Icelandic Winter Escape

Iceland Shorts Iceland: (IT-ICRT27)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/iceland_winter_escape_is.aspx

Introduction
Iceland Shorts Iceland
Riding, hiking and relaxing in geothermal water underneath the Icelandic winter sky ablaze with dazzling stars and the dancing Aurora Borealis.

For all those who want to experience the Icelandic winter with the comfort of staying in a hotel accommodation, this tour is made for you!
During this trip, you will be accommodated in comfortable rooms with private facilities. This tour is equally suited for riders and non-riders since there is always the option of taking part in non-riding activities.

Traditional Stories and great Icelandic food combined with visits to the Secret Lagoon and a Northern Lights hunt in the saddle are fascinating features of this tour! This trip also includes a Golden Circle Tour to make sure you do not miss the highlights of South Iceland.

Accomodation

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

Description
All nights are spent at the Fosshotel Hekla. This small hotel offers comfortable accommodation in simply decorated rooms. All rooms come equipped with a TV, private bathroom with hairdryer and free Wi-Fi access.


Meals
During the ride full board is provided. 

The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb).
Lunches are usually taken at the farm.

Alcoholic beverages are not included but can be purchased in the duty-free store of Keflavik airport.

Dietary Restrictions
Vegetarian meals are available if requested in advance.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This tour is a great riding experience that is suitable for intermediate riders. You need to be comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt) and short canters. Riding days can be long 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. 

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 (Thursday): Arrival
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation (see: www.busstop.is) around 4:00 or 5:00pm. Our bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Kálfhóll farm, where we meet the farmers for a "baðstofukvöld" with Icelandic traditional dinner, Icelandic songs & stories from the countryside. Late at night, look out for the Northern Lights.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Fosshótel Hekla


Day 2 (Friday): Ride along the river Þjórsá & Sightseeing
After breakfast, we drive to the farm Kálfhóll. After a short instruction, we go for a ride along the banks of the mighty glacial river Þjórsá (alternative for non-riders: Individual walk along the river).
After a good and warming Icelandic soup we take the bus for a trip to Þjórsárdalur valley where we visit the spectacular waterfall Hjálp and the Open Air Museumsfarm Þjóðveldisbær (Þjóðveldisbær not included in all departures).
A short hike in the Skriðudalur forest takes us to the hidden grave of a Mountain King and his beloved horse Blesi.
We will then visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral rich water.
At the farm, we feast on a typical Icelandic Buffet. After dinner we go outside and look for the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights! As soon as we spot them we take to the saddles and go for a short 1 hour ride in the dark beneath the Northern Lights! (alternative for Non-riders: Northern Lights spotting from Kálfhóll farm).
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Fosshótel Hekla


Day 3 (Saturday): Last Ride & back to Reykjavik
After breakfast, transfer to Kálfhóll farm. We go for a 2-3 hours ride through the lovely countryside (alternative for Non-riders: Visit to the small Countryside Samansafnið Museum at Sólheimar) before we have lunch at the farm and head back to Reykjavík. On the way to Reykjavik, we stop and visit Gullfoss and the Geysir Hot Spring Area.
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


Rates and Dates for Icelandic Winter Escape

Rates include:

Accommodation, All meals, Bus transfer from/to Reykjavik city center, 2 riding days & Entrance to Secret Lagoon and museums.
Rain wear, Water bottle, Saddle bag & Riding helmet can be provide

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20203 day trip, AP€1495$1690
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* 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 between 7:30am-8:30am on Day 1

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 04/02 - 04/04 3d / 2n 3 day trip, AP 1 /16 Expired
A 2020 10/15 - 10/17 3d / 2n 3 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 10/22 - 10/24 3d / 2n 3 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve

Dates Note: Saturday- Thursday

Rates do not include:

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

Other Info
Meeting: Reykjavik
Airport: Reykjavik Airport
Transfer: Reykjavík

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.

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.