Winter Training for Horses and Riders

January is an exciting time in horsemanship in Iceland. Riding horses traditionally get a few months break, usually during autumn, and now arrive back at the stables where they are kept for the winter riding season. Horse owners look forward to spending their leisure time with the horses and take part in riding tours, competitions and events organized by horse clubs. Many of them start planning riding tours during next summer, which are often the highlight of the year. Horses need to be trained for competition or highland tours where 30-70 km are covered a day and each rider takes several horses which are running free during the trip. 

Riders of all ages also use the winter time for training and take part in a riding course. Thanks to excellent education of riding instructors in Iceland at the University Hólar this becomes increasingly popular.

Our horses also enjoy their freedom in the herd for several months. Eldhestar owns about 350 horses and we keep 60-80 horses at the farm from September to May. One group of horses just left happily for vacation and another came back from their long autumn break on large pastures and we begin with the winter training.

The group of horses arriving in January is particularly interesting. It always includes many of the new ones that we have bought the year before and we look forward to getting to know them better. A few horses are from our own breeding, which both focuses on gentle, soft tölters for our guests and high class competition horses whose fathers are some of the countries best stallions. Besides, every staff member now gets a horse to train for the “Eldhestar Local” competition which will be held for the second time this spring. It is always nice to see how the horses and riders improve within a few weeks!

If you would like to experience winter training, develop your  riding skills or prepare for next summer’s riding tour we recommend you have a look at our Winter Riding Courses and the Winter Special Riding Course!


Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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

Your Eldhestar Team


New Winter Special Program

How about a short winter riding vacation in Iceland?

Eldhestar has previously offered winter packages combining riding tours, practical and theoretical education in our modern, bright riding hall and a comfortable stay with delicious Icelandic specialties at our cozy eco-certified Country Hotel Eldhestar.

We now offer our winter tour RIDING COURSE & RIDING TOURS with a new program and we are very glad to be able to add  a WINTER SPECIAL RIDING COURSE with the well known  German/English speaking  trainer and instructor Hugrún Jóhannsdóttir (March 11-14).  Experienced riders get the chance to develop their riding skills, ride in extraordinary environment and, as a highlight, see some of the best horses and riders at the Champions League in Horse Sports Tölt competition (“Meistaradeild”).

For more information about our winter tours please click here!

Christmas Show

Around mid December, the Icelandic “Jólasveinar” come me out of nearby mount Ingólfsfjall. In Iceland, Christmas is not only celebrated with the usual Red one arriving with the reindeer on Christmas day but also with 13 yule lads, who are actually Christmas trolls. The The first one arrives 13 days before Christmas and every well behaving child might find some little surprise every morning (or a potato, if not behaving…).
This year, the yule lads also visited Eldhestar. Of course they came on horseback, and they gave a VERY impressive performance for our staff and their families & friends!
You can read more about the 13 Christmas trolls and other information about Christmas traditions in Iceland here!

Eldhestar Brochure 2015

Eldhestars new brochure for 2015 can now be downloaded on the website! Please click here.

When the summer had come to an end with the sheep round up as last highlight of the season and most of our horses started their long winter vacation in the freedom of vast fields we were already busy planning next season.In summer 2015 we will offer a new tour including four days of riding in the best riding areas in the South and Southwest of Iceland, “Eldhestar Exclusive” (Tour 8f). This tour is recommended for experienced riders wishing to spend exciting days on horseback in small groups and enjoy the comfort of our Hotel Eldhestar in the evenings.

The brochure 2015 also includes information about our program for the period October 2014 – May 2015. Winter time is riding season in Iceland and our guests can choose between most of our half-day-tours, day-tours and combo-tours as well as special shorter winter-tours with riding, activities, relaxing and – with a little luck – the stunning Northern Lights above our farm.

Guests interested in photography will find an interesting new program “Riding & Photography Course” (Tour 35) in May 2015.

We have decided to offer accommodation at Guesthouse Eldhestar in fall, winter and spring. Guests who would like to book our popular tour “Nature’s Pleasures and Rider´s Treasures” (Tour 8a / Tour 8b) are now welcome to stay either in our hotel or in the guesthouse.

Of course you can also contact us regarding your tailor-made vacation at Eldhestar.

Progress of Construction


The last weeks have been unusually warm and it has not been snowing yet in our area, so the construction work at Hotel Eldhestar is going very well. The huge, water-filled hole in has disappeared quickly  and was replaced with a solid foundation, and now the concrete floor of our new dining area, kitchen and office is already finished.

Our local construction company obviously has had some experience with our neighbors, the elves, who are known to be not amused about construction work and might even damage machines (as a matter of fact). But this time, the ghosts will scare them away…

Hotel Eldhestar received award for outstanding performance

Hotel Eldhestar has received the award for an outstanding performance during the year 2014. This award is given to farms within Icelandic Farm Holidays and is based on guest reviews and special qualities. We would like to thank our guests for your positive feedback!


New Booking System

Now we are working together with the specialist to put up a booking system on our website. This will be for the tours 1A and up to tour 6 to start with.

At this moment it looks as if there is now availability, but that is not the case. Until it is fully working you are welcome to contact our office for bookings by phone +354 480 4800 or by email:

Do not let the status of the booking machine fool you as we do have availability each day!

Eldhestar staff

Construction Time!

We like to build at Eldhestar! Hotel Eldhestar is only 12 years old, built in 2002 and enlarged in 2005. Our new stable was opened in 2009, the guesthouse 2010 and the riding hall 2012. Last year we added one staff house. Now it is construction time again. Next spring our guests will enjoy our delicious food cooked in a brand-new kitchen in a spacious restaurant, and our staff will move in a new office.


Summer Riding School

 The local horse-club “Ljúfur” offers riding courses for children every summer, operating a riding school at our stable in the evening. For the past three weeks, children as young as 5 years from Hveragerði and the area Ölfus have been learning the basics of riding on our gentle horses. The riding instructor Hugrún Jóhannsdóttir, who is a well known teacher both in Iceland and abroad,  always has plenty of ideas for games on horseback,  and it is a joy to watch the children having fun and learning with our horses.