Day 1, Friday: Reykjavik – Varmahlíð: After the public bus transfer to Varmahlíð we will pick you up at the bus station and 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, Saturday: 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, Sunday: 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, Monday: 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, Tuesday: 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, Wednesday: Mælifellrétt – Varmahlíð: After a delightful breakfast we start our last day with some history. First, we visit Glaumbær, where we can see how the Icelanders lived years ago. Afterwards, on our way to the horses, we will stop at Varmilækur and learn about the past from Hestasport, meet Bjössi and his excellent horses which will show us their fantastic gaits.
Then we saddle our own horses for the last ride. The horses yearning to go home, therefore it will be an exciting ride towards the stable. Once we arrive at Vindheimamelar, we have to say good bye 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, Thursday: Transfer to Reykjavik – the end of the tour: After breakfast you will pack your luggage in the cars and we set out for the ride to Akureyri, the second biggest city in Iceland. We will bid you Farwell there and you will leave on a plane to Reykjavik.