Landmannalaugar and Mt. Hekla

On this riding holiday, explore some of the most the unique landscapes that Iceland has to offer. You will be riding across Landmannalaugar, known for its iconic scenery and rhyolite mountains, to Mount Hekla, often titled the Queen of Iceland. This trail ride starts along the banks of a glacial river and will take you to Hekla volcano through black lava fields and green pastures, with exceptional views of the Southern Highlands. This trail ride is ideal for experienced riders looking for a unique holiday, wild landscapes and a real equestrian adventure.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
7 days/6 days riding
From £2,565

Itinerary

Highlights

- Explore Landmannalaugar, a geothermal wonderland in the southern highlands, known for its contrasting colours and rhyolite mountains.
- Witness some of Iceland’s most iconic sights: glacier Eyjafjallajökull, the Hekla volcano and its lunar landscapes, Landmannahellir cave & Sauðleysuvatn lake.
- Accompanied by a herd of loose horses, ride the amazing Icelandic horse and experience their unique gait - the tölt!
  • Day 1 1: Home – Reykjavik airport – Kálfhóll - No riding

    Plan to arrive to Reykjavik airport (Keflavik) before 4pm. On arrival, you need to transfer to Reykjavik’s BSI central station by FlyBus (https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/). The local team will pick you from the station at 6pm and transfer you to the farm. Dinner and overnight at the farm.

    Please note: Flights are not included but can be booked upon request.
  • Day 2 2: Kálfhóll – Glacier river Thjórsá – Réttarholt - Approx. 20km

    Today you will ride along the mighty glacial Pjórsá river, with views of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and Hekla volcano.
    After leaving the horses in their field in Rettarholt, you will be transferred back to Kalfholl farm where you will be able to relax in the hot tub before dinner.

    Overnight at the farm.
  • Day 3 3: Réttarholt – Hólaskógur - Approx. 35km

    After breakfast, you will ride through Skriðufellskógur’s national forest along the Sandá river, into the famous Thjórsárdalur valley. You will ride on vast lavender-blue lupine fields and sandy tracks before stopping at Stöng. There you will witness the ruins of one of the many farms destroyed by the eruption of the Hekla volcano in 1104.

    After a short stop at Gjáin, a mystical canyon with many small waterfalls and famous setting for Game of Thrones, you will head to your overnight location.

    Overnight at Hólaskógur mountain hut.
  • Day 4 Hólaskógur – Landmannahellir - Approx. 30km

    Landmannahellir cabin
    Today you will ride over narrow tracks through black lava fields north of the Valafell mountain. Your surefooted Icelandic horse will carry you comfortably through rough terrain through the Lambaskarð mountain passage.
    Ride along sandy paths close to the Sauðleysuvatn lake and through the moonlike desert towards your overnight location, Landmannahellir mountain hut.
  • Day 5 5 : Landmannahellir – Landmannalaugar – Landmannahellir - Approx. 40km

    Landmannahellir cabin
    Today you will ride to the famous Landmannalaugar, with its natural hot pool, surrounded by colourful mountains and lava from 1480. After leaving the horses in a paddock, you will spend part of the day relaxing in the hot pools, or visiting numerous sights.

    Return to Landmannahellir mountain hut.
  • Day 6 6: Landmannahellir –Hólaskógur - Approx. 40km

    Today you will leave the beautiful area of Landmannalaugar and ride towards the Herbjarnfell mountain.
    You will ride across sharp lava, large colourful pumice fields and over grazing fields where the farmers drive their sheep in the summer.
    Tonight you will stay in the remote Hólaskógur mountain hut. This location has unique views of the Hekla volcano.
  • Day 7 7: Hólaskógur – Réttarholt Guesthouse – Kálfhóll – Reykjavík - Approx. 35km

    After breakfast, you will ride over green mountain fields over Seljamýri to Fögruskógar and Þrengslasandur towards Réttarholt Guesthouse. Here you will say goodbye to both horses and staff. The bus will take you back to Kálfhóll farm for coffee and cake. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to Reykjavík - please plan a late evening flight to ensure there is enough time to get to the airport.

Dates & prices

Price details

- Flights or transportation to your destination (international/domestic) are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on shared, basic accommodation during the ride

- Groups are composed of a minimum of 6 riders and a maximum of 20 international riders, plus guides.

- Nights in Reykjavik, if needed, are not included in the cost of your holiday. Please contact us and we will recommend a good hotel in downtown Reykjavik.

- Airport transfers are not included. This can be booked online at https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/

- Vegan and/or Gluten Free diets will incur on an extra supplement of around £90/€100/$110 per person.

- Accompanied young riders are welcome from 9+ yo, provided they match the riding requirements and are in excellent physical shape with an adventurous spirit. They will get a special discount of £550/€630/$625 (low season), or £610/€695/$690 (high season).

- Rider weight limit is 110kg/ 17,3 st/ 242lb
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Logistics

1 cook
2-3 horses equipped with saddle and bridle per rider

Accommodation

Nights in collective mountain huts with bunk beds and mattresses

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 7

Additional equipment

Saddle bags

Price doesn't include

Meals

Alcoholic beverages and personal extras
Special diet supplement - please see above

Transport

International flights
Return airport transfers

Extras

Tips to the local team

Insurance

Visas and personal purchase
Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation

Optional

Accommodation

Extra nights in Reykjavík: please contact us for the price
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    24/06/2024 30/06/2024 £2,565 €2,950 $3,181
    Full
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    01/07/2024 07/07/2024 £2,565 €2,950 $3,181
    Full
    05/08/2024 11/08/2024 £2,565 €2,950 $3,181
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
    12/08/2024 18/08/2024 £2,565 €2,950 $3,181
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The Icelandic horse is a part of the history and saga of the country and it's Vikings. It is characterised by it's extra pace - the tölt, which is fast and very comfortable. Some are also capable of an additional Flying Pace, which is similar to trot, but much faster and used for racing. Icelandic horses are small, sociable, comfortable and energetic. Icelandic tack consists of simple snaffle bridles, often with drop nosebands and straight cut saddles similar to English style.

Guide & local team

For many years now, Gestur, Margrét and their 2 sons, Thordur and Egill, have become known for leading magnificent and thoroughly engaging trail rides throughout Landmannalaugar and the hot spring area of Giyser. Their horses are well-trained, good-natured and sure-footed; it's always difficult to say goodbye to them at the end of the trip!

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You should be a confident rider, capable of riding over varied terrain at all paces. You should be open to learning a new style of riding - the tölt (fast pace and normally comfortable) and fit enough to maintain this pace for long periods.

Rider weight limit is 110kg/17,3 st/242lb

Pace

The tölt and walk will be the main gaits used on this riding holiday. On more difficult terrain you can also expect some trots. Please note that canter is not a common gait in Iceland.

Tacking ability and participation

You are expected to help tack and untack the horses.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be fit and have good stamina for the long periods of tölt, which is a fast but comfortable pace. There are some long hours in the saddle and the terrain can be rough. The weather can also be unpredictable.

Experience of riding a trail over several days would be an advantage but is not essential. Riders who do not ride regularly would need to get back into the saddle before joining this ride.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable Icelandic saddles with saddle bags.
Hard hats are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
You will be provided with a raincoat but should still bring your own warm coats to wear underneath.

Travel info

Comfort

On this trail you will be staying in mountain huts and farms, in dormitories. The number of showers available is limited and may not be free on all nights.

Please note that sleeping bags are not provided and you must bring your own.

Please understand that accommodation in the highlands is always basic, with little privacy, small rooms and limited showers.

Meals

Lunches are simple picnics; dinners are generous and hearty.
You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.

Special dietary requirements can be catered for, please let us know at the time of booking. Vegan and Gluten free diets can be accommodated at an extra cost.

Climate

Contrary to popular belief, the general climate in Iceland is temperate and cool with extreme cold temperatures only recorded in winter. In summer the average temperatures are 10-12c but can be as low as 5c and as high as 25c. You should be prepared for both sun and rain and dress in layers.

Tips

Tips are appreciated but not expected. You should give what you feel is appropriate and you feel comfortable with.

Packing list

IMPORTANT
There are some important packing considerations for a riding holiday in Iceland. The Icelandic horses have had no contact with other equine species and are not vaccinated. They do not have any resistance to diseases which are common elsewhere in the world and so it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of infections.

- You should NOT take the following products into Iceland: saddles, bridles, halters, saddle pads, whips, brushes or any leather products which have been in contact with a horse.

- Your riding clothes must be thoroughly cleaned at least 5 days before departure (riding breeches, jumpers, coats, gloves) and should be washed in temperatures of at least 40c.

- Items which cannot be washed at 40c, such as riding hats or leather boots must be thoroughly disinfected at least five days before departure:
1. Wash in detergent.
2. Dry thoroughly
3. Spray with a 1% solution of Virkon detergent (10g per litre of water)

For more details please visit the Icelandic veterinary authority website:
http://www.mast.is/english/frontpage/import-export/import/ridingequipment

Head
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- A flyhat to wear over your helmet may be a good idea in the summer months, when flies can be be an issue
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind or rain
- Warm hat for cold evenings/days

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- Down jacket or gilet for cold evenings
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared. In the mountains the weather can change quickly

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub. Take two pairs
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermal trousers

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged. It is recommended your boots are waterproof as you may be crossing rivers and they can get wet.
- Sandals/flipflops
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner
- A small camping pillow
- Slippers (you will have to remove your shoes inside the accommodation)
- An eye mask can help with the 24hr daylight

Other useful items
- A fly net against bugs
- Swimsuit - for hot tubs
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel

Our Recommendations
- Please bring a soft bag instead of hard shell suitcase and pack light because transport space is limited.
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance documentation with you.

Sustainable tourism

  1. Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.