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Summer Solstice Horse Riding Holiday Iceland

On this unique holiday, you will let the midnight sun guide your path. You will start your ride in the afternoon and ride until past midnight. The midnight sun is nowhere brighter than where you will be riding in the northernmost part of Iceland.

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 242 pounds / 110 kilograms
  • Tack Type: English tack, but stirrups are worn long
  • Horse Breed: Icelandic horse

Highlights

  • 5 days of horse riding
  • 24 to 38 kilometers per day
  • Ride through Melrakkaslétta plains or on a quite isolated path
  • Trip to the northernmost part of Iceland, Raufarhöfn
  • Witness the indescribable beauty of Iceland under the midnight sun
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals
  • Flight from Reykjavík to Húsavík

Skill level

  • Advanced

Styles


5 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 20 participants
Airport transfer included: Húsavík Airport
Airport transfer included: Reykjavík Airport
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Accommodation

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.

  • Number of beds: 18
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
  • Number of showers: two
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • Wi-Fi: Yes

Program

Daily itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík - Húsavík - Bjarnastaðir - Katastaðir

The meeting place is at Flugfélagið Ernir in Keflavík International Airport (KEF) at 12:45 p.m. or Íslandshestar can pick you up at bus stops in Reykjavik. Pick up between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Please let Íslandshestar know what you prefer. You will then fly to Húsavík and drive to Bjarnastaðir farm. Please bring your passport or other identification for your domestic flight.

At Bjarnastaðir Farm, you meet up with the guides and horses. After dinner and a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, you start the ride. You will ride throughout Öxafjörður Fjord along the coast to Katastaðir where you leave the horses and drive to Bjarnastaðir farm where you sleep in made-up beds. (33 kilometers)

Day 2: Katastaðir - Sigurðarstaðir

On this day, you ride on the beach from Katastaðir to Sigurðarstaðir. This path where you will be riding 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. (28 kilometers)

Day 3: Sigurðarstaðir - Raufarhöfn

You will continue your journey on the beach to the northernmost part of Iceland the small village of Raufarhöfn. Most of the 250 inhabitants of this small village live off traditional fishing. On the way, you will witness 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. (24 kilometers)

Day 4: Melrakkaslétta - Katastaðir

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 bird's nest. You will leave the horses at Katastaðir and get a good sleep at Bjarnastaðir farm. (35 kilometers)

Day 5: Katastaðir - Bjarnastaðir

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. Ride through the Kvíar slope which is about 165 meters above sea level and witness the indescribable beauty of the northernmost parts of Iceland when the midnight sun shines over you. (38 kilometers)

Day 6: Sightseeing ásbirgi - Húsavík - Reykjavík

Here, 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.

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

About the holiday

On this unique program, you will let the midnight sun guide your path. You ride during the early night and sleep out late. 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 on June 21st when you have the longest day of the year. On that day, 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 holiday 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 interests. 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. Hosts for this trip 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.

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 keep the saddle in place. The riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to the English riding style, but stirrups are worn long. The bits used are mostly simple snaffles. Bridles have a detachable noseband and clip-on reins.

Location

The holiday will take place in Northwestern Region, Iceland.

Húsavík

Húsavík is a town in north Iceland with around 2300 inhabitants. It is around 10 kilometers from the domestic airport in Húsavík. The town is famous for whale-watching tours.

Öxafjörður Fjord

Öxafjörður Fjord is a broad fjörd in northeast Iceland located right on top of the Mid-Atlantic ridge.

Raufarhöfn

Most of the 250 inhabitants of this small village live in traditional fishing. It is the most northern village of Iceland’s mainland and where the Arctic Henge is located.

Melrakkaslétta plains

Melrakkaslétta plains could translate Arctic Fox Field. It is inhabited by few with most of them living in little fishing villages along the coast. It has a highly versatile geography ranging from mountains up to 400 m high above sea level to cliffs, valleys, tundra, and lakes full of trout. It is a real bird heaven with the largest migrations in spring and autumn and home to both Syberian driftwood and seals.

Arctic Henge

Located in Raufarhöfn the Arctic henge is a sundial that plays skilfully with shadow, light, time, and precise location. It has four pillars with openings in the four main directions affecting the appearance of the sun's rays during the days and seasons. Inside the Henge, there are 68 dwarfs mentioned in the famous prose Edda that have been assigned roles by Óðinn.

Kvíar

Kvíar is a slope that is about 165 meters above sea level with a beautiful view.

Ásbyrgi Canyon

Ásbyrgi Canyon is 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 shoeprint.

Food

During the ride, full board meals are provided and included in the price. 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 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:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • 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

Things to do (optional)

Íslandshestar offers optional sightseeing tours and activities on some of the rides. These are mentioned in the itinerary and should be paid for in cash on the spot.

What's included

  • 5 riding days
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Full board meals while on the riding tour
  • Flight from Reykjavík to Húsavík
  • Bus drive from Húsavík to the farm
  • All transfers during the riding tour
  • 3 - 4 horses per person and local guidance
  • Rainwear, saddle bag, water bottle, and a safety helmet
  • 11% VAT

What's not included

  • International flights
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Reykjavík Airport (RKV). The meeting point is at Flugfélagið Ernir in the airport at 12:45 p.m. You will then fly to Húsavík Airport (HZK) together as a group. Transfer from Húsavík Airport (HZK) is included. Íslandshestar will pick you up from the airport. A bus will drive everyone to the farm.

Airport: Húsavík Airport Airport transfer included: Húsavík Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Reykjavík Airport Airport transfer included: Reykjavík Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

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.
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