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Lofoten Islands

Overview

Lofoten is an archipelago of islands in the north of Norway, renowned for its distinctive scenery of dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands. Situated within the Arctic Circle, the islands experience the Midnight Sun (where the sun doesn't drop below t…

Highlights

  • Ride magical Icelandic horses across wild landscapes
  • Experience the midnight sun or northern lights
  • Ride along old Viking roads to discover remote valleys
  • Visit nature reserves and local cheese farms
  • Canter down the white sandy beach

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Description

Lofoten is an archipelago of islands in the north of Norway, renowned for its distinctive scenery of dramatic mountains and peaks, open sea and sheltered bays, beaches and untouched lands. Situated within the Arctic Circle, the islands experience the Midnight Sun (where the sun doesn't drop below the horizon) from late May to mid July, and in winter the sun does not rise through most of December and early January! If you are lucky, then the Northern Lights can be viewed from September to March.

Our wonderful new ride is situated on the island of Gimsoy on the far side of the Lofoten Islands, next to a white sandy beach with a view of the ocean and the midnight sun. They have a herd of almost 50 Icelandic horses and a couple of Shetland ponies on which you can explore the mountains, beaches and ancient paths once travelled by Vikings.

This is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Lofoten and there are many ancient monuments to discover - landing places for Viking ships, a heathen temple and Viking Age graves. It is believed that the Viking chieftain Tore Hjort was based here over 1,000 years ago and you will hear stories of him and many others whilst on your riding tour. Your hosts are 7th generation owners of the farm so are proud to relay their history.

Horses & Riding

Tack

Typical Icelandic tack. The saddles are similar to dressage saddles, with a relatively flat seat that is either plain or quilted. 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 renowned for their extra gait - the tolt - which has similar footfalls to a walk but is much faster and usually very smooth.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Following in Vikings' Footsteps is a based ride

Ages

Children over 8 years of age are welcomed provided they are competent riders

Health

General good health and fitness

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 stone 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Breakfasts and evening meals (two courses) are taken at the on-site restaurant which serves great local food and is also open to non-residents.

Lunches are taken out on the trails.

Fish and seafood are plentiful but other local specialities are seasonally on offer, such as reindeer (venison).

Drinks and additional courses (starters/desserts) can be purchased locally.

Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice for your meals taken at the restaurant (breakfast/dinner), but there are less options on the lunches, particularly where you dine with local farmers and they would struggle to accommodate gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan, however a vegetable soup and fresh bread is always available for vegetarians.

Accommodation

All nights are spent in lodges which are newly built and situated just off the beach. Each lodge has three bedrooms and a small loft room. Each bedroom contains double/twin beds and a private bathroom with shower and WC. Each lodge also has a communal large living rooms with fireplace, kitchenette and terrace.

There are also two private luxury lodges which have outdoor wood-fired hot-tubs - these are available on payment of a supplement for families or groups - please enquire.

The lodges face north with spectacular views of the northern lights in autumn and winter, the midnight sun in summer and the great ocean.

The restaurant and coffee shop is located in a converted barn at the stables, It also has large windows to appreciate the view, hand-made tables, a large fireplace and soft retro-style chairs to create a cosy atmosphere on dark winter evenings.

Itineraries

Following in Vikings' Footsteps Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

One of the areas best golf courses is a short walk away. There is also great hiking in the area and a plethora of Viking sites to explore.

Travel

Transfers are included from either Svolvaer (SVJ) or Leknes (LKN) airport.

There are no direct flights and it is likely that you will need to change at least once. Depending on the time of year, you may find a direct flight from Oslo to the Lofoten Islands, or you may need to connect through Bodo. It is possible that you will need to spend at least one night in Oslo to allow for flight connections.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

You'll be transferred from the airport to your accommodation and allowed time to settle in. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the restaurant.

After dinner, at c. 10pm, you'll set out on a short ride. This is a gentle ride to allow you to become familiar with the horses and your guides. In summer this will be under the midnight sun, whilst in winter you'll be in search of the Northern Lights!

Day 2 - Vikingvei

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

A full day of riding on Gimsoy following the old Viking Road (Vikingvei) and stopping for lunch in Vinje Valley.

Day 3 - Vestvagoy

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Todays ride takes you to Aalan cheese farm where you can taste many of their famous goat cheeses. Lunch is also taken at Aalan farm before heading back to the stables.

Day 4 - Gimsoy

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Ride from Gjendalen down onto Vinje Beach where you have lunch at a local cafe.

Day 5 - Unstad or Eggum

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Depending on the weather you will either ride over the mountain to Unstad or ride to the nature reserve at Eggum. Lunch will either be prepared by the local community or taken at a local cheese farm depending on which route you have taken.

Day 6

Riding: No riding.

After breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your flight.

Accommodation

All nights are spent at the lodge.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

You must be at least an intermediate rider, comfortable in all paces in open spaces.

Minimum group size 4
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

Aug. 14, 2022 - Aug. 19, 2022  (summer)

Aug. 21, 2022 - Aug. 26, 2022  (summer)

Aug. 28, 2022 - Sept. 2, 2022  (summer)

Sept. 4, 2022 - Sept. 9, 2022  (autumn)

Sept. 11, 2022 - Sept. 16, 2022  (autumn)

Sept. 18, 2022 - Sept. 23, 2022  (autumn)

Sept. 25, 2022 - Sept. 30, 2022  (autumn)

Oct. 2, 2022 - Oct. 7, 2022  (autumn)

Oct. 9, 2022 - Oct. 14, 2022  (autumn)

March 5, 2023 - March 10, 2023  (winter)

April 2, 2023 - April 7, 2023  (spring)

April 16, 2023 - April 21, 2023  (spring)

April 30, 2023 - May 5, 2023  (spring)

May 14, 2023 - May 19, 2023  (spring)

May 21, 2023 - May 26, 2023  (spring)

Aug. 20, 2023 - Aug. 25, 2023  (autumn)

Aug. 27, 2023 - Sept. 1, 2023  (autumn)

Sept. 10, 2023 - Sept. 15, 2023  (autumn)

Sept. 17, 2023 - Sept. 22, 2023  (autumn)

Oct. 1, 2023 - Oct. 6, 2023  (autumn)

Pricing

2022
Rider, sharing
£1505 $1675 €1710
2023
Non-Rider, sharing
£750 $835 €855
2023
Rider, sharing
£1835 $2050 €2095
Included 5 nights accommodation, all meals from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day (breakfast and dinner at the restaurant (two courses) and lunch on the trail), airport transfers, four full days of riding plus a short ride on arrival evening.
Not included Flights, insurance, drinks, third course at dinner, tips

Extras

2022 - Single Supplement £250 $275 €280
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement payable by anyone in a single room.
2023 - Single Supplement £330 $370 €380
Paid to Far and Ride
Single supplement payable by anyone in a single room.
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.