Icelandic Farmlands

East and South Iceland: (IT-ICEIL5)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/iceland_farmlands_trail.aspx

Introduction
East and South Iceland
Join this lovely ride though winding green valleys and into Iceland's wilderness
This tour incudes 4 riding days along lovely routes in splendid green countryside. During the ride, we enjoy marvelous views of the Volcano Hekla and the glaciers Langjökull and Eyjafjallajökull.

We ride into the uninhabited wild north of the Tungufellsdalur valley and follow the mighty salmon river Stóra-Laxá sided by fantastic basalt columns on wonderful tölting tracks.
On horseback, we visit the golden waterfall Gullfoss from its much more remote eastern side and ride along the breathtaking Laxárgljúfur canyon.  A visit to the other famous Golden Circle sites such as Þingvellir National Park and the hot spring Geysir is included on the transfer days.

Accomodation


Accommodations
This is a stationary ride so all nights will be spent at the same accommodation.

Description
You will stay at a 4-star hotel near Geysir. Within minutes, you can be walking around the geothermal hot spring fields of Haukadalur with its numerous hot springs and the erupting Strokkur Geysir.
This modern family-run hotel has been designed with the aim to reflect nature through the choice of materials blending into its surroundings.
The hotel’s rooms are bright and light and all have views of the stunning scenery. Each room is equipped with a TV, a phone, a Tea/Coffee maker and an ensuite bathroom.

Geysir Golf Course (9 hole) is situated right by the hotel.

Note that your guide will not be staying at the hotel during the tour.   

Room Occupancy
Triple rooms might be available on request (please inquire).
The single supplement fee is mandatory for single travelers.



Meals
During the ride half board is provided with breakfast and lunch.

Dinner is not included on this tour. Riders can choose to dine at the hotel's restaurant or at one of the nearby restaurants accessible by foot from your hotel.

The hotel's restaurant uses products directly from local farmers.

Lunch is usually eaten on the trail and features a variety of dishes including: sandwiches, hot dogs, lobster soup, lamb BBQ... 
We also provide coffee and cakes at the end of the day, usually home baked or assorted Icelandic cheese etc. 


Dietary Restrictions
It is possible to cater to special diets with advance notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

We usually ride with some spare horses as we ride at least 2 horses every day. We mostly ride at a tölt but also walk, trot and canter.

We operate our horse riding tours in Iceland in cooperation with local partners that are horse people through and through.
They breed their own horses and train them themselves. They operate their tours in their home region where they know each and every mountain, creek and canyon.

Riding Gear
Our tack is very similar to the one used by English style riding. But don´t worry if you come from a Western Riding background, we will assist you and you will get used to the tack in no time. We use safety stirrups on all our saddles and will ask you to wear a helmet at all times. You can bring your own helmet (please disinfect your riding gear) or you can borrow one locally.
Our bridles are very practical, they have clip on reins that you can release so that your horse can have some grass while you enjoy your break! We also provide you with a saddle bag, big enough for your picnic, gloves and a small camera.

Riding with the Herd
One of the things that makes riding tours in Iceland completely different from tours in other countries is the fact that we take lots of spare horses along when we travel. The sight of 40 – 80 horses running free over the mountain trails with the wind in their mane is a view you will not forget – we promise! On each tour you can expect to ride different horses every day. That means that we need at least three to four horses per person. The horses we are not riding run along freely in a herd.
Our partners and their staff will take care of the herd and if you want to, you can help them with the herding. But please note that you should always follow the instructions by the staff. We will go over the safety procedures on the first day of the trip. Riding with the herd is a once- in- a -lifetime experience for every rider!

Riding Experience
You do not need any prior knowledge of Icelandic Horses or the special gait tölt. We will explain our way of riding and will take time and patience to teach you how to ride the tölt. However, you might get more out of a multi-day trip if you know already a little bit about tölting. This is why we offer a pre-tour for our multi-day tours in cooperation with our partners (inquire for more information). We especially recommend this pre-tour for riders that are used to Western Riding. But as already mentioned above, this pre-tour is just a service to make sure you enjoy the tour even more but it is not a requirement. We will take good care of you either way!

Horse Welfare
Horse Welfare is not just a slogan for us. All of our Team Members own horses and ride on a regular basis. Some of us even breed horses. We love horses - in fact they are everything to us! That is why we carefully pick and choose our partners. We visit them on a regular basis – even without prior notice - to make sure that their horses are kept in good conditions all year round. That is also the reason why you will not find many departures in a row for our tours.
We want to make sure that both horses and the human team behind each tour gets a good rest in between departures so that they can deliver 100% service once you arrive.
During a typical year our horses are kept outside 24/7 during summer on usually rather large fields with access to good grazing and fresh water. If they are close to the stable or a paddock we will keep them there for a few hours during the day when we want to ride them in order to have them nearby and dry. Also in some cases to prevent them from eating 24 hours! Obesity can be a problem in Icelandic Horses. During autumn (usually from Mid September to December) we take their shoes off (all horses in Iceland are ridden with shoes) and they are turned onto big autumn fields where they live nearly „half-wild“ in large herds. During this time they are completely „on vacation“, they are not ridden but we visit them regularly to make sure that every horse is doing well. End of December/beginning of January we take the young and competition horses into the stable for training. Then they are kept in stalls but the Icelandic Law for Horse Welfare states clear regulations regarding stall sizes, daily playtime outside, paddock fencing, food... Older fully trained horses, breeding mares, untrained youngster and horses that are not ridden during wintertime like many of our horses that we use for the tours usually stay outside on winter fields in large herds where they are fed with hay and where sufficient water and wind protection is provided, either natural or man made. From May/June all horses again are on summer fields where they stay outside 24/7 feeding on grass. A few exemptions from these rules are made regarding stallions due to their nature.

Travel Insurance
Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour prices. We urge our guests to purchase relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland. Guests from Europe should bring their  European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

We reserve the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables should the necessity arise. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km can change according to road or weather conditions.

Please note that it is possible to add or remove Riding days to this program (inquire for more information).

Day 1:  Þingvellir National Park, Tungufellsdalur Valley Ride & Gullfoss waterfall
Pick up at 9 am from your hotel or at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík. Please be ready in your riding clothes at pick up.
We drive to Þingvellir National Park for a short walk "in between the continents" before enjoying a lovely lunch at Friðheimar Greenhouse Restaurant. Then, transfer to Tungufell farm for your first ride. After an introduction into the safety issues, tack and gaits of the Icelandic horse we set off for a lovely gentle ride over good tölting tracks through the beautiful Tungufellsdalur valley with its clear mountain springs and lovely arctic birch forest. Our route takes you through rolling hills and idyllic farmland with young horses, sheep and cattle grazing on endless green fields. As we climb in altitude the landscape becomes more and more barren. We ride towards Hvítá glacier river and enjoy undisturbed views on Gullfoss waterfall from the east side, a much more remote location. Lovely tracks take us back to the farm where we leave our horses before checking into our lovely hotel, situated right by the geothermal field where the geyser Strokkur throws his 30 m water fountain into the air every 6 to 10 minutes. Evening and dinner spend individually.
Riding approx. 18 km
Meals included: Lunch
Overnight at Hotel near Strokkur geyser

 
Day 2:  Highland ride over Hrunaheiði plateau to Kluftir
Today we go on a wonderful ride into the uninhabited wilderness of the romantic valley of Tungufellsdalur. We climb on a high mountain plateau and follow the narrow tracks made only by sheep and horses. We enjoy wonderful views of the wild green mountainside, follow wild Litla Laxá river and surely get a wonderful feeling of mountain freedom! We pass the abandoned farm of Kluftir and leave our horses at Kaldbakur farm.
Short transfer back to the hotel after a truly adventurous ride!
Riding approx. 18 km
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight at Hotel near Strokkur geyser

 
Day 3:  Laxárgljúfur Canyon & Secret Lagoon
Today´s ride takes us along the breathtaking Laxárgljúfur canyon. The canyon itself is about 10 km long and drops up to 200 m where it is at its steepest. The famous salmon river Stóra Laxá has carved the canyon through layers of basalt lava and palagonite. We stop at the ruins of Hrunakrókur farm, a beautiful and remote setting underneath a waterfall.
On the way back to the hotel we stop at the Secret Lagoon, a beautiful bathing spring. So do pack your bathing suit for today! 
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch
Overnight at Hotel near Strokkur geyser

 
Day 4: Sólheimar Farm Museum & basalt columns of Hrepphólahnjúkar
After breakfast and check-out at the hotel we return to the horses for a last ride through fertile farm land and along the river Stóra-Laxá. We stop at the little local museum Samansafnið along the way and take a peek into the old days of farming life in Iceland. We continue our ride on narrow riding paths along the salmon river underneath the beautiful basalt columns of Hrepphólahnjúkar.
We will be back in Reykjavík in the late afternoon. Drop off at BSÍ bus terminal in Reykjavík or any accommodation in the capital area. We are more than happy to arrange your Reykjavík accommodation for you!
Riding approx. 20 km
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


Non Riders
Non-Riding companions are welcome on this tour (please contact us for more information). We are happy to set up an exciting self drive program for non-riders.


Rates and Dates for Icelandic Farmlands

Rates include:

Accommodation with half board (breakfast and lunch), Transfers, Visit to Secret Lagoon incl. Towel, Entrance to Samansafn Museum & 4 riding days

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionISK ~US$
    A
    20234 day trip, APISK379000$2845
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 0.0075

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionISK~US$
2023 Transfer from/to downtown Reykjavik is included ats et times ISK 0 $0
2023 Single supplement ISK 55,500 $415

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2023 06/23 - 06/26 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 2 /6 Reserve
A 2023 08/10 - 08/13 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 2 /6 Sold Out

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Dinners, Travel insurance (mandatory) & Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting:
Airport: Keflavik Airport
Transfer:

Climate:
                                                Reykjavík area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

37

37

39

43

49

54

57

57

51

45

40

37

Average Low Temperature (°F)

27

28

29

33

39

44

48

47

42

36

31

28

Average High Temperature (°C)

3

3

4

6

10

12

14

14

11

7

4

3

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-3

-2

-2

1

4

7

9

8

6

2

-1

-2

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

13

13

14

11

10

9

9

12

12

12

12

14

Source: NOAA
 

Seasons
Iceland in the path of the North Atlantic Current (aka Gulf Stream), which makes its climate more temperate than one would expect for its latitude just south of the Arctic Circle.
The weather in Iceland is notoriously variable and often very windy. On our highland tours you can expect any kind of weather and good preparation is a key to a successful journey. When the sun is shining you need to apply strong sun protection similar to the one you would use while skiing in the Alps for example.
Good layers of thermal underwear and ideally woolen sweaters in combination with a windproof jacket will keep you warm and snug even in colder temperatures. Good gloves and socks are important as well.  A warm rider is a happy rider!

Winter
The average January temperature is 31°F (-0.5°C). From mid-November until the end of January, in the darkness of winter, the country only experiences a few hours of daylight each day.

Summer
The summer temperatures in Reykjavík range from 41°F (5°C) at night to as high as 77°F (25°C) during the day.  During the summer months there is almost continuous daylight; early spring and late autumn feature long twilights. 
 
The Northern Lights are often visible in autumn and early winter.

What To Bring:
Here are our recommendations on what to bring:
  • 2 pairs of good quality riding trousers. We do not recommend to ride in Jeans even if you are used to do so at home.
  • 2-3 pullovers  – ideally woolen but fleece is ok as well. It is best to have one or two thinner ones and one pullover that you can wear in layers (onion layer method).
  • Plenty of woolen socks and gloves. Please note that riding gloves must be new. 
  • Good high quality thermal underwear (we recommend none-itching Merino wool)
  • A good and windproof – ideally waterproof  jacket. We do provide you with heavy duty raingear (jackets and trousers) for days with heavy rain but you might want to bring your own lighter jacket for days with wind and drizzle.
  • A thin balaclava or buff to wear underneath the helmet
  • Moskito net for the head. 
  • Bathing suits
Please make sure that you follow the rules set by the Icelandic Veterinary Authority!