Skarðsheiði – Mountain of troll

8 days – 7 nights – 6 days riding

This is a tour with a lot of variety, both in scenery and riding tracks. The ride goes over mountains, but mostly through valleys. This tour will take you over nice gravel hills, grassy river banks, beside lakes and part of one day is on the beach.

Day 1: Arrival
You will be greeted at Keflavik airport, and from there the drive goes to Oddsstaðir.
When arriving at Oddsstaðir farmhouse you will be shown to your room where you will sleep during the stay. All beds are prepared with pillow/blanket and linens. At the farm there is a hot tub, and there is a natural hotspring as well as a swimming pool nearby.
After dining together we will provide information about the next days.

Day 2: Oddsstaðir – Fitjar
After breakfast the people introduce them self to the group. The guide goes through the details for following days; the riding and the horses. Presentation of riding rules when travelling with herd of loose horses and what to avoid in such cases. Everyone must have a riding helmet. Saddle bag, rain gear and saddle are also to be found for everyone on the farm. At the breakfast table, everyone prepare the lunch for the day as they choose. When all this is ready we walk to the horses which are grazing around the river nearby the farm. Everyone get a riding horse, but the horses will be 3 through the first day for each person and every day 3 new horses are tested. It is good to remember the horses which please you most, because the last day of the trip everyone can ride a wish horse.

From Oddsstaðir we ride into the end of Lundarreykjadalur. Mostly on old tracks, sandbars and gravel road. Here the ride leads south over the ridge and down into another valley, Skorradalur. Skorradalur is one of the places in Iceland where the original birch woodlands have endured always accompanied the residence of the settlement. Now trees are also planted in the valley, particularly with regard to the pine, spruce, larch and poplar. At the beginning of forestry in Iceland during the last century was precisely the area which the birch had endured, as in Skorradalur, first admitted to the culture.
After we have ridden down the valley for a short time, we stop at the farm Fitjar where the horses will rest and graze through the night and the riders will be driven back to Oddsstaðir.
Riding 25 km on three horses. The journey 5-6 hours.

Day 3: Fitjar – Svínadalur
From Fitjar we continue down Skorradalur on the south side of the lake, Skorradalsvatn, and to the farm Hagi. Skorradalsvatn is 17 km long and rather narrow. Old stories are about worm that lived in it and was very visible formerly, but have not been seen the last decades, as far as we know. Above Hagi the riders follow old path over the ridge, which leads south to the valley Grafardalur. There we come into the hollow used for acts of great sacrifice of the pagans in the last century, just after the pages were resumed in Iceland and Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson was the Public good. From Grafardalur the ride goes down Svínadalur on grassy banks, sandbars and gravel road. The horses put on a pasture and riders driven to Oddsstaðir.
The ride 30 km on three horses. Time 5-6 hours.

Day 4: Svínadalur – Geldingaá
The ride begins along gravel road and riding path. At the farm Eyri the group rides down to the river Laxá and ride along it, on grassy banks and sandbars, down the valley. At the farm Neðra-Skarð the ride leads up to the mountain Skarðsheiði on old riding path, which goes along the mountain to the river Leirá. Last part of the way is on low hills of gravel, were some birch are growing, and the ride goes smooth. The horses left grazing and riders transported to Oddsstaðir.
Riding distance 30 km on three horses, 5-6 hours.

Day 5: Geldingaá – Geldingaá
This day the departure from Geldingaá must be rather detailed because we will ride on a beach and have to ride when the tide is low. The difference of a high and low tide in depth/time, is 3 – 4 m./roomy 6 hours. The day begins with continuing the ride after the low hills from the day before. At the farm Eystra-Súlunes the ride goes down to the beach, which is ridden to the farm Belgsholt. On our left hand is the ocean but on the right one is high gravel tray hanging over the beach. Last centuries the ocean has continuously been gnawing from this tray, little by little, because the land in this area of Iceland is very slowly moving down. Under the ride you will enjoy a lot of natural skills, as the beach, the birds, the smell and the sounds from the ocean. From Belgsholt we continue after the low hills toward Hafnará and from there we take old riding path, Katlagatan, and ride along the mountain back to Geldingaá. Here we leave the horses and drive back to Oddsstaðir.
Ride about 30 km on 3 horses and 5 – 6 hours.

Day 6: Geldingaá – Heggsstaðir
Today the ride is up and over Skarðsheiðarveg and the highest point is about 500 m. The way is nowhere devastating in spite of the height and that applies also to the other days. The day begins with a ride after the low hills toward the mountain, Skarðsheiði, from there we ride up over the mountain after an old riding path in Leirárdalur. The legend tells that, at the place where the ride come highest up, female giants were used to sit in the past, but they did live in the mountaintops on both sides of this place. The giants did lot of bad things against travelers, even so that this way was not used for a long time. The giants have not been seen for a long time so we continue over the heath and hopfully enjoy the good sight from it to big part of West Iceland. When the ride is down on lowland again, it follows riding paths beside roads and old paths all the way to Heggsstaðir. Heggsstaðir is an old farm and there was fore more the assembly for the district. Still it’s possible to see the ruins of the ring for the judges there.
Riding is 35 km on 3 horses, about 6 hours.

Day 7: Heggsstaðir – Oddsstaðir
The rides begin between rocky hills, but most of the way we ride along the grassy banks of the famous salmon fishing river, Grímsá. The river is crossed several times and on the way we can have a beautiful view over Borgarfjörður. When Grímsá is crossed it is likely that people get wet because of water splashed from other horses. This day the horses are on the way home so they are often more eager than usually.
Riding is 25 km on 3 horses and 4 hours.

Day 8: Oddsstaðir – Keflavík
After breakfast we leave Oddsstaðir for the airport, hopefully with good memories from the tour and Iceland.


(Notice: Please read the rules and regulations at Import of riding equipment | Matvælastofnun ( before your arrival.)

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