Tour 8C – The Best of Eldhestar
Fine Selection of the Southwest
On this tour, our guests can experience the best day-stages from Eldhestar’s different shorter and longer tours in the South of Iceland. We visit the Valley of the Horses – Maradalur – from Tour 13, The Golden Highlights of the South. We will also experience Reykjadalur Valley from Tour 9, Around the Volcano. Furthermore, we also enjoy Tour 6, the Beach Ride. Finally, we visit the national park Thingvellir, one of two places in Iceland on UNESCO´s World Heritage List, from Tour 12, Thingvellir.
Beautiful landscape, very friendly and sweet horses. Riding and horses are excellent, and also enjoyed the food and landscaped. The important stuff – the riding, food and accommodation was all very good and we are planning to return
5 days, 4 nights – 4 days on horseback
Availability & Price
see overview at the end of the page
English speaking guide, riding and safety equipment and transfer from/to Reykjavik.
Accommodation at Hotel Eldhestar and/or a nearby hotel in a shared room with full board (breakfast, lunchbox: sandwich & cookies, coffee/tea & home-baked cake, 3-course dinner). Please note that dinner on the last evening is not included.
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.
This tour includes a few stretches requiring participants to walk and lead the horses!
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 your hotel/ guesthouse in Reykjavik at 17:30- 18:00 and drive to our farm Vellir in Hveragerði. There you will be lodged at Hotel Eldhestar for the entire tour. We will get to know each other during dinner at the hotel. The day ends with a detailed description of the tour (the description can also be next morning after breakfast).
Day 2: Vellir – Thorlákshöfn
After breakfast, you will be given a detailed riding instruction and get to know the horses. We warm-up in the paddock and then head to the mighty Ölfusá River. The tour takes us through Ölfusforir to the wide delta of Ölfusá river, where we should see birds of various kinds. Far to the east, we see the Eyjafjallajökull volcano as well as the volcano Hekla (weather permitting). We gradually make our way along the western banks of Ölfusá, riding very nice trails. We ride through shallow water before we finally reach the south coast and turn west on the beach, riding on soft black lava sand. We end the day near the town of Thorlákshöfn and drive back to Vellir.
Riding time and distance: 24.3 km, 5-6 hrs
Day 3: Kolviðarhóll – Jórukleif
We start the day at Kolviðarhóll and ride North along the slopes of Húsmúli and Hengill mountains. We reach Engidalur valley and continue along a narrow path. We dismount and lead the horses through a narrow cleft to the beautiful, hidden Marardalur (Valley of Horses). We continue through Dyrfjöll (Door-Mountains), and when we reach the mountaintop we enjoy a view over Lake Thingvallavatn. The lake is by the cleft where the American and Eurasian continental plates are drifting apart and the Icelanders had their democratic meetings called Althing for hundreds of years. The track continues down to Jórukleif, where the tour ends. We finish the day with refreshments and sightseeing at the famous Thingvellir national park before returning to our farm.
Riding time and distance: Around 30 km, 6-7 hrs.
Day 4: Skógarhólar- Kringlumýri
Today we ride through Thingvellir National Park, following scenic trails through woods and lava formations. We pass the abandoned farms Hrauntún and Skógarkot before we reach the shore of Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland. The path continues through a fascinating landscape with large cracks created by movements of the continental plates. From Gjábakki farm we have an exceptional view over the large valley between the American and Eurasian continental plates, lake Thingvallavatn, and the volcanic mountains surrounding the lake. This area is a large valley shaped by glacier ice and many volcanic eruptions. We continue along an old path to the mountain hut Kringlumýri, where we end the tour.
Riding time and distance: Around 25 km, 5-6 hrs.
Day 5: Reykjadalur- Vellir
We first ride along the slopes of Reykjafjall mountain and continue on nice riding trails surrounding the small village Hveragerði. The path then takes us through a green forest to a colourful geothermal valley with hot springs, an area which expanded dramatically during an earthquake in 2008. On our way towards the green hills surrounding the volcano Hengill, we have good opportunity to try the “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse. The horses then take us on a leisurely pace following narrow trails up into the valley Reykjadalur. We pass the beautiful waterfall Djúpagilsfoss and some hot springs before we reach Reykjadalur valley and will have the opportunity to take a relaxing bath in a warm stream. During the ride down the valley we enjoy fascinating panoramas over the surroundings, the village Hveragerði, picturesque farmland and all the way down to the coastline, where we might see the Westman Islands, weather permitting. We continue along the mountain slopes again back to our farm Vellir where the tour ends. After some refreshments, the bus will take you back to Reykjavik (arrival about 17:15).
Riding time and distance: 19 km, 5 – 6 hrs.