Iceland - Highland Expeditions

  • Open Jun-Aug
  • Set arrivals
  • 5 to 7 nights / 5 to 7 days of riding | 3 to 7 hours riding per day | Nearest collection point:Reykjavik
  • Weight limit: 17st 4lbs (110 kg) (242 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 20

Iceland KjolurKjölur (7 nights/6 riding days) Move back in time and ride 200 km along the historic Kjölur trail as the Icelanders did throughout the centuries whilst travelling to the summer parliament at Þingvellir. Famed for the natural beauty and varied landscape of the highlands, this tour runs south to north or vice versa on the ancient route across the heart of Iceland. Pia Thommes went on the Kjölur ride in summer 2012 and put together a photo book of her trip, which you can see here.

Ride through remote desert-like areas and cross glacial rivers. As you pass the extinct volcanoes and glacier lakes, scattered areas of grassland come as a surprise in this landscape shaped by glaciers, ice and snow. Bathe in natural hot springs in the heart of the country.

King’s Trail (6 nights/7 riding days) Explore Iceland’s western highlands along ancient trails from the Vatnsdalur valley to Þingvellir. Parts of these trails, often used by farmers, were renamed the King’s Trail after a visit from the King of Denmark and Iceland in 1907. This tour runs north to south and vice versa.

Travel over remote highlands, cross lava fields and ride through forests on this 195 km journey between the north and south. Gaze upon glaciers to the east, bathe in natural hot springs and travel as Icelander’s have done for centuries, on horseback.

 

Landmannalauger (6 nights/6 riding days) A geothermal wonderland in the southern highlands, Landmannalauger’s dramatic colours and natural hot springs are just a few of the things that make this such a great location, and a challenging ride.

Mount Hekla, a highly active volcano, towers over the region as you ride from the banks of the glacial river Þjórsá to Landmannahellir and the colourful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalauger surrounded by black lava fields.

Northern Exposure (5 nights/5 riding days) Discover the wonders of Lake Mývatn and Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifos, on this challenging ride in the northeast of Iceland. Lake Mývatn is famed for its volcanic features and rich birdlife. This trail takes you from rich green pastureland towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and through areas scarred with cracks and fissures from earthquakes and volcanic activity.

Iceland horse and rider

For these trails you need to be a strong, confident rider able to adapt to different riding styles. General fitness is as important as riding experience due to the long hours in the saddle, the fast pace and remote locations of the rides.

On the trail you change horses once or twice a day and as you ride, the herd of fifty or more loose horses travels with you.

Riders are expected to care for their horse (grooming and tacking up) but help is always on hand should you need it.

The riding style is English.

Hard hats are mandatory.

The sleeping bag accommodation on these trails is in basic mountain cabins. In many of the cabins, the accommodation is communal, with everyone sleeping in one large room.

Showers are available on certain nights and on others there may be natural thermal pools. On some nights there may only be cold water available. Ablutions are shared.

A support vehicle goes ahead carrying your personal gear, cooking equipment and food.

Kjölur
Hvammur Farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley famous for salmon fishing. There are six bedrooms with two to four beds in each and two toilets and showers available. There is also WiFi and a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

Áfangi Mountain Hut sleeps up to 32 people in eight rooms, each bunk room accommodating four people. There is a hot tub next door and hot showers.

Hveravellir is a beautiful geothermal hot spot located in the western highlands of Iceland. There are two bedrooms one sleeping eight and the other twelve. There is a shower and three toilets available (shared with a campsite) but no WiFi. There is a geothermal outdoor pool just outside the cabin.

Árbúðir is a mountain cabin on the banks of the river Svartá. The cabin has 30 beds in a communal room with two toilets and one shower also available. There is no WiFi at the cabin.

Fremstaver is a cosy hut on the south slopes of the mountain, Bláfell. There are 25 beds in one large room and two toilets available. There are no showers or WiFi at this cabin.

Myrkholt is located just between Gullfoss waterfall and the hot spring Geysir. There are 32 beds split between eight rooms and WiFi is available. There are also eight showers and four toilets available at this guesthouse.

King’s Trail
Hvammur Farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley famous for salmon fishing. There are six bedrooms with two to four beds in each and two toilets and showers available. There is also WiFi and a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

Fellaskáli is a basic mountain hut which is able to sleep up to 32 people in two rooms. There is one toilet but no shower facilities.

Alftakrokur is a cosy cabin that sleeps up to 28 people in one large room and one attic room. There are two toilets but no shower facilities.

Hotel Á is a countryside hotel located in the town of Borgarfjördur. There are 22 rooms each with a private bathroom. There is a lounge and terrace area for guests to relax in the evenings.

Húsafell Gamli Bær Guesthouse is located in a former farmhouse 3.7 miles from the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. There are five bedrooms and five bathrooms available. There is a hot tub on the terrace for guests to use.

The community centre at Brautartunga is basic sleeping bag accommodation. There are shower facilities and four toilets (two ladies' and two mens'), shared between guests. There is a thermally heated swimming pool for guests to use.

Landmannalauger
At Blesastaðir guesthouse you stay in two to four person rooms, with made up beds. Bathrooms are shared; there are three showers and three toilets. There is a hot tub at this guesthouse and WiFi is available.

Hólaskógur is a large mountain cabin in Þjórsárdalur, close to the glacier river Þjórsá. Used in the autumn by the farmers during the round up, it is open for travellers through the highlands during the summer. There are 50 beds in one large room, two toilets and two showers. There is no WiFi at this cabin.

Landmannahellir mountain cabin, located in a peaceful area in Fjallabak, is also one of the main cabins used by farmers during the round up. There are 24 beds in one large room, two toilets and two showers. There is no WiFi at this cabin.

Northern Exposure
Bjarnastaðir Farm is situated in the low bushy area of Kerlingaskógur, close to the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Dettifoss Waterfall. The farmhouse sleeps up to 18 guests in sleeping bag, dorm style accommodation. There are two showers and two toilets, and an outdoor hot tub.

Þeistareykir is known as a geothermal area, with colourful mud pits, tabletop mountains, hills and lava fields. The mountain hut stays warm all year round due to the geothermal activity of the area. The cabin has one room sleeping up to 30 guests. There is one outside toilet but no showers.

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

If you do not see availability for your preferred dates, please do contact us. There might have been a cancellation or we might have a slightly different ride in Iceland which would appeal to you.

These rides have set arrival and departures.

Depending on your flight times you may need a night in Reykjavik before and after the ride.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Kjölur - North to South 20 Jun 2020 - 27 Jun 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,585.63 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 22 Jun 2020 - 27 Jun 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,437.72 View (.pdf) Book
Landmannalaugar 23 Jun 2020 - 29 Jun 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $2,482.88 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - South to North 27 Jun 2020 - 4 Jul 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 29 Jun 2020 - 4 Jul 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,563.05 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - South to North 4 Jul 2020 - 11 Jul 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Full
King's Trail North to South 4 Jul 2020 - 10 Jul 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $2,924.36 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 6 Jul 2020 - 11 Jul 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,563.05 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - North to South 11 Jul 2020 - 18 Jul 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Book
King's Trail South to North 12 Jul 2020 - 18 Jul 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $2,924.36 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 13 Jul 2020 - 18 Jul 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,563.05 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - North to South 18 Jul 2020 - 25 Jul 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - South to North 25 Jul 2020 - 1 Aug 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - North to South 10 Aug 2020 - 17 Aug 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 10 Aug 2020 - 15 Aug 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,563.05 View (.pdf) Book
Landmannalaugar 11 Aug 2020 - 17 Aug 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $2,653.38 View (.pdf) Book
Kjölur - South to North 17 Aug 2020 - 24 Aug 2020 7 nights 7 ngts $2,708.70 View (.pdf) Full
Northern Exposure 17 Aug 2020 - 22 Aug 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,563.05 View (.pdf) Book
Landmannalaugar 18 Aug 2020 - 24 Aug 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $2,653.38 View (.pdf) Book
Northern Exposure 24 Aug 2020 - 29 Aug 2020 5 nights 5 ngts $2,437.72 View (.pdf) Full

Prices

INCLUDES Shared sleeping bag accommodation; meals on the ride; riding; transfers during the ride; heavy duty waterproof jacket and trousers.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Single/double/twin rooms are not available on the ride and you should be prepared to share.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; tips; airport transfers.

NEAREST AIRPORT Keflavik.

TRANSFERS Included from Reykjavik city at set times.


Getting There

For Landmannalaugar

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station at 18:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off on the last day at about 18:30.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your flights arrive before 16:00 on the first day and depart Keflavik after 22:30 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night after the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange drop off on the last day for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be dropped off at the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For King's Trail North to South

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 08:00 and 09:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day around 18:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 22:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Northern Exposure

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 06:30 and 07:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 16:00.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your flight departs Keflavik after 20:00 on the last day.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride. Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Kjölur - North to South

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station at 17:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off on the last day at about 13:00.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your flights arrive before 16:00 on the first day and depart Keflavik after 17:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night after the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange drop off on the last day for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be dropped off at the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Kjölur - South to North

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station at 17:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off on the last day at about 14:00.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your flights arrive before 16:00 on the first day and depart Keflavik after 18:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night after the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange drop off on the last day for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be dropped off at the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For King's Trail South to North

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 08:00 and 09:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day around 18:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 22:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

Rides through the highlands and interior of Iceland.


Weather & Climate

The climate in Iceland is milder than its name and latitude suggests. However, the weather can change very quickly, especially in the mountains, going from warm and sunny to freezing cold in a few hours, and it is often very windy. Therefore, you must be prepared for all types of weather. In the summer months of June and July there are 24 hours of daylight.

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Guest Review

A much looked forward to dream holiday! In The Saddle were fantastic right from the beginning, answering any questions that I had and I knew exactly what to expect from my trip. The landscape was amazing, the horses fantastic, our guide and hosts wonderful and the food was to die for! I definitely want to ride again in Iceland - but there's so much more world to explore!

Abigail ,Lincolnshire

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

Ride Report

Chris Day
Chris Day

What the Press Say

Pia Thommes says...

Highland Expeditions Riding Specialist

Chris says

These rides are such fun! Nothing compares to riding with a herd of loose horses through amazing and diverse landscape. These remain my favourite trails to date.

My Top Tip

When you're riding with the herd you simply can't stop, so be prepared for long hours of fast riding at a 'tölt'. Don't forget your earplugs for a good night's sleep in the mountain huts!

Email: chris@inthesaddle.com

Chris Day
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