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8 Days Snæfellsjökull National Park Horse Riding Tour in Western Region, Iceland

Stóri-Kálfalaekur, Stóra-Kálfalaek 2, Borgarnes, Borgarbyggð, Western Region, Northwest Constituency, Iceland

Gorgeous Iceland Horse Riding Tour

Come with Íslandshestar to Snæfellsnes the magical and mysterious! On this tour, you will ride through Iceland's most beautiful and gorgeous sights and the long stretches of sandy beaches. You will be experiencing tölt, the unique extra gait of the Icelandic horse that will be made easy for you when you follow good riding tracks on this tour. The long stretches of smooth sandy beaches will make this trip a delight for both horses and riders. Join and witness West Iceland's beauty on a horseback!

Key information

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

Highlights

  • 6 days' scenic horse rides
  • 25 - 45 kilometers of riding every day
  • Rainwear, saddle bag, and riding helmet
  • Bus transfers from and to Reykjavík
  • Breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


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

Facilities

  • Hot tub / Jacuzzi
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Parking lot

Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, the home of farmers Siggi and Ólöf, is situated in rich farmland close to the ocean and the wonderful beaches of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. It's a renovated farmhouse with a sleeping up to 20 persons, so it's plenty of space for everybody. The farmhouse has a large kitchen and a spacious dining room. Together with the well-known hospitality of your hosts, this accommodation will make an excellent place to stay. There are eight rooms in the farmhouse with two to four made up beds in every room. The farmhouse has an outdoor jacuzzi, five showers, and five water closets.

Note: Please note that accommodation after the ride is to be arranged individually.

Program

Overview

This horseback riding tour will take you through a landscape of extensive lava fields, craters, and ash from ancient eruptions in Hítardalur valley. You will also enjoy wide-open stretches of light-colored sand at Löngufjörur beach where only the tide sets a limit to the freedom of a horse and a man. The impressive 50-meter deep crater Eldborg is a distinctive landmark where the light sands will turn black once you reach its lava field. On the last riding day, you will follow the edge of the lava flow along the shore before returning to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm.

The horses

Icelandic horse breed 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. 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 will get to ride a variety of horses.

With over 30 years of experience providing horse riding tours to both locals and visitors, Íslandshestar is proud to be the industry leader in the caretaking of horses in Iceland. They work actively with MAST (Icelandic food and veterinary authority) to improve their caretaking methods. Íslandshestar's experience and collaboration with MAST and other leading veterinaries in Iceland prompted them to write and publish a handbook where their procedures are available to fellow horse riding tour operators as best-practice for optimal treatment for the Icelandic horse.

Riding tack and style

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. The 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 and the bridles have a detachable noseband and clip on reins.

If you know how to ride a horse using English riding style, you should have no problems riding an Icelandic horse. Western-style riders should not experience any difficulties adjusting to the Icelandic way of riding either. Íslandshestar's guides will take some time at the beginning of each tour to explain the correct way to saddle the horse, mount it, and how to ride the different gaits. They will carefully explain how and when to ride “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse.

Riding skill

This horseback riding tour is for intermediate and advanced riders. As an intermediate rider, you must be comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt), and short canters. Meanwhile, for advanced riders, you must be comfortable and in control at all paces, have firm seat, and also comfortable in the saddle for up to seven hours per day. Advanced riders are also persons who usually ride regularly and are capable of handling horses in an open country.

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykjavík - Stóri-Kálfalækur - Grímsstaðir

You will be picked up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation between 18:00 to 19:00. Íslandshestar's bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm where the horses and staff will be waiting for you. After a lovely introductory meal where you can get to know each other, you may relax and rest so you will be well prepared for the adventure ahead of you.

Day 2. Stóri-Kálfalækur - Grímsstaðir

After an introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits, you will start the ride into the mountains through fertile farmlands and along with good riding tracks to Grímsstaðir Farm with its proud history dating back to the medieval times. You will overnight at Stóri-Kálfalækur in made up beds with showers and a hot tub on site.

  • Approximate riding distance: 25 kilometers

Day 3: Grímsstaðir - Hítarhólmur

The ride today will lead you through multi-colored mountains and along low bushy hillsides. Hítardalur is a geological paradise. Vast lava fields, soft tracks through ashes, and the high palagonite (tuff) mountains will give you the impression of taking a ride on the moon. You will leave the horses at Hítarhólmur farm and drive back to Stóri-Kálfalækur where the hot tub will be waiting for you.

  • Approximate riding distance: 25 kilometers

Day 4: Hítarhólmur - Kolviðarnes

You will continue the ride through this mystical volcanic valley. You will stop at the sheep gathering place, Hítardalsrétt, and if you take a good look, you can see the troll woman, Hít, who was turned into stone returning late from a date. You will proceed to the west across Hítará River and travel through an area well-known as the hideout of Iceland’s most famous outlaw, Grettir. At Kolviðarnes Farm, you will leave the horses, then be driven back to and spend the night at Stóri-Kálfalækur. For the next three days, you will ride on Löngufjörur beach where timings will depend on the tide. In some cases, you will need to start the ride very early in the morning or in the afternoon.

  • Approximate riding distance: 45 kilometers

Day 5: Kolviðarnes - Traðir

After rejoining the horses, you will start the beach ride on Löngufjörur, the famous horse trail on the seashores of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. You will view majestic Snæfellsjökull Glacier ahead of you and feel the horses’ excitement and take part in their joy on this extraordinary trail released by the tide. You will leave the horses at Traðir Farm and spend the night at Stóri-Kálfalækur.

  • Approximate riding distance: 30 kilometers

Day 6: Traðir - Kolviðarnes - Stóri-Kálfalækur

Today will be another day ride on the yellow colored and sandy beach. You will have the same directions as the day before. It will be a unique experience for everyone with lava-fields and mountains on one side of the trail and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. You will leave the horses at Kolviðarnes Farm and be driven to Stóri-Kálfalækur where you will spend the last two nights.

  • Approximate riding distance: 30 kilometers

Day 7: Kolviðarnes - Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Last day on the beach and yet a new experience. The sand will turn black as you follow the outline of the Eldborgarhraun lava field. You can imagine the black lava still on the move on your way back to dry land. The ride will end at Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm where you will enjoy Ólöf’s farewell dinner.

  • Approximate riding distance: 30 kilometers

Day 8: Stóri-Kálfalækur - Reykjavík

You will be transferred back to Reykjavik to your accommodation and arrive at approximately 11:30.

Note: Please note that Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries, or timetables without prior notice should the necessity arise.

Location

This horse riding tour will take place in the Western Region of 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. On this tour, you will ride through various places including Grímsstaðir, Hítardalur, Hítardalsrétt, Hítará River, Grettir, Löngufjörur beach, and Eldborgarhraun lava field in Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Snæfellsjökull National Park

The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of Iceland's most beautiful and emblematic sights - the glacier-covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. This horseback riding tour in Snæfellsnes, Iceland, is definitely the best way to see the astonishing nature of the peninsula. The mystery and spiritual aura of this still active volcano were made famous through Jules Verne’s novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". Many of the great sagas are located in this very area. Today, the remote beauty and rich bird life draw visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.

Features

Activities

  • Horse riding

General

  • Beach
  • Dining area
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Special menu request

Services

  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance

Food

On the first day, a welcome dinner at Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm will be held and during the ride, full board is provided. Íslandshestar's menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. You will make your own packed lunch from the breakfast table. Moreover, please note that 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:

  • 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

What's included

  • 6 days' horse riding sessions
  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, and riding helmet
  • Breakfasts, packed lunches, and dinners
  • 7 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Flight to and from Iceland
  • Individual travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

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

Arrival by bus

You can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík International Airport (KEF) 35 to 40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building. Íslandshestar will pick you up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation between 18:00 to 19:00.

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
8 days / 7 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 - 31, 2019
High Season
  • June 27 - August 20, 2020
Saturday August 31, 2019
(8 days / 7 nights)

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