Tour 15 – The Volcano Hekla
5 days riding
Mystique and fantastic riding paths
This tour takes us to the colorful landscape between the famous volcano Hekla and Tindafjallajökull glacier. This area is known for amazing nature shaped by the forces of volcanoes and glaciers. We ride with a herd of free running horses on nice, soft riding paths on black sandy ground covered by green grass and through lava fields in a mystic scenery of volcanic formations created by many eruptions of the volcano Hekla through the centuries. Some of the eruptions destroyed the habitation in certain areas. We can feel the presence of the natural force and the mystique surrounding Hekla, together with elements from the old Sagas. Our riding path follows an old Viking trail that the Viking Gunnar from Hlíðarendi in Njál´s Saga was riding when he ended up in one of his many battles. On our way we enjoy hidden valleys, wide green pastures and mighty rivers. The combination of beautiful nature, great horses and fantastic riding paths makes this tour a memory for life!
Duration: 6 days and 5 nights – 5 days on horseback.
Riding distance: Ca. 160 km, 23 – 40 km per day (4 – 8 hours).
Accommodation & Meals: 1 night in guesthouse, 4 nights sleeping bag accommodation in cottages and simple mountain huts (bunk beds).
Full board (traditional Icelandic home cooking, special meals on request).
Departure 2019: June 14 and July 12.
Please note: The last night of accommodation in Reykjavík will not be included in our shorter-, longer- and wilderness tours in summer 2019.
Day by day description
Day 1: Arrival
The tour starts in the evening. Tour members who arrive the same day in Iceland should take the “Flybus” from the airport to the final bus station BSÍ in Reykjavík. We will greet you at the bus station or at your hotel / guesthouse in Reykjavik between 17:30- 18:00 and drive you to our farm Vellir near Hveragerði. There you will be lodged at Guesthouse Eldhestar. We will get to know each other during dinner at our Hotel Eldhestar. The day will end with a detailed description of the tour (might be in the morning).
Day 2: Vellir – Hrólfsstaðahellir
In the morning we get to know the horses during a short ride. After an early lunch we go by bus to the farm Fellsmúli in the beautiful area Landssveit, on the foot of Volcano Hekla. From there we first ride northwards to the farm Leirubakki, and then on nice trails eastwards to the Vestri-Rangá River. The tour continues southward along the river to the farm Hrólfsstaðahellir, where we pend the night in a cottage and have the opportunity to enjoy a relaxing bath in a hot tub. 23 km, 4 hrs.
Day 3: Hrólfsstaðahelli – Foss
We start the day by crossing the river Vestri-Rangá and continue over the moss-covered lava field Botnahraun, which was created several hundreds of years ago in one of Hekla´s many eruptions. We follow an ancient riding path over the lava field and across wide plains of grassland, and later on we continue over another lava field, called Axarhraun, until we reach the mountain hut Foss. This hut is located in the area south of the volcano Hekla which is well known from the great Saga of Njáll. 35 km, 7 hrs.
Day 4: Foss – Foss
Today we leave the herd at the hut Foss and ride with our best tölters to experience the beautiful surroundings with scenic valleys and special formations of clefts. From the farm Foss we ride on nice, soft trails mainly through grassland towards an impressing cave. After visiting the cave we will pass the abandoned farms Þorleifsstaði and Reynistaði on our way back to Foss for a relaxing lunch break. In the afternoon we follow a scenic path in the very special area next to the volcanic mountain Hafrafell. We spend the night in Foss. 20 km, 5 hrs.
Day 5: Foss – Rjúpnavellir
Today we yet again ride over the lava field Axarhraun to see the area west of the volcano Hekla, and spend the lunch break in beautiful nature next to the farm Kot. Afterwards we will pass the so-called farms of Hekla which are the farms closest to the volcano. We continue through an area covered with soft black lava sand and enjoy a nice view of the wide landscape and mountains, weather permitting until we reach and cross the mighty river Vestri-Rangá. We spend the night at the cottage Rjúpnavellir, a nice cottage situated close to Hekla. In these area the landscape is imprinted by natural forces such as wind and volcanic eruptions. 40 km, 8 hrs.
Day 6: Rjúpnavellir – Þjófafoss – Fellsmúli – Departure
We ride with the herd of horses on towards the glacial river Þjórsá, the longest river in Iceland, where we will reach the Waterfall of the Thieves, Þjófafoss. We continue in brisk tölt on soft sandy paths through a beautifully green forest of birches to the old farm Skarfanes. The horses are on their way home now, and it is usually going fast on these paths. We end the ride where we started, at the farm Fellsmúli. From there the bus takes us first to Eldhestar for some refreshments. It is time to say farewell to your tour companions and guides, as the tour ends with the drive back to Reykjavík. Tour members take their flight back home or travel further to see more of the country. 24 km, 5 hrs .