Imagine free and spirited horses rushing down from their highland summer pastures to be returned to their owners.
Duration: 7 days
Group maximum: 16 persons
Difficulty: Advanced riders
Riding time: 4 days (120km)
Accomodation: Hotel accommodation in Reykjavík. 2 - 4 bed units at the farm.
Included: Hotel pick up & drop off in Reykjavik, guided caving tour, flash light, gloves and helmet.
Excluded: Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland. Flights to and from Iceland are not included.
Optional: Dance at the community center in Blönduós, entrance fee to be paid locally.
Bring with you: Warm clothes, sturdy shoes.
Imagine free and spirited horses rushing down from their highland summer pastures to be returned to their owners. Mares and their foals, young horses and geldings make their way through the rough territory, not quite willing to give up their freedom yet before winter returns once again.
The ancient tradition of rounding up the horses has only been kept alive in the North of Iceland. The four riding days on this tour will all take place in the north.
From the Vatnsdalur area we will ride through beautiful valleys and mountains to the valley of Laxárdalur. Here we become one with the Icelanders and help with the gathering of the horses and driving them down from the mountains to Skrapatungurétt corral. When this task has been fulfilled the locals celebrate the successful round-up with a ball, "réttardansleikur", and we are welcome to join in the fun.
The round-up continues the next day when the horses are sorted at the corral and we help in returning them to their home meadows.
Day by Day itinerary
Thursday: Reykjavik – Hvammur – Vatnsdalur – Stora-Gilja
You will be picked up from your Reykjavik accommodation between 7:30 - 08:00 in the morning. Please be dressed in your riding clothes. The bus takes you to Hvammur Farm, where we will meet the horses and guides. On our way to the farm, we visit a factory outlet for woolen goods. We start our riding tour at Vatnsdalur Valley. We will ride on the eastern side of the valley, past Hvammsfoss Waterfall. Hvammsfoss Waterfall is surrounded by impressive basalt columns, that are very pleasing for the eye. The horses will rest close to Stora-Gilja Farm, and we return to Hof Farm, for our overnight stay. (20 km)
Friday: Stora-Gilja – Bjornsolfsstadir –Hof
After a good nights rest we rejoin our horses and start our ride along the shore of Lake Hunavatn. We follow the salmon fishing river of Laxa A Asum, and continue riding towards Blonduos Village. We cross the glacier fed river Blanda, on a bridge, and continue to Bjornsolfsstadir Farm, in Langadalur Valley. We spend the night at Hof farm. (30 km)
Saturday: Gathering horses in Laxardalur - Skrapatungurett
We meet up with our horses again at Strjugsstadir Farm. Today we will meet the farmers coming down from the mountains where they have been gathering horses. Hundreds of horses are coming down from the highlands, and we get to participate in herding them to the round up in Skrapatungurett. Join the farmers in singing and celebrating this great event of the fall, after a long riding day.45 km)
Optional (not included in the tour price):
"Stoðrettardansleikur" Dance at Blönduós, where everybody relaxes after the excitement of the day and celebrates yet another successful round up.
Sunday: Sorting of the horses and driving the herds to their home pastures.
Our day starts at the round up place Skrapatungurett where the horses are sorted out. Experience the excitement, and watch the beautiful horses whilst joining in this great event. When the horses have been sorted, we participate in returning some of them to their meadows at their home farms. We then eat dinner at Hof Farm with time to share our personal experiences and highlights of this riding adventure with our fellow riders. (25 km)
Monday: Return to the South - Reykjavik
Departure from the North and return to Reykjavík. Approx. arrival at the hotel at 13:00.