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5 Days Trail of Hope Horse Riding Holiday in North Iceland

Hvammur Farm, Hvammur, Northwestern Region, Northwest Constituency, Iceland

Thrilling Horse Riding Holiday Iceland

This tour is an ideal opportunity for everyone who wants to enjoy a comfortable ride in different types of landscape. You will get an excellent insight into Icelandic history when listening to the guide introducing you to Iceland´s heroic past with tales of bloody conflict, revenge, and love from the ancient sagas. Riding the horses on smooth sandy grounds is a joy for the rider and his mount. There is plenty of time to enjoy the unique gait tölt while exploring nature and the history of this outstanding area.

Key information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 110 kilograms / 242 pounds
  • Horse Breed: Icelandic horse

Highlights

  • 4 days of riding
  • Riding on Icelandic horses
  • Riding through Vatnsdalur Valley and exploring the Vatnsnes peninsula
  • Visits to the historic Thingeyrar Church, Thingeyrar Farm, and Hóp lagoon shore
  • Use of rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, and riding helmet
  • Hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm
  • 4 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


4 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: English
The maximum participants in the group is 20
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Accommodation

Facilities

  • Horse riding
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Garden
  • Free Wi-Fi

Hvammur Farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley which is so full of the old sagas and has the famous Vatnsdalsá River running down the middle. The farmhouse was renovated four years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river. The number of rooms available in the house is six rooms. There are two to four beds in each room with bed linen. Altogether, it can accommodate a maximum of 19 persons. The house features an outdoor Jacuzzi, two showers, GSM connection, Wi-Fi, made-up beds, and two WCs.

Program

Day 1: Reykjavík - Hvammur - Vatnsdalur - Sveinsstaðir

You will be picked up between 07:30 and 08:30 in the morning from pick up points in Reykjavik. Please be ready at the earliest pickup time. Your accommodation might be the first one for pick up. Please also be ready in your riding clothes. You will be transferred by bus from Reykjavík to Hvammur Farm where you meet your horses and guides.

You start your ride through Vatnsdalur Valley. This beautiful valley is the setting of the Vatnsdæla saga. You ride along the banks of Vatnsdalsá River before crossing over to the western side of the valley. Your ride ends at Sveinsstaðir Farm and you return to Hvammur Farm for your overnight stay. This whole riding takes approximately 25 kilometers.

Day 2: Hvammur - Sveinsstaðir - Hóp - Borgarvirki - Þverá - Hvítserkur

You leave Sveinsstaðir Farm and ride alongside the Hóp lagoon. The black sand at the beach is ideal for riding tölt, the special gait of the Icelandic horse. This trail along the shore gives you an idea of the beautiful lagoon you are going to cross tomorrow. You ride along the banks of Víðidalsá River and cross over it. You take a break at Stóra-Borg where your lunch break is and drive to Borgarvirki, a fascinating fortress from the Viking ages.

Then, you continue your ride to the sheep-pen Þverárétt. It is used by local farmers to sort the sheep in the autumn. Before returning to the guesthouse, you take another excursion to the shore where you see Hvítserkur, a basalt rock formation, a nesting place for many seabirds. This area is home to large numbers of seals and hopefully, you see many of them resting and playing on the beach. You spend the night again at Hvammur Farm. The whole riding is approximately 30 kilometers.

Day 3: Hvammur - North Atlantic - Thingeyrar

Today, you explore the beauty of the Vatnsnes peninsula and follow black dunes on Sigríðarstaðasandur toward North Atlantic. You have your lunch break on top of the Nesbjörg ridge where you enjoy the great view. Today, you cross the Hóp Lake and follow a safe trail through the water on your way to Thingeyrar Farm, once the site of a monastery founded in the 12th century. For sure, this day is one of the highlights of this ride. The riding distance is approximately 40 kilometers. You can then relax in the outdoor hot tub at Hvammur Farm before a hearty dinner.

Day 4: Hvammur - Thingeyrar - Húnavatn - Hvammur

You start the day with a visit to the historic Thingeyrar Church. This is your last day of riding and you bring the horses back to Hvammur Farm. You cross Lake Húnavatn on a safe trail in the water and enjoy the excitement of the horses once they have returned to the black sand on dry land. You ride on the eastern side of Vatnsdalur Valley, past Hvammsfoss waterfall, surrounded by impressive basalt columns. The riding distance is approximately 25 kilometers. Celebrate the successful return in the evening with a great farewell dinner.

Day 5: Hvammur - Reykjavík

It is time to say goodbye to your guides and drive back to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Approximate arrival is at 12:30 in Reykjavík.

Notes: Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter the itinerary if necessary.

Precautions

  • Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for this ride.
  • Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40 degrees Celsius) or dry cleaned.
  • Items which can not be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots and riding hats) need to be cleaned and disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland.
  • The Icelandic Food and 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 Íshestar to protect Iceland’s fragile nature!

Tack type

The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different than 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 to keep 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 Icelandic horse

The breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the tölt, which is very comfortable for the rider, especially on a longer tour, and elegantly displayed by the horse. Riding an Icelandic horse in its native habitat land is an authentic riding experience. Herding along free-running horses is the traditional way of traveling in Iceland since horses are changed at least once a day on longer tours. You get to ride a variety of horses.

The Icelandic horse is intelligent, good-tempered, and versatile. It is the most colorful breed in the world, with over 40 different colors and over 100 variations. The Icelandic horse is also unique amongst horse breeds because it masters five gaits namely walk, trot, tölt, canter / gallop, and flying pace.

Included excursions

  • A drive to Borgarvirki
  • An excursion to the Hóp lagoon shore
  • A trip to the sheep-pen Þverárétt
  • A visit to the historic Thingeyrar Church
  • A visit to a seal colony on the North Atlantic coast and the majestic Hvítserkur monolith
  • A visit to Thingeyrar Farm

Location

You start the ride at Hvammur Farm in Vatnsdalur Valley. Throughout the holiday, you will ride from Hvammur to Vatnsdalur Valley, Sveinsstaðir, Hóp Lake, Vatnsdalsá River, Víðidalsá River, Þverá, Hvítserkur, Borgarvirki, Vatnsnes peninsula, North Atlantic, Thingeyrar, and Húnavatn. It is a thrilling experience riding in the water on your way across the lagoon called Hóp Lake.

Iceland

Iceland is the least densely populated country in Europe, with a pure, unpolluted and truly magical landscape. In Iceland, you can find hot spring oasis featuring hot pools and geothermal hot springs that are perfect for relaxing after a long riding day.

Features

Activities

  • Horse riding
  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi

General

  • Garden
  • River

Services

  • Free Wi-Fi

Food

During the ride, meals on a full board basis 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. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the duty-free store at Keflavík International Airport (KEF) upon arrival.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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

  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 4 days of riding
  • Riding on Icelandic horses
  • A drive to Borgarvirki
  • An excursion to the Hóp lagoon shore
  • A trip to the sheep-pen Þverárétt
  • A visit to Thingeyrar Church and Thingeyrar Farm
  • A visit to a seal colony on the North Atlantic coast and the Hvítserkur monolith
  • Use of rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, and riding helmet
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm
  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • Hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners

What's not included

  • Individual travel insurance
  • Flight to and from Iceland
  • Alcoholic beverages

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Keflavík International Airport (KEF).

You can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from the airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 42 days before arrival.

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

Children under 12 years old will receive 25% discount on Íslandshestar’s multi-day tours.

Families with three or more members of parents and children 12 to 18 years old traveling together can avail of the 5% discount. This discount is not applicable if the children’s discount is used for one family member.

Early bird discount

There is a 10% early booking discount available for guests who will book before November 1, 2019 for tours in 2020.

Season Information
Low Season
  • August 24 - 30, 2019
High Season
  • June 30 - August 22, 2019
  • June 27 - August 20, 2020

 

Thursday June 11, 2020
(5 days / 4 nights)

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