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Kjolur

Overview

Step back in time and ride along the ancient Kjolur Trail as Icelanders did over the centuries when travelling to the annual summer parliament at Thingvellir, first held in 930 AD. Travelling from south to north (or vice versa) right across the heart of Iceland you will find yourself traversing …

Highlights

  • Ride the iconic Kjolur trail across Iceland's highlands
  • Enjoy riding different Icelandic horses along the way
  • The thrill of riding within a herd of loose horses
  • Discover the highlights of Gullfoss and Geysir
  • Admire the mighty mountains & glaciers you ride past

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 20 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 110kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 4 lbs

Description

Step back in time and ride along the ancient Kjolur Trail as Icelanders did over the centuries when travelling to the annual summer parliament at Thingvellir, first held in 930 AD.

Travelling from south to north (or vice versa) right across the heart of Iceland you will find yourself traversing sandy deserts and lava fields before reaching the lush green valleys of the north. You'll pass between the mighty Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers and visit the geothermal area of Hveravellir in the highlands.

This tour also includes the 'golden circle' highlights of Gullfoss and Geysir. If you want to see as much of the unspoiled Icelandic highlands as possible then this tour is the perfect choice. It has been running since 1983 and is probably the most well-known trail in Iceland.

Throughout the ride you'll have a herd of horses running with you. This means you can change horses regularly throughout the journey - each horse gets a rest and you get to ride a fresh horse. This means that a decent pace can be maintained and larger distances can be covered each day. Riding with the herd is a thrilling experience and you'll leave with a multitude of fantastic memories.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Specific Icelandic tack. Saddles are similar to dressage saddles with a relatively flat seat which is either plain or quilted. Cruppers may be used to keep the saddle in place. Stirrups are usually kept long but the riding style is similar to English. Bridles are normally simple snaffles with detachable nosebands and clip on reins.

Horses

Icelandic

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Kjolur Trail is a trail ride

Health

General good health and fitness

Weight

110kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 4 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

During the ride full board is provided. The 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 drinks are not included and are sometimes difficult to source, so we recommend buying them at the Duty Free store on arrival at Reykjavik airport and carrying them with you.

Accommodation

Your first and last nights are in guesthouses with rooms containing 2-4 beds.

For most of the trail you stay in mountain huts which may contain up to 25 bunks in one room. You will need to bring a sleeping bag! On some nights there are showers and/or hot tubs, but not on all nights. There is always at least one toilet.

Itineraries

Kjolur Trail Basic accommodation.

Other Activities

This is a riding tour with some long hours in the saddle.

Travel

You are collected from Reykjavik bus station so will need to take a shuttle bus from the airport - these are easily booked in advance or when you arrive.

Extra nights in Reykjavik are not included but we can advise you if you wish to spend extra time or make the transfers more relaxed.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Reykjavik - Myrkholt

Riding: No riding.

You'll be collected from the BSI bus station in Reykjavik at 17:30 and transferred to Myrkholt Guesthouse where you'll meet your guides and horses. After an introductory meal you can relax and prepare for the adventure ahead.

Day 2 - Myrkholt - Gullfoss - Fremstaver

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

Set off riding towards the majestic glacier Langjokull and take your first stop at the beautiful waterfall of Gullfoss before visiting the hot springs at Geysir. Your ride then leads to the mountain Blafell where you overnight at Fremstaver Mountain cabin.
Riding c. 25km

Day 3 - Fremstaver - Arbudir

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Continue riding along the slopes of Mt Blafell. This area was once roamed by outlaws! Cross the river Hvita and admire the view to the glacier-fed lake Hvitarvatn. Overnight at Arbudir mountain cabin on the banks of the Svarta river.
Riding c. 35km

Day 4 - Arbudir - Hveravellir

Riding: 7 - 8 hours

Ride along the glacier-fed river Fulakvisl and through the huge, rugged lava fields of Kjalhraun where you'll hear the tragic story about two brothers who froze to death in October 1780 on their way to Skagafjordur with a flock of sheep. During the ride you'll also have magnificent views of the Langjokull glacier. Continue into the world of Thjofadalir, or Valley of Thieves, a grassy valley surrounded by high mountains and a true oasis in the wilderness. Your destination today is Hveravellir, a unique geothermal area between the glaciers of Hofsjokull and Langjokull. In this rough but beautiful area the outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur survived for many years. Overnight at a mountain cabin with a natural hot pool which invites you for a dip.
Riding c. 50km

Day 5 - Hveravellir - Afangi

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Continue riding north over the beautiful river Seydisa and enjoy the soft paths of this highland area with your herd of loose horses. Pass the mountains Sandkulufell and Saudafell until reaching your destination Afangi mountain hut, which is named after the hill Afangafell which offers great views of the glaciers behind you and mountains ahead of you. Up until mid-July the sun hardly ever sets in this part of the country.
Riding c. 35km

Day 6 - Afangi - Vatnsdalur Valley - Forsaeludaular

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Ride over the Audkuluheidi Moor towards the fertile valleys of the north with their fields and vegetation. As you ride down into Vatnsdalur Valley, the canyon of the Vatnsdala river appears with its many waterfalls. Your horses stay at Forsaeludaulur farm, which is the first farm you'll reach in the valley, whilst you transfer to Hvammur guesthouse to overnight. Hot tub available for relaxation in the evening.
Riding c. 35km

Day 7 - Forsaeludalur - Hvammur

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Fast riding this morning along great riding tracks beside the Vatnsdalsa river. This is one of the most beautiful valleys in Iceland and the setting for one of the ancient sagas, Vatnsdaelasaga. You'll hear tales from Icelands heroic past of conflict, revenge and love. Upon reaching Hvammur farm you release your horses to rest in the green of the valley and celebrate with a farewell dinner, storytelling and singing.
Riding c. 20km

Day 8 - Hvammur - Reykjavik

Riding: No riding.

Say goodbye to the farmer and your guides before transferring back to Reykjavik, aiming to arrive at c. 14:00 (2pm). Accommodation is not included this evening but we can advise if required.

**Please note that this itinerary also runs in reverse on alternate weeks**

Accommodation

First and last nights will be spent at a farmhouse featuring shared rooms with 2-4 beds in each. For the other nights, you will be staying in simple mountain huts, with shared sleeping quarters and will need to bring your own sleeping bag for this.

Experience Experienced

You should be a competent rider, fit and in control in all paces across varied terrain. You will swap horses often and will be riding with a herd of loose horses.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 20
Departure windows

July 22, 2021 - July 29, 2021

Aug. 5, 2021 - Aug. 12, 2021

Aug. 12, 2021 - Aug. 19, 2021

June 19, 2022 - June 26, 2022

June 26, 2022 - July 3, 2022

July 1, 2022 - July 8, 2022

July 8, 2022 - July 15, 2022

July 15, 2022 - July 22, 2022

July 22, 2022 - July 29, 2022

Aug. 5, 2022 - Aug. 12, 2022

Aug. 12, 2022 - Aug. 19, 2022

Pricing

2021/2022
High season (26 June-19 August)
£2045 $2845 €2395
2022
Low Season (19-26 June)
£1950 $2715 €2290
Included 7 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day, soft drinks with meals, 6 days of riding, set time transfers from Reykjavik bus station.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, bus tickets/travel to Reykjavik in time for the transfers, alcoholic drinks, sleeping bag, tips & other personal expenses.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.