Ishestar Special: Arnarvatnsheiđi - 16.07. - 27.07.2011
Seven days of riding in the blazing sun and just two days cloudy weather. This is
rare in Iceland, but gave us a fantastic tour to the highlands and the heather
Arnarvatn led by Haukur Gardarsson.
Sixteen riders aged 20 to 71 years with about 80 horses, accompanied by Susi from
Switzerland, Heidi from Finland, Veronika from Austria and Ottar from Iceland,
who drove the herd and managed the riders, led Haukur from Hvammur into the
highlands through the "Eagle lake heather" and the lake Hóp and Húnavatn
back to Hvammur. In addition they supported the first two days a herd of young
horses into the highlands, where they were left to their own over the summer.
First Day: Saturday, 16/07: Arrival in Iceland - Transfer to hotel in Reykjavík.
Arrival of the riders. Transfer from Keflavik airport to Reykjavik Fosshotel Barón.
Welcome dinner at the restaurant Laekjarbrekka at 19:00. Getting to know
the other riders. Information about the tour.
Most participants had already been on several Íshestar tours. Karin was leading with 130
days of riding. Two riders came for the first time to ride in Iceland.
Among the riders were Mary from England, Gabi from Austria, Anika and Mia from Greenland,
Camilla, Grethe and Lisbeth from Denmark and from Germany were Alexandra, Anke B.,
Anke K., Christina, Friedhelm, Lissy, Regine and Werner.
Second Day: Sunday, 07/17: Reykjavík - Hvammur - Saurbćr.
Bus transfer from Reykjavík to Hvammur, where we met
horses and guides. After an excellent lunch, and after having gathered up the horses,
the ride through the valley Vatnsdalur began. We rode past the historical
farm Hof and crossed the river Vatnsdalsá on our way to the farm Saurbćr.
Here the horses spent the night and we returned to Hvammur Farm, where we
stayed. A warm outdoor tub waiting for us. (20 km)
⇒ 58 Bilder
Third Day: Monday, 08/18: Saurbćr - Grímstunguheiđi - Öldumóđuskáli.
We ascended towards the highland plateau Grímstunguheiđi
and drove the horses into their summer pastures. The highland opened up for
us and we saw mighty Álkugil gorge with picturesque waterfalls tumbling down
over rock formations. We stayed overnight in a mountain cabin. (35 km)
⇒ 60 Bilder
4th Day: Tuesday, 07/19: Álkuskáli - Fellaskáli.
Further into the mountains we sat course for the spacious Fellaskáli Cabin owned
by the farmers of Víđidalur Valley. This cabin is situated on the edge of the
Arnarvatnsheiđi heath. We could see how the vegetation is changing into lush
green colors, created by rich soil and water from many lakes. (35 km)
⇒ 55 Bilder
5th Day: Wednesday, July 20: Fellaskáli – Arnarvatn
Now it is time to ride to the “heart” of Arnarvatnsheiđi, the lakes Arnarvatn and Réttarvatn.
A truly fascinating place of silence and tranquility we will never forget. Fertile vegetation
and rich birdlife are the highlights of this area. We stay for two nights in a cabin at the
lake. (35 km)
⇒ 60 Bilder
6th Day: Thursday, July 21: Arnarvatn – Álftakrókar – Arnarvatn
We spend the day exploring this beautiful area and have lunch at Álftakrókar Cabin before we return to Arnarvatn for another overnight stay. (30 km)
⇒ 30 Bilder
7th Day: Friday, July 22: Arnarvatn – Miđfjörđur
This is a long day and at times rugged when we descend from the mountains into Miđfjörđur
fjord. Our horses stay behind at Bjargshóll Farm and we drive to Hvammur Farm, beautifully
located in Vatnsdalur Valley. Accommodation for the next two nights is at the farm and we
can enjoy the hot tub on site. (45 km)
⇒ 24 Bilder
8th Day: Saturday, July 23: Bjargshóll – Dćli Holiday Farm
We reunite with our horses at Bjargshóll Farm, where we start this day’s ride through valleys
Fitjárdalur and Víđidalur, both known for salmon fishing. We cross the river Víđidalsá and end
at Dćli Farm where we spend the night. (30 km)
⇒ 58 Bilder
9th Day: Sunday, July 24: Dćli – Lake Hóp – Thingeyrar Farm
We leave Dćli and continue to historic Thingeyrar Farm. A challenging day when we cross Lake Hóp,
Iceland’s fifth biggest lake. You can feel the excitement of the horses as they reach the open
plain. We spend next two nights at Hvammur Farm. (45 km)
⇒ 52 Bilder
10th Day: Monday, July 25: Thingeyrar – Hvammur
We start the day with a visit to historic Thingeyrar Church and hear about the history of
the place. This is our last day of riding and we bring the horses back to Hvammur Farm.
We cross Lake Húnavatn on a safe trail in the water. We ride on the eastern side of
Vatnsdalur valley, past Hvammsfoss waterfall, surrounded by impressive basalt columns.
Celebrate the successful return in the evening with a great barbeque feast in the barn –
"Icelandic style". (25 km)
⇒ 60 Bilder
11th Day: Tuesday, July 26: Hvammur – Reykjavík
Return to Reykjavík by bus and accommodation at a hotel. Arrival at approx. 14:00 and rest
of day at leisure.
⇒ 12 Bilder
12th Day: Wednesday, July 27: Reykjavík – Keflavik
Transfer by bus to Keflavík Airport in time for the flight back home.