- The tölt: the special and comfortable extra gait of the Icelandic horse
- Swim in a natural hot spring in the middle of a striking landscape
- Experience the incredible "Land of Fire and Ice" that is Iceland - one of the world's greatest geothermal countries
- Ride with a herd of about 40 free horses and swap mounts regularly to conserve the horses' strength.
Day 1 1: EUROPE - REYKJAVIK - HELLA - No ridingGuesthouse AustvadsholtFlight to Reykjavik, arriving no later than 14:30. Flights are not included but can be booked upon request.
Meeting point is at the BSI at 18:00 where you will meet the rest of the group. Transfer to Hella by minibus.
On arrival in Hella you will be met by your hosts and transferred to the horse farm for dinner and to overnight.
Day 2 2: AUSTVADSHOLT-RJUPNAVELLIR - 6 hours ridingRjupnavellirAfter being allocated your horse, tack up and set off across the fertile plains of Landsveit with the Ranga river on one side and a lava field on the other. Pass through Landrettir - a historical sheepfold constructed from blocks of lava. Overnight in a newly built lodge at Rjupnavellir which is close to the river.
Day 3 3: RJUPNAVELLIR - LANDMANNAHELLIR - 6-7 hours ridingLandmannahellir cabinStart riding in the direction of the Burfell mountains towards the distant Mt Valafell. The trail is an easy one across a desert of ash and then the lava field of Solvahraun near Hekla volcano (which last erupted in 2000). Arrive into Landmannahellir - a peaceful, green site where farmers stay whilst gathering their sheep from the mountains. You stay for two nights in this mountain cabin.
Day 4 4 : LANDMANNAHELLIR - LANDMANNALAUGAR - LANDMANNAHELLIR - 4 hours ridingLandmannahellir cabinToday's ride takes you through the Domadal valley to the shores of Lake Frostastadarvatn and finally onto Landmannalaugar. Landmannalaugar attracts lots of travellers due to its spectacular, colourful rhyolite mountains amongst a grandiose setting of old craters. The afternoon is free for you to explore the area of foot and there is time to bathe in the natural hot springs.
Your horses remain here overnight whilst you are transferred back to your mountain cabin for the night.
Day 5 5: LANDMANNALAUGAR - SKAFTARTUNGU - HOLASKJOL - 7 hours ridingHolaskjolReturn to your horses at Landmannalaugar and continue your ride eastwards into the region of Skaftartungu. Take the old Fjallabak trail through the highlands, up and down hills and crossing streams until reaching Eldgja - the "throat of fire", known as one of the largest geological faults in the world.
Overnight in a mountain cabin at Holaskjol.
Day 6 6: HOLASKJOL - MYRDALSJOKULL - HVANNGIL - 8 hours ridingHvanngil cabinA long day on horseback today. Leave Holaskjol behind and head due south to Alftavatn (Swan Lake). Continue over Maelifellssandur - a black sand of volcanic ash near the glacier Myrgalsjokull. The day ends in Hvanngil valley where your mountain hut awaits you.
Day 7 7: HVANNGIL - EINHYRNINGUR - BOLSTAD - 4-5 hours ridingA fabulous ride in the mountains and down Markarfljot gorge to the base of Tindafjallajokull glacier. Arrive at Mt Einhyrningur (unicorn) which is surrounded by three glaciers, including Eyjafjallajokull glacier which traverses the volcano of the same name which erupted in the spring of 2010. At the end of the day you reach a vast meadow and overnight in a shepherds hut at Bolstad
Day 8 8: BOLSTAD - SMARATUN - 6 hours ridingSmaratun guesthouseFollow the trail down to the historical Fljotshlid area alongside the large Markarfljot river, with the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Myrdalsjokull still in the background. The vast valley of Fljotshlid with its grassy slopes and waterfalls announces your return to more populated areas with plenty of good grazing for the horses. Overnight in a guesthouse in Smaratun
Day 9 9: VATNSDAL - HELLA - REYKJAVIK - 6-7 hours ridingYour final day of riding. From Smaratun you ride over to the Vatnsdal valley before crossing the Ranga river back onto Austvadsholt land. The Icelandic National Service for Soil Protection has been established here for almost 100 years - the region marks the boundary between the habitable and non-habitable areas (as too close to the volcanoes). Today the area which had once been covered with volcanic residue, has recovered much of its woodland cover.
The horses are released into their home meadows. Transfer back to Reykjavik, arrival around 19:00. You can fly home tonight if your flight is late in the evening, otherwise you will have to spend a night in a hotel.
Hotel is booked on your own arrangements but please contact us if you need assistance.
Day 10 10: HELLA - REYKJAVIK - EUROPEFlight back home.
Dates & prices
- Flights 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 sharing communal rooms. There is no single supplement as you should be prepared to share.
- Groups are comprised of a minimum of 6 to 16 international riders, plus guides.
- Transfers from Hella to Reykjavik return are included in 2021 and 2022. Please note the meeting point is in Reykjavik (BSI station) and you will need to organise your own transfer from the airport to downtown Reykjavik: https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/
- Hotel nights in Reykjavik are not included. We can book a hotel night on request if you require it.
- Rider weight limit: 95 kg / 210 lbs / 14.9 st
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.
2-4 assistants in charge of the free herd.
1 support vehicle
Double room in Guesthouses day 1 and 7
Price doesn't include
Visas and personal purchase
Guide & local team
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Previous experience of riding a trail over several days is recommended but is not required. Riders who do not ride regularly should ensure they are fit and back in the saddle before departure as this is very demanding. There are river crossings at various points so you should be confident in water.
Comfortable Iceland/English tack.
Please understand that accommodation in the highlands is always basic, with little privacy, small rooms and limited showers.
You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.
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: www.mast.is/english/frontpage/import-export/import/ridingequipment
- 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
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- Down jacket or gilet for cold evenings
- 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
- 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
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
- Sleeping bag with a comfort rating of at least minus 5
- A sleeping bag liner (silk/cotton/fleece) adds extra comfort and warmth
- A small camping pillow
- Slippers (you will have to remove your shoes inside the accommodation)
- An eye mask can help with the 24hr daylight
- 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!
Other useful items
- 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)
- Bin bags to put any wet clothes in for your journey home.
In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- 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
- 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!).
- Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
- 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.
- Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
- Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
- Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.
Did you know?
Did you know?
is the geothermal wonderland of Iceland. Located in the Fjallabak nature
reserve within the Icelandic highlands, the area is situated on the edge of the
Laugahraun lava field, which was formed during an eruption in 1477.The word
Fjallabak means "behind the mountains" which goes some way to explain
how remote this area is, although it is now very popular with hikers and
tourists. On a riding trail in you can access areas that are difficult to
access on foot and inaccessible by car.
is known for its geothermal hot springs and multi-coloured mountains, caused by
the interaction of rhyolite rock and geothermal gases. The mountains appear to
have been painted with many different shades and colours.
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