Kjölur

Between the glaciers! If you want to see as much as possible of our beautiful country then you should ride across the heart of Iceland on the ancient trail Kjölur.

Dates 2021

  • June: 19 - 26 & 26 - July 3
  • July: 2 - 9 & 9 – 16 & 15 – 22 & 22 – 29
  • August: 5 - 12 & 12 - 19

Riding across the Heart of Iceland

Step back in time and ride along the ancient Kjölur trail as Icelanders did over the centuries when traveling to the annual summer parliament at Thingvellir, first held in 930 AD. We visit this historic site where the heart of the nation beats and which became Iceland´s first National Park in 1930. When we arrive at the south we will visit and enjoy the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall.

Traveling from south to north or vice versa right across the heart of Iceland we find ourselves traversing sandy deserts close to the mighty Langjökull and Hofsjökull Glaciers. Sheltered green valleys come as a surprise in this rugged terrain. Hveravellir is a geothermal area in the highlands where we can soak in a long hot bath under the Midnight Sun.

If you want to see as much as possible of the unspoiled Icelandic highlands, this tour, which has been in operation since 1983, is a perfect choice.

For 2018 we have added the first night and welcome dinner at the farm so now the tour is 7 nights and 6 riding days.

Attention

  • Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland.
  • Flight to and from Iceland is not included
  • Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour
  • Bring bags rather than hardcover suitcases.
  • Pack light because transport space is limited.

Day-by-day itinerary South-North:

  1. Day 1. Reykjavik – Myrkholt
    Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik between 18:00 where our bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Myrkholt Guesthouse, where horses and staff are waiting for us. After a lovely introductory meal where we get to know each other, we relax and rest so we are well prepared for the adventure ahead of us.

  2. Day 2.  Myrkholt Farm –  Gullfoss – Fremstaver Mountain Cabin
    The ride starts off towards the majestic glacier Langjökull and our first stop is the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall and the hot spring area Geysir. Our ride today leads us to a mountain called Bláfell. There we spend the night and rest the horses at Fremstaver Mountain Cabin. (Approx. 25 km)

  3. Day 3.  Fremstaver – Árbúðir Mountain Cabin
    Our ride continues along the slopes of Mt. Bláfell. This area was roamed by outlaws in the old days. We cross River Hvítá and enjoy the view to the glacier-fed lake Hvítárvatn. Tonight we stay at Árbúðir, situated right on the banks of river Svartá. (Approx. 35 km)

  4. Day 4.  Árbúðir –Hveravellir Geothermal Area, Mountain Cabin
    We ride along the glacier-fed river Fúlakvísl through huge rugged lava fields of Kjalhraun where we hear a tragic story about two brothers who froze to death in October 1780 on their way to Skagafjörður with a flock of sheep. During the ride, we enjoy magnificent views of the glacier Langjökull. We continue into the world of Thjófadalir, or Valley of Thieves, a grassy valley surrounded by high mountains, a true oasis in the wilderness. The destination of today’s ride is Hveravellir, a very unique geothermal area between Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers. Here in this rough but extremely beautiful nature the most famous outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur survived for years. At the mountain cabin, a natural hot pool invites us to a deserved relaxing bath. (Approx. 50 km)

  5. Day 5. Hveravellir – Áfangi Mountain Cabin
    Our route today leads us further to the north over the beautiful river Seyðisá. Further, the horses run free with us on the soft paths of this mystical highland area. We pass the mountains Sandkúlufell and Sauðafell before reaching our destination. It is easy to see that we follow a historical route.  All the way back to the early settlement of Iceland, people traveled on horseback on exactly the same trails as we do today.  Our well-equipped cabin for the night has a hot tub next to it.  It is named after the hill Áfangafell which offers great views of the big glaciers behind us and towards the high mountains of the North ahead of us. Up to mid-July the sun hardly sets in this part of the country. (Approx. 35 km)

  6. Day 6.  Áfangi – Vatnsdalur Valley  – Hvammur Farm
    We continue our ride over the Auðkúluheiði Moor. The valleys with the farms in the north are getting closer as our horses run freely over the soft riding paths of the northern highland. It is impressive to see the fertile valley Vatnsdalur with all its fields and vegetation. As we ride down to the valley the canyon of the Vatnsdalsá river appears with some of its many beautiful waterfalls. Our horses stay at Forsæludalur Farm which is the first farm to reach in this area when you come from the highland. We stay overnight at Hvammur Guesthouse. The hot tub offers a nice relaxation after today’s ride. (Approx. 35 km)

  7. Day 7. Hvammur – Forsæludalur – Vatnsdalur – Hvammur
    Great riding tracks along the banks of Vatnsdalsá river give us the opportunity to enjoy a fast ride in the soft tölt! Vatnsdalur is one of the most beautiful valleys in Iceland and the setting of one of the ancient sagas, Vatnsdælasaga. On our ride to Hvammur we hear tales from Iceland´s heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge, and love. We say good-bye to our horses as they get to rest in the green fields of the valley. We celebrate a successful tour with a great Farwell dinner, storytelling and singing. (Approx. 20 km)

  8. Day 8. Hvammur – Reykjavík
    We say goodbye to our farmer and his crew. Transfer back to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Approx. return at 14:00.

    – We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

Day-by-day itinerary North-South:

  1. Day 1. Reykjavik – Hvammur
    Pick up
    at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik at 18:00. Our bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Hvammur farm in North Iceland where horses and staff are waiting for us. After a lovely introductory meal where we get to know each other, we relax and rest so we are well prepared for the adventure ahead of us.

  2. Day 2.   Hvammur – Vatnsdalur Valley – Forsæludalur – Hvammur
    Today is our first riding day. Great riding tracks along the banks of Vatnsdalsá river give us the opportunity to enjoy a fast ride in the soft tölt! Vatnsdalur is one of the most beautiful valleys in Iceland and the setting of one of the ancient sagas, Vatnsdælasaga. On our ride to Hvammur we hear tales from Iceland´s heroic past of bloody conflict, revenge and love. The horses stay at Forsæludalur farm which is the last farm in the valley before we enter the highland. We stay overnight at Hvammur Guesthouse. The hot tub offers a nice relaxation after today’s ride (Approx. 20 km)

  3. Day 3. Hvammur – Forsæludalur – Áfangi Mountain Cabin
    As we ride up the valley the canyon of the Vatnsdalsá river appears with some its many waterfalls. Today we ascend up to the mountain plateau Auðkúluheiði. The fertile valley with its farms is left behind as our horses run freely over the soft riding paths of the northern highland. We enjoy the splendid view over the impressive highland mountains and glaciers around us. We stay overnight at the mountain cabin Áfangi, beside the huge man-made lake Blöndulón. Hot tub aside. (Approx. 35 km)

  4. Day 4.   Áfangi – Hveravellir Geothermal Area, Mountain Cabin

    On our ride today we pass the mountains Sandkúlufell and Sauðafell. It is easy to see that we follow a historical route.  All the way back to the early settlement of Iceland, people traveled on horseback on exactly the same trails as we do today.  Our route today leads us further to the south over the beautiful river Seyðisá. The horses run happily with us on the soft paths of this free and mystical highland area. The destination of today’s ride is Hveravellir, a very unique geothermal area between Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers. Here in this rough but extremely beautiful nature the most famous outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur survived for years. A natural hot pool invites us to a deserved relaxing bath. (Approx. 35 km)

  5. Day 5. Hveravellir – Árbúðir Mountain Cabin
    We start the day by riding through the Valley of Thieves, called Thjófadalir, a remote grassy valley surrounded by high mountains. From the entrance of the valley, we have a splendid view over the fertile landscape. Our ride leads along the vast lava fields of Kjalhraun, where we hear a tragic story about two brothers who froze to death in October 1780 on their way to Skagafjörður with a flock of sheep.  Following the glacial river Fúlákvísl we enjoy the view of the mighty glacier Langjökull. The day ends Árbúðir Mountain Cabin. (Approx. 50 km)

  6. Day 6. Árbúðir – Fremstaver Mountain Cabin
    We follow river Svartá for a while before crossing the river Hvítá. Our ride continues along the slopes of Mt. Bláfell. During the last centuries, traveling through the remote Highland was a dangerous trip due to outlaws waiting to rob the riders. We spend the night and rest the horses at Fremstaver Mountain Cabin. (Approx. 35 km)

  7. Day 7. Fremstaver – Gullfoss Waterfall – Geysir Hot Spring Area – Myrkholt Farm
    We saddle up again and ride by the canyon of Hvítá river heading southwards to the lowlands. Our horses bring us in their soft and strong gates the last part of the journey.   We explore the world famous natural wonders, Geysir and the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. We say goodbye to our horses as they get their rest on some of the farm’s fertile fields. We celebrate a successful tour with a great farewell dinner, storytelling and singing. (Approx. 25 km)

  8. Day 8.  Myrkholt – Reykjavík
    We say good-bye to our farmer and his crew and return back to Reykjavík. On our drive back to Reykjavík to your accommodation, we visit the historical site Thingvellir, Iceland’s first National Park. Approx. arrival at 13:00.

    – We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm.
  • During the ride full board is provided. Our 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.
  • 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.
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.

Árbúðir Mountain Hut

Arbudir is a mountain cabin right beside the Kjölur route on the banks of the river Svartá. The cabin has sleeping-bag accommodation for 30 overnight guests.

  • Number of rooms: 2
  • Number of beds: 30
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: No
  • Number of showers: 1
  • GSM connection: Yes but weak
  • WiFi: No
  • Made up beds: No
  • Number of WC: 2

Website with photos

Please Note! Following departures will not be staying at Árbúðir: 04 July – 11 July – 18 July

Instead they will be staying at this nice place: See photos here

  • Number of rooms: 6 room (2×2, 2×4, 2×6)
  • Number of beds: 24
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: No
  • Number of showers: 2
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Made up beds: No
  • Number of WC: 2

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 4 years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

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

Hveravellir Mountain Hut

Hveravellir is a beautiful geothermal hot spot located in the western highlands of Iceland. Íshestar groups stay in the “Old hut” next to the geothermal area and the „geothermal pool”. Please note the stables/horses are in 15 min walking distance from the hut.

  • Number of rooms: 2 (8-12 bedded)
  • Number of beds: 20 (bunk beds)
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes (Geothermal)
  • Number of showers: 1 (sharing with campsite)
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: No
  • Made up beds: No
  • Number of WC: 3 (sharing with campsite)

Myrkholt

Myrkholt is located just between Gullfoss waterfall and the hot spring Geysir. Very nice farm and guesthouse.

  • Number of rooms: 8
  • Number of beds: 32
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: No
  • Number of showers: 8
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Made up beds: Yes
  • Number of WC: 4

Fremstaver

Fremstaver is a cozy hut on the south slopes of the mountain Bláfell. The cabin is situated in beautiful surroundings that offer many sight-seeing possibilities. Climbing the mountain Bláfell is a long but rewarding walk. The top offers views wide and far on a good day.

  • Number of rooms: 1
  • Number of beds: 25
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: no
  • Number of showers: 0
  • GSM connection: yes
  • WiFi: no
  • Made up beds: x
  • Number of WC: 2

Gíslaskáli

Gíslaskáli is located in a beautiful and unspoiled landscape on the Kjölur tour. Nearby is the source of Svartár river which is a beautiful crystal clear spring water.

  • Number of rooms: 1
  • Number of beds: 40
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: No
  • Number of showers: x
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: No
  • Made up beds: Yes

Here you can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building. Book my ticket.

Kjölur tour operates alternatively from south to north, the next tour being from north to south. Please send us a request for day by day itinerary North-South at [email protected]

Terms & conditions:
We request a confirmation payment upon booking of minimum 30% of the tour price. When the confirmation payment is received the seat is secure. The remaining balance is due 6 weeks before the tour departs. If you book the tour through the website the full amount is requested.

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

Liability:
We reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables without prior notice, should the necessity arise. No liability is accepted for loss or expenses due to delays or changes of arrival or departures of flights or other services, injury, sickness, accident, strikes, damage, negligence, weather, wars or other causes outside the control of Íslandshestar. All such losses and expenses are the personal liability of the traveler. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.

For more information please see also our Frequent Asked Questions and/or contact us at [email protected]

Reviews

I really wish I would have done this trip sooner, this is truly a life changing experience and one you can´t describe until you try it your self! The horses, nature, hosts, and helpers were amazing. I 100% recommend all riders to ride with them!

L.E. Germany.

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