Iceland

The Kjolur Trail

A pacey horse riding trail which crosses Iceland on historical tracks linking the North to the South. Explore the ancient Kjölur trail, that Icelanders used to ride when travelling to their annual summer parliament in Thingvellir. You ride amongst a herd of loose Icelandic horses and swap your mount once to twice a day. Ride between glaciers, through the highlands and sheltered green valleys, past glaciers, volcanoes and geothermal areas. Our most action-packed riding tour in Iceland!
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Trail Riding
8 days / 6 days riding
From £1,855
  • Horses and glacier in Iceland
    Riding next to the glacier
  • Riding with a herd of icelandic horses
    Herd of Icelandic horses in the dust
  • On horseback in Kjolur, Iceland
    Icelandic horses crossing a river
  • Iceland horseback trail ride
    Kjolur horseback trail ride
  • Horseback trail ride in Iceland
    Riding Iceland horses is a fantastic equestrian experience
  • Iceland Kjolur trail ride
    Trail ride in Kjolur Iceland
  • Trail ride in Kjolur Iceland
    Ride with a free hard of Icelandic horses
  • Trail ride in Kjolur Iceland
    A beautiful trail ride across Iceland
  • Icelandic horses and riders in Kjolur
    From the mountains to the lakes of Iceland
  • Trail ride in Kjolur Iceland
    You must be a competent rider to ride with a herd of free horses!

Itinerary

Highlights

- A mobile trail ride traversing the island from South to North (or vice versa) between the huge glaciers of Hofsjökull and Langjökull.
- Perfect choice if you want to see as much as possible of the unspoilt Icelandic highlands.
- The Kjolur trail follows a historical route originating from the first democratic foundations of the country.
- Visit the sights of the famous Golden Circle including Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir lake.
- Experience the extra gait of the Iceland horse - the tölt - fast, smooth and comfortable, it's a unique feeling.
- Ride two or three horses each day and find one or two special favourites amongst the herd of free-running horses
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - Reykjavik - Hvammur

    Flight from the UK to Reykjavik. It is extremely important that your flight lands before 15h30. If you cannot take an earlier flight, you should arrive a day early and spend the night in Reykjavik. This is the opportunity to visit the city, or even go on a tour - please contact us for more information.

    On your arrival into Reykjavik airport, you will take the Flybus to the BSI (transfer to your own account) where you will be picked up by your guide at 17.30. Dinner and overnight at the farm.

    IMPORTANT: Every other week, the itinerary is ridden in reverse. Please contact us in advance so we can inform you of the exact itinerary for your preferred date, although it makes little difference to the actual experience.
  • Day 2 2 : Hvammur – Vatnsdalur Valley – Forsæludalur – Hvammur - 20 km riding

    Today is your first riding day. Great riding tracks along the banks of Vatnsdalsá river give you the opportunity to enjoy a fast ride and experience the soft tölt! Vatnsdalur is one of the most beautiful valleys in Iceland and the setting of one of the ancient sagas, Vatnsdælasaga. On your ride to Hvammur, you will hear tales from Iceland's heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge and love. The horses stay at Forsæludalur farm which is the last farm in the valley before you enter the highlands.

    Stay overnight at Hvammur Guesthouse. The hot tub is a welcome sight after a full day in the saddle!
  • Day 3 3 : Hvammur – Forsæludalur – Áfangi Mountain Cabin - 35 km riding

    As you ride up the valley, the canyon of the Vatnsdalsá river appears with some its many waterfalls. Today, you will ascend up to the mountain plateau Auðkúluheiði. The fertile valley dotted with farms is left behind as the horses run freely over the soft riding paths of the northern highland. Enjoy the splendid view over the impressive highland mountains and glaciers around you and your riding companions.

    Stay overnight at the mountain cabin Áfangi, beside the huge man-made lake Blöndulón.
  • Day 4 4 : Áfangi – Hveravellir Geothermal Area, Mountain Cabin - 35 km riding

    On today's ride you will pass the mountains Sandkúlufell and Sauðafell, following a historical route. All the way back to the early settlement of Iceland, people travelled on horseback on exactly the same trails as you do today. The trail leads further to the south over the beautiful river Seyðisá. The horses run happy on the soft paths of this free and mystical highland area. The destination of today's ride is Hveravellir, a very unique geothermal area between Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers. Here in this rough, but extremely beautiful nature the most famous outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur survived for years. A natural hot pool invites us to a deserved relaxing bath.

    Overnight in a mountain cabin.
  • Day 5 5 : Árbúðir Mountain Cabin - 50 km riding

    Gear up for a long day on horseback. You start the day by riding through the Valley of Thieves, called Thjófadalir, a remote grassy valley surrounded by high mountains. From the entrance of the valley you can enjoy splendid views off the fertile landscape. The ride continues along the vast lava fields of Kjalhraun, where you hear of a tragic story about two brothers who froze to death in October 1780 on their way to Skagafjörður with a flock of sheep. Following the glacial river Fúlákvísl you will get a glimpse of the mighty glacier Langjökull.

    The day ends at Árbúðir Mountain Cabin.
  • Day 6 6 : Árbúðir – Fremstaver Mountain Cabin - 35km riding

    Your tour follows river Svartá for a while before crossing the river Hvítá, continuing along the slopes of Mt. Bláfell. During the last centuries, travelling through the remote Highland was a dangerous trip due to outlaws waiting to rob the riders.
    Spend the night and rest the horses at Fremstaver Mountain Cabin.
  • Day 7 7 : Fremstaver – Gullfoss Waterfall – Geysir Hot Spring Area – Myrkholt Farm - 25km riding

    Saddle up again and ride by the canyon of Hvítá river heading southwards to the lowlands. Explore the world famous natural wonders, Geysir and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. Say goodbye to our horses as they get their rest on some of the farm's fertile fields.
    The group will celebrate a successful tour with a great farewell dinner, filled with stories and singing.

    Overnight at Myrkholt farm.
  • Day 8 8 : Myrkholt FARM - REYKJAVIK - UK

    You will be transferred back to Reykjavik at approx. 13:00. As there is a minimum journey time from Reykjavik to the airport of 1 and a half hours, you should book your return flights no earlier than 20:00 to ensure that you arrive in plenty of time.

    If you wish to spend the afternoon exploring Reykjavik and fly out the following day, we can help organise a hotel for you - just let us know!

Dates & prices

Price details

Promotional rate for 4 first bookings until 27/12/2019.

- 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.

- Airport transfers and additional nights in Reykjavik are not included. See https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/ for more info on how to get from the airport to the city centre.

- Groups usually comprise from 6 up to 20 international riding guests plus guides. As you are riding with a herd of loose horses, it is easy to forget that there are other riders amongst them too and so the group size is never a problem.

- This route runs from the South to the North one week and from the North to the South the following week. Both directions cover the same ground and offer the same spectacular views.

- All departures are confirmed regardless of the number of riders on the tour.

- Children from 9 years of age can be accommodated provided they are good riders, with parental consent and a good riding level

- Discounts are available for families of 3+ (two parents and one child aged 12+), and for children between the age of 9 and 12. Please contact us.

- 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

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide from Reykjavik
2 Icelandic tour leaders
2-4 assistants in charge of the free herd.

Logistic

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

Inland transports

Minibus

Accommodation

Dormitories in mountain huts with bunk beds and mattresses

Meals

Full board from dinner on day 1 to lunch on day 8

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras
Dinners on day 1 and day 8 are not included

Transport

Return airport transfers (FlyBus shuttle, easily bookable online - please ask us if you need help)
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team
Entrance fee to the pool on day 7

Insurance

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
  • May - June 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    20/06/2020 27/06/2020 £2,060
    £1,855
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    27/06/2020 04/07/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • July - August 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/07/2020 11/07/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    11/07/2020 18/07/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/07/2020 25/07/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/07/2020 01/08/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/08/2020 17/08/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Full
    17/08/2020 24/08/2020 £2,160
    £1,945
    Guaranteed departure Book now

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Kjolur trail is an ancient highway running through the Icelandic highlands, which has been used ever since the Vikings settled in the ninth century. During the 12th and 13th centuries, small armies would use the route to race north or south to confront their enemies.

There are many tales of disaster along the route too. In 1780 two brothers from Reynisstadur farm froze to death with their newly bought sheep in a snow storm. This place is now called Beinholl or Bone Hill due to the number of animal bones that were found when the snow thawed.

In the 18th century it is also rumoured that the famous Icelandic outlaw Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife took up residence along a portion of the road that is now known as the Valley of Thieves.

The hiking/riding route of the Kjolur trail follows the ancient trail, which is a lot greener than the modern road which has now replaced it for vehicles - Route F35. The original ancient Kjolur trail has now been renamed "Kjalvegur hinn forni" - the ancient Kjalvegur and is closed to motorised traffic, making it ideal for a horse riding trail.

Extend your trip

    Whale watching excursion

    Budget: £121

    This half-day excursion is a unique opportunity to watch Minke whales, Humpback whales, Dolphins and Porpoises in their natural element.

    This is a fantastic day out, ideal for all from individuals to couples or families! Children can even enjoy a discount - pleace contact us. Obviously, we can never guarantee anything with wild animals, but viewing chances are good, and especially in the summer.

    One or two departures a day depending on the season, pick up at your hotel.

    Blue Lagoon hot springs

    Budget: £155

    Set in a stunning black-lava field, the Blue Lagoon is probably one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. It is also very conveniently located between the airport and the city centre, making it an ideal first stop!

    Take the time to relax in these natural hot springs, enjoy your first day in Iceland. The heated water (38°C) is rich mineral salts and silica mud, which are a real treat to the skin.

    You can decide to visit the Lagoon from the BSI in Reykjavik or from the airport - shuttles run throughout the day.

    Puffin watching tour

    Budget: £59

    The Atlantic Puffin is a captivating and beautiful bird. Between May and August, it settles along the Icelandic coast to nest during the warmer months. Iceland boasts the largest colony in the world and provides some amazing opportunities for bird-watching!

    Animal lovers will love this excursion. On a boat, you get as close to the birds as can be - if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of other species such as grey headed ducks or cormorans.

    Three departures a day from Mid-May to Mid-August.
    Children discounts (7-15 yo).