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Icelandic Horse Round Ups

Overview

Enjoy the amazing autumn colours and adventure of joining Icelanders gathering their wild horses from the mountains! In September and October Iceland changes costumes from the green summer dress to the multicolour outfit of autumn! It’s an amazing season to travel around on horseback watching na…

Highlights

  • Ride with hundreds of free-running horses and foals
  • Help farmers to sort the horses and return them home
  • Experience the stark beauty of northern Iceland
  • Enjoy challenging riding across varied terrain
  • Enjoy the autumn colours of the landscapes

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 15 riders per group (20 in camp)
  • Average of 5 - 7 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 110 kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 3 lbs

Description

Enjoy the amazing autumn colours and adventure of joining Icelanders gathering their wild horses from the mountains!

In September and October Iceland changes costumes from the green summer dress to the multicolour outfit of autumn! It’s an amazing season to travel around on horseback watching nature slow down for the upcoming arctic winter. This is also the time when farmers gather their sheep and horses down from the wilderness where they have spent the summer roaming around free in the mountains. These 6 day tours are a combination of a 5-day riding tour where you will enjoy the autumn colours and ever changing landscape of the north, and visit to the horse roundups Skrapatungurétt, Laufskálarétt and Víðidalstungurétt, where you will join the farmers when they drive a herd of 500 young Icelandic horses from the mountains and separate them in the roundups.

There are 3 dates that correspond with these round ups:

10th Sept - Skrapatungurétt Round Up (see example itinerary)
24th Sept - Laufskálarétt Round Up
2nd Oct - Víðidalstungurétt, Round Up

Horses & Riding

Tack

The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different than the tack ordinarily used for other breeds.The saddle is similar to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Saddles come with plain or quilted seats. On longer rides a crupper helps keeping the saddle in place. Riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to English riding style, but stirrups are worn long.

Bits used are mostly simple snaffles. Bridles have a detachable noseband and clip on reins.

Horses

Icelandic

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Horse Round Up in Skrapatungurétt is a based ride

Ages

12 years and over

Health

Fit and Healthy

Weight

110 kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 3 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

During the ride full board is provided. The usual menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.

Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.

Accommodation

You spend your first few nights at Saltvik Farm before transferring to a guesthouse for the Round-Up.

Saltvik Guesthouse is located 5km from Husavik and offers accommodation with views of the surrounding mountains and Skjalfandi Bay.

Saltvik farmhouse contains 6 rooms for 2-4 people in each room and shared bathrooms - there is also a nice living room. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag.

Itineraries

Horse Round Up in Skrapatungurétt Basic accommodation.

Other Activities

This ride is not suitable for non-riders.

Travel

Guests should fly to Reykjavik for these tours. The meeting point is the BSI Bus Station at 8am. For this reason, we recommend that guests plan to arrive in Iceland at least the night before their trail in order to meet the transfer to the farm in the north of the country.

International flights to Iceland will land at Keflavik international airport (roughly 45 minutes outside of Reykjavik city). There is a regular bus service between the airport and the city centre.

On departure day, the team predicts that you will be back in the city of Reykjavik (not the airport) at around 2 pm. However, please note that this transfer can often be delayed for any number of reasons. To be safe and avoid missing your flight, we would advise planning to spend this final night in the city and fly the next day or take a flight much later in the evening (8 pm or after).

Testimonials

Jessica H., Oct. 8, 2021

Incredible! It was nothing like I expected it to be but was so much better. Definitely one for more experienced riders, it’s a real get on and keep up sort of ride. So much fun! Couldn’t have asked for better horses. I rode four on this trip and they were all well mannered, responsive and fun! I had a couple who were super speedy but I never felt out of control. Incredibly sure footed which really fills you with confidence.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

You will be collected from pick up point at 8am in the morning. Please be ready at the earliest pick up time and be ready in your riding clothes. You will then take a bus up north where the tour starts at Reynhólar Farm (3 hours drive)
At Reynhólar guests will meet up with guides and horses and, after a short introduction, saddle up and ride along the river Miðfjarðará towards Gauksmýri farm where the horses stay overnight. Overnight at Sæberg hostel with hot pool aside (20 km).

Day 2

Riding: 6 - 8 hours

We ride in to Víðidalur valley along River Víðidalsá to Stóra Ásgeirsá farm crossing rivers and breathing in the clean air of the surrounding wilderness. Get to know the characteristics of the Icelandic horses as you journey across their land.
Overnight at Blönduós guesthouse /cottages with hot pools for guests. (25km)

Day 3

Riding: 6 - 8 hours

Today we follow great trails along the riverbanks of Víðidalsá and at the shores of lake Hóp which is one of the biggest lakes in Iceland where the spectacular sands of Thingeyrar divide the lake from the ocean before eventually reaching Sveinsstaðir, and your farm stay for the night. (30km)

Day 4

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

In the morning you will saddle up at Sveinsstaðir farm and ride towards Lake Húnavatn which you will cross with your horse at a passage about 100 meters wide! You will then head on towards Blönduós village and leave the horses at a nearby farm before heading back to your base at Blönduós. (20km).

Day 5

Riding: 4 - 7 hours

Today is the big day and the highlight of the tour when you will gather with farmers and other riders and journey up to the Laxárdalur valley where young horses from farmers in the area stay free all summer in the highlands. You will watch as the big herd of free horses is expertly driven down the valley and enjoy the company of locals and other visitors who gather this day to experience the thrill of a huge herd of horses running wild and free in nature. The ride ends at the coral Skrapatungurétt where all the young horses will be separated and taken back to their homes.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

In the morning you will visit the roundups and watch when the farmers separate the herd and then drive back to Reykjavík where the tour ends at BSI bus station around 16.00

Accommodation

Farmhouse accommodation, featuring shared rooms with 2-4 beds in each. Linen is provided so sleeping bags are not required.

Experience Experienced

For this trip you need to be a competent rider who rides regularly and is capable of handling horses in an open country. You must not be afraid of riding up and downhill at speed and over rough terrain.

Minimum group size 10
Maximum group size 15
Accommodation for up to 20.
Departure windows

Sept. 10, 2024 - Sept. 15, 2024

Sept. 24, 2024 - Sept. 29, 2024  (Laufskálarétt Round Up - please enquire for itinerary)

Oct. 2, 2024 - Oct. 6, 2024  (Víðidalstungurétt Round Up - please enquire for itinerary)

Pricing

2024
Skrapatungurétt Round Up
£2060 $2565 €2405
5 night itinerary
2024
Víðidalstungurétt Round Up
£1880 $2340 €2195
4 night itinerary
2024
Laufskálarétt Round Up
£2060 $2565 €2405
5 night itinerary
Included Laufskálarétt Round Up - 5 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from lunch on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, soft drinks with meals, 5 days of riding, return transfers from Reykjavik bus terminal. Víðidalstungurétt Round Up - 4 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from lunch on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, soft drinks with meals, 4 days of riding, return transfers from Reykjavik bus terminal.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, 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.