Right, we’ve made an executive decision, Iceland should now be referred to as WOW-land. Credit goes to our Globe-tölter Lizzie Cullam, who coined this phrase after completing our Exploratory ride in 2018. She’s right, every moment of every day, we were lost for adjectives and could only utter WOW.
Firstly, in terms of horse culture, Iceland is off the richter scale. The Icelandic horse (not pony, even though they don’t stand higher than 14 hands) – they’re enchanting with their plucky demeanour, wild-eyes, free-flowing mane and not to mention their fifth gait – the tölt. This gait can only be described as a four-beat lateral amble and is awesome for explosive acceleration and speed – while being SUPER comfortable for the rider.
Astride these big-hearted horses you’ll explore the dramatic, raw and unkept Nordic landscape of volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields.
Our riding partners in Iceland are the oldest riding tour operator, established for over forty years, their reputation proceeds them. And in true Icelandic style you’ll drive a free running herd of horses through vast grasslands, stony mountains and a moon-like volcanic landscape towards a glacier.
Sounds insanely good, right?
breed of horses: Icelandic horses
pace: the pace varies on a daily basis, expect to mostly trot and tölt with the occasional gallop
weight limit: 110kg maximum (depending on height, physical condition and riding ability)
type of tack: English all-purpose saddles
seasons: June, July, August
group size: maximum 12 guests
THE WILDERNESS EXPEDITION
time in saddle: on average between 6 to 8 hours in the saddle per day (this is also dependent on weather, where you may be in the saddle for up to 10 hours)
riding ability: you need to be an intermediate to experienced rider who is up for an adventure and can handle riding up to 6 to 8 hours each day. You need to not only be riding fit but physically fit to whole-heartedly enjoy this ride.
accommodation: on days 1, 2 and 7 guests will stay in comfortable cottages made up of two to four bedrooms and shared facilities. The remaining four nights guests will be staying in remote, rustic, one-room mountain huts with bunk beds. There is no hot water for showering in these mountain huts.
ride length: 8 days, 7 nights with 7 full days riding
2019 departure date and rate:
August 19 to 26 – TWO globetrotters booked
€3590 EURO per person
THE TOUCH OF THE HIGHLANDS RIDE
time in saddle: on average between 4 to 6 hours in the saddle per day (this is also dependent on weather, where you may be in the saddle for up to 8 hours)
riding ability: you need to be an intermediate to experienced rider who is up for an adventure and can handle riding up to 6 hours each day. The Touch of the Highlands Ride isn’t as physically intensive as our Wilderness Expedition. If you’re an intermediate rider with good physical fitness this is the ride for you.
accommodation: on five of the six nights you’ll stay in comfortable cottages made up of two to four bedrooms and shared facilities. The remaining night you’ll stay in a remote, rustic, mountain hut with 2-4 guests per room. There is warm running water for showering in this mountain hut. #winning
ride length: 7 days, 6 nights with 6 full days riding
2019 departure dates and rate:
June 21 to 27
July 5 to 11 – ONE globetrotter booked
July 19 to 25
€3370 EURO per person
*The prices include all ground transportation throughout the riding tour, transfers to and from the capital of Reykjavik on the first and last day of the tour (public bus transfer and domestic flight respectively), and full board during the tour starting with a light meal for lunch on the first day and ending with breakfast on the final day.
*Sleeping bags, mats, helmets, rain gear and saddlebags are provided.
*The prices do not include alcoholic beverages, international flights, travel insurance and any additional activities outside the itinerary.
Accepted payment is by credit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all credit card payments. Since you’ll be paying in a foreign currency, in this case EURO, we believe paying via credit card is the most cost effective and easiest option for you.
Why is the price quoted in Euros?
With our overseas riding destinations (rides other than in Australia), the currency is dictated by our partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.
Guests will take a public bus from Reykjavik to Varmahlíð on day 1 of the ride where they will be met by their guides and driven to the Hestasport cottages for a light lunch before heading to the riding stable, which is located 1 km outside of Varmahlíð. This will be your first glimpse into the world of Iceland, the landscape, the people and the culture. On the final day you will be dropped off at Akureyri airport where you’ll take a regional flight back to Reykjavik (included in the ride price).
FURTHER READING AND VIEWING
Still not convinced? Check out this epic video to gain an appreciation of the Icelandic horses you’ll ride and landscapes you’ll traverse on this brilliant riding adventure.
Meet Katrin, one of our Icelandic guides, who is endlessly passionate about her country, the horses and her job.
Meet Moldi, one of the Icelandic horses you could be lucky enough to ride.
Find out where to stay and what to see and do in Iceland before and after your ride here.