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Snaefellsnes Peninsular

Overview

The Snaefellsnes peninsular is on the western coast of Iceland, north of Reykjavik. At its tip is Snaefellsjokull national park which is dominated by one of Iceland's most beautiful and emblematic sights - the glacier-covered cone volcano of Snaefellsjokull. The mystery and spiritual aura of this a…

Highlights

  • Experience the joy of riding an Icelandic horse
  • Ride through lava fields, craters and ash
  • Tolt along the glorious beach towards the glacier
  • Experience the adrenaline of riding amongst the herd
  • Enjoy glorious volcanic landscapes and riding trails

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 20 riders per group
  • Average of 5 - 6 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 110kg / 242 lbs / 17 stone 4 lbs

Description

The Snaefellsnes peninsular is on the western coast of Iceland, north of Reykjavik. At its tip is Snaefellsjokull national park which is dominated by one of Iceland's most beautiful and emblematic sights - the glacier-covered cone volcano of Snaefellsjokull. The mystery and spiritual aura of this active volcano were made famous through Jules Verne's novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and many of the great Icelandic sagas are located in this area.

Today the remote beauty and rich birdlife of the peninsula draws visitors from all over the world, with the peninsula being dubbed "Iceland in a nutshell" for its sheer diversity of landscapes.

This horseback riding tour is one of the best ways to experience the astonishing nature of the peninsula. Ride through a landscape of extensive lava fields, filled with craters and ash from ancient eruptions in the Hitardalur valley; enjoy the wide-open stretches of light-coloured sandy beaches of Longufjorur where only the tide sets your limits, and marvel at the impressive 50m deep crater of Eldborg where the sand turns black as you approach its lava field.

The marvellous extra gait of the Icelandic horse - the tolt - is made easier on this trail due to the high number of good riding tracks, and the long stretches of smooth sandy beaches - a delight for both horse and rider!

Horses & Riding

Tack

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:

  • Snaefellsnes Mountain and Beach Ride is a trail ride

Ages

No specific age limit but must be experienced enough for the long hours in the saddle

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 peninsula, so we recommend buying them at the Duty-Free store on arrival at Reykjavik airport and carrying them with you.

Accommodation

You will spend each night at a farmhouse with 2-4 beds in each room and shared bathrooms. There is a hot tub available at the farmhouse for use in the evenings. Each day you are transferred out to meet the horses at the trailhead before returning to the comfortable farmhouse each afternoon.

Itineraries

Snaefellsnes Mountain and Beach Ride Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

During the riding tour, you will be spending some long hours in the saddle. There is little opportunity for other activities in that case. However, the accommodation you stay at does have a hot tub to use in the evenings after the riding day has finished.

We would certainly recommend staying in Iceland for a few extra days and planning to see more of the country if you are able to. Please contact us for ideas and help with itineraries.

Travel

You are collected from Reykjavik city on arrival, 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 by late afternoon or early 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.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Reykjavik - Stori-Kalfalaekur

Riding: No riding.

You'll be transferred from Reykjavik in the afternoon to reach Stori-Kalfalaekur farm where you'll meet your guides and horses. After an introductory meal, you have the chance to get to know your fellow riders in preparation for the adventure ahead.

Day 2 - Stori Kalfalaekur - Grimsstadir

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After an introduction to the Icelandic horses and the chance to try out their special gaits, you will set off on your ride through fertile farmland and into the mountains. You will ride through grasslands and cross rocky grounds at the foot of a mountain range. You will have a brief stop for a rest and to change horses at an old sheep round-up station before heading back to the farm along a different route.

Free time when you return to enjoy the hot tub before dinner.

Day 3 - Grimsstadir - Stadarhraun

Riding: 7 hours

Today will be a slow ride due to the very rocky ground you will be covering. The route takes you along one of Iceland's famous fishing rivers, passing multi-coloured mountains and breathtaking hillsides, through valleys and over a pass. This is the longest day that you will spend in the saddle even though it's not the longest day by distance.

On return to the farm, you will welcome to chance to ease out your aches in the hot tub before a tasty dinner.

Day 4 - Stadarhraun - Kolvidarnes

Riding: 6 hours

Today you will ride through a mystical volcanic valley where you can enjoy the scenery and learn of the local myths about trolls and ancient outlaws! You will cross wide rivers with great views over the grasslands and rock formations that stretch as far as the ocean. On a clear day, you can see the snowcapped Snaefellsjokull glacier at the tip of the peninsula. Your destination today is a field at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean where you will leave your horses for the night before transferring back to the farm for dinner.

Day 5 - Kolvidarnes - Gaul

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

NB: For the next three days you will be riding on Longufjorur beach where the daily timings will very much depend on the tides. In some cases, you'll need to start riding early in the morning to beat the high tide, but in others, you may ride in the afternoon instead.

After breakfast, you will rejoin the horses and start your beach ride on Longufjorur. You will follow the famous horse trail on the seashore of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. From here you will have great views of the majestic Snaefellsjokull glacier ahead of you and feel the excitement of your horses as you ride this trail alongside the water's edge, heading in a westerly direction.

Back to the farm for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Gaul - Kolvidarnes

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

After reuniting with your horses today, you will enjoy another glorious day of beach riding. This time you will head east along the coast, with the sea now on your right side. The trail looks completely different ahead due to the new viewpoint and the different levels of the tides. You'll enjoy plenty of fast tölt work along the sand.

Back to the farm to overnight.

Day 7 - Kolvidarnes - Stori-Kalfalaekur

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

Today will be your last day of riding and another stunning day at the Atlantic Ocean. The sand will turn black from the lava as you follow the outline of the Eldborg lava field. The coast here is rugged and you ride through vast, spectacular fjords at low tide, crisscrossing rivers along the way. Watch out for eagles resting on the rocks by the shore and horses running free in the dunes.

After saying goodbye to your horses and enjoying an early dinner you are transferred back to Reykjavik that evening.

We would recommend planning to stay an extra night in Reykjavik after the ride as you will reach the city too late for most flight departures this day.

Accommodation

Farmhouse accommodation featuring shared rooms with 2-4 beds in each.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate-Advanced riders. You should be capable in all paces and open to learning the unique pace of the Icelandic horse, the tölt. You will have the chance to ride a number of different horses throughout the week.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 20
Departure windows

June 26, 2022 - July 2, 2022

July 3, 2022 - July 9, 2022

July 9, 2022 - July 15, 2022

July 23, 2022 - July 29, 2022

Aug. 6, 2022 - Aug. 12, 2022

Aug. 20, 2022 - Aug. 26, 2022

Pricing

2022
Sharing
£1860 $2355 €2190
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared rooms, all meals from dinner on arrival day to dinner on departure day, soft drinks with meals, 6 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.