Magical Snaefellsnes

West Iceland: (IT-ICRT05)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/iceland_snaefellsness_magical_is.aspx

Introduction
West Iceland  
The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of Iceland´s most beautiful and emblematic sights - the glacier-covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. 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. Many of the great Sagas are located in this very area. 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 its diversity of landscape.

Experiencing “tölt”, the unique extra gait of the Icelandic Horse, is made easy for you on this tour when we follow good riding tracks. The long stretches of smooth sandy beaches make this tour a delight for both horses and riders.

This tour takes us through a landscape of extensive lava fields, craters and ash from ancient eruptions in Hítardalur valley. We also enjoy wide-open stretches of light-coloured sand at Löngufjörur beach, where only the tide sets a limit to the freedom of horse and man. The impressive 50-meter deep crater Eldborg is a distinctive landmark, where the light sand turns black once you reach its lava field. On our last riding day we follow the edge of the lava flow along the shore before returning to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm.

Accomodation

Accommodations

Accommodation in Hraunholt farm, a cozy farmhouse in the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Made up beds in shared rooms (2-4 beds per room) and shared facilities.


Meals
Vegetarian meals are available upon request. During the ride all meals are provided. Our menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested in advance. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This tour is a great riding experience that is suitable for strong intermediate riders. You need to be comfortable and in control at all paces, have a firm seat, and feel comfortable riding for up to 7 hours per day. Riders are expected to ride regularly and be capable of handling horses in an open country. Riding days can be as long as up to 35 km in the saddle so you should be in good physical condition and have a basic knowledge of horsemanship. You will get a thorough introduction into the gaits of the Icelandic horse and feel the Tölt, the extremely soft traveling gate of the Icelandic horse.

Riding Gear – Disinfect!
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 disinfected at least 5 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, chaps 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!
We provide saddle bags, rain wear and safety helmet.

Tack & Riding Style
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.

The Farmers
The real connoisseurs of the local terrain and history. We make sure that each tour has its own charm and is organized by the local expert, the farmer, and his family. They use their own horses and ride through the part of the country they know so well.
Our farmers have over 30 years of experience in leading riding groups through Iceland.

Herd of Horses
On this ride, you will be riding several days (except for two days) with a free running herd of horses. Herding along free running horses is the traditional way of travelling in Iceland, since horses are changed at least once a day on longer tours. You get to ride a variety of horses. 

Horses
The Icelandic horse is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider, especially on a longer tour.  Riding an Icelandic horse in its native habitat land is an authentic riding experience. The horses are especially chosen for this trip and are suited even for riders who have not had much riding experience. 

Itinerary

Sample itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1. Reykjavík – Hraunholt  
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation (see: www.busstop.is) around 6:00pm. Our bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Hraunholt Farm, where horses and staff are waiting for us. After a lovely introductory meal where we get to know each other, we relax and rest so we are well prepared for the adventure ahead of us.

Day 2. Hraunholt - Kolviðarnes
After an introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, we start our ride from Hraunholt and ride through fertile farmlands with lava on both sides. We cross the river Haffjarðará on our way to Kolviðarnes where our ride ends today. Over night at Hraunholt.
Riding approx. 25 km

NB: Next three days we ride on Löngufjörur beach where timings depend on the tide. In some cases, we need to start the ride very early in the morning or in the afternoon.

Day 3. Kolviðarnes - Traðir
After rejoining the horses, we start our beach ride on Löngufjörur, the famous horse trail on the seashores of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. View majestic Snæfellsjökull Glacier ahead of you and feel the horses excitement and take part in the joy on this extraordinary trail released by the tide. Over night at Hraunholt.
Riding approx. 35 km

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

Day 5. Kolviðarnes – Hausthúsahringur - Kolviðarnes
We leave the herd at Kolviðarnes and go out and play, 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 we drive back to Hraunholt.
Riding approx. 18 km

Day 6. Kolviðarnes – Hraunholt
We take all the horses with us and ride into the mountains and lava, on our way back to Hraunholt. We ride through fertile farmlands and along good riding tracks over the river Haffjarðará and travel through an area well known as the hideout of Iceland‘s most famous outlaw, Grettir. Overnight at Hraunholt.
Riding approx. 25 km

Day 7. Hraunholt – Rauðaneslaug - Hraunholt
On the last day we choose our best horses and continue riding in amazing landscape surrounded with lava, mountains, rivers and lakes. We ride to Rauðaneslaug where we can have a bath in the Rauðaneslaug swimming pool.
We will then ride our last part of the tour before we enjoy the farewell dinner at Hraunholt.
Riding approx. 22 km

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

--Subject to changes--


Rates and Dates for Magical Snaefellsnes

Rates include:

Accommodations: made up beds in shared rooms, meals, bus drive from Reykjavik to the farm, rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet, 6 riding days - 185 km

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20208 day trip, AP (High)€2320$2670
  • B
    20208 day trip, AP (Low)€2200$2530
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.15

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2020 Pick up at BSÍ Bus station or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation on Day 1 between 18:00-19:00
2020 Children's discount (under 12) - 25% off

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2020 06/13 - 06/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 8 /18 Reserve
B 2020 06/20 - 06/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 8 /18 Reserve
A 2020 08/15 - 08/22 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (High) 8 /18 Reserve
B 2020 08/29 - 09/05 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP (Low) 8 /18 Reserve

Dates Note: Saturday-Saturday

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages (can be bought at Duty Free ahead of time)

Other Info
Meeting: Keflavik Airport
Airport: Keflavik Airport
Transfer: Keflavik Airport

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
As its name suggests, Iceland is cold, but not as cold as might be expected; thanks to the passing warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which regulate the climate. Its average mid-winter temperatures are no lower than those in New York City. The city's coastal location does, however, also mean it is prone to wind, and gales are common in winter. Reykjavik is also a very wet city, having on average 213 rainy days out of the year, with spring having slightly more sunny days! The south is the wettest part of the country. Coastal areas tend to experience winter gales and are generally windy.

Icelandic weather is known to be unpredictable and changing several times a day. A beautiful day can suddenly turn windy and rainy (and vice versa). Travelers to Iceland should be prepared for anything and dress in layers.

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:
You should be ready for all kinds of weather as it can change very quickly.
We provide you with good rain-clothes, a riding helmet and a saddle bag (where you can keep the picnic lunch, a small camera, extra pair of gloves etc.).

Bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases. Pack light because transport space is limited.

Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for the beach ride! 

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 our longer tours.
• Knee high riding boots -  water resistant/ waterproof
• 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 (protects also against chafing).
• For the ladies – sports bra.
• Riding trousers.
• Track suit.
• A pair of slippers to wear in the accommodation (Icelanders take off their shoes when entering a house).
• Swim suits, towels, soap 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.
• Chocolate or glucose sweets for strenuous riding days.
• Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor).
• Sunglasses.
• For those with sensitive eyes/contact lenses, goggles.
• Ear plugs. Some people snore!

Disinfecting of the riding gear
It is important to follow the regulation regarding the disinfecting of used riding clothes. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Items which can not 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: http://www.mast.is/english/frontpage/import-export/import/ridingequipment/ 

Cameras:  
We recommend to bring a small camera that can be taken in a pocket, a waist/hip bag or in the saddle bag.
Large camera equipment we can not allow on the horses for security reasons. Tours are operated with a free running herd - at speed of tölt or trot for most of the day. We take breaks to relax the horses and then it is possible to take pictures. While on the horse taking pictures is rather difficult since the horses are constantly moving. Because of the herd instinct it is not possible to stop an individual horse, they all will follow each other.
You can leave larger Digital SLR with your luggage at the farm or put it in their luggage that will be transferred to the new accommodation.