Landmannalaugar

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About the Landmannalaugar tour

This horseback riding tour is suited for experienced riders who are seeking for a real adventure far up in the highlands of Iceland. This tour includes some really long days so it won´t always be easy, but in the end you will be proud that you made it and you will never forget this experience! On the way we will see a great diversity in nature and get the chance to try different horses. The highlight is the geothermal hot-spot Landmannalaugar; a spectacular area, famous for its multicolored mountains in green, red and yellow, and a natural hot spring where you get the chance to ‘cool off’.

About the Landmannalaugar area

The Landmannalaugar area is one of the best-known highland areas in Iceland. It is a part of the central volcano Torfajökull with a caldera around 130 km2 in size, the largest we have in Iceland. The last volcano eruption in the Landmannalaugar area was around the year 1477 when the Laugahraun lava field by Landmannalaugar formed. The mountains in the area are made out of rhyolite and the combination with the geothermal heat affects the color variations in the rocks making them extremely colorful.

 

 

DAY BY DAY:
1. Arrival

Pick up in Reykjavík at the BSÍ station at 17.00. From there we drive along the Southcoast to Skálakot. We will have dinner and there is a possibility to relax in the hottub before going to bed.
Accommodation: Skálakot dormitory (sleeping bag accommodation). Facilities: shared bathroom/shower, hot tub, WiFi.

2. Skálakot – Fljótshlíð

We start the day with a good breakfast. Before we leave, our guide will explain you everything you need to know about the horses and riding with a herd of loose running horses. The next days we will always herd loose horses with us and make several stops on the way to change horses. We will ride from Skálakot along the mountains of Eyjafjöll, passing the waterfall Seljalandsfoss to ´Gamla brú´, an old bridge over the river Markarfljót, where we stop to have our lunch. After the lunch break, we continue by crossing the old bridge and then we head towards Fljótshlíð in the hills of the glacier and volcano Tindfjallajökull. We will pass Stóri Dímon, the lonely mountain, and end our riding day in Eyvindarmúli where we keep our horses over the night. We drive back to Skálakot for dinner and overnight stay.
Riding distance: 30 km
Accommodation: Skálakot dormitory (sleeping bag accommodation). Facilities: shared bathroom/shower, hot tub, WiFi.

3. Fljótshlíð – Emstrur

Today the adventure really begins! After we had our breakfast and everyone packed their bags, we will drive to where we left the horses the night before. From here we start to ride in to the highlands. The way goes between the two glaciers, Eyjafjallajökull on the right side and Tindfjallajökull on the left side.
With a magnificent view over the Þórsmörk valley and the uplands area of Fljótshlíð, we slowly start to climb higher in to the mountains. We take a lunch break in the beautiful ´cave valley´, Hellisvellir. After lunch we keep on climbing and pass the special mountain Einhyrningur (unicorn) before we head to Emstrur where we have our overnight stay in a nice and cozy mountain hut.
Riding distance: 35km
Accommodation: Mountain hut (sleeping bag accommodation). No warm water, limited electricity, limited phone coverage.

4. Emstrur – Hólaskjól

This day will be the day where we will ride the most kilometers of all days. But since we mostly ride over flat paths which are perfect to tölt on, this will not be the day where we spend most hours in the saddle. From Emstrur we ride on the 30 kilometers long black sand desert Mælifellssandur, located between the two glaciers Mýrdalsjökull and Torfajökull. Halfway across the black sand area, we pass the beautiful green mountain Mælifell. The landscape there is like being on another planet, and seeing this from the back of a fast tölting horse is a great experience!
After the Mælifellssandur black sand area, we cross the river Hólmsá and follow a gravel road. The surroundings slowly start to become more green and hilly again. We end the day by riding through a stunning valley before reaching the mountain hut Hólaskjól where we spend the night.
Riding distance: 60km
Accommodation: Mountain hut (sleeping bag accommodation). Showers, electricity, limited phone coverage, WiFi.

5. Hólaskjól – Landmannalaugar

Today we will ride to Landmannalaugar! On our way there, we stop by the Eldgjá volcanic fissure, who was formed by the enormous volcanic eruption in 938 BC and is around 40 km long.
After this stop we will ride higher up in to the mountains, where we make one more stop before we head down again to the valley where we will have lunch. After lunch you will start to recognise the colourful mountains around you as a sign that we are reaching the Landmannalaugar area. Just one big river to cross and then we are there! We will leave the horses in Landmannalaugar for the night, while we take a short drive to Landmannahellir (30 min) where we will spend the next two nights.
Riding distance: 38 km
Accommodation: Mountain hut (sleeping bag accommodation). Shower, no electricity, limited phone coverage.

6. Landmannalaugar – Landmannahellir

This day starts with a drive back to Landmannalaugar to meet up with the horses. We take it easy in the morning where everyone gets some time to go for a short hike or a bath in the geothermal pool. Around noon we gather up for lunch and after that we will start riding again! Continuing into the beautiful area Landmannalaugar we will ride around the lake Frostastaðavatn and take a break in the valley Dómadalur before we ride the horses to Landmannahellir, the same place where we already stayed the night before.
Riding distance: 20 km
Accommodation: Mountain hut (sleeping bag accommodation). Shower, no electricity, limited phone coverage.

7. Landmannahellir – Emstrur

Today we wake up early and have a good breakfast because this will be the longest riding day from the tour. From Landmannahellir we will ride over Pokahryggur, climbing up to around 1000 meters above sea level. If the weather is good, the view is incredible and you can see from the sea on the southcoast to the big glaciers Langjökull and Hofsjökull who are located in the centre of Iceland. We ride down through the valley Reykjadalur which is know for the steam that comes upfrom the ground because of the geothermal activity. Here we take a break to change horses and ride along small sheeptrails around the mountain Laufafell to a valley where we will meet the car for lunch. After lunch we will ride to the beautiful lake Álftavatn where we will take one more break before the car leaves us again and we continue our way through the beautiful mountains down to Krókur, and through stunning valleys all the way back to the hut Emstrur where we also stayed after our second riding day. After this long riding day a well deserved dinner will be waiting for us.
Riding distance: 60 km
Accommodation: Mountain hut (sleeping bag accommodation). No warm water, limited electricity, limited phone coverage.

8. Emstrur – Skálakot

From Emstrur we ride all the way back to Skálakot where we started our trip. Riding the same beautiful way as we came, seeing it from another perspective.
The horses are willing and happy to go home, so it makes it rather easy to ride. At the end of this day the hot tub will be waiting for us and of course a good dinner.
Riding distance: 62 km
Accommodation: Skálakot dormitory (sleeping bag accommodation). Facilities: shared bathroom/shower, hot tub, WiFi.

9. Departure

We enjoy one last breakfast together before we bring you back to Reykjavík. We will drop you off at the BSÍ busstation around 12.00.

 

For the nights we are staying in Skálakot it is possible to ugrade to a room in the manor hotel. Leave a note on the booking request form and we will inform you about the availability and prices.

Useful information about our long horseback riding tours

Terms and conditions

 

Other Long horseback riding tours we offer:

Comfy Þórsmörk tour
Þórsmörk Classic
Hekla Wilderness
Into the Highlands

Tour Map