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Hestahof

Hestahof, guesthouse and horse farm, is conveniently located in KALDAKINN, only in ca 1 hours´drive from Reykjavík, as well as from the main attractions in South Iceland, such as: The Golden Circle, Seljalandsfoss, Þórsmörk, Landmannalaugar and Thingvellir. The view from Hestahof is breathtaking with clear view of landmarks such as: The Westman Islands, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, and the well-known mountains of Búrfell, Tindfjöll and volcano Hekla. Hestahof, is a family owned horse farm, ideal for those who would like to get to know the Icelandic horse or enjoy a country stay. Accommodation is in 1 Guesthouse with 4 double rooms with sleeping bag accommodation, fully equipped kitchen, shower and WC as well as a living room. Longer riding tours available in the summertime, 1-8 days riding tours in Iceland's magnificient countryside, tailormade for each group. 5 volcano Hekla ridingtours in summer 2018, as well as Reykjaík riding tour and Landsmót riding tour. Horse sale all year. Free Wi Fi in all rooms and buildings in Hestahof in Kaldakinn.

English, Scandinavian and German spoken, as well as a bit of French.

How to find?
Hestahof is by road no. 271, 10 km off road 1, on Road 26. Only 65 minutes drive from Reykjavík.

From Selfoss: Leave Selfoss heading to Hella on road no. 1. Stay on for around 30 km. Turn left on road no. 26, by the gas station. Stay on for around 10 km, on Road 271, until you see a sign saying: Kaldakinn, then 100 meters on turn right by the sign saying: Árbær. There you will find the farm Hestahof/ Kaldakinn on your left.

Staying at Hestahof/ Kaldakinn offers a variety of family-friendly activivites, such as riding, hiking, bicyckling , enjoying the company of the farm animals: horses, foals, the dog: Pollý and the cat: Tíska, often kittens.

Booking now ! Longer riding tours: Volcano Hekla ( 1-5 days, optional), Reykjavík Riding tour, 8 days and Landsmót riding tour 8 days. More information and bookings: hestahof@hestahof.is

, www.hestahof.is

Welcome to Hestahof in Kaldakinn, where riders in all ages enjoy life !

Lea and Marteinn, owners of Hestahof in Kaldakinn.

We welcome all guests, riders and non-riders alike ! Come to Hestahof in Kaldakinn and enjoy good atmosphere, friendly humans and horses, beautiful nature and brilliant location !

Please contact us for pricelists, bookings and offers for groups.


Hestahof

Kaldakinn

GPS Points N63° 54' 7.576" W20° 31' 23.413"
Accommodation 12 Rooms / 44 Beds / 1 Aparments / 6 Houses / 20 Sleeping bags
Opening period All year
Service Horse riding Smoking not allowed Walking path Sleeping bag acc. Cooking facilities Internet access Hot pot Family zoo Credit cards accepted

Travel directory for Hestahof

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History and Culture
19.80 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
10.97 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.

History and Culture
20.81 km
Hraungerdi church

Hraungerði is a church manor and former assembly site. The land once belonged to Hróðgerður the Wise, one of the first settlers and progenitor of the clan Oddverjar. The first mention of a church in Hraungerði is in Bishop Páll's records from around 1200 AD and since then there have been numerous churches built in Hraungerði. The current church, established in 1902, was designed by architect Eiríkur Gíslason from Bitra and is now preserved.

History and Culture
18.58 km
Villingaholt church

A church and farm site and home to the great 17th century saga writer Jón Erlendsson; thanks to his work many of the Icelandic Sagas were preserved that would otherwise have been lost. Later the home of Jón Gestsson (1863-1945) craftsman and farmer who designed and constructed the current church in 1910-1911. The church has a tower, choir loft and seats for 100 people. A little further to the south is a hill next to the school which used to be where the church and farm were located. Due to frequent sandstorms and heavy damage from earthquakes in 1784 they were moved to the current location.

Nature
12.63 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
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Ásavegur - trail

The trail Ásavegur used to be an important highway through the South of Iceland. This centuries-old man-made route would be used by people from different directions to go fishing, for example, or to collect their sheep and cattle from the mountains. Between Orrustudal and Hnaus is a marked hiking trail along the old Ásavegur trail which is about a 6 km. walk. On this trail is the highest point of Flóahreppur with breathtaking views in all directions. Information signs on Orrustudalur (The Valley of Battles), Skotmannshóll (Archer's Hill) and Mannabeinsmelur (The Human Bone Field) are located at different points during the hike. These locations are a great part of Icelandic history. Here is the stage of Flóamanna-Saga, two big battles were fought in Orrustudalur valley and from Skotmannshóll or Archer's Hill came one of the greatest bowshots in the saga

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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.

Nature
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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.

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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
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Urridafoss Waterfall

Urriðafoss is a waterfall in Þjórsá River. Þjórsá is Iceland's longest river, 230 km, and Urriðafoss is the most voluminous waterfall in the country. This mighty river drops down (360 m3/sec) by the edge of Þjórsárhraun lava field in beautiful and serene surroundings. Þjórsárhraun lava field is the result of the greatest lava flow on earth since the Ice Age. Located right off highway 1.

Nature
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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
19.27 km
Flóaáveita - canals

Flóaáveitan are canals that run through the entire Flói region, from Ölfusá in the west to Þjórsá River in the east. This monumental construction consisted of 300 km long canals and 900 km of embankments. The Flói irrigation system reached over 12 thousand hectares of land and became a major transition in farming and production in the area at the time. The construction of Flói irrigation system began in 1922 and irrigation began its activities in 1927. When the irrigation was inaugurated in 1927 it was one of the greatest structures in Europe and to this day it plays an important role in transferring water between farms. Beside the sluice gate you will find an information board with more details about the Flói irrigation system. To the east of the sluice gate is a marked hiking trail along Hvítá (about 4,4 km, one way).

Nature
22.38 km
Ferjunes

A medieval ferry dock for crossing Þjórsá River.

Nature
12.41 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.

Nature
12.88 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.

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.

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