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On this unique tour, you will let the midnight sun guide your path! You ride during the night and sleep during the day. The midnight sun is nowhere brighter than where you will be riding in the northernmost part of Iceland. You will be riding exactly when the Summer Solstice occurs when the area has the longest day of the year.
Bjarnastaðir Farm, home of Halldór Olgeirsson and Elín Maríusdóttir, is situated in the low bushy area of Kerlingaskógur, close to the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Dettifoss Waterfall. You will enjoy a great view over the Fjord Öxarfjörður and the famous Lake Skjálftavatn which suddenly appeared overnight after a strong earthquake 28 years ago. Halldór and Elín, breeders of both horses and sheep will welcome you with open arms and their warmth and hospitality are indeed second to none.
Departure from pick up points in Reykjavik www.busstop.is to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Húsavík and transfer to Bjarnastaðir Farm. Pick up at 15:00. Please dress already in riding clothes and bring your passport or other identification for your domestic flight.
Bus transfer to Bjarnastaðir Farm, where you meet up with the guides and horses and have lunch. After a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, you start the ride. You will ride throughout Öxafjörður Fjord along the cost to Katastaðir where you leave the horses and drive to Bjarnastaðir Farm where you sleep in made-up beds.
On this day, you ride on the beach from Katastaðir to Sigurðarstaðir. This path where you will be riding on is quite isolated and it is not likely that you will meet a soul on your way.
You will witness the blazing midnight sun on the northern coastline and hear nothing but the sound of the hoofbeat clicking on the ground, the waves of the ocean and birds quiring in the night. After this amazing peaceful ride in the night, you will drive to Bjarnastaðir to rest.
You will continue your journey on the beach to the northernmost part of Iceland the small village Raufarhöfn. Most of the 250 inhabitants of this small village live of traditional fishing. On the way, you will witness a rich birdlife along the coast and get to witness this beautiful place which has the longest days and shortest nights in Iceland because of its position.
On this day, you will head back over the soft tracks of the Melrakkaslétta plains. Melrakkaslétta is known for its rich birdlife, many lakes to fish in and its unique beauty over the Summer Solstice.
Its name comes from the arctic fox and if you look closely you might even see one stealing eggs from a birds nest. You will leave the horses at Katastaðir and get a good sleep at Bjarnastaðir Farm.
Summer Solstice occurs on this day! You will be at Raufarhöfn town to witness the longest day and shortest night in Iceland. You will have the unique opportunity to see the sunshine through all three pillars of the Arctic Henge in Raufarhöfn.
You ride back with the majestic mountains on the east leading the way to Bjarnastaðir Farm. You ride through Kvíar slope which is about 165 meter above sea level and witness the indescribable beauty of the northernmost parts of Iceland when the midnight sun shines over you.
There, you will say goodbye to horses and drive to Húsavík Airport to catch the flight to Reykjavik. On the way, you will drive to Ásbyrgi canyon, one of the wonders of nature, a horseshoe-shaped canyon. The old saga says that the god Odin from northern mythology rode his giant horse Sleipnir who stepped down on the ground and formed this shoe print.
Hosts for this tour are Halldór and Elín with their family from Bjarnastaðir Farm, known to many Icelanders for their excellent breeding of horses. Halldór is a respected member of his community and among other things, he is a “mountain king” when the time calls for gathering up the sheep in autumn.
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.
Comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt) and short canters.
The following is some information regarding the horses, according to The Horse Breeders Association of Iceland.
The history of the Icelandic horse can be traced right back to the settlement of the country in the late 9th century. Viking settlers brought their best horses with them, from various origins, though mostly of Germanic descent.
The breed has remained pure for over a thousand years so today there is only one breed of horse in Iceland - the Icelandic horse. Today, there are close to 80,000 horses in Iceland, an incredible number for a nation that counts only 330,000 people.
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.
Travel on horseback is growing in popularity and Icelandic horsemen are respectful and considerate when it comes to nature, just as they are with their horse. All sorts of competitions are held, emphasizing the different gaits of the horses, from novice fun classes to top-class championships.
The Icelandic Horse is unique amongst horse breeds because it masters five gaits; walk, trot, tölt, canter/gallop, and flying pace. The breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider and elegantly displayed by the horse.
The walk is a four-beat gait. The horse should be relaxed when walking, moving ahead briskly and putting each foot down independently.
The trot is a two-beat gait where the front and hind legs on opposite sides move together. It is important to train it as well as the other gaits.
The canter / gallop is a three-beat gait, ridden at different tempi. A slow canter is comfortable while a fast gallop can liven up the horse and increases its willingness.
The tölt is the specialty of the Icelandic Horse. It is a smooth four-beat gait in which the horse’s hind legs move well under the body. The Icelandic Horse can manage this gait naturally and with variations in speed, from a gracious, collected slow tölt up to a very fast and extended tölt. The smoothness of this gait is what makes it so desirable.
The flying pace is a two-beat lateral gait. Not all Icelandic horses can perform the pace, but those that manage all five gaits well are considered the best of the breed.
This holiday takes place in Iceland. On Summer Solstice, you will have the unique opportunity to see the sunshine through all three pillars of the Arctic Henge in Raufarhöfn. This is a newly built monument for the island's Pagan worshippers.
This part of Iceland is inhabited by only a few people, most of them living in little fishing villages along the coast. There is a lot of diversity in this tour starting with riding a few days on the beach. The Peninsula of Melrakkaslétta, which stretches almost to the Arctic Circle, is a paradise for birdwatchers and people with geological interest.
Here you are right on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North-American and Eurasian plates drift apart. From mid-June to mid-July this area is “home” to the Midnight Sun which sends its golden light over the deep fjords of North Iceland.
Full board meals during riding days are included in the package. 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 Keflavik Airport upon arrival.
Keflavík International Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book a flight to arrive at Keflavík International Airport (KEF). From there, you can book a Flybus ticket to arrive at Reykjavík BSÍ bus terminal. The Flybus departs from Keflavík International Airport (KEF) 35 - 40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building. After arriving at Reykjavík, you will then have a flight to Húsavík and be transferred to Bjarnastaðir Farm.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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