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Iceland Winter Horse Riding Holiday

This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in in Iceland

Enjoy visiting the best-known sights in Iceland, riding the Icelandic Horse along fine bridle paths, and viewing a dazzling Northern Lights display after a great day in the saddle.

Key information

  • Horse Breed: Icelandic Horse

Meet the instructors

Hannes and family at Kálfhóll farm
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Highlights

  • 3 horse riding days
  • Total rides of approximately 45 kilometers
  • Get a chance to see the Northern Lights
  • Daily full-board meals are provided
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • Includes a bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


3 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 20 participants
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Accommodation

You will be staying in 2 to 4-bed units with shared facilities and beds with linen.

Program

Winter in Iceland means a countryside ablaze with color and the Northern Lights dancing in the Arctic night sky. Enjoy visiting the best-known sights in Iceland, riding the Icelandic Horse along fine bridle paths, and viewing a dazzling Northern Lights display after a great day in the saddle. Riding during the wintertime is an Icelandic tradition and a wonderful experience.

You will take a tour and visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral-rich water. You will ride along the river Þjórsá and visit the Golden Circle. During the riding days, “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic Horse will be introduced to you while riding on the river trails, made for tölting.

Get ready in the evenings to experience the unique tranquility of the Icelandic countryside and gaze skywards to perhaps see green-colored Northern Lights dancing above you (weather permitting). The winter is as wonderful as it is unpredictable. Therefore, Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter the itinerary if necessary due to the weather and light conditions. Please disinfect all of your riding gear to protect the horses, used leather gear is not allowed in Iceland.

Day 1: Tuesday, Reykjavík - River cabins at Kálfhóll

Pick up at 6 p.m. from BSÍ bus station in Reykjavik. You'll drive to Kálfhóll farm where you will meet the guide and staff. You will stay at the River cabins at Kálfhóll farm and enjoy a delicious dinner while getting to know your fellow riders and staff. You can enjoy the nice hot tub outside and look up into the sky for dazzling Northern Lights. Then get a good night's sleep before you start your ride the next day.

Day 2: Wednesday, Kálfhóll Farm - Þjórsá - Secret Lagoon

You will drive to the Farm Kálfhóll where your guide will introduce you to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits. This first riding day is a perfect way to get to know Icelandic winter riding in a relaxed atmosphere along the mighty river Þjórsá (the longest river in Iceland 212 kilometers). You'll enjoy the southern countryside with an impressive view of mountain ranges, pastureland in its winter coat, and the queen Hekla volcano watching over you in the distance.

After a magical day in the winter wonderland, you will go and visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral-rich water. Dinner will be served at Kálfhóll and afterward, you can take an evening stroll with your guide and host to look for the Northern Lights again. Overnight at River Cabins. (Approximately 2 hours)

Day 3: Thursday, Kálfhóll Farm - Southern countryside

Start the day with a short ride in the winter fields by the farm before you have lunch. Ride through lava and moss-covered terrain and enjoy the view you have all around. After a short break near the river, saddle up again and head back through the beautiful countryside to Kálfhóll farm to have a lovely dinner. There is nothing better after a wonderful day in the saddle than to relax in the steamy hot tub, watching the clear sky and hoping for the Northern Lights to show up. Overnight at River Cabins. (Approximately 2-3 hours)

Day 4: Friday, Kálfhóll - Þjórsá - Geysir - Gullfoss - Þingvellir

After breakfast, take your last ride along the Þjórsá River and take in the breathtaking winter pastures one last time. After a light lunch, say goodbye to the horses and hop on to the bus to visit the Golden Circle, the three most impressive natural sights in South Iceland. Golden Circle consists of the Geysir geothermal area, golden waterfall Gullfoss, and Thingvellir National Park.

Geysir is a geothermal area with boiling mud pits, the lively geyser Strokkur which spouts water 30 meters into the air every few minutes. At Gullfoss, you will have a chance to witness the mighty waterfall, and you can feel the power from the water coming down the canyon as you stand near the cliffs.

Then drive to Thingvellir National Park and see the amazing nature and geological phenomena at Thingvellir. Since 2004 Thingvellir has been listed on UNESCO‘s World Heritage List for its geological uniqueness and historical significance. You will be back in Reykjavík BSÍ at approximately 6 p.m. (Approximately 2 hours)

Please note that Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter the itinerary if necessary.

Disinfecting the riding gear

It is important to follow the regulations regarding the disinfecting of used riding clothes. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40 degrees Celsius) or dry cleaned. Items that 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!

Group size

Number of participants varies from 12 to 20 guests. No minimum so Íslandshestar guarantees departures. The staff consists of the tour leader, the associate in charge of the horses, additional people to take care of the horses, and a cook.

Changing horses

Usually, Íslandshestar changes horses once or twice a day. On most of the longer tours, they herd the spare horses along in a free-running herd, the traditional way of riding in Iceland. All tours of the three and four-horse categories are operated that way. For tours of the two-horse category, the guides may lead spare horses for parts of the ride.

Included excursions

Kálfhóll Farm

Hannes the farmer and family in Kálfhóll farm operates tours all over south Iceland, both in popular tourist places as well as in the most rural places in Iceland.

Þjórsá

A glacier river with its source in Hofsjökull. It is the longest river in Iceland around 230 kilometers.

Hekla volcano

Mount Hekla often titled the “Queen of Iceland” is a highly active fissure vent and a strato volcano in South Iceland. Its numerous and frequent eruptions have left a big coverage of tephra layers all around and produced a massive amount of lava. In the Middle Ages, it was referred to as the "Gateway to hell" by Europeans.

Secret Lagoon

A natural pool in a geothermal area is 38 to 40 degrees Celsius warm. Situated by the village Flúðir and within the Golden Circle route. Wonderful experience during all seasons.

Geysir area

A famous geothermal area where the first documented hot spring Geysir in Europe is located. Geysir itself is rarely active lately but its smaller neighbors are highly active. Strokkur erupts every few minutes 20 – 40 meters high and Litli-Strokkur and Smiður are highly active as well.

Gullfoss

Golden Waterfall is where Hvítá falls 32 meters in two stages before entering the canyon Gullfossgljúfur. Gullfoss is one of three main attractions of the most popular sightseeing route in Iceland, The Golden Circle.

Þingvellir National Park

It is often referred to as the national shrine of Iceland. It is where the oldest existing parliament in the world was assembled. The geology of Þingvellir is spectacular. Almannagjá is a canyon formed between two tectonic continental plates drifting from each other.

Instructors

Hannes and family at Kálfhóll farm

Location

Food

During the ride, full board meals are provided. The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 horse riding days
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm
  • Daily full-board meals
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet
  • 3 nights accommodation

What's not included

  • Individual travel insurance (Íslandshestar encourages clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland)
  • Flight to and from Iceland
  • Alcoholic beverages (Hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavik Airport (KEF) upon arrival)
  • Airport transfers

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please arrange your flight to arrive at Keflavík International Airport (KEF). You can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík Airport (KEF) 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 14% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
4 days / 3 nights
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Special discount

Íslandshestar offers a 15% discount on all departures in February and March. For more information, please send an inquiry.

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