horse riding volcanoes Iceland
horse riding holiday with volcanoes Iceland
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horse riding holiday Iceland
horse riding holiday volcano Iceland
fast riding holiday on horseback Iceland

The national park of Snæfellsnes Peninsula is horseback riders will find one of the most recognized sights in Iceland; the glacier covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. Its mythical atmosphere became famous through Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Many of the novels famous sagas unfolded in this spectacular area; a home to elves, trolls and ancient sorcerers. Today rich bird life attracts visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.

Marvel at the scenery while on this equestrian trail through mighty lava fields, craters, and ashes of ancient eruptions, while enjoying wide-open stretches of light colored sand, and Hítardalur Valley with it's surprising multi-colored mountains.

Whether you like an easy-going, or a spirited horse, you can be sure to find the right fit. Experience the “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse is perfect for the areas horse riding tracks.

Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm offers cozy rooms and a warm outdoor tub where riders can relax after an exciting horseback riding day. Accommodation is in beds in shared rooms. Enjoy not having to pack and unpack every day, yet experience a challenging equestrian trip, herding free running horses.

fast-paced point-to-point equestrian trail, riding with a free herd of horses.

Special Offer: 5% discount for all riders that have traveled 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 EW of Sydney on 31/07/2017

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Bring rubber boots!
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
7
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The ride itself was fairly easy and the horses are matched very well, but the duration of the riding could get tough for some
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
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?
YES
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :) Rubber boots are on the packing list on the final details sent to all riders.

Day 1 Reykjavík – Hraunholt
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik at 18:00 where our Islandshesta bus will transfer riders to Hraunholt Farm, where horses and the family at Hraunholt are waiting. Get to know eachother over a welcoming introductory meal, spend the evening relaxing before the upcomming adventure. Overnight at Hraunholt.

Day 2 Hraunholt - Kolviðarnes
After an introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, start the ride from Hraunholt and through fertile farmlands with lava on both sides. Cross the river Haffjarðará on the way to Kolviðarnes where the ride ends for the day. Overnight at Hraunholt. Riding distance: approx. 25km.
NB: Over the next three days the rides on Löngufjörur beach are dependent on the tides. In some cases, they may start  very early in the morning, or later in the afternoon.

Day 3 Kolviðarnes - Traðir
After rejoining the horses, start our beach ride on Löngufjörur. This is the famous horse trail on the seashores of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. View the majestic Snæfellsjökull Glacier ahead of you and feel the horses excitement as this extraordinary trail opens up with the retreating tide. Overnight at Hraunholt. Riding distance: approx. 35km.

Day 4 Traðir - Kolviðarnes
Another days ride on the yellow colored, sandy beach in the same directions as the day before and with the unique experience of riding with lava-fields and mountains on one side of the trail and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. Leave the horses at Traðir Farm and we spend the night at Hraunholt Farm. Riding distance: approx. 35 km.

Day 5 Kolviðarnes – Hausthúsahringur - Kolviðarnes
Leave Kolviðarnes and enjoying another brisk ride on the beach with fantastic views of the ocean, the mountains and the majestic Snæfellsnes Glacier. The horses stay at Kolviðarnes and the group drives back to Hraunholt.
Riding distance: approx. 18 km.

Day 6 Kolviðarnes – Hraunholt
Pick up the horses and ride into the mountains and lava on the way back to Hraunholt. Pass through fertile farmlands and along good riding tracks over the river Haffjarðará,travelling through an area well known as the hideout of Iceland‘s most famous outlaw, Grettir. Overnight at Hraunholt. Riding distance: approx. 25 km.

Day 7 Hraunholt – Rauðaneslaug - Hraunholt
On the last day the group continues riding through this amazing landscape surrounded with lava, mountains, rivers and lakes. Ride to Rauðaneslaug and the chance for a bath in the Rauðaneslaug swimming pool. Ride the last part of the route before heading back to Hraunholt for a farewell dinner. Riding distance: approx. 22 km

Day 8 Hraunholt – Reykjavík
Transfer back to BSÍ bus station in Reykjavik. Approx. Arrival 11:30

The hosts reserve the right to change the itinerary if necessary.

Please don't bring a long riding raincoat as they tend to flap. A short riding jacket will suffice.

It is advisable to riders to bring their own snacks for the ride (chocolate, energy bars etc).

Please bring cash for purchases at the riding centre.

We strongly recommend that knee-high rubber boots are taken for the beach ride.

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. The centre does provide riding helmets

Luggage is taken ahead every day by truck/trailer to the next night's stop. We recommend you bring bags, rather then hard cover suitcases, and pack lightly because transport space is limited.

There is a family discount of 5% available for parents and older children (between 12 and 18 years old) travelling together, 3 or more people only for this offer.


Children under 12 receive a 25% discount.

Please note that it is not possible to book a single room during the riding tour.

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

In this land of the midnight sun the season for rides only lasts for 4 months – June, July, August and September - but the rides we offer provide plenty of variety of scenery. Clients ride the traditional Icelandic horses (called horses not ponies despite being pony sized!) which have a special gait known as the tölt. This 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. As well as the ridden horses, a herd of loose horses will be running with the group, and you will change your mount during the day. There is about 6 – 7 hours riding each day (starting around 10.30am) as up to 35/55km have to be covered each day: you’ll need to be riding fit because occasionally the odd day may be slightly longer. The purpose of riding with a herd of horses is to enable a change of mount at the 2 or 3 breaks each day. A minimum of 5 riders up to a maximum of 20 riders per trip: so you could be riding with up to 70 loose horses! The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different then the tack ordinarily used for other breeds. The saddle is built close 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.


Rider requirements

5 to 8 hours per day, riders of all abilities are catered for, but this ride is mainly intermediate to advanced – beginners and novices can have tailor-made rides organised for them - all paces including tölt (instruction is given), 125kg weight limit (please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.) Some walking beside horses required. 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 7 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 242 lb/110 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

Nights on the Volcano Trail are in made up beds in shared rooms. Indoor WC, warm showers and/or hot pools are available. Large breakfasts are traditional (lamb and fish are the staple dinners) though special diets (vegetarian, etc.) can be provided if advance notice is given. Riders make their own lunches up from the large food selection at the breakfast table (a tip: bring a small box, Tupperware or similar, to pack it in). 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: 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.html



As part of an initiative to improve the centre of Reykjavik for locals and travellers, buses are banned from driving within the central part of the City. 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 within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.When visiting Iceland, your passport should be valid for at least 3 months from the date you arrive. Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly 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 should you need a visa.In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iceland

In the USA: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Iceland.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/iceland


Climate Summary

Come prepared for all kinds of weather as the day can change very quickly! Summer temperatures usually reach the 20°C+ but can be less than 10°C.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Iceland and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

You should make sure you have sufficient medical supplies (including prescription medicines) for the duration of your stay and any unforeseen delays, adequate travel insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and repatriation.

Sunscreen and insect repellent is advised.

No special health precautions are required for the rides.

If you need to contact the emergency services, call 112.

Health (ride specific)

No special health precautions are required for visits to Iceland.

Electricity

In Iceland the supply voltage is 230V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 230V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Mobile, WiFi and charging

Bring sufficient film, batteries, etc. with you because there are no opportunities to buy these out on the trail.

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.

Luggage is taken ahead every day by truck/trailer to the next night's stop. We recommend you bring bags, rather then hard cover suitcases, and pack lightly because transport space is limited.

Please note, leather items shoes/riding boots etc are only permitted if disinfected with Virkon S 5 days before arrival.

Riding Boots - We strongly recommend knee-high, rubber boots to avoid getting wet feet and for ease of disinfection
Warm jacket or overcoat.
Warm (woolen or fleece) sweater.
Warm socks and gloves, at least two pairs, scarf and a cap or hat.
Warm underwear, long if possible.
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).
Swimsuit, towels and soap
A small camera to take with you on the ride.
Band aids and second skin plasters for chaffing.
Fly net
Chocolate, snacks like energy bars or glucose sweets for strenuous riding days (not available at the riding centre)
Sun lotion for face and lips (with hight UV factor)
A sports bra for the ladies often comes in handy
Sunglasses
Bum bag or similar to carry water, cameras etc.
Ear plugs (some people snore!)

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.

Items provided:
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

Programmes

This is an 8 day/7 night programme with 6 days riding, available on set dates.

Departure Dates

2024: 3 (Full), 22 (Full) June; 3 (Full), 17 (Full) Aug

Pricing
No single rooms available (on some or all nights). Riders must be prepared to share with someone of the same sex.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2024 8d/7n6double pp2,335
2024 8d/7n6Child under 121,749
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2024 8d/7n6double pp2,669
2024 8d/7n6Child under 122,005
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
2024 8d/7n6double pp3,039
2024 8d/7n6Child under 122,279
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2024 8d/7n6double pp32,189
2024 8d/7n6Child under 1224,145
Recommended Reading

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!


Other Activities

Blue Lagoon, Whale Watching (Reykyavik)

Wildlife

Enjoy geothermal pools, outdoor hot tubs, bird watching and exploring the lava fields and fauna in the evenings.

Other Information

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.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
BSI Bus Station in Reykjavik.
Transfer:
2024: Included from BSI Bus Station in Reykjavik.
Flight Guide:
London - Reykjavik return from £40 pp. Please see "getting there" for flight information
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