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Horse Riding Holiday in Iceland

The North-East part of Iceland is often referred to as the “Edge of the Arctic” with the Arctic circle just outside the shores. During a two-week period around the 21st of June, the sun stays up all night and it’s an unforgettable experience to watch the colorful and quiet contrasts of light and water when the blood-red sun hovers over the glittering ocean in the night.

Key information

  • Tack type: You will use simple bridles with separate, low noseband. All horses are ridden on a snaffle bit. The saddles are Icelandic. This resembles an English dressage saddle but with a more open/flat seat. Some of the saddles have big knee pads, others medium to almost none. Before the first ride, everyone chooses a saddle and rides in this saddle for the whole week.
  • Horse breed: Icelandic

Highlights

  • 6 days with horse riding
  • Ride approximately 15 to 35 kilometers per day
  • Marvel at the breathtaking views at Melrakkaslétta and Reykjaheiði
  • Visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe
  • The tour includes a visit to Jökulsárgljúfur National Park
  • 6 nights accommodation on holiday farms

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: Maximum of 18 participants
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
08:00

You will stay in double or triple rooms in (farm)guesthouses, either made-up beds or sleeping bags are provided.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: Day 1: Saltvik - Saltvik (approximately 15 km / 9 miles / 2 - 3 hours ride)

In the morning you leave your guesthouse to go to Eagle Air airport for a direct flight to Húsavík. Saltvík is only a 5-minute drive from the airport. At Saltvik, you start your ride after a short introduction to the Icelandic horses and their special gaits. You ride along the seaside of the arctic ocean north of Iceland enjoying a fantastic view out towards the arctic circle. A relaxing bath in a warm outdoor tub before dinner at Saltvik farm is well deserved after this first day of your journey!

Optional in the afternoon (80 EUR which includes transport from/to Saltvík): A whale watching tour starting from the harbor in Húsavík can be offered. Húsavík and the bay of Skjálfandi is known to be one of the best places in the world to find and see some of the gentle giants of the ocean. Humpbacks, Minky Whales, Dolphins, and even Blue Whales are some of the creatures you can expect to see!

Day 2: Saltvík - Fjöll (approximately 35 km / 22 miles / 5 - 6 hours)

You ride over the Reykjaheiði heath and through ancient lavafields and moorlands until you arrive at your lunch beak at Sæluhúsmúli. There you are located right at the center of the Atlantic ridge going through Iceland which is stretched and pulled by the two continental plates of Europe and Asia. Cracks and fissures in the lava fields make the surroundings spectacular and mystic and are a perfect example of the powers of nature wich make Iceland what it is. After a good lunch break and some stories of the area, you head on towards farm Fjöll where you end the ride and your bus will be waiting to take you back home to Saltvík farm for a dip in the hot pool, nice dinner, and a good rest for the coming day.

Day 3: Fjöll - Meiðavellir (approximately 25 km / 16 miles / 4 - 5 hours ride)

You ride from farm Fjöll along the flat country side of Kelduhverfi with the view out to the arctic ocean all day until you arrive at your destination at Meiðavellir farm just aside the canyons of Ásbyrgi National Park. You drive back to Saltvík farm for another night but make a nice visit to the Geosea spa on the way. Geosea is a natural hot spring / spa with a fantastic view out to the bay of Skjálfandi and the very best spot to enjoy the midnight sun with a cold drink in the hand.

Day 4: Meiðavellir - Klifshagi farm (approximately 25 km / 16 miles / 5 - 6 hours)

You ride into the national park of Ásbyrgi Canyons (the hoof-shaped canyons told to be a footstep of Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odinn, the highest in rank of the old nordic gods). You cross the mighty Jökulsá river on a bridge and enter the highly vegetated area of Öxarfjörður with birch forests and green fields of one of the best sheep farming territories in Iceland. You end the day at the farm Klifshagi and drive to your guesthouse nearby at Kópasker village where you have a fantastic view out to the arctic bay of Öxarfjörður and hopefully enjoy a clear sky in the evening for living the nights of the midnight sun to the limits.

Day 5: Klifshagi - Kópasker (approximately 30 km / 19 miles / 5 - 6 hours)

You start the day with a sightseeing tour by your bus to Dettifoss waterfall. Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe and a magnificent experience to visit. You come back to your horses at Meiðavellir and ride towards Öxarfjörður which is one of the best kept nature secrets in Iceland. Rich vegetation, mighty volcanoes, and Iceland’s biggest river Jökulsá á Fjöllum make the scenery breathtaking. You ride up in the heathlands and follow nice riding trails across woodlands and along riverbanks while enjoying the fantastic view over the Arctic sea north of Iceland. You ride along the riverbanks of Jökulsá towards the village of Kópasker which is a small fishing village located at the edge of the peninsula where you have a totally undisturbed view towards the arctic circle, the true home of the midnight sun! Overnight at a nice guesthouse in the village.

Day 6: Kópasker - Ásbyrgi (approximately 35 km / 22 miles / 5 - 6 hours)

You ride from Kópasker village and follow the great river Jökulsá towards Ásbyrgi canions and Meiðavellir farm where the ride ends and you drive back home to Saltvík farm for the last night and farewell dinner.

Day 7: Saltvík - Reykjavík

After a good breakfast at Saltvík, you head to the airport for a flight back to Reykjavík. Arrival in Reykjavík around noon.

Tour information

Safety

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 Riding Iceland's tours.

Children

Children from 10 years old are welcome but need to be competent riders (intermediate - advanced levels). Riding Iceland offers a 25% discount for children up to 15 years old if traveling with an adult family member.

The riders

The average length of the day is 4-6 hours in the saddle and can sometimes be longer than that. The ride starts shortly after breakfast when all necessary preparations are done. Whenever the terrain allows it, you enjoy the fast but still comfortable tölt of the Icelandic horse. You 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 have lunch and change horses before you continue to the destination of the day.

Terrain

Iceland’s landscapes offer a wide variety of landscapes, 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. The aim is to find the remotest spots that remain beyond the reach of any vehicle or hiker.

Other activities

Although the priority is riding, the group 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.

Location

This ride takes you along the coastline of north Iceland. You ride past isolated farms and along the huge Jökulsá River coming all the way from Vatnajökull glacier. The trails also take you through the highland plateaus of Melrakkaslétta and Reykjaheiði where the view is breathtaking and your only company is a few happy birds and sheep wandering around in the heathlands.

You will visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and the National Park of Jökulsárgljúfur, with Ásbyrgi the hoof-shaped canyon as a highlight. In the sagas, it is said to be the footstep of Sleipnir, the eight-legged stallion of Óðinn, King of Valhalla (Norse mythology).

Food

Meals during the ride are included. Meals in Reykjavík are not included. Coffee / tea / lemonade are included, but alcoholic beverages are not (beers are sold per can during the tour).

For most allergies and restrictions, this is not a problem. Riding Iceland will ask you for this info when you sign up, and when the allergy is an unusual one, the team will ask you to explain it a little better. Before the first ride on the first day, you will meet the cook on your tour. It is always good to discuss special wishes and/or allergies with the cook right then as well, so he/she can make sure to take care of the right meals for you.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Coffee
  • Tea

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

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Domestic transport between Reykjavík downtown and Húsavík (flight and/or bus)
  • All meals during the tour (meals and accommodation in Reykjavik will have to be arranged by the guests themselves)
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Coffee / tea / lemonade

What's not included

  • Flights to and from Iceland
  • Transport between Keflavik airport and the pick-up point in Reykjavik
  • Accommodation, meals, and transport in Reykjavik before and after the tour
  • Alcoholic beverages (beers are available for purchase during the tour)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Keflavík International Airport (KEF) or Akureyri Airport (AEY). Airport transfer is not included in the price. There are a few international flights to Akureyri as well, which is not far from the farm, so pick-up from there could be arranged as well. Please send an inquiry for more information.

The tour starts in Reykjavik downtown at either Eagle Air domestic airport or BSI bus station. Transport from Keflavik to Reykjavik has to be arranged by a guest (flybus, taxi, or rental car). Taxi service in Reykjavik to get from the hotel to the domestic airport is good.

Departure up north from Reykjavik downtown is usually around 8 a.m. (depending on the flight schedule of the domestic airline). You will be back in Reykjavik around 3 p.m. on the last day.

Upon arrival at Keflavík airport, it is easy to use the Flybus service at a hotel or guesthouse of your own choice in Reykjavík for the first night. If needed, the Riding Iceland team can help with booking a room before and/or after the tour.

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 45 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
7 days / 6 nights
from --

Availability

Arrival: Monday June 16, 2025
Departure: Sunday June 22, 2025

Pricing information

Participating children between 10 and 15 years old get a 25% discount if accompanied by a participating adult on the full tour. 

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