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Tour 10 – Þórsmörk

The World of Contrasts – Glaciers, Volcanos, Waterfalls and Sagas

This tour provides the opportunity to experience the variety and beauty of Icelandic nature. We start in the lush district of Fljótshlíd, the setting of one of the Icelandic Sagas. From there we ride into Thórsmörk, one of the most beautiful valleys in Iceland, which is only accessible by crossing glacial rivers. We spend a night surrounded by green forests, volcanic mountains and glaciers before continuing along the foot of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. We also visit the impressive canyon Stakkholtsgjá and stop at Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

This tour has a free running herd of horses

Experience the diversity of the Icelandic horse in its natural environment, far from civilization, and how Icelanders travelled in the old days with a herd of free-running horses. Every rider gets the chance to try 2 or 3 different horses each day, which develops riding skills.

I recently did the Thórsmörk tour with Eldhestar and it was perfect. 
On the one hand I had extreme luck with the amazing weather and the kind people I got to go on this tour with. We all had similar riding skills and therefore were able to enjoy it even more. 
On the other hand Eldhestar did a great job at making this trip as perfect as it was. The food was amazing and definitely exceeded all of my expectations. Our guides (Sarah, Ewa and Victoria) were always fun to talk to and did a great job at matching each and every of the 8 horses that we rode to our personal preferences and abilities. There was not one horse I rode that I didn’t like. All the horses were amazing: So energetic, responsive and well behaved. 
Combined with the beautiful landscape of Thórsmörk this tour was just absolute perfection. The only downside was that it was over so quickly. So I will definitely return for an even longer tour.

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Duration

5 days, 4 nights – 4 days on horseback

Availability & Price

see overview at the end of the page

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Riding distance

90 km or 20 – 35 km (4 – 6,5 hours) per day.

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Included

English speaking guide, riding and safety equipment and transfer from/to Reykjavik.

Accommodation at guesthouse Eldhestar (1 night) in shared rooms and sleeping bag accommodation in farmhouses and a simple mountain hut (3 nights in shared rooms), full board.
Please note that dinner on the last day is not included.

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What to bring

Good shoes, comfortable pants (riding pants not necessary), gloves and a buff is recommended and if you want to bring a camera, please bring a small waist bag as backpacks cannot be taken on horseback. See more detailed information here

DAY BY DAY

Day 1: Arrival

The tour starts in the evening. Tour members who arrive the same day to 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 the village Hveragerði. There you will be lodged at our guesthouse. We will get to know each other during dinner at our Hotel Eldhestar. The day will end with a detailed description of the tour.

Day 2: Hveragerdi – Torfastaðir

We take the bus to the farm Torfastaðir in Fljótslhlíð, South Iceland, where the tour begins, and get to know the horses. On the first day, we ride from Torfastaðir to the river Markarfljót, crossing wide plains along the old river banks with views of hills, mountains and glaciers. After reaching the striking rock Dímon, which is well known from the Saga of Njáll, we cross the old bridge over the river Markarfljót and end the farm Stóru-Mörk / Ásgarður, where we stay overnight.

Riding time and distance: 22-25 km – 4 hours.

Day 3: Stóra-Mörk – Thórsmörk

Today we ride from the farm Stóra-Mörk towards the valley Thórsmörk. We follow the river Markarfljót (known from the Saga of Njáll) along the slopes of the famous glacier and volcano Eyjafjallajökull, riding on the soft ground covered by the ash of the volcano’s eruption in 2010, which has changed the landscape in this area considerably. During our ride into the valley we cross several rivers and ride along the banks of the torrential glacial river Krossá, before we reach the beautiful nature reserve Thórsmörk, which is named after the old Nordic god Thór. The picturesque valley is framed by glaciers on three sides, Eyjafjallajökull, Tindafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. We stay overnight at the mountain hut Básar in Thórsmörk. In the evening we get the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular landscape of the broad valley with surprisingly rich vegetation, birch woods, canyons and lava formations shaped by rivers and volcanos.

Riding time and distance: 25 km – 5-6 hours.

Day 4: Thórsmörk – Stóra-Mörk

The day begins with a visit of the “Elves Church”, a distinctive volcanic formation, followed by a visit of the enormous canyon Stakkholtsgjá, an unforgettable experience. We follow the riding trail of the day before out of the valley, ride over the green heathlands Hamragarðaheiði and then back to the path again through the valley of the river Markarfljót until we reach the farm Stóra-Mörk / Ásgarður, where we stay overnight.

Riding time and distance: 30 km, 6 hours.

Day 5: Stóra-Mörk – Torfastaðir

On our last day, we first ride on good riding trails in the surroundings of the river Markarfljót and then follow an old road through the nice landscape along the green hills of Fljótshlíð. On our way back to the farm Torfastaðir we ride past the farm Hlíðarendi, where one of the most famous Vikings, Gunnar of Hlíðarendi, lived and died, according to the Saga of Njáll. Around 15:00 we drive back to our farm Vellir and after a short stop at the farm the bus takes you to Reykjavik, where the tour ends (around 17:30).

Riding time and distance: 25 km, 4-5 hours.

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