In the remote valley of Rendalen (Reindeer Valley) this point to point trail across the high altitude area of ​​Norway gives the opportunity to ride for days without coming across anything other than herds of reindeer. The nature of Rendalen offers diverse scenery with great mountain views including great fishing lakes, fertile grassland with spruce and birch and large plateaus of reindeer moss. While riding sure footed Norwegian horses that are adapted to the mountain terrain you might get very close to one of the of reindeer herds.

During this ride we can see how people lived in the mountains throughout history. We visit hunting traps and other traces of the old way of life in Rendalen. We overnight in mountain farms, traditionally utilised to look after the livestock taken into the mountains for the summer, and enjoy traditional home cooking based on local culture.

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 JR of Heage on 26/08/2013

Ride Summary

What was your overall impression of the holiday

Unicorn Trails sales staff
Professionalism     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Friendliness     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
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Efficiency     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Knowledge     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Other(please specify)     (   ) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Riding tour leader
Professionalism     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Horsemanship     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Pacing of Ride     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern for Safety     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Leadership     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Friendliness/availability     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Culture     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Knowledge of local Flora/Fauna     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Concern with Environment     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Language skills     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Additional Comments
Berit was very friendly and has some lovely horses. It was great to ride with her and Anka the lady who was working for her as the tour guide. They are both very approachable and great to ride with.



Horses and Tack
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Condition of Tack     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Performance of Horses     (   ) Excellent     (X) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
Additional Comments
The horses are well looked after and really good to ride. The tack was excellent.
Meals
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Meal Quality     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor
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Accommodation
Camping Equipment     (X) 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     (X) Excellent     (   ) Good     (   ) Fair     (   ) Poor     (   ) N/A
Other office staff     (X) 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:
The food was excellent and the meals were home cooked and hearty. It was great to meet such lovely hospitable people.The accomodation was very spacious and comfortable.
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?

How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
2
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The riding is fairly straight foward and not really difficult. The horses are strong and tough but also very gentle and fun to ride. The terrain was through forests and then in the mountains. It was really very enjoyable and relaxing. It was great spending a few days living in the Norwegian mountains.
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:
Thank you to Berit and Anka for a lovely time. It was wonderful to ride with you and to see the reindeers in the wild whilst riding was an amazing experience.
Unicorn comments:

Day 1
Arrive in Rendalen at Romenstad farm during the afternoon. There you will be shown to your room and you take a shower and relax after your flight.
Once everyone has arrived you will be meet the other participants on the trip. We take a visit to the horses before dinner is served in a delightful Østerdal farm from 1800. Whilst enjoying the locally cooked food, you will be introduced to the farm's interesting history. After dinner you'll hear details of your adventure, and you have the opportunity to discuss these and relax with the other participants.

Day 2
After a delicious breakfast you will be allocated your horses. Safety is important so you will have a short riding lesson at the home farm to get to know your horse before heading into the mountains.

Today you will discover peace and tranquillity as you ride for 4 hours into the mountain and forest area. Lunch will be taken en route among the soft heather and moss. In the afternoon we arrive at Klett Setra farm where we will spend the next few days. Dinner is served in the evening.

Day 3
After a leisurely breakfast, today we move east of the mountains via an old road ending up in a meadow where we will be served lunch. There's time to relax a little after lunch before embarking on the homeward journey on the historic mountain tracks. Back at the farm you can relax before enjoying a good home-cooked dinner.

Day 4
Today we will spend many hours on horseback, riding into the mountains where we have a wonderful view across the border to Sweden. The possibility of sighting wild reindeer herds on this day is high and we if we're lucky, we may have the opportunity to get close to them. These wild reindeer are different to the herds of "tame" reindeer the Sami's herd and live very much alone in the deserted mountain areas. We spend eight hours out on the mountain today so after returning to the farm for dinner, an early night will be very welcome.

Day 5
Today we ride to a stream where there's a waterfall. Time to take in the surroundings over a cup of coffee before heading to Romenstad mountain farm. Here a traditional lunch is served. You'll be told the history of the farm before setting off on a ride in the heritage park. After the tour we saddles up the horses and go back to Klett Setra.

Day 6
Today the trip heads back to Romenstad farm, riding over the mountains at 1200 meters above sea level. This area is rich in reindeer so hopefully we'll be lucky enough again to spot them. Back on the farm, the horses graze on pasture while we relax and retell the stories of the trip.

Day 7
It's time to say goodbye to your fellow participants and horses and departure for the airport. After breakfast you will be transported by car to the railway station.


Please note: This itinerary is given for guidance only and may be changed in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organizing team.

In the mountains accommodation is not luxurious. We offer running cold water, a wilderness shower and an eco toilet. The high altitude, remoteness and scenery will compensate for the traditional mountain farm standard!

There are opportunities for leisure activities for non-riders such as; hiking, fishing, animal sightings, so this trip can be combined with activities and experiences beyond riding. Horses are equipped with saddlebags where you can fit what you need on the trip.

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.

Out Stealing Horses - Per Petterson

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

Your hosts own coldblooded Norwegian horses, both Fjord Horse and Norwegian Dølahest. The Fjord horse is small to medium sized and a lovely riding and driving horse. The Norwegian Døls are large, very strong and good tempered. The Dølahorses are rare, even in Norway, but more common in this area of Norway, as this is the region where they originated from and because they are still used for transportation during the Røros winter.


The horses are all well schooled and responsive and ridden in English tack. There are several Fjord horses and many Icelandics, the Fjords are larger (around 155cm) and can carry good weight. They are extrememly sure footed and very good looking horses. The Icelandics are smaller and can all do the ultra comfortable tolt gait. Normally there are two leaders on the ride so the group can be divided meaning experienced riders can ride faster.

Rider requirements

Riders should be able to mount and dismount unaided and be comfortable at a walk, trot and canter. Technical expertise is not as important as expereince of outdoor life in general, there are some schoolmaster horses and 2 guides mean less experienced riders can take shorter routes on many days.

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.

Nights 1 and 6 are spent in a house on an historical Norwegian farm. The farm is more like a manor, with a large house, many outbuildings and a smaller house which they live in. This is like a normal house with bedrooms, bathroom, living room and kitchen.


In the mountain farms the accommodation is not luxurious. There is running cold water, a wilderness shower and eco-toilet. The high altitude, remoteness and scenery will compensate for the traditional mountain farm standard. The traditional cabins (which all have grass growing on the roof for insulation) have bedrooms, usually with 2 or more bunk beds, a cosy living room usually with fire or wood burning stove and a small kitchen.


Breakfast is a traditional Norwegian one of cheese, meats and different types of bread. Dinner will be traditional Norwegian food including reindeer on at least one day or more, fish and moose.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

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
E-mail: emb.london@mfa.no

Embassy Opening hours
Monday - Friday 09:00 - 16:00

Consular services:
Phone enquiries: +44 (0) 20 70528500
Monday-Friday 10.00-11.00

Climate Summary

In the winter months, it is very cold with temperatures averaging around 0 degrees celcius and very often dropping below. There can be as little as just 1 hour of daylight daily. However, in August, when this ride operates, it is much warmer and brighter with an average temperature of 20 degrees.

Climate Chart

Health

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.

Health (ride specific)

Mosquitos may be present in this area if there has been recent rain, so bring your repellant.

Electricity

Norway uses the Europlug (Type C & F), which has two round prongs. 220 volts.

Film and Camera Equipment

You will be able to charge phones and cameras. There are a few patchy places up in the mountains where a phone or internet signal can be hard to obtain.

Packing List

The horses are equipped with saddlebags where you can fit what you need on the trip.

Riding helmet, or you can borrow one from the centre.
Windproof jacket
Breeches / mountain trousers
Boots or other good shoes with heel suitable for walking too (mountainshoes)
Waterproofs
Toiletries and towel
Scarves / buff
Gloves
Wool
Woollen sweater
Slippers, sneakers, rubber boots
Insect repellent
Clothing for recreational use (swimsuit if you are brave!)

Programmes

There are set dates each year, other dates are available on request for groups of 6 or more between July and August.

Departure Dates

2019: TBC

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


Other Activities

There are opportunities for leisure activities for non-riders such as; hiking, fishing, animal sightings, so this trip can be combined with activities and experiences beyond riding.

Wildlife

You will see many types of trees - spruce, pine, birch, juniper among others. There are many types of berries including blueberry and cloudberry. You will see many different types of lichen and some of them are very specific to this area. Reindeer moss is ubiquitous.

Other Information

Guide and company owner Berit Grindfelk was born and raised in Rendalen. She is a qualified riding instructor and has a degree in both Agriculture and Nature and Knowledge Tourism, specialising in guiding and local history. She has extensive knowledge of the local community and its history and speaks excellent English.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Hanestad train station, an easy 3hr train ride from Oslo or Trondheim
Transfer:
Included from Hanestad train station, about 30min
Flight Guide:
London – Oslo return from £105
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