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Icelandic Short Breaks

Overview

These rides, in the north of the island, are designed to follow the ancient riding trails that have served people travelling across the country ever since the settlements of Iceland. Travelling together through often challenging Icelandic terrain and experiencing all the wonders the country's r…

Highlights

  • Riding Icelandic Horses
  • Wilderness Riding in Iceland
  • Riding with Northern Lights
  • Mountain riding
  • Nordic culture

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 3 - 4 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90kg

Description

These rides, in the north of the island, are designed to follow the ancient riding trails that have served people travelling across the country ever since the settlements of Iceland.

Travelling together through often challenging Icelandic terrain and experiencing all the wonders the country's rugged landscapes have to offer is a unique experience.

These short break rides are based at Saltvík farm, surrounded by their Icelandic trail horses, who live outside in a big herd during the winter.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Simple bridles with a separate, low noseband are used on these rides. All the horses are ridden in a snaffle bit.

The saddles are Icelandic. This resembles an english dressage saddle, but with a more open/flat seat. Before the first ride, everyone chooses a saddle and rides in this saddle the whole week.

Horses

You will ride Icelandic horses known for their stamina and hardiness. In general, you’ll get to ride at least 2 horses a day. The main guide will choose you a horse for every ride.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Saltvik Comfort Short Break is a based ride
  • Northern Lights Short Break is a based ride
  • Winter Riding & Knitting is a based ride

Ages

Min. 10 years

Weight

90kg

Food & Accommodation

Food

Every tour has a cook who prepares the dinner and sets the breakfast buffet. Your lunch you’ll make every morning from the breakfast table. Your hosts will provide lunchboxes and water bottles (and saddle bags to bring your lunch with you on your horse).
Before the first ride on the first day, you will meet the cook on your tour. It is always good to discuss special wishes and/or allergies with the cook right then as well, so he/she can make sure to take care of the right meals for you. Most diets can be accommodated with prior notice so ideally specify well in advance.
Coffee and hot water for tea will be available at the accommodation. After the rides the cook often treats guests with some biscuits or sometimes cake.
Water is drinkable from the tap in Iceland.
Other drinks and snacks you’ll have to bring/buy yourself. There is usually beer (in cans) and sometimes wine for sale after the riding day. If you’d like some other alcoholic beverages for the evenings after a nice day of riding, it is by far easiest and cheapest to buy them tax free at the airport upon arrival in Iceland. It is clearly signposted.

Accommodation

During the winter tours and the Saltvík Comfort tours, guests stay at the new guesthouse at Saltvík farm. These rooms have private bathrooms and made up beds.
Outside there are 2 hot-tubs for relaxing after riding. Next to the hot-tubs is a bathhouse with a changing room and showers.

Itineraries

Saltvik Comfort Short Break Standard accommodation.

Northern Lights Short Break Standard accommodation.

Winter Riding & Knitting Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Examples of possible sightseeing activities:
– Whale watching tours from Husavik (5 km distance from Saltvík farm)
– Sightseeing tours to Lake Mývatn (30 km / 30 min drive away)
– Ásbyrgi canyon – the hoofprint of the 8legged horse Sleipnir (40 min drive)
– The mighty and beautiful waterfalls Goðafoss and Dettifoss are less than an hour drive away

Travel

In 2024 guests will be met at RKV (Reykjavik's domestic airport) and taken on an internal flight to Akureyri, then back again at the end of the trip.

In 2025 the internal flights are not included and guests will be met at Akureyri.

Please contact us for timings.

Itinerary & Pricing

Days 1 to 4

Riding: 3 hours

The trails in the countryside of the north around Saltvík farm are extremely dramatic and varied. You will ride along the beaches of black, volcanic sand and along rugged cliffs with your sure-footed Icelandic horse effortlessly traversing the wild landscape. In contrast riders will also ride up to the heathlands of the northern farmlands with fantastic views out to the arctic circle and the volcanic landscapes of the north. There is a possibility to cross a river on horseback as well as riding to view the spectacular waterfalls of “Æðarfossar” at just a few meters distance.

Combine the riding with additional non-riding activities in the area (additional cost) -
Examples of possible sightseeing activities:
– Whale watching tours from Husavik (5 km distance from Saltvík farm)
– Sightseeing tours to Lake Mývatn (30 km / 30 min drive away)
– Ásbyrgi Canyon – the hoofprint of the 8-legged horse Sleipnir (40 min drive)
– The mighty and beautiful waterfalls Goðafoss and Dettifoss are less than an hour drive away

Accommodation

Basic but comfortable rooms in the farmhouse with private bathrooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders able to walk, trot and canter, who are open to learning the tolt gait. Moderate fitness is beneficial.

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

May 2, 2024 - May 5, 2024

May 27, 2024 - May 30, 2024

June 17, 2024 - June 20, 2024

July 4, 2024 - July 7, 2024

Aug. 5, 2024 - Aug. 8, 2024

Pricing

2024 £1405 $1820 €1670
2024
Child 10-15 yrs accompanied by an adult.
£1050 $1365 €1250
Included 3 nights shared accommodation, meals, riding, raingear, helmets and sleeping bags. For 2024 the domestic flights between Reykjavik and Akureyri are also included (not in 2025).
Not included International flights, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks.

Extras

2023/2024 - Single Supplement £76 $98 €90 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Depending on availability it is possible to book a single room. Please contact us to check availability & book your single room
2024 - Child Discount 25% discount for 10-15yr olds sharing with a Riding Adult
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.

Days 1 to 4

Riding: 3 - 5 hours

On this short break you will spend your days riding the trails in the wild landscapes around farm as well as taking a sightseeing trip to the mighty Goðafoss (waterfall of the Gods) and possibly lake Mývatn area. Hours in the saddle are 3-5 hours per day, mostly divided in 2 separate rides with lunch at the farm in between. You will also visit the newly established geothermal bath “Geosea” in Husavík for some well-deserved relaxation after riding activities.
Optional, at extra cost, is also a sailing trip from Husavík harbour either for whale watching or even for the hunt for northern lights out in the peace and quiet of the arctic sea! There is a good chance you will see the Northern Lights in action in the Arctic sky above north Iceland during the autumn/winter seasons. We will do our best to find the best possibilities in the area for watching the Northern Lights when they show up in the evening!

Accommodation

Accommodation is in double rooms with private facilities at the farm.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Ability to control the horse at all paces and in the open country. It is a great advantage if you are a proficient rider and a moderate level of fitness.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Oct. 21, 2024 - Oct. 24, 2024

Pricing

2024 £1315 $1705 €1565
Included 3 nights shared accommodation, meals, riding, raingear, helmets and sleeping bags. For 2024 the domestic flights between Reykjavik and Akureyri are also included (not in 2025).
Not included International flights, alcoholic drinks, travel insurance.

Extras

2024 - Single Supplement £76 $98 €90 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms can be booked at an extra cost depending on availability. Please contact us for availability if you’d like to book a single room.
2024 - Child Discount 25% discount for 10-15yr olds sharing with a Riding Adult
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.

Days 1 to 4

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

During the short daylight hours of winter you will enjoy riding your trusty Icelandic horse through the wintery landscape ,riding the trails around Saltvík farm including down to the black sand beaches that run along the coastline of the Arctic Ocean, with snow-capped mountains as their backdrop. When it gets dark and/or when the weather is not so nice for being outside all day, we will gather in the warm and cosy common area with a roaring fire to knit your own Icelandic sweater (or a scarf or blanket, or whatever you’d like to knit).
Your hosts here in Iceland have noticed that the typical Icelandic woollen sweaters here are almost as popular with guests as the Icelandic horses themselves. Many just like to buy one, but wearing a sweater custom made for you, or custom made by yourself is of course even better!
Your hosts' good friend Jutta, who has knitted many sweaters for the Saltvík “family” in the past, will be joining this tour and is ready to help everyone with their questions about knitting an Icelandic sweater.
***PLEASE NOTE*** you must buy/bring your own wool, needles and pattern. When you book this tour you will be put in contact with Jutta to discuss which equipment you should bring and where you can buy it. Needles and patterns are probably best bought at home, but as a group you can go to buy wool in Húsavík on the first day of the tour.
As knitting is an important part of this tour, non-riders can join their riding friends/partners. So if you have a friend who does not want to ride, but would like to enjoy Iceland in winter and join the knitting; please contact us for availability and pricing.

Of course, both in November and March there is a good chance you will see the Northern Lights in action in the Arctic sky above north Iceland. Your hosts will do their best to find the best places in the area for watching the Northern Lights when they show up in the evening.
During your stay you will also visit the newly established geothermal bath “Geosea” in Husavik which is a well-deserved treat after time out in the cold on horseback.
There is also an option (at extra cost) to take a boat trip from Husavík harbour, either for the searching for whales which are common along the coast of north Iceland, or even for the hunt for northern lights out in the peace and quiet of the arctic sea!
Riding Days are Fri-Sat-Sun.
Meeting point on Thursday is around 4 pm at Eagle Air domestic airport in Reykjavík for the domestic flight to Husavik in the north (Flight time 45 min). A representative from the farm will be waiting at the airport in the north for the drive to the farm (5 min drive).
The tour will end on Sunday afternoon with a flight back to Reykjavík at the end of the day after you've taken a last ride in the morning and some more knitting in the afternoon so it is best to book an overnight in the city before flying home the next day.

Accommodation

Comfortable double rooms with private bathrooms in the farmhouse.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders should be comfortable and in control at all paces with a moderate level of fitness.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Nov. 2, 2023 - Nov. 5, 2023

March 14, 2024 - March 17, 2024

Pricing

2023 £1315 $1705 €1565
2024 £1405 $1820 €1670
Included 3 nights shared accommodation, meals, riding, raingear, helmets and sleeping bags. For 2024 the domestic flights between Reykjavik and Akureyri are also included (not in 2025).
Not included International flights, alcoholic drinks, travel insurance.

Extras

2023/2024 - Single Supplement £76 $98 €90 per night
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms can be booked at an extra cost depending on availability. Please contact us for availability if you’d like to book a single room.
2024 - Child Discount 25% discount for 10-15yr olds sharing with a Riding Adult
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.