Overview

Riding in Iceland is a unique experience – an opportunity to ride strong, willing horses over exciting and adventurous terrain. Riding an Icelandic horse is not only tremendous fun, it is also a great way to experience the natural beauty of Iceland; snow topped mountains, the largest glacier in Europe, volcanoes, thundering waterfalls and striking lunar landscapes.

The Icelandic horse is a pure-bred descendant of those brought to Iceland by the Vikings over a thousand years ago. Horses remain an important part of Icelandic culture; they are used on remote farms to round up livestock and are still the best means of getting around in many parts of the island. Although small, the Icelandic is a powerful horse and has no difficulty carrying someone weighing 110kgs.
The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of Iceland´s most beautiful and emblematic sights – the glacier-covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. This horseback riding tour in Snæfellsnes Iceland is definitely the best way to see the astonishing nature of the peninsula.  The mystery and spiritual aura of this still active volcano were made famous through Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Many of the great Sagas are located in this very area. Today the remote beauty and rich birdlife draw visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.

Experiencing “tölt”, the unique extra gait of the Icelandic Horse is made easy for you on this tour when we follow good riding tracks. The long stretches of smooth sandy beaches make this tour a delight for both horses and riders.

This horseback riding tour takes us through a landscape of extensive lava fields, craters, and ash from ancient eruptions in Hítardalur valley. We also enjoy wide-open stretches of light-colored sand at Löngufjörur beach, where only the tide sets a limit to the freedom of horse and man. The impressive 50-meter deep crater Eldborg is a distinctive landmark, where the light sand turns black once you reach its lava field.

Key Facts

  • Set departures
  • Mid June & August
  • Minimum 2 / Maximum 20 riders
  • Trail with progressive riding
  • 7 Days / 6 nights (6 days riding)
  • 185 km’s, 5-7 hours riding per day
  • Intermediate to advanced riders
  • Weight limit – 110 kilos

Riding Level and Horses

Riders must be at ease at all 4 paces across varied, uneven terrain and be in good physical condition. You must be secure in the saddle and be comfortable riding for long hours.

Much of the riding is at a tölt, which can be fast so you need to be a confident rider able to adapt to different riding styles. General fitness is as important as riding experience due to the long hours in the saddle.

If you know how to ride a horse using English riding style you should have no problems riding an Icelandic horse. Western-style riders should not experience any difficulties adjusting to the Icelandic way of riding either. The guides will take some time at the beginning of each tour to explain the correct way to saddle the horse, mount it and how to ride the different gaits. They will carefully explain how and when to ride “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse.  The height of horses is from 13hh – 14hh

The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different than the tack ordinarily used for other breeds.  The saddle is built close to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Saddles come with plain or quilted seats. On longer rides a crupper helps keep the saddle in place. Riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to English riding style, but stirrups are worn long.  Bits used are mostly simple snaffles and the Bridles have a detachable noseband with clip on reins.

The Icelandic Horse breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider, especially on a longer tour. Riding an Icelandic horse in its native habitat is an authentic riding experience.  Herding along free running horses is the traditional way of travelling in Iceland, since horses are changed at least once a day on longer tours. You will get to ride a variety of horses.

Helmets are strongly recommended and a packing list will be provided when you book the ride. Saddlebags, wet weather gear, and water are provided.

Itinerary

Snæfellsnes the Magical and Mysterious! On this tour you ride through Iceland’s most beautiful and gorgeous sights and you can experience the special gate Tölt on the long stretches of sandy beaches.

Itinerary:
Day 1.  Reykjavík – Hraunholt
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik at 18:00 where our Islandshesta bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Hraunholt Farm, where horses and the family at Hraunholt are waiting for us. After a lovely introductory meal where we get to know each other, we relax and rest so we are well prepared for the adventure ahead of us. Overnight at Hraunholt.

Day 2. Hraunholt – Kolviðarnes
After an introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, we start our ride from Hraunholt and ride through fertile farmlands with lava on both sides. We cross the river Haffjarðará on our way to Kolviðarnes where our ride ends today. Over night at Hraunholt. Riding distance: approx. 25km.
NB: Next three days we ride on Löngufjörur beach where timings depend on the tide. In some cases, we need to start the ride very early in the morning or in the afternoon.

Day 3. Kolviðarnes – Traðir
After rejoining the horses, we start our beach ride on Löngufjörur, the famous horse trail on the seashorses of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. View majestic Snæfellsjökull Glacier ahead of you and feel the horses excitement and take part in the joy on this extraordinary trail released by the tide.  Over night at Hraunholt.
Riding distance: approx. 35km.

Day 4. Traðir – Kolviðarnes
Another days ride on the yellow-colored, sandy beach, the same directions as the day before a unique experience for everyone with lava-fields and mountains on one side of the trail and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. We leave the horses at Traðir Farm and we spend the night at Hraunholt Farm. Riding distance: approx. 35 km

Day 5. Kolviðarnes – Hausthúsahringur – Kolviðarnes
We leave the herd at Kolviðarnes and go out and play, enjoying another brisk ride on the beach with fantastic views of the ocean, the mountains and the majestic Snæfellsnes Glacier. The horses stay at Kolviðarnes and we drive back to Hraunholt.  Riding distance: approx. 18 km.

Day 6. Kolviðarnes – Hraunholt
We take all the horses with us and ride into the mountains and lava, on our way back to Hraunholt. We ride through fertile farmlands and along good riding tracks over the river Haffjarðará and travel through an area well known as the hideout of Iceland‘s most famous outlaw, Grettir. Overnight at Hraunholt.
Riding distance: approx. 25 km.

Day 7. Hraunholt – Rauðamelslaug – Hraunholt
On the last day, we choose our best horses and continue riding in an amazing landscape surrounded by lava, mountains, rivers, and lakes. We ride to Rauðamelslaug where we can have a bath in the Rauðamelslaug swimming pool. We will then ride our last part of the tour before we enjoy the farewell dinner at Hraunholt.  Riding distance: approx. 22 km.

Day 8. Hraunholt – Reykjavík
Transfer back to BSÍ bus station in Reykjavík. Approx. Arrival 11:30

**We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary**

We recommend an extra night in Reykjavik at the end and we are more than happy to arrange this for you.

Accommodation and Food

You will stay at various family run guest houses during this trip. Price is based around sharing a twin or quad room with twin or bunk beds. Single rooms are on request with a supplement. Bathrooms are shared.

During the ride full board is provided with a mix of cosy, simple guesthouses & farmhouses. The food is lovely home cooked Icelandic food, consisting of soups & stews, fish & lamb, with healthy breakfasts & lunches. Vegetarian meals and other meal requests are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.

Rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag are provided. It is compulsory to wear a riding helmet.

Hot tubs are available at most of the guest houses so this gives the riders something to look forward to after a long days riding.

Dates 2021: Saturday – Saturday
Duration: 7 nights – 6 riding days – approx. 185 km
June: 5 – 12 (L) • June 19 – 26 (L) August: 7 – 14 (H) • Aug 21 – 28 (L)

Cost: €2199.00 euros Low season and €2320.00 euros High season.
(High season is for departures from June 26th to August 19, 2021.  All other departures are priced as low season.)

We calculate using the ANZ sell rate to convert from euro to the Australian dollar.
Rates are based on the Euro and subject to currency fluctuation, so please contact us for the most up to date pricing for your riding holiday.

There are a wide variety of other rides available like Sheep round ups throughout the summer.  If you do not see availability for your preferred dates, please do contact us. There might have been a cancellation or we might have a slightly different ride in Iceland which would appeal to you.

Depending on your flight times, you will need at least one night in Reykjavik after your ride.

Includes

  • All accommodation in twin or quad share rooms
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavik to the farm
  • Full board during the ride is provided. The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb).  All riders make their own picnic lunch form the breakfast table.
  • 6 full days of riding on horseback, riding gear and 3-4 horses per person
  • Trained riding guides
  • Rain wear, water bottle, saddlebag and riding helmet are provided

 Not included

  • International flights and transfers to start of ride paid locally
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Entry to sights and activities not mentioned
  • Drinks not included with meals, additional incidentals and tips
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the duty free store at Keflavik Airport on arrival.

Other Information

Location
Pick up Reykjavik and ride in Snæfellsjökull National Park area.

Weather
Weather website: http://www.holiday-weather.com/

Activities
During the ride you will enjoy sightseeing in the local area and there is normally a hot tub to relax in most nights depending on the location.

Languages spoken
English and Icelandic

Closest Airport
Nearest Airport Keflavik

Other information
It is suggested to pack a soft covered bag and pack light as space is limited

Please contact Snaffle Travel for further information, booking terms and conditions at info@snaffletravel.com.au

Please note that the itinerary may change depending on the weather at the time and other local conditions.

Terms and conditions and terms apply to this riding holiday.

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