Northern Lights and Winter Rides riding holiday in Iceland - Far and Ride
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Northern Lights and Winter Rides, Iceland





Horses



Type of horses:

Icelandic

Nature of horses:

Strong, sure footed, gentle and kind

Height of horses:

c. 13.2hh

Weight limit:

110kg

Tack type:

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.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

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!

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

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.

 

Activities

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.

 

Further Details

Languages: English

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

 

Travel Information

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.

Airport: Reykjavik

 

Programmes


Northern Lights Winter Adventure



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 Kalfholt farm where a home-cooked meal awaits you. The farm is situated in the south of Iceland with amazing views towards the huge glaciers of Tindfjallajokull and Eyjafjallajokull and the famous Mount Hekla.

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 into the centre of the earth as you visit the Lava Centre - the largest volcano and earthquake exhibition in Iceland. This interactive and high-tech exhibition depicts volcano activity, earthquakes and the creation of Iceland over millions of years. 

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 Gullfoss waterfall, known as one of Iceland's most beautiful. Continue to Geysir hot springs to watch the geysir Strokkur and then visit the charming Fontana SPA Geothermal Baths alongsie Laugarvatn Lake. Soak in the natural pools, relax in the steam rooms or cool down in the lake.

In the late afternoon travel back to Reykjavik. There is no accommodation or meal included in Reykjavik tonight, but we can assist you with this if you require.



Accommodation: 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: 2 nights/3 days/ 2 riding days
Departure dates: 2017: 21-23 September, 19-21 October, 26-28 October.

2018: 11-13 January; 8-10, 22-24 February; 1-3 March; 27-29 September; 11-13, 25-27 October.
Additional dates possible for private groups.
 
Pricing: 2017/18:
£1470 per person sharing
Non-Rider: £1275 per person sharing

Single supplement: £81

Includes: accommodation (2 nights farm), transfers from Reykjavik, meals at the farm, riding and activities as per itinerary

Excludes: Flights, accommodation and meals in Reykjavik, FlyBus to the airport



Riding on Ice



Have you ever dreamt of tolting on ice and perhaps riding under moonlight or the Northern Lights? Then this is the ride for you! Ideal for competent riders who have already got some tolt and pace experience and wish to try it out on very different terrain! The farm lies above Heradvotn which is a lake-like river formed by the glacial rivers Austari and Vestari Jokulsa. In February and March these rivers are frozen solid and the chance to ride on ice is the experience of a lifetime. This is also the time that local farmers train their young horses and the stables are filled with promising youngsters. Ride to neighbouring farms, chat to locals and experience their hospitality - perhaps even challenge them to a race!

Day One: Reykjavik - Skagafjordur

At 8am you will be collected from the BSI bus terminal in Reykjavik or from your hotel between 7am and 8am (you will need to have arrived the day before and we can book this extra night for you if you wish). You are transferred along the main #1 ringroad to the farm Dyrfinnustadir in Skagafjordur in the north of Iceland. Here you will be met by your hosts and offered a typical Icelandic lunch whilst chatting about your riding experiences.

After lunch, head out to the stables for your first ride on ice. After an exciting ride with fast tolt and even some speed pace on the frozen lakes and rivers, return to the farm for a hearty dinner before settling into the hot tub to watch the northern lights.

Day Two and Three: Riding on Ice

After breakfast, saddle up and ride along the frozen rivers and lakes, practicing the fast tolt on different surfaces. Ride to the neighbouring farms and chat about horses and horse training. Some of them might even join you for the ride home and you can join in with some speed tolt competitions with the locals! Enjoy the famous hospitality of the Skagafjordur people and ride, eat, sing and party with them! Not forgetting to look skywards for the Northern Lights as night falls too.

Day Four: Skagafjordur - Reykjavik

After breakfast, there is time for one last winter ride before a warming hearty soup and coffee. Then say your farewells and head back to Reykjavik by bus, arriving in the late afternoon. You will either be dropped at the BSI bus terminal so you can take a FlyBus to the airport if you have a late flight, or at your hotel if you plan to stay in Iceland longer (this accommodation can be booked for you on request).



Accommodation: 3 nights at the farm of your hosts, Ingolfur and Unnar Erla, which is situated in northern Iceland, above lake Heradvotn. Stay in double rooms with made-up beds and shared facilities.

Reykjavik accommodation is not included but can be booked for you on request.
Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Experienced riders only, in good physical shape
Type of ride: Centre based with daily trail rides
Total riding time: 4 days / 3 nights / 4 days riding
Departure dates: 2018: 15-18 February, 15-18 March
 
Pricing: 2018:

£1599 per person sharing

Includes: 3 nights farm accommodation, 4 days riding, all meals and drinks at the farm, transfers from Reykjavik

Excludes: flights, accommodation and meals in Reykjavik, FlyBus to airport, travel insurance