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Hekluhestar Riding Tours

Hekluhestar - Riding tours since 1981

Austvaðsholtfarm, the heart of Hekluhestar, is located 12 km from Hella, in a vast open area 100 km. east of Reykjavik in the vicinity of the volcano Mt. Hekla, bordered by the river Rangá and has the character of a family farm.
Horses are the focal point of activity at Hekluhestar, brought up and trained with the requirements of our guests in mind. Perfectly adapted to their ground, from the grassy meadows and river randges to the rugged desertic highlands and volcanic fields. The Icelandic horse has a fourth and fifth gait, tölt and pace, which enable one to cover long distances comfortably and swiftly.

For over thirty years the Hekluhestar family has guided many groups of people coming from all over the world through the rugged area of Hekla. Anita is continuing the family tradition that her parents, Jón and Nicole started, and is leading the riding tours, which she has been involved every year since she was a little child.

The Highland tours - 6 and 8 day rides
In July and August we offer riding tours through lavafields and volcanic ash desert and other impressive scenery close to the famous volcano Hekla.The tours continues to Landmannalaugar a geothermal area with a colourful and breathtaking landscape of mountains, hot springs and lavafields. Daily treks of 4-7 hours. Accomodation is provided at the farm and in well kept mountain huts.

Summer night ride - Ride into the bright Icelandic summer night in June.
Experience a unique admosphere and the energy of the nature by riding into the bright night on an Icelandic horse. Ride in the meadows where the birds with their chicks are running around and the dew decorates the vegetation. Going along
the beautiful and quiet river Ranga with a great view of the volcano Hekla, glaciers and mountains. We start the ride around 23 o'clock and ride for about three to four hours. When we arrive back to the farm, hot chocolate and traditional "bakkelsi" will be served.

Hiking with packhorses
Take a hike in the unspoiled nature and beautiful scenery with a horse carrying your
luggage by your side.

Day tours
Come and visit our farm and go for a one hour ride up to a day tour along the river Rangá. Beautiful view of the mountains.

The Guesthouse
Built 1990 in old traditional Icelandic style. Turf on the roof makes the house fit perfectly into the natural surrounding. Sleeping-bag accommodation in a private house with selfcatering, for individuals and small groups up to 18 persons. Whatever your interest: overnight stay, a riding vacation, a sightseeing excursion or longer stay at the farm. You are always welcome.

Available all times of the year.

Icelandic, French and English spoken

Hekluhestar Riding Tours

Austvaðsholt, Holta- og Landssveit

GPS Points N63° 54' 32.755" W20° 17' 28.144"
Fax

487-6602

Accommodation 3 Rooms / 15 Beds / 15 Sleeping bags
Opening period All year

Travel directory for Hekluhestar Riding Tours

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Þjóðólfshagi
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History and Culture
19.90 km
Strönd at Rangárvellir

Strönd at Rangárvellur is now best known for its 18-hole golf course, run by the Hella Golf Club, but there is also an excellent restaurant there, located in the golf club's club house. The restaurant is open to the public year-round, where the emphasis is on local produce.

The Hella Golf Club moved to Strönd in 1972 after operating for two decades at Gaddstaðaflatir at Hella. Since then, the club has put much work into improving and expanding the area, and it is now one of Iceland's best golf courses.

Strönd has a much longer history, however, and from 1933 to 1970, a boarding school for the district was located there. Strönd was also the district assembly site for Rangárvellir and had a post office, central telephone office and an assembly hall, where many of the district's biggest events were held.

Nature
12.73 km
Ytri Ranga river

Ytri-Rangá flows past Hella. Its source is to the north of Mount Hekla, in Rangárbotnar at Landmannafréttur, where it surfaces in several places from under the lava fields. The river is 55 km in length and one of the richest salmon fishing rivers in Iceland. The river is fed by run-off and springs.

There are several waterfalls along the river, Fossabrekkur, Gutlfoss, Árbæjarfoss and Ægissíðufoss. Approximately 10 km below Hella, Þverá joins the river and is called Hólmsá until it runs into the sea.

There has been considerable fish farming in the river for many years, which means that the river is more often than not at the top of the list of Icelandic salmon fishing rivers and is extremely popular as such. The farming operations in the river are in the hands of the Ytri-Rangá Fishing Association.

Nature
14.84 km
Ægissíðufoss waterfall

The Ægissíðufoss waterfall in Ytri-Rangá is a few kilometres further down the river from Hella. The waterfall is a well-known fishing location on the river and has a salmon ladder. The waterfall is magnificent all year round, as the flow is quite steady throughout the year given that Ytri-Rangá is a spring-fed river. Any changes to its flowrate can for the most part be attributed to spring thaws.

When thoughts turned to bridging the Ytri-Rangá river, Jón Þorláksson, the then Chief Civil Engineer and later Prime Minister, examined the option of building a bridge just above Ægissíðufoss. This construction did not materialise, and the bridge was ultimately built where the village of Hella stands today.

A popular hiking trail lies from Hella down to Ægissíðufoss along the Ytri-Rangá river and is much used by both locals and visitors.

Nature
23.96 km
Tjorsa river

Þjórsá is the longest river in Iceland, 230 km, and has a catchment area of 8000 km². Þjórsá is a glacier river and its source is Hofsjökull glacier. On its way to the sea it falls off some cliffs in many places and there forms beautiful waterfalls. Some of these waterfalls are well-known, but some others are unknown pearls to discover, especially those in the highlands. The waterfall Thjofafoss in Thjorsá south of the hill Búrfell is well known and easy to reach.

In winter the river can gather up huge quantities of ice that had settled at its bottom and in spring, when the ice melts in Þjórsá canyons below Urriðafoss waterfall, the river breaks through the ice which is a magnificent sight to behold.

Nature
12.98 km
Self guided walk in Hella

The archaeology app takes you on a self-guided tour in the village of Hella. Hella does not have a very long history but there has been a farm, Gaddstaðir, at Hella for few decades. The first inhabitant to move to Hella which didn 't have the goal to be a farmer was Þorsteinn Björnsson. He moved in in 1927, he opened a store which he named Hella. From that moment that village started to develop and the name Hella grew to the village. The app will take you for an approximately 1 1/2 hour walk around the village where you will get to know a lot more. To download the "wapp" app search in app store or google play, it's free.

Nature
24.93 km
Dælarétt

Dælarétt is a centuries-old sheep pen surrounded by beautiful landscape, built from rocks of the great Þjórsárhraun lava field. Dælarétt is considered to be the oldest sheep pen in the country and has now been preserved. Close by are earthquake fissure; use caution around the fissures.

Nature
12.47 km
Ægissíðuhellir

Many believe that the man-made caves in Ægissíða date from before Norse settlement in Iceland and that Celtic monks resided there. One of those who believed this theory was poet Einar Benediktsson, who recruited painter Kjarval to sketch the etchings on the wall. He also got Matthías Jochumson, the parish pastor at Oddi, to conduct a mass in Kirkjuhellir.

A total of twelve caves are known in the Ægissíða farmland. Several are currently accessible, but most are either closed or dangerous to access. All the caves are privately owned, so they cannot be accessed without the permission of the occupants.

For years, the caves have been a popular destination for travellers, with the most popular of them being Fjóshellir. Fjóshellir consists of a tall and wide dome. The ceiling is higher at the end of the cave, and its shape is reminiscent of an altar or chapel. There is an embossed cross on the middle of the cave wall, an indication that Christians dwelt there.

The caves have not yet been dated with any accuracy, and scholars disagree as to whether the caves can reasonably be assumed to pre-date the settlement period.

For years, the caves were used as shelter for livestock or to store hay. Fjóshellir was used as a barn for the Ægissíða cowshed. The cave was linked to the cowshed by rail, and the hay was pulled in a cart along the tracks.

History and Culture
12.98 km
Hella

Hella is the municipality's main population centre, with over 800 residents. The economy of Hella consists mainly of services to the agricultural sector. The town hosts a slaughterhouse for large livestock, a meat processing plant, chicken slaughterhouse and adjacent processing plant, veterinary centre, incubation station, automobile workshop, electrical workshop, woodworking shop and various other smaller agricultural service providers.

Hella also has a grocery store, restaurants, hotel and guesthouses, nursing and retirement homes, swimming pool, laundry, healthcare centre, glass workshop, fish processing and seafood store, electrical appliance and gift store, bank, post office, camping ground, pharmacy, tyre shop, gas station, sports facilities, primary and nursery schools, as well as various other services and public bodies. In addition, the town hall and service centre for the municipality are located in Hella.

Hella's history began in 1927, when a shop was opened at the location. It was later replaced by the co-operative society Þór, and as the co-op grew and prospered, Hella became the main trading centre in the western part of the Rangárvallasýsla region, extending across the farmlands Gaddstaðir, Helluvað and Nes at Rangárvellir.

The village grew considerably in the sixties when many of the people working on the development of power plants in the area built homes and settled there. Growth slowed down after that, but since the turn of the century, Hella has grown steadily, with new apartments being constructed every year.

One of the best-known equine sports facilities in Iceland is located in Hella: Gaddstaðaflatir, also known as Rangárbakkar. The facilities include competition pitches for riding sports as well as an indoor riding arena. Five national meets have been held there, in 1986, 1994, 2004, 2008 and 2014, and the sixth is planned in 2020.

Nature
12.51 km
The Ægissíða Caves

Many believe that the man-made caves in Ægissíða date from before Norse settlement in Iceland and that Celtic monks resided there. One of those who believed this theory was poet Einar Benediktsson, who recruited painter Kjarval to sketch the etchings on the wall. He also got Matthías Jochumson, the parish pastor at Oddi, to conduct a mass in Kirkjuhellir.

A total of twelve caves are known in the Ægissíða farmland. Several are currently accessible, but most are either closed or dangerous to access. All the caves are privately owned, so they cannot be accessed without the permission of the occupants.

For years, the caves have been a popular destination for travellers, with the most popular of them being Fjóshellir. Fjóshellir consists of a tall and wide dome. The ceiling is higher at the end of the cave, and its shape is reminiscent of an altar or chapel. There is an embossed cross on the middle of the cave wall, an indication that Christians dwelt there.

The caves have not yet been dated with any accuracy, and scholars disagree as to whether the caves can reasonably be assumed to pre-date the settlement period.

For years, the caves were used as shelter for livestock or to store hay. Fjóshellir was used as a barn for the Ægissíða cowshed. The cave was linked to the cowshed by rail, and the hay was pulled in a cart along the tracks.

South Iceland

Towns & Villages

The south of Iceland has several towns and villages, each with its own style, charm and points of interest. Selfoss is the largest town and has a variety of shops, services, many restaurants and fast food places. Most towns are close to the main route, making them accessible and enjoyable.

Explore map by categories

Map Höfn Kirkjubæjarklaustur Vík Vestmannaeyjar Hvolsvöllur Flúðir Laugarvatn Reykholt Laugarás Borg Brautarholt Hveragerði Árnes Selfoss Hella Stokkseyri Eyrarbakki Þykkvibær Þórlákshöfn