Southern Comfort riding holiday in Iceland - Far and Ride
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Southern Comfort, Iceland




Programmes


• Landmannalaugar

• Golden Circle

 

Horses



Type of horses:

Icelandic

Nature of horses:

Healthy, fit and forward going

Height of horses:

12-14 hh

Weight limit:

110 kg

Tack type:

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.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

The farmers offering horse riding trails live in almost every part of Iceland so they offer riding tours in very diverse landscapes. They operate the tour from their homes and know the area they ride in like the palm of their hands and know the most beautiful places to visit in each area.

Gestur and family are farmers who operate tours all over south Iceland, both in popular tourist places as well as in the most rural places in Iceland. Gestur and Margrét and sons operate from Kálfhóll farm and have offered the Golden Circle and Landmannalaugar tour for many years now. Their sons Egill and Hannes help their parents to make this experience an amazing one for the guests. The family at Kálfhóll farm are well known for their great hospitality and enjoy leading their guests into the magic world of the Golden Circle and Landmannalaugar.

The Icelandic breed is especially well known for the ‘tölt’ - a comfortable four-beat gait which is smooth to ride and can be as fast as a normal canter. The breed is also known for its versatility and strength, being able to carry grown adults despite their small stature. But the breed has a gentler side and is well suited for children. Children confident in the saddle will enjoy some trails offered here. The trails are suitable for riders of all levels and ages.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Farmhouse accommodation with 2-4 bedrooms on the Golden Circle, but mountain hut (sleeping bag) accommodation on the Landmannalaugar trail.

During the ride full board is provided. Our 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.

 

Activities

 

Further Details

Languages: English

Health requirements: Fit and healthy

Age limit: 8 and over if competent in the saddle

Tuition: No

Included: Full board accommodation and riding. Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm.
Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.

Not included: 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. Travel insurance. Flights

 

Travel Information

Transfer from pick up points in Reykjavik and the bus station is included in the trip.

Airport: Reykjavik

 

Programmes


Landmannalaugar



Mt Hekla is a highly active volcano often titled the Queen of Iceland. She towers over the region and each day you'll see evidence of her numerous devastating eruptions throughout the ages. Landmannalaugar is a geothermal wonderland in the southern highlands and its natural bathing pools are a highlight which makes this one of Icelands most popular destinations. Your horseback trail takes you along the mighty glacial river Thjorsa with fantastic views of Mt Hekla and the glacier Eyjafjallajokull before reaching the colourful rhyolite mountains of Landmannalaugar and returning through black lava and green fields.

Day One: Reykjavik - Blesastadir

You'll be collected from the BSI bus station in Reykjavik at 6pm and transferred to Blesastadir guesthouse for an introductory meal with your fellow riders. 

Day Two: Blesastadir - Thjorsa - Sanlaekjarmyri

Transfer to Kalfholl farm to meet your horses and set off riding on fantastic paths along the mighty glacial river Pjorsa with views of Eyjafjallajokull glacier and volcano Hekla. Leave the horses at Sandlaekjarmyri field and transfer to Blesastadir for another night in the guesthouse. Today is the perfect way to get to know your horse and the Icelandic way of trail riding, including relaxing in the hot tub in the evening. 

Riding c. 20km

Day Three: Sandlaekjarmyri - Holaskogur

Return to your horses and ride along the lovely river Sanda through the national forest of Skridufellskogur and into the famous beautiful valley of Thjorsardalur. The mountain Dimon towers over the vast lavender-blue lupine fields which border the sandy riding tracks. Stop at Stong, the ruins of a medieval farmhouse excavated in 1939. In 1104, Mt Hekla erupted for the first time in recorded history and destroyed 20 farms in the valley, of which Stong was one. Continue riding to Gjain, a mystical canyon with lots of small waterfalls which featured in the Game of Thrones series, before reaching your cosy mountain hut Holaskogur with views of Mt Hekla.

Riding c. 30km

Day Four: Holaskogur - Landmannahellir

Ride over narrow tracks through black lava north of Valafell mountain. Your surefooted horses will carry you comfortably across the rough terrain of the Lambaskard mountain passage before continuing to the sandy paths close to lake Saudleysuvatn and then through the moonlike desert towards your mountain hut Landmannahellir. You spend two nights here.

Riding c. 30km

Day Five: Landmannahellir - Landmannalaugar - Landmannahellir

Today is one of the highlights of the tour as you ride to the famous Landmannalaugar with its natural hot pool surrounded by colourful mountains and lava fields from 1480. Your horses rest in a paddock so that you can visit the numerous sights on foot and relax in the hot pools before returning to your hut at Landmannahellir.

Riding c. 40km

Day Six: Landmannahellir - Holaskogur

Leave Landmannahellir behind and head towards the Herbjarnfell mountain. Todays route takes you over varying landscapes including sharp lava, huge pumice fields and green grazing fields where farmers drive their sheep in summer. Stay overnight in the solitary mountain hut Holaskogur with perfect views of Mt Hekla - it feels as though you are on top of the world.

Riding c. 40km

Day Seven: Holaskogur - Rettarholt - Reykjavik

Ride over the rich green mountain fields across Seljamyri to Fogruskogar and Prengslasandur, eventually reaching Rettarholt guesthouse. Here you leave the horses and transfer to Kalfholl farm for coffee and cake before transferring back to Reykjavik. Accommodation is not included in Reykjavik, but we can advise. 



Accommodation: Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bags required.
Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 20
Ability description: You should be a competent rider who is confident and balanced in all paces across varied terrain. You should also be fit for some long hours in the saddle.
Type of ride: Mobile trail
Total riding time: 6 nights/ 6 riding days
Departure dates: 2020: 23-29 June, 11-17 August*, 18-24 August*.

*High season
 
Pricing: 2020:

Low season: £1925 per person sharing
High season (27 June-20 August): £2057 per person sharing

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.



Golden Circle



The Golden Circle tour was nominated by specialist travel channel "CNNgo" as one of the fifteen greatest horse treks in the world!

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.

The Golden Circle tour is offers a lighter riding experience which is perfect for families or those who feel they are not up to the challenge the more demanding highland tours. However, do keep in mind that the days can still be very long, so you should still be in good physical shape and have a good basic level of horsemanship skills. Children as young as 9 years, who are confident in the saddle, are able to join this tour.

On the first day of this tour, you will get to know your Icelandic Horse partner and its specialised additional gait, the tölt, as you take an easy ride along the banks of the majestic Thjórsá River. You will then continue the trail towards Gullfoss Waterfall and the hot springs of Geysir. After a relaxed day of riding in this locality, you will head next to explore some of the more remote places of the Golden Circle route, well away the usual tourist's well beaten track. You will be able to visit the charming Secret Lagoon to bathe in its thermal waters, cross the highland moor of Hrunaheiği and enjoy the great riding terrain as you pass the iconic basalt columns at Hrepphólar.

Example itinerary - please note that this may change due to weather and other local conditions.

Day One: Reykjavik – Blesastağir Guesthouse

You will be collected from BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik at 18:00 by a tour bus that will transfer you and your fellow riders to your first night's accommodation at Blesastağir Guesthouse. Your hosts, guides, horses and support staff will already be here, waiting to meet you. After a lovely introductory meal where you will get the chance to know each other a little better and ask questions about the riding tour ahead, there is time to relax and rest so you are well prepared for the adventure.

Day Two:  Blesastağir Guesthouse – Thjórsá glacier river – Blesastağir Guesthouse

After breakfast this morning you will head out for an introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits. Once safely aboard your horse, you will start the ride by following a pleasant trail along the edge of Thjórsá - a glacier fed river. at the end fo the riding day, you will leave the horses at Sandlækjarmıri field and be driven to Blesastağir Guesthouse. This day offers the perfect way to get to know your horse and the Icelandic style of trail riding in a relaxed atmosphere. You will get the chance to enjoy the outdoor hot tub at Blesastağir Guesthouse before a hearty dinner. 

Riding c. 15k

Day Three:  Blesastağir Guesthouse – Myrkholt

Leaving Blesastağir in the morning, you will drive back to meet the horses where you left them the night before. From here, you will head off to the fertile farmlands of the neighbouring community Hrunamannahreppur. today, you will ride along with spare horses, in a free running herd, which will enabling you to change horses regularly and to travel at a brisk pace. Cross the well known salmon fishing river of Stóra-Laxá and stop for a picnic lunch at Hrunaréttir, the site of a corral used for the annual Icelandic sheep round-up in the autumn. in the afternoon, you will continue to ride on trails perfect for tölting as you head towards the majestic canyon Brúarhlöğ where milky green water passes through bizarre rock formations. The ride ends at Brúarhlöğ and you will be driven to a new farm, Myrkholt Farm, where you spend the night. 

Riding c. 30k

Day Four: Myrkholt-Gullfoss-Myrkholt

You will continue your ride today on those same trails which are so ideal for tölting, following alongside Hvítá River. The trail takes you through an ever deepening canyon as you travel downriver to the impressive Golden Waterfall, Gullfoss. You will enjoy your lunch break and some free time at Gullfoss before you ride back to Myrkholt farm, where you will spend the night. 

Riding c. 20K

Day Five:  Haukadalur – Haukadalsheiği – Myrkholt

The today ride takes you through Haukadalur valley with its beautiful birch forest. You will cross little clear streams on the way and enjoy the rich vegetation of wild mountain flowers that bloom during high summer. Whilst you ascend to a highland plateau you will notice the changes in nature as you reach higher ground. A breathtaking view of the mountain ranges and glaciers of the highland around awaits you when you reach the top of Haukadalsheiği. The rest of the day will be spent in the Geysir area. You have plenty of time to explore this highly interesting attraction with its countless bubbling hot springs. 

Riding c. 18k

Day Six: Geysir – Tungufellsdalur – Kaldbakur – Blesastağir Guesthouse

Today you will leave the Geysir area and ride along green pastures back to the bridge at Brúarhlöğ canyon, where you will cross the mighty Hvítá River. As you begin to ride towards the interior of Iceland and follow the beautiful Tungufellsdalur valley to Hrunaheiğar heath plateau, you will experience riding along the edge of civilisation. Your horses will be settled for the night at Kaldbakur Farm, before you are driven to the Secret Lagoon for a relaxing bath in the geothermal pool and then back to Blesastağir Guesthouse to spend the night. 

Riding c. 30k

Day Seven: Blesastağir Guesthouse – Kaldbakur – Hrepphólar – Kálfhóll  – Reykjavík  

The last day of riding includes some truly terrific scenery yet again! Today's ride will follow some great riding tracks past Mt. Galtafell. You will cross River Laxá before you reach Sandlækjarmıri field and finally turn towards the banks of the Thjórsá River and follow them all the way to Kálfhóll Farm. Here you will say goodbye to your guides, staff, and horses and return to Reykjavík; approximate arrival at 20:00 

Riding c. 40k



Accommodation: Myrkholt is a very nice farm and guesthouse located just between Gullfoss waterfall and the hot spring Geysir. The farm has eight bedrooms with thirty-two beds. There are four showers and four toilets.

There is GSM connection and wifi available
Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 20
Ability description: Intermediate riders: comfortable during long hours in the saddle.
Type of ride: Trail
Total riding time: 6 nights 6 riding days. Long hours in the saddle
Departure dates: 2020:
30 May- 5 June, 6-12 June, 13-10 June, 11-17 July, 18-24 July, 25-31 July, 1-7 August, 8-14 August, 29 August- 4 September
 
Pricing: 2020:
Prices are per person, based on sharing accommodation (2-4 bedded rooms)

£1830 low season
£2005 high season (27th June - 20th August)

Children's discount (under 12 years) 25%







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.