Tour 18 – South Iceland Highland Special
6 days riding

Mighty rivers, green plains and volcanic landscape
The tour starts at the farm Fellsmuli, below Mt. Hekla, and takes us to the fascinating area between the mighty glacial river Þjórsá and the famous volcano Mt. Hekla. We will  ride on nice trails towards the cottage Rjúpnavellir, located in a beautiful, green area surrounded by bizarre volcanic landscape.  We continue  alongside Hekla until we reach Áfangagil, and further to the hut Hólaskógur. From there, we head north, following the ancient Sprengisandur road. We spend two nights in a cottage close to Hrauneyjar, exploring exceptional nature of the area. We than head back to Rjúpnavallir for another night. The tour ends at the farm Fellsmúli.

Duration: 8 days and 7 nights. 6 days on horseback.
Riding distance:  Ca. 186 km, 18-43 km per day (4-9 hours).
Accommodation & Meals: 2 nights in guesthouses (2-4 bed rooms with shared facilities), 6  nights sleeping bag accommodation in farms and simple mountain huts (bunk beds). Full board (traditional Icelandic home cooking, special meals on request). Please note that dinner on the last evening is not included.

Day-by-day description:

Day 1: Arrival
The tour starts in the evening. Tour members who arrive the same day to Iceland should take the shuttle bus Flybus (www.flybus.is) 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 the village Hveragerði.  We will get to know each other during the dinner at Hotel Eldhestar and meet for a detailed description of the tour after dinner. You will spend the night at Guesthouse Eldhestar.

Day 2: Fellsmuli – Rjúpnavellir
In the morning we get to know the horses during a short ride. After lunch we drive to the farm Fellsmuli, where the tour stars. We ride along green meadows in picturesque farmland, following Landvegur until we reach the moon-like landscape of the southern highlands on our way towards the famous volcano Mt. Hekla. We ride on soft paths alongside Hekla, cross the river Ytri- Rangá and reach the cottage Rjúpnavellir. Ca. 18 km, 4 hours.

Day 3: Rjúpnavellir – Hólaskógur
We start at Rjúpnavellir and ride along the river Ytri- Rangá until we can cross the river again at Fossabrekkur, a beautiful, green oasis in the bizarre landscape created by the volcano Hekla. From there we will ride towards Áfangagil, where the locals have collected their sheep since 1980. We stop for lunch and continue on nice, sandy trails to the hut Hólaskógur, which is located in a very special environment. Ca. 30 km; 6-7 hours.

Day 3: Hólaskógur – Hrauneyjarfoss
We cross large areas of black lava sand and continue north-east of the mighty glacial river Þjórsá, Iceland´s longest river. The landscape is varied and changes steadily into wilderness. We spend the next two nights at the hut Þóristunga, which is located between rivers and vast green plains close to Hrauneyjar, a hydroelectric plant. Ca. 35 km, 7 hours.

Day 4: Þóristúnga – Þóristúnga
This day will be spend riding in fascinating nature close to Hrauneyar. We follow the southern part of the ancient Sprengisandur highland road along the river Tungná towards the crossing point Trippavað at the river Köldukvísl. We ride over Trippavað and east of Köldukvísl on good gravel trails through rocky landscape until we reach an area of large, green sandy dunes with fresh water sources. After a lunch break in this nice scenery we continue along small streams and large rivers until we reach Þóristunga again. Ca. 30 km, 6-7 hours.

Day 6: Þóristunga – Rjúpnavellir
Today´s riding route takes us back to Rjúpnavellir. We start by riding south over the lava until we reach the farm Hald. From there we take an ancient path alongside Mt. Vallafell which will lead us back to the cottage Rjúpnavellir, our final destination for this day. Ca. 43 km, 8-9 hours.

Day 7: Rjúpnavellir – Fellsmuli
We start riding at Rjúpnavellir and continue towards Mt. Búrfell, which was the home for a troll in the old days. After some miles over a desert, we get a magnificient view at Þjófafoss (the waterfall of the Thieves) and we will hear some stories about the area. We ride on sandy trials trough a large forest at Skarð before our tour ends at the farm Fellsmuli, where we will have a great view of Mt. Hekla. From Fellsmuli, we take the bus back to Eldhestar’s farm Vellir and enjoy some refreshments before our bus takes you to a nice guesthouse in Reykjavik (bed & breakfast). We have the possibility to end the tour with a dinner in a restaurant in Reykjavik (not included). Ca. 30 km, 6 -7 hours.

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, tour members can take the bus to Keflavik Airport on their own or continue travelling in Iceland.

Departure: July 27

Price per person: € 1.990