Rainbow over moutains
Guesthouse
Tack lined up ready to go
Lounge area 1
Double room
Twin room
Bathroom
Lounge area
three riders
Icelandic Herd
tack
Icelandic sheep

Stay on one of our Icelandic horse breeding farms where guests are welcome to take part in the day to day farm activities alongside trail rides in the beautiful remote countryside giving a real insight into the life of a traditional Icelandic farmer. Our friendly hosts take care to select the correct horse for each rider, meaning that novice and experienced riders alike are sure to have a great experience. The horses are easy to ride, with a good tölt and nice temperament. There are miles upon miles of great riding tracks and a welcoming warm outside hot tub to greet you at the end of your riding day. Guests are spoiled with great food and great horses; a winning combination for a great riding holiday!

This riding holiday is perfect for families with children or novice riders who would like to ride in the beautiful Icelandic countryside. The Icelandic Farm Stay is a based stay, meaning less experienced riders are able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the surrounding areas in the knowledge that they are able to return to the comforts of the farmhouse at the end of each day.

Special Offer: 5% discount for all riders that have travelled with us to Iceland before.

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 AS of Montrose, new york on 03/07/2017

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday
Really fun. Beautiful country! Great horses, very spirited and very happy, well socialized to people & other horses
Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Speed of response     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments So friendly and nice! They love their horses & their wild & beautiful country and they want you to love it too.
Horses and Tack
Condition of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments I was visiting before the season started, not for a ride, so they were gathering up horses from other farms, and riding horses for the first time in 6 months to train & assess fitness & temperament, and shoeing horses who needed it. It was great fun!
Meals
Meal Quantity     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Meal Punctuality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hotels/Lodges/Inns     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Hygiene standards     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Miscellaneous
Transfer arrangements     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other ride staff     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Weather     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
Was there anything you should have known and were not told?     (X) NO     (   ) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
What could we do to improve this ride? I loved it!
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced? 0
Please explain why you scored it as you did You could do exactly what you wanted because it was a stationary ride-- I rode 6 horses in one day, and only 2 the next; we could ride for I hour or 6!
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Please give more details to explain your response
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?     (   ) NO     (X) YES
Any other comments
Unicorn comments Many thanks for the super comments and glad it was such fun and flexible! :)

We have two farm stay options in Iceland for this holiday. Haukur's Farm is in the remote north-west of Iceland close to the Old Sagas and Vatnsdalsá river. Gestur’s Farm is in the south of Iceland close to the river Þjórsjá. The activities on offer at both locations are very similar, with large breeding herds of Icelandic horses and miles of unspoiled countryside for good trail riding.

Due to the early start on Day 1, it is recommended that guests arrive in Reykjavik the day before the Farm Stay begins and stay in a hotel in the city. Please see 'Accommodation' for recommended hotels.

Day 1: Reykjavík –  Farm 
At 09.00, if you have chosen the bus transfer, you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the BSÍ Central Bus Station. Vehicles have to pick up and drop off all passengers staying at hostels and guesthouses within central Reykjavik at designated bus stops. Further details are available in the Accommodations tab. From here, with the help of your transfer representative, you will buy your bus ticket, find your bus and take the scheduled jounrey through smaller villages for around 3 hours until you reach the farm. There your host will be waiting for you and show you to your room.

The small friendy family-run businesses combine offering unique farm stays alongside breeding, training and selling Icelandic horses. Guests are spoilt with great riding and great food! Accommodation is of a comfortable farmhouse style - there are 2-4 beds in each room and a warm outdoor hot tub is available to guests to enjoy during their stay.

Day 2+:
During your stay at the farm you can participate in whatever is going on, depending on the season. You are welcome to join in the daily chores and help with the horses and other animals. Your hosts will make you part of their daily life and, for example, take you along when visiting other breeding farms, transporting horses or driving their herds of horses to other meadows. Each season has certain tasks to accomplish whether it be moving horses, shoeing, vet work or schooling, to name but a few.

Riding is available for all levels of rider in the beautiful valley and is at a pace appropriate to the rider's experience.

On the morning of your last day you will return back to Reykjavík on a scheduled bus. When you arrive in Reykjavík a representative will be there to meet you and transfer you to your accommodation in the city. Depending on flight times guests may wish to stay an extra night in Reykjavik.


Reading List
We're avid readers here at Unicorn Trails and have selected several books connected to this ride. If you're interested in reading more about the area before you travel, or want to get into the cultural background, here are some suggestions that may inspire you. Click on the links for more information.

Letters From Iceland - WH Auden and Louis MacNeice
Iceland, Land of the Saga's - David Roberts
Ring of Seasons: Iceland - Its Culture and History - Terry Lacy

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.

Horses & Riding

Clients ride the traditional Icelandic horses (called horses not ponies despite being pony sized!) which have a special gait known as the tölt which is very comfortable. Anyone comfortable with English or Western tack will be able to adapt to sitting to the new gait without any problems – your hosts will be happy to teach you. Your horse will be selected for you based on your riding ability, there are horses to suit everyone. Your hosts are English-speaking. The riding tracks alongside the rivers and ponds make great riding for the horses and are also the perfect place for bird watching.

Rider requirements

This holiday caters for all standards of rider from beginner onwards.

The riding is at all paces including tölt (instruction is given), 125kg weight limit (please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.) Children are welcome provided that their parent/guardian is prepared to take full responsibility for them during the holiday. The minimum age for this ride is 6 years.

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

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 17 st/242 lb/110 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

There are two farms available for this holiday.


Gestur Farm

There are 3 guest rooms at the farm with twin beds. There is a shared bathroom with toilet, basin and shower. There is an outdoor hot tub with mountain view. They breed and train horses, and have around 200 horses at the farm.



Haukur Farm

There are 6 guestrooms at the farm, with 2-4 beds in each room. There is a maximum of 19 places. There are 2 separate bathrooms each with a basin, shower and toilet. There is an outdoor hot tub to relax in after each day's riding with views over the river. There is Wifi and internet connection at the farm.


During the ride full board is provided. The 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. Alcoholic beverages are not included and are hard to get in the remote countryside. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.


Extra accommodation: We recommend that you arrive the day before the ride begins and stay in a hotel in Reykjavik. Some riders may also 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


As part of an initiative to improve the centre of Reykjavik for locals and travellers, the local authorities will ban all buses to drive within the central part of the City from July 15 2017. Instead, vehicles with group licenses will have to pick up and drop off all passengers staying at hostels and guesthouses within the area at designated bus stops, including airport transfers and tours.



Please take a look at the available bus stops here http://www.busstop.is/ to find the stop closest to your intended accommodation.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Climate Summary

Come prepared for all kinds of weather as the day can change very quickly!

Climate Chart

Health (ride specific)

No special health precautions are required for visits to Iceland.

Film and Camera Equipment

Cameras etc. can be charged at the accommodation provided you have the correct adapter.

Packing List

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
• Warm, waterproof jacket or overcoat
• Warm (woollen or fleece) sweater
• Warm socks and gloves (at lest two pairs) scarf (or muffler) and a cap or hat
• Warm underwear, long if possible
• Riding trousers
• Track suit or casual, loose clothes
• A pair of slippers to wear in the accommodation
(Icelanders take off their shoes when entering a house)
• Swimsuits, towels, soap, toiletries, etc.
• A small camera to take with you on the ride
• Band aids and second skin plasters for chaffing
• Insect repellent, gnat net head cover.
• Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor)
• Ear plugs
• A sports bra for the ladies usually comes in useful!
• Sunglasses

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.

Provided:
• Saddle bags
• Rain wear (this is heavy/industrial so best to have your own and use the Íshestar gear only in the worst of weather)
• Safety riding helmet

Programmes

Available all year round, minimum stay 4d/3n.

Departure Dates

2017: open all year round, any day arrival and departure, minimum stay 3 nights.
2018: open all year round, any day arrival and departure, minimum stay 3 nights.

Pricing
A single room can be booked for no extra supplement when available.

Single rooms are limited, please enquire at the time of booking.

No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2017 - per nightper night1double pp229
2017 - per nightper night1Child under 12175
2017 - per nightper night1single supplement115
2018 - per nightper night1double pp265
2018 - per nightper night1Child under 12199
2018 - per nightper night1single supplement115
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2017 - per nightper night1double pp255
2017 - per nightper night1Child under 12195
2017 - per nightper night1single supplement125
2018 - per nightper night1double pp289
2018 - per nightper night1Child under 12219
2018 - per nightper night1single supplement125
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2017 - per nightper night1double pp305
2017 - per nightper night1Child under 12229
2017 - per nightper night1single supplement149
2018 - per nightper night1double pp345
2018 - per nightper night1Child under 12259
2018 - per nightper night1single supplement149
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2017 - per nightper night1double pp2,529
2017 - per nightper night1Child under 121,899
2017 - per nightper night1single supplement1,229
2018 - per nightper night1double pp2,879
2018 - per nightper night1Child under 122,159
2018 - per nightper night1single supplement1,229
Other Activities

Guests are welcome to join in with day-to-day farm activities, the type of activities available will vary depending in the time of year.

Other Information

DISINFECTION: 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

Other Country Information

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Your hotel or closest designated bus stop (central zone) in Rekjavik (own booking) or the farm, if hiring a car.
Transfer:
2017: Bus transfer from Reykjavik to the farm or car hire. Car transfer from Reykjavik hotel to bus station is included, bus journey ticket is around 7040 ISK per person each way payable on-site.
2018: Bus transfer from Reykjavik to the farm or car hire. Car transfer from Reykjavik hotel to bus station is included, bus journey ticket is around 7040 ISK per person each way payable on-site.
Flight Guide:
London - Reykjavik return from £110
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