Type of horses:
Nature of horses:
Strong, sure footed, gentle and kind
Height of horses:
Icelandic tack is slightly different than tack ordinarily used for other breeds. The saddle is built closer to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Stirrups are worn long and it is not uncommon to use a crupper which keeps the saddle in place. Iceland saddles come with a flat, quilted seat. Stirrups are shaped to accommodate heavy boots. Bits range from simple snaffle to the Icelandic curb bit. Bridles often have a detachable noseband and clip on reins.
Ride Icelandic horses during the day and watch the sky for the Northern Lights at night. Although summer is the usual riding season in Iceland, winter is the main training season so you can join Icelanders on their regular winter rides. Some itineraries even include visits to horse breeders, competitions and shows.
Although we cannot guarantee the Northern Lights they are definitely an unforgettable experience if they appear! Wrap up warm with a cup of hot cocoa and watch the lights dance across the skies.
On some of these trails, non-riders are welcomed and separate itineraries are possible for them. So both riders and non-riders can experience the magical Northern Lights on the same holiday. On other itineraries, only experienced riders can be accommodated due to the terrain and speed of the riding.
Stay in personal and friendly accommodation at farms around the country - we have itineraries in both the north and the south of Iceland. In the south you can marvel at the glaciers of Eyjafjallajokull and Tindfjallajokull, whilst in the north you can experience riding in the snow and maybe witness the Ice Horse competition on Lake Myvatn!
You stay in rooms with made-up beds and shared facilities. There is no camping as it is simply too cold!
On the rides you are staying in farms where your hosts also live and you will experience their hospitality and home cooked meals.
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.
You will eat with your hosts and the meals are designed to be warming, wholesome and hearty.
When not riding the main activity will be centred around hunting for the Northern Lights! If you are lucky, they will be in the sky above your farm, but if cloud cover prevents this, then you may jump into a vehicle and head out to seek clear skies.
Specific non-riding activities will vary depending on the itinerary and area you are visiting, but there are usually hot tubs for easing aching muscles.
Health requirements: General health and fitness
Age limit: None within reason
Tuition: On some itineraries, yes
Included: Accommodation, riding as per itinerary, meals as per itinerary, transfers from Reykjavik
Not included: Some alcoholic drinks, flights, accommodation in Reykjavik before/after the ride, travel insurance
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.
Combine searching for the Northern Lights with some winter riding in Iceland - this tour is ideal for mixed groups with non-riders amongst them. You can choose between trail rides or riding instruction in the indoor arena, all with fantastic views of Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull glaciers and Mt Hekla volcano.
Day One: Reykjavik - Fakasel Horse Theatre - Kalfholt Farm
You will be collected from the BSI Bus Terminal in Reykjavik at 6pm (or slightly earlier from your hotel if you've been staying in the city). If arriving today then you must arrive before 4:30pm and take the FlyBus shuttle from the airport to the BSI bus terminal (tickets can be bought at the airport).
At 6pm you are transferred to the Fakasel Horse Park for the Legends of Sleipnir horse theatre performance. Using multi-media and special effects to weave together history, old Norse mythology and exhibition riding they demonstrate the beauty and uniqueness of the Icelandic horse. After the show you are transferred to Kalfholt farm where a home-cooked meal awaits you.
After dinner, relax in the outdoor jacuzzi whilst watching the dancing Aurora Borealis above your head.
Day Two: Kalftholt Farm - Riding or optional sightseeing tour by car (non-riders)
After breakfast you can choose between having a lesson in the arena or heading out on a trail ride around the beautiful farm grounds with perfect views of the huge glaciers Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull (famous for the 2010 eruptions which halted air traffic!). For non-riders an optional sightseeing tour by car is offered (additional cost, payable locally).
In the afternoon you will be taken on a special journey in history with tales and stories of the past - learn how Icelanders lived and survived in centuries past and try some of their traditional foods, like the famous hakarl (rotten shark), hardfiskur (dried fish) and sol (sea lettuce)!
In the evening there is a gourmet dinner featuring Icelandic specialities such as smoked and cured salmon, smoked lamb and langoustines. If the northern lights are playing in the sky then you may go for a walk to find the perfect photo opportunity before heading back inside to warm up with hot chocolate and pancakes with whipped cream. If you don't wish to go for a walk then you can relax in the jacuzzi again to watch the lights.
Day Three: Kalfholt farm - Fridheimar greenhouse - Secret Lagoon - Reykjavik
After a sumptious breakfast riders can again choose between a lesson or trail ride, whilst non-riders are offered hiking or a biking tour around the farm grounds (bike hire is additional cost, payable locally). Say good-bye to the horses and your hosts and set off by vehicle to Fridheimer farm where you have lunch of a special soup and dessert within the greenhouse, where you learn about how Icelandic farmers make use of the geothermal water in the area.
Continue your journey and stop at the Secret Lagoon where the natural hot springs steam rises into the air and gives the place a magical feeling. The water remains at 38-40c all year round and there is a small geysir which erupts every 5 minutes. Relax in the hot waters - there are changing rooms and showers on-site. Then continue your travels back to Reykjavik where you overnight in a comfortable hotel in the city centre. Your dinner is to your own account tonight so that you can discover the many restaurants in town.
Day Four: Reykjavik
Today is free for you to do whatever you like. If you wish you can take an early flight home, or perhaps explore the city centre before flying home in the afternoon/evening. You can book the FlyBus back to the airport with the hotel receptionist the evening before. We can book additional nights or trips to other sites, such as Gullfoss waterfall if you wish - please just ask.
Stay at the farm of your hosts, Eyrun and Steingrimur - a charming couple who have been breeding and training horses for many years. They are professional singers too and will entertain you with Icelandic folk songs and stories. There are snug Double/single rooms with shared facilities (2 nights) and plenty of home cooked food.
For the one night in Reykjavik you stay in a comfortable hotel in Double/single rooms with private facilities. Meals are to your own account in Reykjavik.
|Minimum group size:||2|
|Maximum group size:||8|
|Ability description:||All abilities can be accommodated as instruction can be offered instead of trails|
|Type of ride:||Centre based with trails each day|
|Total riding time:||3 nights/4 days/ 2 riding days|
2017: 2-5 March, 30 March - 2 April, 21-24 September, 19-22 October, 26-29 October.
Additional dates possible for private groups.
£1644 per person
Includes: accommodation (2 nights farm and 1 night Reykjavik), transfers from Reykjavik, meals at the farm, riding and activities as per itinerary
Excludes: Flights, meals in Reykjavik, FlyBus to the airport