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Hekluhestar - the Horses of Hekla - was established in 1981 by Jon Benediktsson and Nicole Chéné at the farm Austvadsholt in South Iceland.
In the summer 1980, Jon and Nicole at that time traditional farmers decided to take a short vacation into the highland spending a few relaxing days on horseback, enjoying the unspoiled nature. The trip was pleasant and certainly eventful as they just made it home before Mt. Hekla erupted!
After the experience they developed the idea to offer other people the opportunity to travel on horseback into the wilderness. For over twenty years the family has been welcoming thousands of guests coming from all over the world, guiding safely more than two hundred groups through the rugged area of Hekla.
The farm and the horses
Austvadsholt is located in a vast open area 100 km east of Reykjavik, close to the river Rangá and in the vicinity of the volcano Hekla. It is a family farm where the horses are the centre of activity, brought up and trained with the requirements of our guests in mind.
The Icelandic horse has “tölt” and “pace” in addition to the gaits common to all breeds of horses. Perfectly adapted for riding in the rugged highlands and volcanic areas as well as the grassy meadows. This enables one to cover long distances comfortably and swiftly.
The Guesthouse at Austvadsholt south Iceland
Sleeping bag accommodation in south Iceland with or without full board in a private house with self-catering, for individuals and small groups of up to 18 people, located a short distance from the house of the family.
Built 1990 in a old traditional icelandic style with turf on the roof, the house fits perfectly into the natural surrounding, offering the ideal conditions for a peaceful stay, the farm animals close by.
Whatever your interest: overnight stay, a riding vacation, a sightseeing excursion or longer stay in conjunction with the activities on the farm, you are welcome.
The guesthouse is open all year around.
The highland tours
The participants of the tours travel off main traffic roads with the horses. They are lead by two experienced guides who are very familiar to the historical paths and trails of the highland.
Luggage, food and necessary equipment is transported by a 4x4 vehicle between the stopovers. Accomodation is provided in well kept mountain huts.
Two rides have been popular since 1981, the 6 day tour Hekla-Landmannalaugar and 8 day tour Landmannalaugar-Fjallabak.
According to the old tradition of horseback travelling in Iceland, extra horses are brought along so that one can change mounts if and when necessary, which makes the ride even more fun.
The region of Landmannalaugar and Fjallabak is a natural reserve, very popular and visited. In prospect to preserve the environment as untouched as possible, a special care is taken in the choice of itineraries, the information to the riders and the handling of the horses.
Get to know the Icelandic farm life
A stay on the farm for a variable length of time enables you to participate fully in the work and life of the family.
To the extent you wish, you can assist with the feeding and care of the sheep and over a hundred horses, observe the training of young horses and ride in the vast open surroundings. The ideal time for your stay: lambing time from late April to early May.
Foaling time late in May early June. The sheep collecting in September.
Interesting sightseeing excursions by car can be arranged.
Full board and accommodation in a separate, well equipped guesthouse.
A pool and spa for relaxing and swimming in the natural hot water is available only a short distance away.
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