Day 1: Reykjavik – Varmahlíð: A bus will pick you up in the morning of the ride between 9 am and 10 am at your Hotel. After the bus transfer to Varmahlíð we will welcome you at our comfortable wooden cottages. There you can settle down, put your luggage away and then we meet for a tasty snack. We will have a short informal conversation before you will meet the horses and we set out on our first short ride (ca. 2 hours) Afterward you can jump into the natural hot tub that´s conveniently located outside our cottages and wait for an exquisite dinner.
Day 2: Varmahlíð – Gilhagi: Today our adventure truly begins! We will be riding through the stunning nature of the river delta towards the pen Mælifellsrétt. Our herd of free-running horses will also start their journey towards the pen and we will meet the herd around noon. From this time we will ride with our herd of horses deeper into the valley along a low-traffic road. Riding with the herd enables us to change horses so they can relax while running free. This day will end at the farm Gilhagi, where the herd will spend the night. We will return back to our cottages, where the delicious dinner will be already awaiting us.
Day 3: Varmahlíð – Gilhagi – Galtará: Before we set out in the morning, we will pack our luggage for the night in the highlands. Everything that we don´t need can be left in the biggest, common cottage until our return. After a short drive, we get back on horseback and ride through the scenic canyon Gilhagadalur into the highlands. Our destination is the mountain hut Galtará located nearby the Blöndulón reservoir in the wide moor Eyvindarstaðaheiði. The horses also spend their night here – only a few steps away from our hut! At the Galtará hut, we have even the luxury of hot water and showers. Before the night sets in our chef will treat us to a delectable dinner. If we are lucky, we will be able to see the Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers shimmering in the soft light of the midnight sun.
Day 4: Galtará – Svartárdalur – Stafnsrétt
After breakfast, we have to pack our luggage and leave the peaceful Galtará and the stillness of the highlands behind. We follow wide riding trails that allow us for an endless tölt. In the breaks, depending on the season, we may be able to pick crowberries, the aromatic wild thyme, or the healthy Iceland moss. As we descend from Eyvindarstaðaheiði further into the Svartárdalur valley, we will see the corral Stafnsrétt, where the sheep are collected every autumn. This corral is our destination today. Our horses will retreat here for the night and we will drive back to our cottages.
Day 5: Stafnsrétt – Mælifellsrétt: In the morning we will saddle our horses and we will ride into the direction home. The day seems like a summary of our entire tour. The paths alternate between soft riding trails that are perfect for tölting and a more challenging, rugged terrain.
To start with our horses climb uphill on rocky serpentines. From the mountain pass Kiðaskarð we will be able to catch one last glimpse of the faraway highlands and the majestic glaciers. We will ride down towards the pen Mælifellrétt we remember from our lunch break on the second day. We will leave the horses there and relax back at our cottages and wait for the last exiting riding day to come.
Day 6: Mælifellrétt – Varmahlíð: Following a delightful breakfast we start our last day with some history. First, we visit Glaumbær, a collection of traditional turf-houses, where we can see how Icelanders lived throughout the centuries. Then we saddle up for the last ride. The horses are yearning to go home, therefore it will be an exciting ride towards the stables.
After passing through the glacier river delta, we stop at the farm Stokkhólmi for lunch.
The Icelandic horse is one of the few breeds in the world capable of 5 gaits. During the past days, you have tried four of the five gaits of these amazing horses. Now it’s time for the ultimate experience of the Flying Pace, a gait offering breathtaking speed and explosive acceleration. You will be aided by our skilled riding instructor and her well-trained pace horses.
Once we arrive at Vindheimamelar, we have to say goodbye to our horses and release them onto the pasture. At the cottages, a substantial farewell dinner will be awaiting us. For an even better conclusion to our riding tour, we can jump into the stone hot tub and relax while pondering the ever-amazing memories of the past days spent on horseback.
Day 7: Transfer to Reykjavik – the end of the tour: After breakfast, you will pack your luggage and we will give you a lift to Reykjavík.
If you would like to take the Highland Bus that follows road F35 and explore the geothermal area of Hveravellir, the magnificent waterfall of Gullfoss and the famous Geysir in Haukadalur, we can arrange this for you as well for an extra charge. Domestic flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík with transportation to the airport in Akureyri is also available for a surcharge upon request. (It is not possible to refund the private bus transfer)