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Golden Circle

Overview

There is no better or more unique way to do the popular Golden Circle Tour than by riding on an Icelandic horse through the unique landscape of South Iceland. The three key attractions on this classic tour are; the hot spring area of Geysir, the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss and the Thingvellir Nationa…

Highlights

  • Visit the major sites of the Golden Circle
  • Ride under the shadow of Mt Hekla
  • The thrill of riding with a herd of loose horses
  • Cross rivers and lava fields on horseback
  • Discover magnificent Bruararhlod canyon

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 20 riders per group
  • Average of 38 kilometres riding per day
  • Weight limit: 110kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 4 lbs

Description

There is no better or more unique way to do the popular Golden Circle Tour than by riding on an Icelandic horse through the unique landscape of South Iceland. The three key attractions on this classic tour are; the hot spring area of Geysir, the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss and the Thingvellir National Park. Each one of these attractions is guaranteed to take your breath away. Thingvellir National Park has now been recognised on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its historical, geological and cultural importance.

Operating during the summer months you'll be treated to almost 24 hours of daylight which means plenty of time to appreciate the glorious Icelandic landscapes.

Our Golden Circle tour includes some long riding days (30-45km per day) and you ride with a herd of loose horses, so must be confident of riding in a group. Children as young as 10 years, who are confident in the saddle, are able to join this tour.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Specific Icelandic tack. Saddles are similar to dressage saddles with a relatively flat seat which is either plain or quilted. Cruppers may be used to keep the saddle in place. Stirrups are usually kept long but the riding style is similar to English. Bridles are normally simple snaffles with detachable nosebands and clip-on reins.

Horses

Icelandic horses, which are c. 12-14hh but tough and surprisingly strong.

Icelandic horses are renowned for their extra gait - the tolt - which has similar footfalls to a walk but is much faster and usually very smooth. Most people love the tolt, but it can feel a bit unusual to start with.

Native Icelandic horses are the only horses allowed on the island, and once exported they are not allowed to return. Icelandic horses are therefore not exposed to some of the diseases that are prevalent elsewhere in the world. Please note that in order to ensure the safety of the Icelandic horse breed, there are some restrictions on what riding clothing and equipment you can bring into the country and we will supply full details when you book.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Golden Circle Trail is a trail ride

Ages

10 years and older

Health

General good health

Weight

110kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 4 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

During the ride, full board meals are provided. The menu consists of a large breakfast each morning and traditional Icelandic meals (usually featuring fish or lamb) served each evening. All riders will make their own packed lunches to take with them for the riding day using items from the breakfast table. Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking.

Alcoholic drinks are not included and are difficult to source on the ride, so we recommend buying them at the Duty-Free store on arrival at Reykjavik airport and carrying them with you.

Accommodation

Some nights are in comfortable guesthouses whilst other nights are in mountain cabins where you'll need a sleeping bag. You must be prepared to share and single rooms are not an option.

There is one night without showers.

Itineraries

Golden Circle Trail Basic / Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Visits to the major sites of Gullfoss and Pingvellir are included, but this is predominantly a riding tour and Non Riders cannot be accepted.

Travel

You are collected from Reykjavik city so will need to take a shuttle bus from the airport - these are easily booked in advance or when you arrive.

On departure, you can expect to be back in the city in the evening. We would recommend planning to spend an extra night in Reykjavik and flying out the following day, or staying on for a few more days in the city if you are able to. Extra nights in Reykjavik are not included but we can certainly advise you.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Reykjavik - Torfastadir

Riding: No riding.

You are picked up from Reykjavik at c. 6pm and transferred by bus to Torfastadir Guesthouse where you'll be spending the night. After dinner you'll be driven to Pingvellir to view this iconic site.

Day 2 - Torfastadir - Sel

Riding: 45 kilometres

Meet the horses and set off riding up to a sheep paddock, getting a view over Lake Pingvallavatn before crossing river Sogid on a dam. Ride further into the heathland to the shepherds cabin Kringlumyri. From there continue riding to Lyngdalsheidi which was created by the volcano Prasaborgir and offers extraordinary views to the mountains at the edge of the highlands. Whilst ascending this heathland you'll see beautiful Icelandic countryside of lakes, streams, woods, mountains, farming fields ad houses. Your destination is the cozy farm guesthouse Sel where you stay in rooms and cottages with made-up beds and showers.

Day 3 - Sel - Myrkholt

Riding: 35 kilometres

Ride through farmland and heathland alongside Creek Andalaekur which you zigzag over. Change horses at Austurhlid farm and head into the mountains and highlands and towards the famous geyser Strokkur which you will see erupting from the back of your horse! Continue riding to your farm guesthouse at Myrkholt and dismount. Take a short road transfer to the impressive waterfall Gullfoss - another cornerstone of the Golden Circle. Showers available this evening.

Day 4 - Myrkholt - Helgaskali

Riding: 33 kilometres

Ride through the countryside to reach the magnificent Bruararhlod canyon where you'll definitely need your cameras. Remount to ascend up into the highlands to reach Helgaskali cabin. Leave the loose herd here and ride on without them to another big canyon - Laxargljufur - for a photostop. Return to Helgaskali for dinner and to overnight in the shepherds cabin. No showers tonight.

Day 5 - Helgaskali - Afangagil

Riding: 33 kilometres

Ride down from the highlands with great views over the Mt Hekla, an active volcano. The landscape is full of lava and rugged, leading you to wonder how its looked over the ages. Stop to view the impressive waterfall Haifoss as you descend to Holaskogur cabin for a pit stop. Remount and continue onwards, crossing the mighty Pjorsa river and riding through even more lava fields to finally reach Afangagil cabin. There are showers here.

Day 6 - Afangagil - Minni-Vellir - Reykjavik

Riding: 45 kilometres

Ride towards Mt Burfell which stands on the opposite bank of the Pjorsa river whilst Mt Hekla keeps her eye on you to your left. You might catch a glimpse of Pjofafoss waterfall on your way to the deserted farm Skarfanes where you change horses. Mt Skardsfjall will creep closer and closer with every step you take southwards and finally you'll pass it to reach Minni-Vellir farm. Here you say a fond farewell to the horses before transferring back to Reykjavik.

Accommodation is not provided in Reykjavik this evening but we can advise you if required.

Accommodation

Some nights are in cozy guesthouses whilst other nights are in mountain cabins. You'll need a sleeping bag.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You should be at least an intermediate rider who is comfortable in all paces in open spaces.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 20
Departure windows

July 3, 2022 - July 8, 2022

Pricing

2022
Child (under 12 years), sharing
£1265 $1605 €1490
2022
Adult, sharing
£1690 $2140 €1990
Included 5 nights shared accommodation, all meals, soft drinks with meals, 5 days of riding, set time transfers from Reykjavik.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, bus tickets/travel to Reykjavik in time for the transfers, alcoholic drinks, tips & other personal expenses.
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.