Ride through the Snæfellsjökull National Park on this week-long tour and spot glacier-capped volcanoes alongside plenty of beach riding. You'll be hosted by renowned Icelandic horse trainers and be riding some of the best-trained horses in the business. Your hosts are experienced riding instructors and give great emphasis to teaching, giving pointers and a special focus on finding the perfect match of horses and riders. The tack used on this ride is the best on the market, all from Ástund. You can also enjoy a small group setting and double rooms with private bathrooms.
The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of Iceland´s most beautiful and emblematic sights; the glacier-covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. This horseback riding tour in Snæfellsnes Iceland is definitely the best way to see the astonishing nature of the peninsula. The mystery and spiritual aura of this still-active volcano were made famous through Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Today the remote beauty and rich bird life draw visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of the diversity of it's landscape.
Get away from it all and enjoy the pure Icelandic countryside with a loose herd, riding through breathtaking scenery that's only accessible via horseback.
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Day 1. Reykjavík – Hestaland
Pick up at the BSI Bus terminal at 17:30. Transfer to your hosts farm, Hestaland, in the evening of August 3rd in time for dinner. Meet your hosts and fellow riders over a traitional Icelandic dinner.
Day 2. Hestaland
Today you'll spend time getting to know the horses. You'll start in the indoor arena before going for a ride around the farm. You'll return to the comfort of the farmhouse for lunch before heading out on another ride in the afternoon.
Day 3. Hestaland- Grímstaðir - Hítará river – Hestaland
Today, you'll head out on the trail and will leave the farm with a loose herd of horses running alongside the group. You'll head west to the Snaefellsnes peninsula, cross the river Langá and go through a lava field to the Hitara river. After a days' riding you'll be collected by car and returned to the farm where dinner, wine and a hot tub is waiting.
Day 4. Hestaland – Kolvidarnes
After breakfast you'll be driven back to where the trail ended the day before. You'll keep riding down the Hitara river until you come to the beach and start to head north. Today you'll spend a lot of time riding on the beach before heading home again for dinner.
Day 5. Kolvidarnes – Hestaland
Today you'll be leaving the herd behind and choosing your favourite horse to go for a magical ride on a white sandy beach. You'll ride out to some sandy islands before returning to the farm in time for dinner.
Day 6. Hestaland – Hraundalur
Today you'll head back in-land to Myrdalur farm and from there you'll follow the mountains in the direction back to Hestaland. You will ride back through the lava fields and end the day by Hraundalur.
Day 7. Hraundalur – Hestaland
Today you'll ride up the incredible Hraundalur and go straight up the mountain, stopping at a mountain cottage; Lambafell, where you can take a break before riding down Grenjadalur and following the beautiful Langa river all the way home to Hestaland.
Day 8. Hestaland – Reykjavik
After breakfast, you'll be transferred back to Reykjavik, to the BSI bus terminal, arrriving at approximately 11.30am.
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.
Clients ride the traditional Icelandic horses (called horses not ponies despite being pony sized!) who have a special gait known as the tölt which is very comfortable and anyone comfortable with English (or McLellan) or Western tack will be able to adapt to sitting to the new gait without any problems – the trail leaders explain how to sit it before the first day’s riding. The guides will explain how to tack up the horses, mount it and how to ride the tölt before setting off. All the guides are English-speaking. Your hosts for this trail are renowned horse trainers Gudmar Petursson and Linda Run Petursdottir. They specialise in finding the perfect match between horses and riders and you can expect the best tack and saddles on the market, all from Ástund.
The horses are responsive, calm and forward-going. They are used to being ridden in groups in open countryside and are lovely to ride! The pace of the ride depends on the terrain but you can expect lots of tölting and a few canters as well. Generally, you'll change horses a couple of times each day, as ridden horses are switched in and out of the free-running herd. One of the most unique aspects of riding in Iceland is the experience of riding alongside a herd of free horses, which is something very special. Switching horses throughout the trail means you''ll get to try out a number of the horses. The comfort of each horses tölt can vary!
Riding days can be long so you should be in good physical condition and have a basic knowledge of horsemanship. Hours per day in the saddle ranges from 4 to 6. The minimum age for this ride is 7 years. A sense of adventure is important as is an open and positive frame of mind due to the nature of the trip.
Used riding clothes must be disinfected before entry to Iceland. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Items which cannot be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots, riding hats) need to be disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection. Used riding gloves, whips, saddles, bridles and other used leather gear may not be brought into the country. Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help us to protect Iceland's fragile nature! For further information please take a look at: www.mast.is
The weight limit for this ride is 242 lb/110 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
Accommodation is in double rooms with private bathrooms on a family-owned farm. There are some single rooms available, which have a shared bathroom. Hairdryers are provided in all the bathrooms. All bed linen and towels are provided. There is also an outdoor hot tub available to use.
The menu consists of a large breakfast (cheese, meats, bread, eggs, fruits and cereals). Riders make their own lunches up from the large food selection at the breakfast table (a tip: bring a small box, Tupperware or sandwich bags to pack it in). Evening meals are traditional (lamb and fish are the staple dinners) though special diets (vegetarian, etc.) can be provided if advance notice is given. Tea, coffee and water are all provided while on this trip. 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. Luggage will be transported in the kitchen van. Please bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases and pack lightly because transport space is limited.
Extra accommodation: Some riders may want to stay an extra night at the end of the ride before flying home. There are many hotels to choose from in Reykjavik, some recommendations are below.
Cabin Hotel - http://hotelcabin.is/en/
Brim Hotel (also known as Reykjavik Hotel Centre) - http://www.booking.com/hotel/is/reykjavik-hostel-center.htm
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
Visa are not required for U.K. or other European nationals. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on travel insurance, passport and visas, health and vaccinations, legal issues and emergency issues. They can be reached on 0207 008 0232/0233 or at www.fco.gov.uk.
The British Embassy in Reykjavik is at Laufásvegur 31, 101 Reykjavík. Postal Address: PO Box 460, 121 Reykjavík. Tel: + (354) 550 5100. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the U.K the Embassy of Iceland is at 2A Hans Street, London SW1X 0JE. Telephone: (020) 7259 3999. Email: email@example.com
Come prepared for all kinds of weather as the day can change very quickly! Summer temperatures usually reach around 17°C but can also be less than 10°C.
No special health precautions are required for visits to Iceland, for further details please see your local doctor.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org.
No special health precautions are required for visits to Iceland.
Voltage is the same as in the UK and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.
There is electricity at your accommodation each evening for charging cameras and batteries. There is free Wifi available at your accommodation as well.
You should be ready for all kinds of weather as the weather can change very quickly. We recommend that the following items are included when preparing for this tour.
• Riding Boots - knee-high, preferably rubber to keep your feet dry!
• Warm jacket or overcoat.
• Warm (woollen or fleece) sweater.
• Warm socks and gloves, at lest two pairs, scarf and a cap or hat.
• Riding trousers.
• Tracksuit or casual, loose clothes
• A pair of slippers to wear in the accommodation. (Icelanders take off their shoes when entering a house).
• Swim suit, towels and soap
• A small camera to take with you on the ride.
• Band aids and second skin plasters for chaffing.
• Chocolate or glucose sweets or snacks for strenuous riding days.
• Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor).
• Bum bag or similar to carry water, cameras etc.
• Ear plugs
• Lunchbox/Tupperware to carry your packed lunch
You may bring your own riding gear (eg helmet) but it needs to be dry cleaned or disinfected; officially, a written certificate is needed to prove at the airport that this has been done, but it is rarely asked for.
• Saddle bags
• Rain wear (heavy/industrial so best to have your own and use the provided gear only in the worst of weather)
• Safety riding helmet
Luggage will be transported in the kitchen van. Please bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases and pack lightly because transport space is limited.
This is a 8 day/7 night programme with 6 riding days available on set dates. You may like to stay in a hotel in Reykjavik the night after the ride finishes.
2021: 11 - 18 August
2022: 10 - 17 August
|Riding days||Product item description||£|
|2021||8d/7n||6||Child under 12||2,585|
|Riding days||Product item description||€|
|2021||8d/7n||6||Child under 12||2,925|
|Riding days||Product item description||$|
|2021||8d/7n||6||Child under 12||3,655|
|Riding days||Product item description||SEK|
|2021||8d/7n||6||Child under 12||30,595|
WH Auden and Louis MacNeice 'Letters from Iceland'
Mark Cowardine 'Iceland Native's and Meeting Places'
David Roberts 'Iceland Land of the Saga's'
Terry Lacy 'Ring of Seasons'.
For a broad selection of equestrian travel books, many previously unavailable visit www.HorseTravelBooks.com - inspiring adventure!
Blue Lagoon, whale watching (Reykyavik)
Disinfecting of used riding gear: Riding gear (riding boots, riding trousers, jackets, hats, gloves, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C), dry cleaned or disinfected with Virkon S before arriving in Iceland. Saddles, bridles and other leather gear may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases (i.e. rabies or foot and mouth diseases) in Iceland and therefore important to protect the animals of the country. Please help us to protect Iceland's fragile nature!
For further information please take a look at: www.mast.is
Iceland is a volcanic island in the North Atlantic. It is three hours flying time from London and two from Glasgow. Geologically speaking, it is the youngest country in the world. The Icelanders live in a beautiful, but rather fierce natural setting with extremes in the weather, and are continually reminded of the often-harsh natural elements with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions relatively commonplace. Iceland enjoys the midnight sun in summer and extensive darkness in winter, with the northern lights adding a touch of magic on clear winter nights.
In addition to its expansive landscape, it has a rich history and folklore tradition. Iceland was the last country in Europe to be settled, by Vikings and Celts, in the 9th and 10th century AD. The nation converted to Christianity in 1000. From the Middle Ages she was a Norwegian and later a Danish colony. She gained Home Rule in 1904 and then separate sovereign status under the Danish crown in 1918. During WW II, the country was benignly occupied, first by British and then by US forces. Iceland became an independent republic on 17 June 1944.
DISINFECTION: Riding gear (riding boots, riding trousers, jackets, hats, gloves, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C), dry cleaned or disinfected with Virkon S before arriving in Iceland. Saddles, bridles and other leather gear may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases (i.e. rabies or foot and mouth diseases) in Iceland and therefore important to protect the animals of the country.
Iceland is on GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. The dialling code for the country is +354.