Type of horses:
Nature of horses:
Powerful, gentle and honest
Height of horses:
Icelandic saddles are similar to English saddles but are straighter at the front and more similar to a dressage saddle. They have well padded seats and you tend to ride quite long in them. Stirrups are often wide to accommodate chunky boots. Some horses will wear cruppers to stop the saddles slipping forwards as they can be quite barrel shaped! Bridles are usually simple snaffles or Icelandic curbs and may not have a noseband.
Discover the beautiful south of Iceland on horseback whilst also spending your nights in the areas best hotels. If the traditional mountain huts and dormitory rooms which are famous during riding tours in Iceland are not your idea of a holiday, then these luxurious holidays may be your answer. Staying in hotels you will have your own room and private bathroom to relax in after your days ride.
The south of Island has many glorious sights within a short distance - Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and Thingvellir being just three of them known as the Golden Triangle. Amongst this volcanic landscape of great beauty, you will explore sandy tracks, woodland and lava fields on the back of your Icelandic horse. There are different itineraries to discover - some mobile trails where you move on to different locations, and some static trails where you can unpack, relax and ride out in a different direction each day.
The special "tolt" of the Icelandic horse is a fun and exhilarating gait which all Icelandic's are capable of performing - as smooth and comfortable as a walk, but at the speed of a canter! Your guides will help you with the aids for achieving this gait and you will be keen to practice it at every available opportunity.
As well as the set departure dates detailed under each itinerary, these rides can be scheduled on different dates if there are at least two of you in your group - perfect for private groups, families or friends travelling together. If you are travelling alone then we will try to pair you up with other riders. The riding season runs from 1st June - 30th August.
Stay in comfortable country hotels in double or single rooms with private bathrooms. Each hotel is unique and many have hot tubs / jacuzzis and restaurants. Hotels will vary depending on the itinerary but will be a step up from the usual Icelandic riding accommodation of rustic huts and dormitories!
Icelandic food has many Nordic and European influences and includes plenty of fresh fish as well as local lamb. Vegetarians and special diets can be accommodated with advance notice, but vegetables in Iceland are either grown in greenhouses or imported as the climate is too harsh for many to grow outside.
Breakfast will be at your hotel each morning and is usually a buffet selection including cold meats/cheeses and bread/toast and fruit.
Lunch will either be at the hotel or a picnic in your saddle bag.
Dinners are either home-produced or will be to your own account in the hotel restaurant so you can choose from the menu depending on your appetite and tastebuds. Please check itinerary for exact details.
There are always good walking trails in Iceland, and so if the riding is not enough exercise for you, you could head out walking in the countryside around the hotels. Many of the hotels are situated near set paths, so you can explore the sights at your own leisure.
Hot tubs and jacuzzi's are also common in Iceland, so you can relax and ease those aching muscles!
Non-riders are not accommodated, but if non-riders wished to join, they could hire a car and meet their friends/partners at the hotels each night.
Languages: English, German, Icelandic
Health requirements: General good health and fitness.
Age limit: None within reason.
Included: Accommodation, breakfast and lunch, transfers from Reykjavik, riding as per itinerary
Not included: Flights, nights in Reykjavik before/after riding tour, insurance, evening meals, transfers from airport to Reykjavik centre/hotel.
Flights to Reykjavik are possible with Icelandair, British Airways, Iceland Express and EasyJet. Flights are possible from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Luton, Bristol and Birmingham (although some airports are not offering daily flights).
From Reykjavik airport you should take the FlyBus to your Reykjavik hotel (hotel and transfer not included, but we can book the hotel for you). The FlyBus travels between hotels in the centre and the airport regularly throughout the day and tickets can be bought online or at the airport.
You are collected from your Reykjavik hotel on Day one of each itinerary and returned there at the end of your holiday.
Day One: Reykjavik - Thingvellir - Fludir Village - Secret Lagoon
You will be collected from your hotel in Reykjavik at 9am (this hotel night is not included but we will happily book it for you if you wish) and transferred to the fascinating UNESCO site of Thingvellir. Situated on top of the mid-atlantic ridge, you can clearly see the land drop caused by the plates moving apart. Your guide will explain the geological features of the area as well as pointing out where the ancient parliament was founded in 930AD. After your visit you are transferred to Hotel Fludir where you check into your room and have a light lunch.
In the afternoon you are introduced to your horse and the Icelandic tack as you head off on your first ride. You will discover their unique "tolt" gait as you ride along sandy tracks and through green countryside with numerous little farms with sheep, horses and cattle. Your ride ends at Fludir village where you have a chance to bathe in the natural springs of the Secret Lagoon. The water is a constant 38-40c all year and there are several geothermal springs in the area, including a small geysir which erupts every 5mins to the delight of guests bathing in the hot springs!
Your dinner will be in the hotel restaurant which uses locally sourced and mainly organic produce and meats (to own account).
Riding c. 12-15km
Day Two: Fludir - Hrunarettir - Bruarhlod Canyon - Gullfoss
After breakfast you set off on your first long riding day, including a picnic lunch. Leave Fludir village behind you and take your first stop at the Hrunarettir sheep corral which is still used for separating sheep after their summer in the highlands. Continue on lanes perfect for tolting, through green and hilly countryside offering views of the Hvita river as it runs through the might Bruarhlod canyon. Follow narrow paths along the steep canyon ridge which offers perfect views of the Langjokull glacier and Blafell volcano.
Overnight at Hotel Brattholt beside the Hvita canyon and have dinner at the hotel (to own account).
Riding c. 25km
Day Three: Gullfoss - Haukadalur Forest - Geysir hot springs
Today will be full of attractions! After breakfast you ride only a few kilometres to the majestic Gullfoss waterfall. There is plenty of time to explore the waterfall from the viewing platforms and walkways. Lunch is taken in the on-site cafe.
In the afternoon, ride through Haukadalur Forest with its cute little parish church and churchyard and hear the tale of Bergpor the giant! You ride finished near Geysir with its boiling hot springs and famous Geysir Strokkur which erupts every 6-10 minutes with a 30m plume!
Overnight at the Little Geysir hotel which is within walking distance of the site so you can explore as much as you wish. There is also an indoor jacuzzi and sauni here as well as a number of dinner options (to own account).
Riding c. 20km
Day Four: Geysir - Faxi waterfall - Fludir village
Another long day of riding on quiet country lanes and superb tolting tracks towards Faxi waterfall. Here you leave the horses in a corral and take lunch at the Faxi cafe with spectacular views of the Tungufljot river. Continue riding to Fludir village by passing over the Hvita bridge.
This evening you may wish to revisit the Secret Lagoon or relax in the hotels hot tub or visit the local pool with jacuzzi and sauna before dinner (to own account).
Riding c. 30km
Day Five: Fludir - Stora-Laxa canyon - Hreppholar
Today's ride takes you from Fludir, via the romantic parish church Hruni, and along the Stora-Laxa canyon with beautiful views of the famous salmon river. Stop at the local Samansafn museum to take a step back in time... Continue your ride underneath the majestic basalt columns of Hreppholar and stop for coffee and cake at the quirky ceramic studio of Bragginn.
Transfer by road back to Hotel Fludir for the evening. There are optional tours which you may wish to book locally, such as the River Jet Abenteuer or Fontana Spa or rafting on the glacial river of Hvita. Your guide will provide all costs and information to you.
Riding c. 20km
Day Six: Pjorsardalur valley - viking settlement - Hjalparfoss waterfall
This morning the horses are taken by trailer to a new riding area - the beautiful Pjorsardalur valley. Here you can enjoy a full day of riding in very different scenery. In the background is the mighty Hekla volcano and your riding route will take in the beautiful Hjalparfoss waterfall, a Viking settlement and Gjain canyon with its many waterfalls. Return to the farm and say goodbye to your horses.
You are transferred back to Reykjavik to arrive in the evening. If you are on an evening flight then you will be dropped at the airport, otherwise you will be dropped at your hotel (we can assist with booking this if you wish).
|Accommodation:||Spend three nights at Hotel Fludir (first, fourth and fifth), one night at a hotel near Gullfoss (second night) and one night in a hotel near Geysir (third night). All rooms are double/twin or single with private bathrooms.|
|Minimum group size:||2|
|Maximum group size:||8|
|Ability description:||Intermediate to experienced riders with good physical fitness.|
|Type of ride:||Partly mobile trail ride|
|Total riding time:||6 days riding (20-30km riding per day)|
2017: 11-16 June, 16-21 July, 20-25 August.
Other dates available on request.
£3802 per person sharing
Includes 5 nights accommodation and 6 days of riding.
Accommodation in Reykjavik before/after the ride is not included.