few days. The horses don´t mind the cold, they prefer to be outside playing with some wind shelter and good hey. Our riding guests don´t mind the cold either, they usually come back with a smile from rides between light and dark, well equipped with warm overalls.

While it is getting dark and cold outside the most enjoyable time of the year has started inside, with nice Christmas decoration, candle light and cozy evenings in front of the fire place. In the end of November and beginning of December it is tradition in Iceland to attend at least one Christmas buffet, and companies often invite their employees. Of course Hotel Eldhestar also offers a nice, traditional Christmas dinner and we welcome many Icelandic guests who would like to spend a relaxed weekend in the countryside before the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation is starting.




Training of Young Horses



Every spring some foals are born at our farm Vellir, and in September we take the young horses into the stable for their basic training. They are trained for about 6 weeks before they get to spend another year in freedom with the large herd.

Ida has been training Hilmar, Sónata, Sýr, Bliki and Fengur, and last Friday it was time for the first ride! All five youngsters were very well prepared and were amazing the first time with a rider on their back, we look forward to continue their training next year!

At Eldhestar we breed high quality horses both for trail riding and also for competition and only use mares with good, easy to ride tölt and a nice character together with first prize stallions. The horses we train now all have quite famous fathers such as Héðinn frá Feti, Hraunar frá Flugumýri, Kappi frá Kommu, Kjarni frá Þjóðólfshaga and Glóðar frá Reykjavík.  In the past years our breeding mares also went to Lukku-Láki frá Stóra-Vatnsskarði, Álfur frá Selfossi, Eldur frá Torfunesi, Þröstur frá Hvammi, Seiður frá Flugumýri II, Gaumur frá Auðholtshjáleigu, Fróði frá Staðartungu, Þeyr frá Akranesi, Korgur frá Ingólfshvoli and Kiljan frá Steinnesi. You will meet some of these nice horses on our tours later, and some of them are also for sale.

New Brochure 2016

Eldhestars new brochure  for 2016 can now be downloaded on the website, please click here!

For the Danish brochure please click here

In summer 2016 we will offer a new day tour for experienced riders, Tour 6b Volcano Hengill & Hot Spring Valley. This tour is an extended version of the popular Hot Springs Tour Reykjadalur Valley, including more of the fascinating area of  Volcano Hengill and of course the opportunity of taking a relaxing bath in the warm stream.

There will be a new version of Tour 15 Volcano Hekla, now including 5 days on horseback. The idea was to offer a tour with all features of a Long Tour such as a free running herd most of the time, riding distances up to 40 km a day and great environment but partly also at a leisurely pace and within a total travelling time of 7 days.  

Tour 2b which was known as “The Pot Luck Tour” will be slightly changed and operated under the new name “The Siggi Tour”, named after our well known neighbor, the very original Icelandic farmer  and horseman Siggi :).

The winter program has already started with the first Northern Lights Tour, and even in mid September we could observe this extraordinary natural phenomena dancing in the sky above our farm. We will adjust some of the winter tours around popular horse events in South Iceland, such as the Meistaradeild Champions League in Horse Sports and will inform you on the website and our facebook site. 

Hotel Eldhestar now offers 27 rooms, including a new, large family room with five high quality beds from the Swedish manufacturer Hästens of and private facilities. The new spacious, bright dining- and conference room was opened in May and until next spring Hotel Eldhestar will be enlarged, offering 10 new, comfortable rooms.

Please note that we will change our morning pick up time from October 1 to 8:00-8:30!

Last but not least: Eldhestar was founded in the year 1986 and will be celebrating the 30. anniversary in the upcoming season!

Bæklingur 2016 forsíða enska