Sprengisandur - Into the Wild
True wilderness experience in the highlands of Iceland!
The mystery trail over Sprengisandur was hidden and feared by Icelanders for centuries, mainly because of the countless stories of elves and outlaws that were supposedly waiting for lonely travelers passing by. The trail connects the north and south parts of Iceland and leads in between the mighty glaciers Vatnajökull and Langjökull. Every rider in Iceland knows the song “Á Sprengisandi”, the tale of a lonely traveler riding from south to north, describing his frightening experience on the way.
The contrasts of nature are really magnificent on this trail. We ride from the green valleys of the north until we meet the rocky desert of Sprengisandur with magnificent views of the surrounding Glaciers. We begin to experience what it is like to be a lonesome rider during long days in the saddle!
The accommodation varies from nice guesthouses at the beginning and end of the journey, to cozy mountain huts, with the Laugafell oasis in the middle of the tour. In Laugafell, a warm natural pool awaits us after our ride through the desert. Those who love the wilderness and pure unspoiled nature will enjoy this tour to the utmost.
We start our ride from Saltvík after a short introduction to the staff and horses. The first day takes us through the green vegetation in North Iceland, along Hvammsheiði, following a 10 km highway for tölters on soft tracks along the heath! Then we cross the river Laxá at the Þúfuvað passing where the river is about 100m wide but luckily shallow and still. We ride beside lake Vestmannsvatn through the old birchforest in Vatnshlíð, before we reach the farm Akrar where we leave the horses. We then drive back to Saltvík, where we spend the first night. At Saltvík we can relax in the hot pools and get the strain out of our muscles before the adventures of the following day!
We cross Fljótsheiði and ride towards the waterfall Goðafoss where we have a good lunch break and take our time to visit the beautiful waterfall and enjoy the scenery. After that we start riding up along the river Skjálfandafljót which we follow for the rest of the day riding soft river banks until we arrive at our guesthouse Kiðagil.
From Mýri we start the journey across the wilderness, following the historical trail marked with “stonemen”; piles of rocks which led the way across the highland! We’ll end the ride at Fossgilsmosar at the edge of the desert where we leave the horses for the night and drive back to guesthouse Kiðagil where we spend another night.
We start the ride from Fossgilsmosar by riding aside the famous canyon Kiðagil, best known from the song “Á sprengisandi” which is the song of riders travelling anywhere in the highlands. Kiðagil was the destination of travelers of the past when crossing the wilderness of Sprengisandur.
We follow old waypoints, the stonemen of Sprengisandur, when crossing this huge desert on our way to Laugafell.
Laugafell is a true oasis in the desert with green grass and a geothermal hot pool. Well deserved after a long day in the saddle!
From the oasis of Laugafell we ride on with the huge glaciers Vatnajökull, Tungnafellsjökull and Hofsjökull in sight the whole day!
We ride across the rivers Bergvatnskvísl and Fjórðungskvísl and arrive to our destination at Háumýrar in the afternoon. Háumýrar was before the last post of southern grasslands and a camping place of travelers at the edge of the southern highlands.
We are now coming down to the southern regions of Sprengisandur. The trail leads to the nature reserve of Þjórsárver. In Þjórsárver is one of the layers of Iceland´s most famous Outlaw Fjalla Eyvindur who spent 17 years of his life out in the wilderness of Iceland in the 18th century. We ride with the great Mountain Arnarfell at our side the whole day, and the glacier Hofsjökull shines with its huge icecap sliding down to the wasteland. Overnight we stay at a nice mountain hut at Versalir.
Coming down from the wilderness to our final destination of Þóristungur. We follow the glacial river Kaldahvísl and enjoy the mountain view towards the mighty glaciers on both sides. We’ll spend the last night at a nice guesthouse nearby and celebrate in the evening our journey across the highlands telling stories and singing songs about our adventure!
After breakfast we will drive to Reykjavík with our minibus / after the reverse tour ( South – North ) flight from Húsavík to Reykjavík. Arrival in Reykjavík around 11.00 am.