Tour 8F – Eldhestar Exclusive

Highlights of the South and Southwest

We have selected some of the most scenic riding trails in Iceland’s South and Southwest for this tour. Experienced riders enjoy spectacular days on horseback in small groups and the comfort of our hotel in the evening. Every morning we take the horses in a trailer to start the tour in a different, unique riding area close to civilization or at the edge of wilderness. We experience the popular riding area and unique “horse villages“ in beautiful nature on the doorstep of Reykjavik, soft trails in the volcanic Thjórsárdalur valley, wide open spaces and fascinating scenery in the highlands and riding on black lava beach of the Atlantic ocean.

As an experienced rider I am ALWAYS looking to ride when I travel but so often the rides are not catered to different levels and I end up on a brain-dead robot in a line with 14 other people. Not at all what I want. I was SO THRILLED that not only does Eldhestar have a ride specifically available for experienced riders but my horse was ACTUALLY A HORSE who responded to cues and even had some opinions of her own. It was a beautiful tour and our guide allowed our small group of 6 to set the pace and had a general attitude of “you know horses, do what you want just be safe”. It was awesome. I was a very satisfied horse girl.



5 days, 4 nights – 4 days on horseback 

Availability & Price

see overview at the end of the page


Riding distance

85 kilometres



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

Accommodation at Hotel Eldhestar and/or a nearby hotel in a standard 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. See more detailed information here



This tour is for experienced riders who ride regularly in all gaits on different terrain.


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: Ölfusá Delta and The Beach

We start at our farm with a ride across meadows, following the river Gljúfurá to the mighty Ölfusá glacial river, where we enjoy a panoramic view of the river delta with its black, sandy river banks, volcanic mountains and all the way to the ocean. The tour continues on soft grassland along the river and through shallow water at the edge of the wide Ölfusá delta until we reach the black lava sand at the south coast. On our way we have good chances to see birds of various kinds. One of the highlights of the tour is a brisk ride on the beach before reaching the fishing village Thorlákshöfn. (The tour can also start at the beach, depending on tides).

Riding distance and time: Around 25 km

Day 3: Heiðmörk Nature Reserve

The day starts with a drive to the stable area in Reykjavik. After some fun ride on the oval track where the best horses competed on “Landsmót”, we spend the day riding on scenic trails in the wonderful nature reserve and outdoor recreational area Heiðmörk on the outskirts of the city. The tour takes us through a surprisingly varied landscape of lakes, forests and lava formations. We start along the wooded shores of lake Rauðavatn and continue through the impressive pseudo craters Rauðhólar, the “red hills” created in an eruption 4700 years ago. We enjoy a nice view of the capital area from the hills near lake Elliðaárvatn, ride trough the forest and visit another typical Icelandic “horse village” before driving with the trailer back to our farm.

Riding distance and time: Around 20 km

Day 4: Thjórsárdalur Valley

Today we drive east to the picturesque valley Thjórsárdalur and ride in an astonishing landscape formed by Iceland’s longest river Thjórsá and eruptions of the nearby volcano Hekla. The lush valley at the edge of the barren highlands with its forests, streams, soft sandy ground, bizarre volcanic structures and green hills offers an unforgettable riding experience. We visit an excavated farmhouse that was buried under a layer of ash from volcano Hekla 800 years ago as well as the valley Gjáin with its small waterfalls and ponds, a hidden natural treasures like an oasis in black sand.

Riding distance and time: Around 23 km

Day 5: Soft Banks of Glacial River Hvitá

We take our horses to the stable area in the nearby village of Selfoss. We ride through wide meadows north of Selfoss towards the mighty glacial river Hvitá and continue on soft trails along the river. The grassy river banks and wide, green plains are ideal for long distances in brisk tölt while enjoying the view of majestic volcanic mountains in the distance, weather permitting. We then leave the grassy river banks and ride on excellent riding trails through farmland back towards Selfoss. 

On the last day of riding the bus will take you back to Reykjavik (arrival about 17:15). 

Riding distance and time: Around 22 km.