Discover the Lofoten islands on this 6-day ride on a remote Norwegian archipelago known for it's mild climate, distinctive scenery and wildlife. Situated well above the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Sea, it is the most northerly location with temperatures above freezing all year round. It offers beautiful scenery; majestic mountains, deep fjords, huge seabird colonies, long, white sand beaches and the world's largest know deep water coral reef.
Riding in this extraordinary location is exclusively on Icelandic horses, sure-footed and reliable on the steep terrain. You'll be exploring various islands on ancient Viking roads, riding for 4-6 hours per day. Depending on the time of year, you could ride under the Northern lights (September to mid April) or the midnight sun late May to mid July).
Accommodation is in cosy lodges, complete with wood-burning stoves and traditional dinners are served in the on-site restaurant. The itinerary includes visits to a local Viking museum and organic goat cheese farm to taste the local produce. Ideal for intermediate riders onwards who want to discover unusual destinations.
Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.
Review received from ER of Kuopio on 30/09/2020
Travel to the Lofoten Islands, 95 miles north of the Arctic Circle and arrive at either Leknes or Svolvaer airport. You'll be collected by your hosts and transferred (a one hour drive) to the lodges, your base for the next 6 days. Check in to your warm and cosy lodge and meet your fellow riders and guides over dinner at the farms' on-site restaurant. Meet the horses and take part in a short 2 hour ride where depending on the time of year (September-March is most likely) you may be able to spot the northern lights.
Today you'll be exploring the island of Gimsøy, one of the nothernmost islands of the archipelago. You'll be spending up to six hours in the saddle today, riding along the old Viking roads. Stopping in a traditional lavvu (a yurt/tent structure) for lunch in the valley. Once the riding is done, you'll be driven back to the lodges in time for dinner in the on-site restaurant.
Today's full-day tour takes you from the Viking Museum in Borg to Aalan Gård; a local organic goat farm. You'll have lunch at the farm hich serves organic produce and you'll also be able to taste plenty of the goats cheeses produced on-site. Continuing on in the afternoon you'll have impressive views of the North Sea. After a total riding time of between 5-6 hours you'll be driven back to the lodges for dinner and overnight.
Today will be another full-day ride (5-6 hours) on the island of Gimsøy. You'll travel from Gjendalen to the picturesque beach of Vinje on horseback. The beaches on Lofoten almost tropical in appearance with white sand and crystal clear turquoise water. You'll have lunch in a local, traditional cafe and after your afternoon ride will be driven back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
The ride today takes you through some of the islands most spectacular, and contrasting, scenery. You'll be in the saddle today for between 4-5 hours exploring the largest and easternmost island of the Lofoten chain, Austvågøya, a mountainous island with some of Lofoten's highest peaks.
After a hearty breakfast at the lodge it's time to pack up and say goodbye. You can be transferred to either Leknes or Svolvaer airport for the journey home.
There is also a spectacular 18-hole championship course which is beautifully situated in nature making this holiday ideal to share with a golfing partner.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
This stables has 50 horses to choose from, all of them are Icelandic horses, a unique breed of horse that originated in Norway and arrived in Iceland with the first Norwegian settlers. The Icelandic breed is known for being sure-footed and able to cross rough terrain. Your mount for this ride is also able to display an extra gait in addition to the typical walk, trot, and canter, gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The gait is a four-beat lateral ambling gait called tölt known for it's acceleration and speed, it's a comfortable pace for covering plenty of ground. The horses range in height from 132 to 147 cm high. The stables have some horses which are more spirited and ideal for more experienced riders. They also have quieter horses for nervous riders. You will be matched with a suitable horse each day and will ride a variety of the horses during the holiday.
The pace of the ride is variable according to the groups wishes and the terrain. There are some sections when it is possible to go faster and other sections where riders will need to lead their horse (maximum 10 minutes) through steep ascents and descents.
This ride is for intermediate riders onwards. All riders need to be able to walk, trot and canter in open countryside and must be happy to mount and dismount unassisted. Some sections of the ride require riders to dismount and lead their horse due to steep climbs. The minimum age for this ride is 12 years old although occasionally participants as young as ten can be accepted if they are good riders and able to spend up to 6 hours per day in the saddle. The maximum weight is 90 kilos.
The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
You'll be spending the duration of the holiday staying in a cosy Norwegian lodge. These purpose-built, modern lodges are made up of a shared living room with wood-burning stove, a kitchen and terrace complete with sea view. Just off the beach, they make the perfect place for your northern lights base camp. The lodges are equipped with complimentary WiFi, hairdyers and towels. After a days riding you'll be able to come back to enjoy the northern lights (visible between Sept-April) from the comfort of the sofa and warmth of the fireplace. The lodges are north facing with a spectacular view towards the northern lights and the ocean.
A short walk from the lodges is the on-site, rustic restaurant Låven at Hov Gård. The restaurant is where your breakfast and other meals during your stay will be served. Lunch is either a picnic taken in the saddle bags each day or at a local cafe during the ride. The Restaurant Låven offers traditional local food as well as a modern cuisine. There is a changing menu which also features fish, meat and a vegetarian option. The restaurant can also cater for vegan or gluten-free guests but require advance notice so please let your travel advisor know if you require this. Delicious home baked cakes are available at the restaurant every day.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
A valid passport is required for travel to Norway but no visa for European Citizens.
Royal Norwegian Embassy in London
25 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8QD
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7591 5500
Embassy Opening hours
Monday - Friday 09:00 - 16:00
Phone enquiries: +44 (0) 20 70528500
The Lofoten Islands are quite an anomaly when it comes to climate, as they experience relatively warm temperatures for their high Arctic latitude thanks to the warm Gulf stream. This warmth makes them an ideal place for exploring in summer as you can make the most of the midnight sun. Between mid-May and mid-July, the sun provides its warming light while you can experience the Northern Lights from September to mid-April.
In Norway, all public hospitals are funded from the national budget and run by four Regional Health Authorities owned by the Ministry of Health and Care Services. In addition to the public hospitals, a few privately owned health clinics are operating.
Norway uses the Europlug (Type C & F), which has two round prongs. 220 volts.
Electricity is available in your accommodation each night for charging cameras and batteries. There is free Wifi available in the lodges and in the restaurant.
You should be ready for all kinds of weather as the weather can change very quickly. We recommend you pack the following items:
• Riding hat (also available to borrow).
• Warm jacket or overcoat.
• Warm (woollen or fleece) sweater.
• Warm socks and gloves.
• Riding trousers.
• Casual clothes for evenings
• Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor).
• Dry bag/s for the (provided) saddlebags
• Waterproof bag for phones/camera
• Refillable water bottle
This is a 6 day/ 5 night programme available on set dates between April and October
2021: 19, 26 Sept; 3, 10, 17 Oct.
2022: 27 Feb; 3, 10, 17, 24 Apr; 8, 15 May; 14, 21 Aug; 18, 25 Sept; 2, 10, 16 Oct.
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Norway's diverse landscapes offer unparalleled opportunities for hiking, skiing, fishing, marine rafting or diving. The islands are also ideal for surfing - they are among Norway's best and the world's northernmost surfing spots.
Thanks to its varied topography, the Lofoten Islands are home to a huge variety of wildlife both on land and out to sea. The southern islands actually lie on the Røst Reef which boasts the world’s largest deep water coral reef. Other wildlife that can be seen includes birdlife such as sea eagles, cormorants and puffins and otters which are common throughout the fjords. Look out for moose and other bird species that nest in the mountains and cliffs. During the summer, the islands are a great location for whale watching with minkes and sperm whales being seen off the coast.
There is also a spectacular 18-hole championship course nearby which is beautifully situated in nature making this holiday ideal to share with a golfing partner.