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7 Days The Kings Trail across Western Highlands Horse Riding Holiday in Iceland

Hvammur Farm, Vatnsdalur Valley, Hvammur, Skagafjarðarsýsla, Northwestern Region, Northwest Constituency, Iceland

Mountain Horse Riding Tour in Iceland

Enjoy the true quality of the Icelandic horse in the mystical inspiring landscape and peaceful wilderness of Kings Trail in Iceland. These historical riding paths lead you across the legendary Arnarvatnheiði Heath with its countless lakes and myths. Along with this magnificent trail, you travel with a herd of 60-90 free-running horses and everyone will find his/her favorite horses. Haukur, his team, and his horses, as well as the many spectacular natural and historical sites, make the Kings Trail an unforgettable experience.

Key information

  • Rider weight limit: 242 pounds / 110 kilograms
  • Tack type: Icelandic tack
  • Horse breed: Icelandic

Highlights

  • Horse riding sessions
  • Approximate daily riding time 2-5 hours
  • Amazing landscapes and serene surroundings
  • Exploring the Vatnsdalur valley and Hvammsfoss waterfall
  • 3 - 4 horses per person and local guidance
  • Daily full board meals and drinks
  • 6 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


7 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 20 participants
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated in rooms with two to four made-up beds at Hvammur Farm, shared rooms in simple mountain cabins, and sleeping bag accommodation as well as in guesthouses during the ride. Please bring your own sleeping bag. You need to organize your own accommodation before and after the offered program individually.

Hvammur farm

Hvammur farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley which is so full of the old Sagas and has the famous salmon fishing river Vatnsdalsá running down the middle. The farmhouse was renovated four years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

Facilities

  • Number of rooms: 6 rooms
  • Number of beds: 2 to 4 beds in each room, altogether maximum 19
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
  • Number of showers: 2
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Made up beds: Yes
  • Number of WC: 2

Program

Day 1: Reykjavík - Vatnsdalur Valley - Hvammur Farm - Haukagil

Pick up between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning from pick up points in Reykjavík. Drive to the north where Íslandshestar's farmer and his team welcome you at Hvammur farm. The farm is in the valley Vatnsdalur which is said to be one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys in Iceland, shaped by water, glaciers and volcanic activity.

On your ride, you pass the historical farm Hof and cross Vatnsdalsá river. Vatnsdalur is the setting of one of the ancient sagas, the Vatnsdælasaga. On your way, you hear tales from Iceland's heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge, and love. You can sense the happiness of the free-running horses as you are heading towards the highland.

The horses stay at Haukagil farm, which is the last farm on this side of the valley before you enter the highland plateau. You stay overnight at Hvammur. The hot tub offers a nice relaxation as you get ready for the riding adventures of the coming days

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

Day 2: Haukagil - Haugakvíslarskáli mountain cabin

You start off by gathering up the herd of horses you take with you on the adventurous trail. Today, you are riding through the summer pastures of horses and sheep from the farmers in the north of Iceland. You ascend towards the highland plateau Víðidalstunguheiði heath. It is great to drive the horses through the very free fields of the highlands.

The highland opens up for you and you see the mighty Álkugil gorge with picturesque waterfalls tumbling down over rock formations. The wideness and freedom feelings are inspiring for horses and people. It is graceful to see the free-running herd tölt on the soft paths of the peaceful area. You see the remains of the old Kings Trail and the tracks from traveling horses through the centuries. There, the only inhabitants are foxes, birds, and maybe some trolls. You spend the night at Haugakvíslarskáli mountain cabin.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 3: Haugakvíslarskáli - Arnarvatnsheiði Heath and Lake Arnarvatn- Álftakrókur mountain cabin

Further into the mountains, you set course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned by the farmers of Víðidalur valley. There, you have the lunch break of the day. The strong riding horses bring you safely through the ancient highland paths. You enjoy the magnificent view over the impressive highland mountains and the glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull as they get closer step by step.

You can see how the vegetation is changing into lush green colors, created by rich soil and water from many lakes as you ride to the heart of Arnarvatnsheiði. You pass the lake Réttarvatn on your way beside the beautiful lake Arnarvatn. Truly a fascinating mystical place of silence and tranquillity you will never forget. Fertile highland vegetation and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area.

As you say goodbye to the north, you ride further to the impressive part of the high plateau that belongs to the west area Borgarfjörður. Further on, you ride to Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin, where wanted men were supposed to hide out from the law enforcement long ago.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 4: Álftakrókur - Eríksjökull Glacier - Hallmundarhraun Lava - Surtshellir Cave - Borgarfjörður area

The ride continues beside one of the biggest lava fields in Iceland Hallmundarhraun. This is a mystical area filled with legends of outlaws and tales from the past. You have the feeling you see elves and trolls in the formations of the lava. The horses already sense that you are getting closer to the grassland of the farms in Borgarfjörður Area, and tolt happily as you ride on the banks of the glacial river Norðlingafljót, which you will also cross during your ride.

Eríksjökull Glacier, which also is a volcano, is majestic on the east side of the trail. You will see the best-known cave in Iceland Surtshellir. The spectacular 3,500 meters long lava cave was a hideout for bandits back in the days. The horses will stay at Þorvaldsstaðir. Accommodation at Hótel Á.

  • Riding distance: approximately 30 kilometers

Day 5: Þorvaldsstaðir - Húsafell - Hraunfossar - Augastaðir

You spend the day riding through and exploring the extraordinary area of Húsafell. You sense the qualities of the Icelandic horses as they bring you through the biggest natural forest of Iceland, Húsafellsskógur. Húsafell, often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers, is a unique natural gem in a magnificent landscape. The place has a big historical importance. There are tales all the way back from the settlement as well as stories of witchcraft and ghosts from later centuries.

Today, you will visit the exceptionally beautiful waterfall Hraunfossar. The water seems to appear from the lava but is actually a cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the river Hvítá. After a great day with the horses, they rest at Augastaðir and you enjoy the geothermal pool of Húsafell. Accommodation at Húsafell Gamli Bær Guesthouse.

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

Day 6: Húsafell - ancient Ok trail - Brunnar mountain cabin - Brautartunga community center in Lundareykjardalur

The route today leads you from Augastaðir over the mystical ancient trail of Ok. This fascinating highland trail is named after the 1,190-meter high impressive glacier Ok on the east side of the trails. There, you also see the glaciers Geitlandsjökull, Langjökull, and Þórisjökull. This impressive area without any vegetation reminds you on how rough nature can be in Iceland.

You leave the horses at Brunnar Mountain Cabin to rest and go for an overnight stay to the community center Brautartunga in Lundareykjadalur Valley, where you have your own private hot tub and swimming pool. A great place to enjoy the last evening of the tour together with a good Icelandic meal, storytelling, and singing.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 7: Brunnar - Skógarhólar - Þingvellir - Reykjavík

You continue your ride and enjoy the great view riding in fast tolt on the trail over Bláskógarheiði Heath towards National Park Þingvellir. These tracks were used for centuries by the people travelling to the parliament in Þingvellir. There are historical sites by every footstep as you get closer to your destination. Only a few kilometers from Brunnar, you pass the legendary stone cairns Hallbjarnarvörður. The Sturlunga Saga, that describes battles of families in Iceland in the 13th century, mentions this location as a meeting place of armies and their chieftains.

The trail brings you south by the Kaldidalur road, further on great riding tracks by Draugabrekka (Ghostslopes) and Tröllaháls (Trollhill). As you see the Ármannsfell Mountain, you are close to Skógarhólar Fields were today's great ride ends this time. Skógarhólar is run by the Icelandic Horse Clubs Association and is located in Þingvellir National Park. Thank the horses and say good-bye until next time.

You experience the beautiful sites and history of Þingvellir often called the national shrine of Iceland. That was the oldest existing parliament in the world assembled. The spectacular geology of Þingvellir is very visual in the Canyon Almannagjá which is formed between two tectonic continental plates drifting from each other. Transfer to Reykjavík, Landsmót Horse Festival and your accommodation. Approximate arrival in Reykjavík between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

South-North

Day 1: Reykjavík - Þingvellir - Skógarhólar - Brunnar Mountain Cabin

Pick up between 8:00 and 9:00 in the morning from pick up points in Reykjavík. Drive to the Skógarhólar Fields where your horseman and guide Haukur, his team and horses from Hvammur farm will meet you. Skógarhólar is run by the Icelandic Horse Clubs Association and is located in Þingvellir National Park. You experience the beautiful sites and history of Þingvellir often called the national shrine of Iceland. It was the oldest existing parliament in the world assembled. The spectacular Geology of Þingvellir is very visual in the Canyon Almannagjá which is formed between two tectonic continental plates drifting from each other.

You enjoy this first riding day in fast tolt with a great view over the Bláskógarheiði Heath. These tracks were used for centuries by the people traveling to the parliament in Þingvellir. You pass Ármannsfell Mountain and ride further by Tröllaháls (Trollhill) on the tracks by so-called Draugabrekka (Ghostslopes). The ride brings you north on Kaldidalur road. These are the historical sites by every footstep as you get closer to your destination of the day, Brunnar.

Only a few kilometers from there, you pass the legendary stone cairns Hallbjarnarvörður. The Sturlunga Saga, that describes battles of families in Iceland in the 13th century, mentions this location as a meeting place of armies and their chieftains. You leave the horses for the night at Brunnar. You stay overnight at the cultural heart of Iceland, Þingvellir.

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

Day 2: Brunnar- ancient Ok trail - Augastaðir farm - Hraunfossar wateralls

The route today leads you from Augastaðir over the mystical ancient trail of Ok. This fascinating highland trail is named after the 1,190-meter high impressive glacier Ok on the east side of the trails. There, you also see the glaciers Geitlandsjökull, Langjökull, and Þórisjökull. This impressive area without any vegetation reminds you on how rough nature can be in Iceland.

You leave the horses at Augastaðir Farm to rest and go for an overnight stay at Hotel Á by the farm Kirkjuból. Today, you will visit the exceptionally beautiful waterfall Hraunfossar. The water seems to appear from the lava but is actually a cold spring that surges through the ground and runs in rapids down into the river Hvítá.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 3: Augastaðir - Húsafell - Þorvaldsstaðir Farm - Surtshellir Cave

You spend the day riding through and exploring the extraordinary area of Húsafell. You sense the qualities of the Icelandic horses as they bring you through the biggest natural forest of Iceland, Húsafellsskógur. Húsafell often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers is a unique natural gem in a magnificent landscape. The place has a big historical importance. There are tales all the way back from the settlement as well as stories of witchcraft and ghosts from later centuries.

After a great day with the horses, they rest at Þorvaldsstaðir. You will visit the best-known cave in Iceland Surtshellir. The spectacular 3,500 meters long lava cave was a hideout for bandits back in the days. It is a great feeling to relax and enjoy the geothermal pool of Húsafell. Accommodation at Hótel Á.

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

Day 4: Borgarfjörður area - Eríksjökull glacier - Hallmundarhraun lava - Álftakrókur mountain cabin

You are leaving the grasslands of the farms in Borgarfjörður and heading for Iceland's Western Highlands. The ride continues beside one of the biggest lava fields in Iceland Hallmundarhraun. This is a mystical area filled with legends of outlaws and tales from the past. You have the feeling you see elves and trolls in the formations of the lava.

The horses tolt happily as you ride on the banks of the glacial river Norðlingafljót, which you will also cross during the ride. Eríksjökull Glacier, which also is a volcano, is majestic on the east side of the trail. Further, on you ride to Álftakrókur Mountain Cabin where wanted men were supposed to hide out from the law enforcement long ago.

  • Riding distance: approximately 30 kilometers

Day 5: Álftakrókur - Arnarvatnsheiði Heath and Lake Arnarvatn - Haugakvíslarskáli Mountain Cabin

Further, into the mountains, you set course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned by the farmers of Víðidalur valley. There, you have the main break of the day. The strong riding horses bring us safely through the ancient highland paths. You enjoy the magnificent view of the impressive highland mountains and the glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull. You can see how the vegetation is changing into lush green colors, created by rich soil and water from many lakes as you ride to the heart of Arnarvatnsheiði.

You pass the lake Réttarvatn on your way beside the beautiful lake Arnarvatn. Truly a fascinating mystical place of silence and tranquillity you will never forget. Fertile highland vegetation and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area. As you say goodbye to the south, you ride further to the impressive part of the high plateau that belongs to the North Area Húnvavatnssýsla District. There, the only inhabitants are foxes, birds and maybe some trolls. You are riding through the summer pastures of horses and sheep as you ascend towards the mountain cabin for the night, Haugakvíslarkáli in Víðidalstunduheiði Heath.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 6: Haugakvíslarskáli - Haukagil Farm - Vatnsdalur Valley - Hvammur Farm

Today, you are riding down from the highland plateau Víðidalstunguheiði heath to the beautiful valley Vatnsdalur. The horses already sense that you are getting closer to the juice grassland of home and tolt happily direction north. It is great to drive the horses through the very free fields of the highlands before entering the civilization again.

You see the mighty Álkugil gorge with picturesque waterfalls tumbling down over rock formations. The wideness and freedom feeling are inspiring for horses and people. It is grateful to see the free running herd tolt on the soft paths of the peaceful area. You see the remains of the old Kings Trail and the tracks from traveling horses through the centuries. You spend the night at Haukur's Farm Hvammur. There, you enjoy the last evening of the tour together with an outdoor jacuzzi, good meal, storytelling, and singing.

  • Riding distance: approximately 35 kilometers

Day 7: Haukagil - Vatnsdalur - Hvammur Farm - Reykjavík

Vatnsdalur is said to be one of the most fertile and beautiful valleys in Iceland, shaped by water, glaciers and volcanic activity. On this ride, you pass the historical farm Hof and cross Vatnsdalsá river. Vatnsdalur is the setting of one of the ancient sagas, the Vatnsdælasaga. On your way, you hear tales from Iceland´s heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge, and love.

You experience the spirit of the horses as you are heading towards home on the great riding paths at the banks of Vatnsdalsá River. You thank your very special friends the horses and say goodbye to Haukur and his crew until next time. A bus will bring you to Reykjavík, either to BSÍ (Main Bus Station) or to your accommodation. Approximate time of arrival in Reykjavík is at 6:00 p.m.

  • Riding distance: approximately 20 kilometers

Location

This tour will take you to ride along the King's Trail across the Western Highlands. In 1907, the King of Denmark and Iceland visited the country. Because of this huge event, some improvements were made on the ancient tracks to Þingvellir, to make it easier for the population to ride to the old parliament place and see their king. That is why people still today call parts of this trails leading to Thingvellir Kings Trail.

During the ride, the majestic glaciers Langjökull and Eiríksjökull are on the east side of the tracks. You will visit the geothermal area Húsafell. Húsafell is often called the pearl between the lava and the glaciers with its natural forest and great outdoor pool. This is the perfect location to enjoy the midnight sun in Iceland.

The Þingvellir National park is a number one location to visit in Iceland. There is nothing more authentic than visiting Thingvellir National Park than on a horseback like the Icelanders have done for centuries! Thingvellir is not only designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its historical importance but also because of the very special geology and natural features.

Food

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. Dinner will also be served.

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 Keflavik Airport 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 nights accommodation
  • 7 riding days
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm
  • Full board meals
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddlebag, and riding helmet
  • 3 - 4 horses per person and local guidance
  • 11% GST

What's not included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Flight to and from Iceland
  • Individual travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Keflavik International Airport (KEF).

Arrival by bus

You can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavik International Airport (KEF) 35 to 40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building.

GPS

65.8680500000, -19.8381499000.

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 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
7 days / 6 nights
from --
 

 

Special discount

Children under 12 years old will receive 25% discount on Íslandshestar’s multi-day tours.

Families with three or more members of parents and children 12 to 18 years old traveling together can avail of the 5% discount. This discount is not applicable if the children’s discount is used for one family member.

There is a 10% early booking discount available for guests who will book before December 1st, 2020 for tours in 2021.

Tuesday July 13, 2021
(7 days / 6 nights)

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