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6 Day Southern Highland Horse Riding Adventure through Fjallabak and Landmannalaugar in Iceland

Bólstaður Cabin, Einhyrningur, Iceland

Iceland Horse Riding Holiday

On this tour, Ishestar introduces you to Iceland's southern highlands and takes you through Fjallabak on some of Iceland’s wonderful, hidden bridle paths to Landmannalaugar. You will ride through multicolored landscapes with its yellow, reddish, and greenish rhyolite mountains, towering glaciers, and extensive lava fields give the area a magical touch. You will also ride to the fascinating area of

Landmannalaugar where you will enjoy a refreshing bath in its natural hot creeks.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 110 kilograms / 242 pounds / 17 stone
  • Horse Breed: Icelandic horse

Highlights

  • 6 days of riding
  • Ride from farm Fell to Fljótshlíð
  • Program for strong intermediate and advanced riders
  • Ride through mountains, highlands, valleys, rivers, and lakes
  • All transfers during the riding tour
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
08:00
Check-out Time:
20:00

During the ride, accommodations and facilities are shared. They are simple accommodations in sleeping bags so please bring your own one. Sometimes, the whole group stays together in one large room. The accommodation is equipped with beds, bunk beds, and shared bunk beds depending on the size and location of each mountain cabin. Indoor WC, warm showers, and hot pools are available at most locations.

Program

One of Iceland’s most active and beautiful volcanoes, Eyjafjallajökull, towers over the landscape. This area is perfect for riding since the soft trails of volcanic ashes give the Icelandic horses an excellent ground for their special gait, the comfortable tölt.

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Entering the highlands (Fell - Einhyrningur)

Ishestar will pick you up at your hotel in Reykjavik between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. You travel by private coach to the southern part of Iceland to the farm Fell where you will find your horses and which will be your point of departure. You start your ride alongside the mighty Markarfljót River.

You follow on its western banks through majestic scenery with the highlands towering ahead of you. Your path leads you up, into the mountains, around the Einhyrningur mountain, and to your cabin where you spend the first night. Enjoy the great view of Eyjafjallajökull Glacier and Thorsmörk Nature Park. Your accommodation tonight is Bólstaður Cabin.

  • Riding distance: about 25 kilometers

Day 2: Passing the peaks (Einhyrningur - Mosar - Hungurfit)

This day takes you across the mighty Markarfljót River (on a bridge). You ride through the scenic Emstrur area to Mosar. This lush grazing area in the highlands pleases your horses and you spend some time there before you continue to the new and cozy Hungurfit cabin just north of Tindfjallajökull, the smallest glacier in Iceland.

It is easily recognizable by its two symmetrical peaks Ýmir and Ýma, both over 1400 meters high. A warm shower is available there, together with great views of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier where the notorious Katla crater is hidden. Your accommodation is Hungurfit Mountain Cabin.

  • Riding distance: 30 kilometers

Day 3: Through the Steamy Valley (Hungurfit - Landmannahellir Mountain Cabin)

You continue your ride into the mountains, past the prominent table mountain Laufafell, through a black lava desert. Your ride takes you past the black obsidian lava fields of Hrafntinnusker and through the fascinating Reykjadalur valley with its hot springs, small geysers, and colorful mountains. You end this riding day in the traditional sheep-herding station of Landmannahellir where you spend the next two nights in Landmannahellir Mountain Cabin.

  • Riding distance: 45 kilometers

Day 4: The Kaleidoscope of Iceland's colors (Landmannahellir - Landmannalaugar - Landmannahellir Mountain Cabin)

Today, you ride to the famous Landmannalaugar with its natural hot pool, surrounded by colorful mountains and lava from 1480. You will have some time to enjoy the special scenery, either on a short hike or in the natural hot pools, before continuing on the scenic ride returning to Landmannahellir.

The colors change from the blue-yellow-reddish of the rhyolite mountain ranges of Landmannalaugar to the greenish-black lava fields and unreal blue dotted lakes all in between. You cross rivers and lakes and pass through an obsidian field before arriving back in Landmannahellir. This day will be without a doubt, one of the highlights of this tour. Your accommodation today is Landmannahellir Mountain Cabin.

  • Riding distance: 40 kilometers

Day 5: The gateway to hell (Landmannahellir - Rjúpnavellir Summer Cottages)

You leave the scenic Landmannahellir area and ride north of Mountain Hekla volcano down from the mountains. A desert of black ash and light pumice is a witness to numerous eruptions of this volcano, the most active one in Iceland and known as the gateway to hell. Rjúpnavellir summer cottages are your first step back into civilization. You enjoy your last night with barbecue and beautiful views of Mount Hekla before sleeping right underneath the volcano in Rjúpnavellir Cottages.

  • Riding distance: 35 kilometers

Day 6: Winding down (Rjúpnavellir - Fljótshlíð)

Your last riding day leads you south of Mountain Hekla volcano and shows another, rather positive side of the Mountain Hekla eruptions: fertile farmland. You ride through lush green fields and cross the rivers YtriRangá and Eystri-Rangá. For parts of the day, you follow the well-known Hekla trail and ride on good riding tracks where it is easy to enjoy the tölt. Your ride ends in Fljótshlíð where you say goodbye to your horses before you drive back to Reykjavik in the afternoon.

  • Riding distance: 35 to 40 kilometers

Please note that Ishestar reserves the right to alter the itinerary if necessary at any time without further notice.

The Icelandic horse

The history of the Icelandic horse can be traced right back to the settlement of the country in the late ninth century. Viking settlers brought their best horses with them, from various origins, though mostly of Germanic descent. The breed has remained pure for over a thousand years so today there is only one breed of horse in Iceland - the Icelandic horse. Today, there are close to 80,000 horses in Iceland, an incredible number for a nation that counts only 330.000 people. The Icelandic horse is intelligent, good-tempered, and versatile. It is the most colorful breed in the world, with over 40 different colors and over 100 variations.

Travel on horseback is growing in popularity and Icelandic horsemen are respectful and considerate when it comes to nature, just as they are with their horse. All sorts of competitions are held, emphasizing the different gaits of the horses, from novice fun classes to top-class championships. The Icelandic horse is unique amongst horse breeds because it masters five gaits: walk, trot, tölt, canter or gallop, and flying pace. The breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the tölt, which is very comfortable for the rider and elegantly displayed by the horse.

  • The walk: The walk is a four-beat gait. The horse should be relaxed when walking, moving ahead briskly, and putting each foot down independently.
  • The trot: The trot is a two-beat gait where the front and hind legs on opposite sides move together. It is important to train it as well as the other gaits.
  • The canter or gallop: The canter or gallop is a three-beat gait, ridden at different tempi. A slow canter is comfortable while a fast gallop can liven up the horse and increases its willingness.
  • The tölt: The tölt is the specialty of the Icelandic horse. It is a smooth four-beat gait in which the horse’s hind legs move well under the body. The Icelandic horse can manage this gait naturally and with variations in speed, from a gracious, collected slow tölt up to a very fast and extended tölt. The smoothness of this gait is what makes it so desirable.
  • The flying pace: The flying pace is a two-beat lateral gait. Not all Icelandic horses can perform the pace, but those that manage all five gaits well are considered the best of the breed.

Disinfecting the riding gear

It is important to follow the regulation regarding the disinfecting of used riding clothes. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40 degrees Celcius) or dry cleaned. Items that can not be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots, riding hats) need to be disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection.

Used riding gloves, whips, saddles, bridles, and other used leather gear may not be brought into the country. Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help them to protect Iceland's fragile nature.

Staff of the tour

The staff consists of the tour leader, the associate in charge of the horses, additional people to take care of the horses, and a cook.

Changing horses

Usually you change horses once or twice a day. On most longer tours, Ishestar herds your spare horses along in a free-running herd, the traditional way of riding in Iceland. All tours of the three and four-horse categories are operated that way.

Location

The tour will take place in Iceland.

Food

During the ride, full board meals are provided included in the price. The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavík International Airport (KEF) upon arrival.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 6-day tour
  • 3 to 4 horses per person
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Full board Icelandic breakfasts, packed lunches, and dinners
  • All transfers during the riding tour
  • Local guidance
  • Rainwear
  • Saddlebag
  • Water bottle
  • A safety helmet
  • 11% V.A.T

What's not included

  • Flight to and from Iceland
  • Travel insurance
  • Alcoholic beverages

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.
6 days / 5 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Sunday July 4, 2021
Departure: Friday July 9, 2021

Pricing information

Children under 12 years receive 25% discount on the multi day tours. Please inquire for further information.

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