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Enjoy the autumn colors and the thrill of experiencing wild horses coming home from the mountains in a herd of 500! Enjoy the amazing autumn in Iceland and witness and join Icelanders gathering their wild horses from the mountains! Join Riding Iceland in this all-inclusive adventure of a lifetime!
The accommodation for this tour will be in 2 to 4-person rooms with made-up beds at Saltvík Holiday Farm and one night in a cozy mountain hut at Þeistareykir (sleeping bags). At Saltvík Farm, guests have access to hot tubs every evening to relax after long days in the saddle! A free Wi-Fi connection is also offered at Saltvík Farm.
In September and October, Iceland changes costume from the green summer dress over to the multitcolor outfit of autumn! It's an amazing season to travel around on horseback, watching nature slow down for the upcoming Arctic winter. This is also the time when farmers gather their sheep and horses down from the wilderness where they have spent the summer running around free in the mountains.
This five-day tour is a combination of a four-day riding tour, where you can enjoy the autumn colors and ever-changing landscape of the north, and a visit to the horse roundups "Skrapatungurétt" and Laufskálarétt, where you will join the farmers when they drive a herd of 500 young Icelandic horses from the mountains and separate them in the roundups!
The meeting point for the group is at Eagle Air Airport/Reykjavík Airport (RKV) in Reykjavík, early in the morning. The domestic flight to Saltvík takes only 40 minutes and at Husavik Airport (HZK) in the north, a bus will be waiting to take the group to Saltvík Farm nearby, where the tour starts.
You will meet the staff and the horses in Saltvík. There will be some refreshments waiting and Riding Iceland will take a good time for the introduction, where basic information is shared and horses will be selected according to the riding experience level of each rider.
Riding Iceland will take special care in selecting horses and helping each rider with basic tips and tricks in handling and controlling the gaited Icelandic horses as it is their commitment to match riders and horses in the very best way, right from the start. Ride nice and easy riding trails along the coastline towards Sandur Farm, located at the riverbanks of Skjálfandafljót river.
Cross sandy lava fields and green riverbanks on your way and enjoy rich birdlife and scenery towards the bay of Skjálfandi, north of Iceland. Leave the horses at Sandur Farm and head back to Saltvík for the night where hot tubs are waiting for those wanting to enjoy total relaxation after the first day's ride.
Ride up to the hillsides of Hvammsheiði, following historical trails used by farmers and travelers through the centuries; great soft trails of endless tölting! Cross the river Laxá at a passing where the river runs through the lava fields of Aðaldalshraun. Ride along Vatnshlíð, near the beautiful lake Vestmannsvatn, and once again enjoy a totally amazing view and scenery over the valley of Aðaldalur.
End the ride at the farm Aðalból, where you will leave the horses and drive back to Saltvík Farm for the night. In the afternoon, visit the newly established "Geoseas", a geothermal bathing lagoon for relaxing in the hot seawater.
Ride into the birch forest in Vatnshlíð and enjoy the great view; ride up along Laxá river with the canyons of Laxá aside and then enjoy riding excellent trails along the river Mýrarhvísl all the way back home to Saltvík Farm. In the afternoon, leave Saltvík Farm and head with the minibus towards the area where the roundups take place. Settle in at the guesthouse and enjoy the evening together, sharing stories from the riding adventures you had in the past days!
In the morning, saddle up and ride with the locals towards the roundups. Watch when the herd of 500 young horses come running down from the mountains and enjoy the atmosphere at the roundups where Icelanders come together, sing, and enjoy life, as well as separating their horses so each farmer can drive his own herd home to his farm in the afternoon.
After breakfast, drive with the minibus to Reykjavík. Arrive at BSI bus station in Reykjavík at around 1 or 2 in the afternoon.
To find the right tour and, later, also the best horse for you, Riding Iceland reserves the right to inquire about information about your age, weight, height, and riding experience. Please let Riding Iceland know about dietary requirements, vegetarianism, as well as allergies in advance.
At least one qualified professional guide will be present on every tour. The guide will be accompanied by experienced Iceland riders in cases where needed. All guides are dedicated to the Icelandic nature and passionate horse riders. They will be happy to share their cumulative knowledge about Glacier Rivers, Table Mountains, volcanic activity, the lively birdlife, and the Icelandic history and culture with you during the ride.
GSM connectivity is nowadays almost everywhere available in Iceland, even in the very remote areas. In case of emergency, full medical insurance is required to join RidingG Iceland's tours.
Group size ranges from 10 to 20 riders according to types of tours. We usually calculate to bring 3 horses for every rider.
The tours are attended with relatively high physical demands. Please make sure you are fit to join, the minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids and the ability to control the horse at all paces and in the open country. It is a great advantage if you are a proficient rider. Riding Iceland does not accept absolute beginners but would be happy to offer help in finding a more suitable tour.
Riding Iceland does accept children but they must be strong competent riders. Riding Iceland offers a 25% discount for children up to 12 years old if they are traveling with an adult family member.
The mean length of the day is four to six hours in the saddle and can sometimes be longer than that. It will start shortly after breakfast when all necessary preparations are done. Whenever the terrain allows it, you will enjoy the fast but still comfortable tölt of the Icelandic horse. You will take short breaks every hour or two to stretch your muscles and allow the horses to rest a bit. During a long break at midday, you will have lunch and change horses before you continue to the destination of the day.
Bjarni and Elsa with their family at Saltvík Farm have been operating riding tours in the north of Iceland for over 20 years. From the base at Saltvík, the family is operating tours in the amazing northeast region of Iceland which contains many pearls of Icelandic nature and great riding trails in all directions. The Saltvík team also operates wilderness tours across the highlands with the challenging trail "Sprengisandur" as a prime option for riders seeking true highland experience!
Iceland’s landscapes offer a wide variety of landscape, ranging from rough rocky mountain passes to smooth and wide heathland, flowery meadows, swamps, and stony deserts. The sure-footed Icelandic horse is perfectly fit to carry you even through difficult terrain. Riding Iceland's aim is to find the most remote spots that remain beyond the reach of any vehicle or hiker.
All meals from the start till the end of the tour are included. Alcohol, however, is very expensive in Iceland so you might want to visit the Duty-Free shop at the airport to bring a small stash.
The day starts with a hearty high energy breakfast (usually including warm porridge). You will then pack lunchboxes for the days the car won’t reach you in the wilderness. On days, you will meet the car, you might even get a small hot snack. The dinner is aimed to be one of the highlights of the day where you explore healthy and fresh Icelandic cuisine.
Although Riding Iceland's priority is riding, they might reserve some time to visit interesting sites in case they are reachable from the camp like geysers, waterfalls, or hot water pools. There is usually no entrance fee for natural wonders in the Icelandic mountains, it might, however, come in handy to have a small stash of Icelandic Kronas in case you want to visit swimming pools in the civilized areas.
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Reykjavík Airport (RKV). From this airport, the domestic flight to Húsavík Airport (HZK) is included. All transfers during the tour are included.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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