Tour 17 – Landmannalaugar
Colourful mountains and soft lava sand
The tour will start at the farm Fellsmuli, below Mt. Hekla, and takes us to Landmannalaugar, a valley in the Icelandic highlands that is best known for its colourful rhyolite mountains, extensive lava fields and the natural hot spring that gave the valley its name. We will ride over highlands alongside Hekla until we reach Landmannahellir, where the Icelandic farmers kept their sheep in a cave during the round up before they build a better shed for them. From there we continue the next day in Landmannalaugar. The highlight of the tour is a bath in the warm river at Landmannalaugar.
From there, we head south-west close by lake Sauðleysuvatn and through Lambaskarð mountain passage before we reach to the mountain hut, Hólaskógur, where we are staying over the night. The tour ends at the farm Fellsmúli.
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.
We booked the Landmannalaugar Wilderness tour a year ago. Although my husband and I were both competent riders, we decided to get fit and had a lesson weekly, as well as a couple of long treks. Our preparation was just right, . . . Eldhestar put the horses first. Our guides, Nonni (one of the founders of Eldhestar) Vésteinn, his son and Julia and Bella knew the horses well and allowed our riding to develop as the days went by. 18 riders and the guides rode in front and behind the 30 loose horses. At intervals, we changed mounts, each riding about 15 different horses over the 6 days. There were rest and food stops for both the horses and for us! By the end, we were competent tölters. Rode trough some jaw droppingly beautiful landscapes and through a few rivers. The food was a highlight. Patel, our Polish chef, met us most lunchtimes with hot soup, and we ate healthly and delicious food in the evenings. We are already planning our next trek . . . Thank you Eldhestar for a safe, exciting and entertaining experience. Highly recommended.
7 days and 6 nights. 6 days on horseback.
Availability & Price
see overview at the end of the page
Around 210 km, 20-40 km (4-8 hours) per day.
English speaking guide, riding and safety equipment and transfer from/to Reykjavik.
1 night in Guesthouse Eldhestar (2-4 beds per shared room with shared facilities), 5 nights sleeping bag accommodation in farms and simple mountain huts (bunk beds in shared rooms).
Full board (traditional Icelandic cooking).
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. Bring your swimsuit and towel!
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 ending 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 the next morning).
Day 2: Fellsmuli – Rjúpnavellir
We start the tour at the farm Fellsmuli and will follow first Landvegur until we can ride closer towards Mt. Hekla. We ride alongside Hekla, over the river Ytri- Rangá and reach Rjúpnavellir.
Riding time and distance: 18 km – 4 hours.
Day 3: Rjúpnavellir – Landmannahellir
We start at Rjúpnavellir ride along the river Ytri- Rangá until we can cross the river again at Fossabrekkur. From there we will ride towards Áfangagil, where the locals have collected their sheep since 1980. From there we ride Northeast on the roas Dómadalsvegur until we rach the mountains Langasáta and Rauðufossafjöll. From there we ride to Landmannahellir, a peacefull place in Friðland að Fjallabaki.
Riding time and distance: 37 km – 7-8 hours
Day 4: Landmannahellir – Landmannalaugar- Landmannahellir
Today we will visit Landmannalaugar, a valley in the Icelandic highlands best known for its beautiful mountains and the hot springs that gave the valley its name. We will take the opportunity to take a bath in the hot rivers at Landmannalaugar before we ride back to Landmannahellir and have again the possibility to enjoy all the colourful mountains.
Riding time and distance: 38 km; 8 – 9 hours.
Day 5: Landmannahellir – Hólaskógur
We start riding on sandy paths close by the lake Sauðleysuvatn. Our sure-footed horses carry us comfortably through rough terrain through the Lambaskarð mountain passage before we reach the black lava north of Valafell mountain. We end the day by crossing the bridge of the river Þjórsá, before coming to the mountain hut Hólaskógur.
Riding time and distance: 30 km; 6 – 7 hours
Day 6: Hólaskógur - Rjúpnavellir
Today we ride back to Rjúpnavellir. We start us by riding East over the lava until we reach Áfangagil, From there we ride on a soft path to the Mountain Búrfell to which will lead us back to Rjúpnavellir, our final destination for this day.
Riding time and distance: 35 km; 7 – 8 hours
Day 7: Rjúpnavellir – Fellsmuli
Today we start at Rjúpnavellir towards Mt. Búrfell, which was the home for a troll in the old days. After some miles over a dessert, we get a magnificent view of Thjófafoss (the waterfall of the Thieves) and we will hear some stories about this waterfall. We ride through the sandy 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 where we will have some refreshments before we drive you Reykjavik where the tour ends.
Riding time and distance: 30km, 6 -7 hours.