Day 1 Reykjavik – Varmahlið:
A bus will pick you up in the morning of the ride between 9 am and 10 am at your Hotel. After you came up north 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 – Breið: Today is the beginning of our adventure! After a long sleep and a good breakfast, we will drive to the stable and get on our horses. While we are on our way to the highlands, our herd of free horses is also starting its journey. Our accompanying herd allows us to change horses during the day so our mounts can have a well-deserved rest and run free with their friends. We ride along the wide river delta Héraðsvötn where we can watch plenty of birds nesting and hunting. After lunch will ride together with the herd deeper into the valley along a low-traffic road we end our day at the farm Breið where the head stays for the night. We drive back to our cottages where a warm dinner is awaiting us.
Day 3 Breið – Skiptabakki: This morning we have to pack our luggage because we spend the next nights in mountain huts. From Breið we head southbound. After a few minutes ride the civilization is already behind us, we hear nothing but the golden plover and the wind. Ahead of us lays the gleaming glacier Hofsjökull. The higher we get the less vegetation we see on our way, only some lonely arctic willow bushes and Iceland moss remain. Late in the afternoon the mountain hut Skiptabakkaskáli appears in the wilderness. Running cold water is the luxury of this charming cabin but “central heating” is guaranteed since we all sleep together in one room.
Day 4 Skiptabakki – Ingólfsskáli: Today the majestic glacier Hofsjökull dominates the horizon while we ride west along the river Vestari Jökulsá. Our herd is running across the stony, barren highland that begins to look almost moonlike. Here we have to cross a huge glacial river for the first time and we need to find a good point, so all of our horses get safely to the other side. In the evening we reach the hut Ingólfsskáli, located in the ancient lava field Lambahraun, only a few kilometres from the roots of the glacier. After a good dinner, we can enjoy the peacefulness around us and see our horses through the windows of the cabin.
Day 5 Ingólfsskáli – Laugafell
From Ingólfsskáli we turn east and ride towards the mountain Illviðrahnjúkur. The newest research has proven that the geographical heart of Iceland is situated not far from the east side of this mountain. Here the winters are very harsh and almost no creature can survive, except the ravens and the arctic fox. Immersed by the wilderness we head to the cabin Laugafell, the oasis in the centre of the desert. A hot tub awaits us to help relax our bones and muscles and we enjoy the midnight sun while bathing.
Day 6 Laugafell – Hildarsel: Ahead of us is one of the longest of our riding days and amazingly beautiful nature. After a strengthening breakfast, we saddle the horses and begin to descend from a highland plateau down to the riverbanks of the East Glacial River. Very slowly it is getting greener and livelier around us, we hear the common snipe and maybe get a glimpse of a ptarmigan. Our herd is trotting through small birch- and blue berry bushes as we ride along the powerful river. We have wonderful views and ever changing riding trails until we reach the very rustic hut Hildarsel in Austurdalur valley.
Day 7 Hildarsel – Kelduland: Today we ride north through the valley until we reach the ruins of the turf farm Ábær and a very tiny church. Many stories can be told about the life of past generations here. After a stop we ride ahead to the magnificent deep gorge Merkigil. We climb down into the gorge with our horses and take a moment to watch this very unique nature beauty. Up again we continue our way to our final destination: The farm Kelduland. Here we have to say good bye to our trustful horses. We drive to the Hestasport Cottages where we enjoy a farewell dinner and a last bathe in the hot tub, while we recapitulate all the impressions of this unforgettable trip.
Day 8 Varmahlið – Reykjavík: 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)
*We reserve the right to change the itinerary in a short notice depending on weather condition or other unexpected nature phenomenons. It could be that the huts are even more basic, or we have to recourse to tents.