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Tour 9 – Around the Volcano

Volcanos, Valleys and Hot Springs

This tour is ideal if you would like to stay at our farm and spend three days on horseback exploring the fascinating volcanic mountains nearby.  The tour takes you over moss-covered lava fields created by the volcano Hengill and into an unique area of exceptional beauty with volcanic formations, green valleys and hot springs.  We visit the hidden Valley of the Horses, Maradalur, ride along the Jórukleif range of mountains and continue through picturesque landscape along the largest lake in Iceland, Thingvallavatn. The lake is located at the national park and historical site of Thingvellir in a valley created by the movements of the Eurasian and American continental plates. We pass by a forest, steaming hot springs and a waterfall, enjoy beautiful views and follow the path leading up to Reykjadalur Valley with its hot river. Before we continue on the mountain trail back to Hveragerði we have the opportunity to  relax in the valley’s warm, geothermal river. Bring your swimsuit and towel.

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

Kristin Stella

Duration

Tour 9G/H: 4 days, 3 nights – 3 days on horseback

Availability & Price

see overview at the end of the page

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Riding distance

70 km in total. 20-30 km or 4-7 hours per day.

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Included

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

TOUR 9G: Accommodation at Eldhestar Guesthouse, in 2-4 bedrooms (shared rooms) with made up beds and shared facilities

TOUR 9H: Accommodation at Hotel Eldhestar and/or a nearby hotel in a shared room

Full board (breakfast, lunchbox: sandwich & cookies, coffee/tea & home-baked cake, 3-course dinner).

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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. Bring your swimsuit and towel! See more detailed information here

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Notes

Please note that all three riding days include a few stretches requiring participants to walk and lead their horse!

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 BSI or at your hotel/ guesthouse in Reykjavik between 17:30- 18:00 and drive you to our farm Vellir in Hveragerði. There you will be lodged in our new Guesthouse Eldhestar (Tour 9G) or Hotel Eldhestar (Tour 9H). 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 next morning).

Day 2: Vellir – Kolvidarhóll

We start the day by getting to know the horses in the paddock. After an early lunch, we follow the old route from Hveragerdi to Hellisheidi. After reaching the moor, we continue to the Hengill volcano along the Kristnitökuhraun lava field. This lava came from the eruption of Hengill in the year 1000, the same year Iceland officially became Christian. The old folktales say that the eruption was the revenge of the old gods Thór, Ódinn and Freyr. We continue on the track between lava and hills (“milli hrauns og hlidar”), down to Kolvidarhóll, where people have stopped to rest for hundreds of years. We spend the night at the farm Vellir.


Riding time and distance: 21 km and 4 hrs.

Day 3: Kolvidarhóll – Nesjavellir

We continue North below the Húsmúli and Hengill mountains. We dismount and lead the horses through a narrow cleft to Marardalur (Valley of Horses). We ride through Dyrfjöll (Door-Mountains), and when we reach the mountaintop we have a view over Lake Thingvallavatn. The lake is by the cleft where Icelanders had their democratic meetings called Althing for hundreds of years. The track continues to Nesjavellir, where the tour ends. We will drive the horses and participants to Vellir for overnight.
Riding time and distance: 30 km, 6-7 hrs.

Day 4: 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 colorful 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 takes us back to Reykjavík at about 16:30.
Riding time and distance: 19 km, 5 -6 hrs.

Book tour 9G – Guesthouse

Book tour 9H – Hotel