Trip Overview

We are honored that this trip, Iceland Horseback Riding, was selected by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their 2013 “50 Tours of a Lifetime”!

As the summer sun skims the midnight horizon, an Icelandic sunset melts into sunrise in this country that is also home to 100,000 horses. And what horses! Brought by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, Icelandic horses, legendary equines, have played a vital role in the history of this land, which was without roads and bridges for centuries. Today, the Icelandic horse is considered to be truly unique by horse enthusiasts from around the world. With long, wondrously flowing manes and tails, these sure-footed and affectionate horses are known for their smooth gaits, especially their tölt, or running walk. Ideal for days of long overland travel, the tölt is what brings horseback riders back to Iceland again and again. While Europeans have long admired and respected the diverse qualities of the Icelandic horse, American riders are just beginning to recognize these wonderful animals.

Watch this video: “Saddling up for a morning ride includes a kiss from Anne DePrez’s horse!”

There is no better way to visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape, than to horseback ride through it! This beautiful region of western Iceland, the Borgarfjörður and Mýrar area, takes us horse riding through fertile farmlands and lush green valleys, along stunning rivers and across mighty lava fields. The majestic glacier-covered cone volcano, Snæfellsjökull (the inspiration for Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Center of the Earth), rises ahead of us when we traverse traditional riding trails known only by the locals. We’ll hear stories of the Saga ages and the island’s Viking history. We learn about Icelandic traditions and the Icelandic way of life, and see where the world’s first parliament was held. Included during our time are two sessions of riding lessons (to practice how to get your horses into their famous gait, the tölt!); a visit to Deildartunguhver, the highest-flowing hot spring in Europe; the lava waterfalls Hraunfossar; and an exciting snowmobile tour on top of Europe’s second largest glacier, Langjökull.

Americans, for the most part, know little about Iceland, although this extraordinary country is only a 4½ hour flight from Boston! Even with its chilly name, Iceland is rapidly becoming one of the hottest destinations in Europe. It is the greatest wilderness area in all of Europe, and has a sparse population (320,000 folks) with a passion for the outdoors. Due to its abundant geothermal energy, Iceland is pristine and unpolluted.

We horseback ride approximately 12 – 20 miles per day through Iceland’s surreal landscapes. Each woman rides 3 to 5 horses during the trip; the entire herd of nearly 70 Icelandic horses accompanies us on most days.

Check out this video to get a good idea about what it is like to ride an Icelandic Horse on our Award Winning adventure ride (be sure to TURN UP YOUR SOUND!):

Accommodations are in a farm guesthouse and one very nice hotel in Reykjavik. Participants must be strong intermediate to experienced riders with English and/or Western riding experience, and be in very good physical condition.

Lush meadows and snow-capped mountains, hot springs and geysers, braided flood plains and frozen lava fields, plus glaciers on volcanoes have all been forged to create Iceland, a feral land of earth, fire, water, and ice! With the North Star close at hand, join ADVENTUREWOMEN on our 6th, award-winning and extraordinary Icelandic horseback riding odyssey!

Main Attractions

  • Experience the pleasures of riding the wondrously gaited and friendly Icelandic horse, legendary equines that have played a vital role in the Viking history of Iceland.
  • Stay at a traditional Icelandic farm in the countryside and eat hearty Icelandic food.
  • Ride in the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, called "Iceland in a nutshell," through mighty lava fields, craters, dramatic landscapes, and wide-open stretches of fertile farmland near the Atlantic Ocean.
  • View the mythical glacier-covered cone volcano, Snæfellsjökull, that became famous through Jules Vern's novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • Spend our last afternoon at the famous mineral hot pools of the “Blue Lagoon.”
  • Explore a pristine country that Americans know little about and is only a 4.5 hour flight from Boston!

What You'll See and Do!

Cultural Exploration, Horseback Riding, Hot Springs, National Parks, Natural History, Photography, Sightseeing, Snowmobiling

What You'll See and Do

  • Cultural Exploration
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hot Springs
  • National Parks
  • Natural History
  • Photography
  • Snowmobiling

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

As the summer sun skims the midnight horizon, sunset melts into sunrise in this country that is also home to 100,000 horses, brought by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago. These legendary equines with their smooth gait, the tölt, are considered to be truly unique by horse enthusiasts from around the world. Ride through valleys, mighty lava fields, and smooth sand beaches, always viewing the majestic glacier-covered cone volcano, Snæfellsjökull (the inspiration for Jules Verne's novel "Journey to the Center of the Earth").

Day 1

Friday, August 1, 2014:   Depart the U.S. on Your Overnight Flight to Iceland

This evening you depart on Icelandair from Minneapolis, New York, Boston, Orlando, Seattle, Halifax, or Toronto (your gateway city) for your comfortable overnight flight to Reykjavik.

Day 2

Saturday, August 2:   Arrival in Iceland at Keflavík Airport, Reykjavík

All Icelandair flights arrive at Keflavik Airport at approximately 6:30 a.m., where we are met and transferred to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Our hotel, the Fosshotel Baron is conveniently located in the city of Reykjavik. We drop off our luggage at the hotel, where it is stored until our rooms are ready, and go for a short sight-seeing tour of the city of Reykjavik by bus and on foot. Reykjavik is home to two-fifths of Iceland’s population, and visitors are often not sure if it is a scaled down city, or a scaled up village. It retains a certain slow pace and almost rustic charm that makes it unique among the world’s capitals. There is little crime, virtually no pollution, 100% literacy, and an exciting night life!

After our tour of the city, we drive to the riding stables in Hafnarfjörður for a riding lesson and a riding tour (we’ll make sure to have our boots and riding gear with us). Our riding lesson will introduce everyone to the special gaits of the Icelandic horse, and you will begin to get the feeling about how to get your horse into its smooth gait, the tölt.

The Icelandic Horse

Selective breeding for over 1,000 years, free of genetic influence from outside blood lines, has produced one of the purest breeds of horses on earth. Due to Iceland’s harsh environment, only the fittest horses have survived over the centuries. That is why today’s Icelandic horse is strong and sure-footed, has great stamina, and possesses a friendly temperament.

The Icelandic horse has been bred as a five-gaited horse. It has three basic gaits—walk, trot, and gallop—and two additional gaits, the tölt and pace. The tölt, a natural gait, is the most popular, and enables riders to comfortably travel 18-30 miles per day! This extremely smooth, four-beat gait is much like a running walk or rack, and it offers a virtually bounce-free ride at speeds of up to 20 mph. In this gait, the horse’s hind legs should move well under the body and carry more of the weight on the hind part, allowing the front to rise and be free and loose.

The pace, or flying pace, is a two-beat gait, well known in the international racing world. When pacing, the horse moves both legs on the same side together. In Iceland, pace horses are ridden in races and pace racing in Iceland is one of the oldest and most respected equestrian sports.

The freedom the Icelandic horse enjoys also helps to explain its special capabilities, temperament, and behavior traits admired by riders. Herds are kept on very large tracts of land, where the horses run unhindered. Therefore, they are attentive and closely attuned to their environment.

At lunchtime we have an introductory welcome meeting and trip orientation at the horse stables. After an Icelandic lunch of traditional meat soup, we return to our hotel where the remainder of our day is free. Dinner is on our own tonight in the hotel, or in one of Reykjavik’s many restaurants.

(Lunch)

Overnight Fosshotel Baron, Reykjavík

Day 3

Sunday, August 3:   Transfer from Reykjavík to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, and Ride to Staðarhraun Farm
After breakfast at the Fosshotel Baron we transfer by coach from Reykjavík to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, where horses and staff are waiting for us. Our hosts and guides for this week are Sigurður (Siggi) and Ólöf. They are proud of their large selection of well-trained horses, and have been running this trip for over 20 years. Oddny, our guide from 2013, will join us again this trip!

After lunch we begin our ride into the mountains through fertile farmlands and along good riding tracks to Staðarhraun farm. This area well known as the hideout of Grettir, Iceland’s most famous Viking outlaw, written about in the Icelandic Sagas.

The Icelandic Sagas

A sweeping epic of the Viking Age, Grettir’s Saga follows the life of the outlaw Grettir the Strong as he battles against sorcery, bad luck, and the vengefulness of his enemies. Feared by many, Grettir is a warrior and also a poet and a lover. Unable to resolve the dispute that has outlawed him, he lives outside the bounds of family life and he roams the countryside, ridding Iceland and Norway of berserker warriors, trolls, and the walking dead. The saga presents a poignant story of medieval Icelandic society, combining details of everyday legal disputes with folklore and legend. With its scathing humor, explicit verses, and fantastic monsters, Grettir’s Saga is among the most famous and widely read of Iceland’s epics.

Today´s ride is on a rather flat land, no hills or mountains to cross. It is the perfect start to get to know your horse and the Icelandic way of relaxed trail riding. During the ride we marvel at the scenery and landscapes. We leave the horses at Staðarhraun Farm tonight and return to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm for dinner and overnight.

Just 58 miles northwest of Reykjavik, in the national park of Snaefellsnes Peninsula, is one of the most recognized and famous sights in Iceland: the glacier-covered cone volcano Snaefellsjokull. It can been seen from the city on clear days. It’s mythical atmosphere became well known through the legendary French writer Jules Verne’s characters, who started their Journey to the Center of the Earth at this volcano.

Many of the famous Icelandic sagas also unfolded in this spectacular area, home to elves, trolls and ancient sorcerers of Icelandic lore. Today rich bird life attracts visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.

Our base for the next 6 nights is the traditional Icelandic holiday farm, Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm. Situated in beautiful surroundings, we have the opportunity to see what farm life in Iceland is all about. Rooms are two persons per room with shared bathroom facilities, and there is an outdoor hot tub on site, where we can relax after an exciting day of riding before enjoying a hearty country dinner.

An interesting fact about Iceland: it has been estimated that fully one-third of all lava that has erupted on earth in recorded history has come from Iceland.

(Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)

20 km ride (13 miles) / 3-4 hours of riding

Overnight at Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Day 4

Monday, August 4:   Ride Along the River Langa to Borgarnes Riding Club and to Beigaldi Farm
This morning we leave Staðarhraun farm and ride along Mt. Grímsstaðamúli, passing Grímsstaðir farm and continuing along the famous salmon river, Langá. Our destination is the Borgarnes riding club, and along the way we enjoy great riding paths and and a beautiful view of Borgarfjörður and Mt. Skessuhorn (the home of Skessa, a famous female troll).

At Borgarnes riding club we meet our riding instructors again (they are the same instructors that we had for our riding lessons on our arrival day), and have our second riding lesson on our trek horses. This is a good time for another lesson. After riding for two days, we now have the feeling of what it is like to ride an Icelandic horse, and we can fine-tune our riding experience and ask questions of the instructors.

Following our lesson in the riding arena, we have a short ride to Beigaldi Farm, where we leave our horses for the night and drive back to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm.

Fun Fact: Don’t worry about pronouncing these Icelandic words!! No matter how many times we’ve been here, it doesn’t get easier!!

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

33 km ride (21 miles) / 6-7 hours of riding

Overnight Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Day 5

Tuesday, August 5:   Ride from Beigaldi to Grenjar
Today is another beautiful day of riding as we continue on the great riding tracks of Borgarfjörður, ideal for tölting. It is here, from the famous Viking Sagas, where Egill Skallagrímsson, grew up.

Passing the horse farm, Staðarhús, we continue our ride over fertlile farmland to Grenjar, where we leave our horses for the night and drive back to Stóri-Kálfalækur.

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

18 km ride (11 miles) 3-4 hours of riding

Overnight Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Day 6

Wednesday, August 6:   From Grenjar to Hraundalur
After re-joining our horses this morning at Grenjar Farm, we ride around Mt. Grímsstaðamúli on a trail used by the farmers in the autumn to round up their sheep.

A note on Icelandic sheep and horse herding: Moving sheep and horses into the highlands for grazing during the summer is more than an annual event – it is an Icelandic tradition and way of life. In September, the farmers ride into the mountains and collect their animals before the winter sets in. You will see thousands of sheep and/or hundreds of horses herded down the mountain slopes into round-up pens. It is an unforgettable sight!

Our ride continues down Hraundalur, the Valley of Lava, where we will actually see where lava has flowed into and through this narrow valley, with its beautiful rock formations and moss-covered lava.

We leave our horses at Hraundalur farm and drive back to Stóri-Kálflækur.

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

25 km ride (16 miles) / 4-5 hours of riding

Overnight Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Depending on the day, and the weather, on one of our days we may drive along the coast towards the romantic fishing villages of Arnastapi and Hellnar. Here we are directly underneath the magical Mt. Snæfellsjökull. We’ll visit the Information Center of the Snæfellsnes National Park and learn about its mysterious powers; view beautiful bird cliffs along the shore, shaped by powerful waves; meet giant Bárður Snæfellsás and hear about historic celebrities like Guðríður Thorbjarnadóttir and the mass murderer Axlar Björn!

Day 7

Thursday, August 7:   Ride Through Lava Fields and Multi-Colored Mountains, from Hraundalur to Hítardalur
The ride today leads through multi-colored mountains and along low bushy hillsides. Hítardalur is a geological paradise with vast lava fields, soft tracks through ashes, and the high palagonite (tuff) mountains that give the impression of riding on the moon.

We leave the horses at Hítarhólmur Farm and drive back to Stóri-Kálfalækur, where the hot tub is waiting.

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

20 km ride (13 miles) / 4-5 hours of riding

Overnight Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

Over the last few thousand years, the active volcanic activity of Snaefellsjokull has created unique geological forms. Dimmuborgir, east of the lake, is a field of lava rocks, some of which reach 45 feet high. Another unforgettable spot by the lake is Eldhraun lava field (its name also means lava field) – where the crew of Apollo 11 trained for its lunar expedition in the late 60′s.

One of the reasons why Icelanders like this place, even the area filled with lava caves, waterfalls and hot springs, is its remarkable history. Some of the most famous and important sagas tell about these areas. Another story tells that Christopher Columbus spent an entire winter in Ingjaldsholl, collecting stories of lands to the west.

Another unique fact about Iceland: Another unforgettable experience in Iceland is the “white nights,” typical for this latitude. During the weeks around the summer solstice in June, sunsets are late, sunrises are early and darkness is never complete

Day 8

Friday, August 8:   Incredible Scenery on Our Last Riding Day
Our last day’s ride takes us through a mystical volcanic valley on yet another fantastic experience! We stop at a sheep gathering place called Hítardalsrétt. If you take a good look, you might be able to see the troll woman, Hít, who was turned into stone returning late from a date!

Continuing our ride along the Hítará River, we travel through an area that the famous outlaw, Grettir hung out in (remember him from Day 3?). Tonight we end our fabulous week of riding back at Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, where we enjoy Ólöf’s special Farewell Dinner and recount fun stories around the dining room table of our exciting week of riding, in the magical Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

20 km ride (13 miles) / 4-5 hours of riding

Overnight Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm

An interesting tidbit about the Icelandic language: the word Geysir in the Icelandic language is pronounced as “geezer”—like an old man. So don’t be surprised when our guides talk about “geezers” and not “geysers.”

Day 9

Saturday, August 9:   Hotsprings, Waterfalls, Snowmobiling on Langjökull Glacier, Þingvellir National Park, Plus Viking Dinner Celebration
This morning we bid farewell to Siggi, Ólöf, and Oddny, their staff and our horses, and spend an interesting morning and afternoon seeing some of the Peninsula’s wonderful “tourist” attractions!

We’ll travel through the farming district of Borgarfjörður, visiting the highest-flow hot spring in Europe, called Deildartunguhver. Then on to the lava waterfalls, Hraunfossar, and through the woodlands of Húsafell up to the desert highlands by Langjökull glacier.

Excitement today as we explore Europe‘s second largest glacier, Langjökull, on snowmobiles! (two persons per snowmobile, and you can switch drivers too. (You will need to present a valid driver’s license for this activity). We’ll tour across the endless white snowfields, learn about the glacier’s movements, and see how the melting water forms rivers and lagoons. Furthermore, we will see how the glacier is melting because of global warming.

In the afternoon we take the highland track of Kaldidalur to the national park of Þingvellir, where the first Viking Parliament (the world’s first parliament) was held in the year 930 A.D. It remained the seat of Iceland’s government for the next eight centuries. Almost every important moment in Iceland’s history has taken place here, in this spectacular natural amphitheater, which sits right in the middle of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. When Iceland declared its independence in 1944, the field of Þingvellir was the obvious place for the ceremony. Today Þingvellir is still regarded with reverence by Icelanders, its historical weight reinforced by a serene natural beauty.

Returning to Reykjavík our last night together, we celebrate with a rousing Farewell Dinner at the infamous Viking Restaurant in Hafnarfjörður. No trip to Iceland is complete without this Viking dinner experience, and an experience it is! Here you can step into the world of the past, the world of the Vikings. The décor is in the Viking style and a true Viking feast is offered, with traditional meals and Icelandic specialties served in old-fashioned Viking-style trays. During the evening we can expect various treats and surprises offered by our singing Valkyries and Vikings. The fun reaches its height when the Fjoru-chieftain crowns one guest as an Honorary Viking—a very special ending to an exciting adventure in Iceland.

(Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

Overnight Fosshotel Baron

Day 10

Sunday, August 10:   Relax at the Famous Blue Lagoon Spa and Departure from Iceland via Keflavík Airport
This morning is at leisure in Reykjavik. Before lunch, we pack up, check out of our hotel, and travel to the famous “Blue Lagoon,” an outdoor thermal spa. Here we can relax in warm mineral waters, have optional massages, shower, and have lunch on your own, before boarding our flights for home at Keflavik Airport.

Transfer by bus to nearby Keflavík Airport in time for our return flights home.

(Breakfast)

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Iceland 2014


Traveling to Iceland: Arrival & Departure

You will be traveling on Icelandair from Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Boston, Denver, or Seattle to Reykjavík, Iceland. Icelandair also flies out of the cities of Halifax and Toronto, Canada. You should plan to depart the U.S.A. from one of the Icelandair gateway cities on the evening of August 1, 2014. All of these flights arrive into Reykjavík within minutes of each other, early on the morning of August 2. Call Ciretta Green, at Montana Travel (800-247-3538), to make your Icelandair reservations. She can coordinate your air schedule with Icelandair’s departure and arrival times.

If you choose to travel on an airline other than Icelandair (most likely Delta Airlines), please coordinate your schedules with the beginning and end of our trip in Reykjavik. You will need to be in Reykjavik early on the morning of August 2nd to take part in our first day’s activities. If you are not part of the group pick up on arrival and departure, we will get you a voucher for transport to and from the airport, based on your arrival and departure times.

Once we know everyone’s arrival time into Reykjavík, we will organize a time and place to meet at the airport in Reykjavík on the morning of August 2, 2014. We will let you know this in the final letter, which is sent to everyone approximately 3 weeks prior to the trip.

Unless you decide to stay longer, we will all be transferred late afternoon on August 10, 2014, to connect with your flight to the United States.

Making Travel Arrangements & Air Flights to Iceland

We suggest you book your air reservations with our travel consultant soon after registering for this trip!

On this AdventureWomen Horseback Riding in Iceland Tour, we ask that you work directly with our travel consultant at Montana Travel to make your travel arrangements. After booking your trip, please call Ciretta at Montana Travel, in Bozeman, Montana, to discuss your air schedule based on the arrival and departure times we have set for the group pick-up and drop off in Reykjavik, Iceland.

1-800-247-3538
Email: ciretta@mttravel.com
FAX 1-406-586-1959
CANADIAN RESIDENTS,
please call 406-587-1188

When calling, please identify yourself as an AdventureWomen Traveler. If you leave a message on Ciretta’s voice mail, she will return your call promptly. She will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate. If you purchase your ticket through her, she can also help you with hotels and rental cars, should you want to leave early, stay longer, or share a rental car or hotel room with another participant. If you do not purchase your air ticket through Montana Travel, you are responsible for making your own arrangements for hotels, rental cars, trip extensions, transfers, etc.

Travel Documents & Health Requirements for Iceland

Citizens of the United States must possess a valid passport. Iceland does not require a visa. If you do not have a valid passport (good for travel 6 months after we return), apply now! You should always carry two extra passport size photos, just in case of an emergency (i.e., if your passport is lost or stolen).

You must have your own health insurance, and not have any physical problems or conditions that would be adversely affected by riding a horse approximately 12-20 miles per day.

Riding Experience Required for your Iceland Horseback Riding Trip

Riding in Iceland is a unique experience – an opportunity to ride strong and willing horses over exciting and adventurous terrain. It’s not just fun, but also a wonderful way to experience Iceland’s raw and natural beauty: snow-capped mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and stunning landscapes.

We ride distances of approximately 12-20 miles each day, and are in the saddle 3 to 7 hours a day. The saddles used in Icelandic riding are more padded and comfortable than traditional English saddles, but they are English saddles nevertheless. Therefore, you must be capable riding on an English saddle. On Icelandic saddles, riders keep their legs straight (instead of bent as in traditional English riding), and sit a bit back in the saddle (instead of forward), for a more relaxed ride. This is a very different way of riding compared to how most English horseback riders are accustomed to riding. A previous group called it “fast western trail riding on an English saddle.” Another comment was, “Icelandic horses are more like Sport Utility Vehicles and you should expect an ‘off-road’ experience!”

What makes the Icelandic horse special is its fourth gait, the tölt, which is comparable to a running walk. It’s fast, comfortable, and enables the horse to cover great distances.

Although Icelandic horses are small, they are strong and we can request larger horses if needed. However, the per person weight limit for this trip is 100 kg (220 lbs).

You must be in very good physical condition and be capable of riding long distances. If we are riding up and down very steep hills, we occasionally must get off and walk the horses uphill. We ride with the herd on most days, which adds another challenging dimension to the trip! This trip is for Strong Intermediate Riders only, who are comfortable and in control in all gaits, have a firm seat, and comfortable in the saddle for up to 7 hrs. per day.

To register for the trip you will first need to call the AdventureWomen office to discuss your riding experience and ability with Susan Eckert. If your riding experience is good but not recent, we suggest that you take 6-8 weeks of English lessons prior to the trip.

We normally change horses about 2-3 times per day. Spare horses are herded along in a free running herd, the traditional way of riding in Iceland.

Liability Form

Part of what AdventureWomen, Inc. hopes to foster is the taking of more self-responsibility for our own lives, health, and safety. Please read the Liability Form carefully, sign it, and return it with the remainder of your balance due by May 3, 2014.

Accommodations

In Reykjavik, close to downtown, our first and last night is at the Fosshotel Baron, in twin-bedded double rooms with private facilities. With modern amenities, its central location near the city’s main shopping street make it an attractive choice for exploring the city.

Fosshotel Baron
Baronsstígur 2-4, 101 Reykjavík
Phone (+354) 562 3204, Fax (+354) 552 4425
www.fosshotel.is

In the countryside our base for 6 nights is the traditional Icelandic holiday farm, Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm. Situated in beautiful surroundings, we have the opportunity to see what farm life in Iceland is all about. Rooms are shared by two, in separate beds, with shared bathroom facilities. There is an outdoor hot tub on site, where we can relax after an exciting day of riding before enjoying a hearty country dinner. The accommodations are basic and clean, but not luxurious.

Money

The unit of currency is the Icelandic króna (ISK), plural krónur, divided into 100 aurar. Iceland’s three banks, Íslandsbanki, Landsbanki Ísland, and Búnaðarbanki, all offer foreign exchange facilities and are found in even the tiniest villages. Most have ATMs on their premises, available after banking hours, which are usually Monday to Friday from 9:15am to 4pm. Credit cards are widely used in Iceland for purchases and cash advances. You can change money at the airport in Reykjavik on arrival.

Icelandic Horse Tack

The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different then the tack ordinarily used for other breeds. The saddle is built close to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Saddles come with plain or quilted seats. On longer rides a crupper (an attachment from the back of the saddle around the tail of the horse) helps keep the saddle in place. Riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to English riding style, but stirrups are worn long. The bits that are used are mostly simple snaffles. Bridles have a detachable noseband and clip-on reins.

quilted saddle   reins   plain saddle

If you are bringing riding gear such as boots, chaps, riding trousers, riding coat, jackets, hats, gloves, etc., or anything that you have worn on a horse in the U.S., you must have it disinfected before arriving in Iceland. It can be washed at 104 degrees F, dry cleaned, or some vets say to refrigerate/freeze everything for 24 hours. Some veterinary clinics may offer to do the disinfecting. It is important to obtain a written statement of the disinfecting in case of inquiries at customs in Iceland. Saddles, bridles and other leather gear may not be brought into the country.

Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases (i.e. rabies or foot and mouth diseases) in Iceland and therefore it is extremely important to protect the animals of the country. Please help us to protect Iceland’s fragile nature!

Food

Food on our trip consists mainly of traditional Icelandic food (fish and lamb), soups and stews, healthy breakfasts, and lunches that we put together in the morning after breakfast. Vegetarians can be accommodated if we are informed when you register.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

What's Included int he Cost of your Horseback Riding Trip in Iceland

  • All airport and luggage transfers throughout the trip.
  • 2 nights hotel accommodations in Reykjavik at the Fosshotel Baron in twin-bedded double occupancy rooms, with private bathrooms; 6 nights in the countryside at an Icelandic farm with 2 women in a room, all in separate beds, with shared bathrooms.
  • On our arrival day: city sightseeing tour of Reykjavík; special trip orientation and Welcome Lunch at the riding stables, plus a riding tour and riding lesson on the Icelandic horse.
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary.
  • Fully guided horseback trip for 6 days, with 2-3 riding horses per person each day.
  • A special riding lesson during the trip at an Icelandic riding club.
  • Rain suits, safety helmets, and saddlebags are all supplied for our ride.
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks and entrance fee to the famous Blue Lagoon hot springs/spa before our late afternoon departure on Icelandair to the U.S.
  • A visit to Deildartunguhver hot spring, Hraunfossar lava waterfalls, and an exciting snowmobile tour on top of Europe's second largest glacier, Langjökull, with special clothing included.
  • A rousing Farewell Dinner at the infamous Viking Restaurant.
  • One AdventureWomen Escort.

Not Included your riding tour in Iceland

  • Round-trip airfare to Reykjavík, Iceland. Please call our air agent, Ciretta Green at Montana Travel (800-247-3538), for rates on Icelandair out of Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York (JFK), Boston, Denver, or Seattle to Reykjavík, Iceland. Icelandair also flies out of the cities of Halifax and Toronto, Canada.
  • Alcoholic beverages and drinks with meals.
  • Some meals, as listed in the itinerary.
  • Optional gratuities to our Icelandic guides (approximately $150 U.S. per person) and driver (approximately $8 per person per day).

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What to Bring

Weather in Iceland

Iceland’s summer is from mid-June to mid-August, with average daily temperatures of 58°F in July. It can be warm enough to wear a light shirt, or cold enough to send you looking for your down jacket! During this time, almost continual daylight illuminates the land, and occasional rain and drizzle can be common in the south. Light woolens, polypropylene fabrics, and wind and rain-proof clothing are essential (we ARE supplied with rain suits while on our ride, but many women prefer to bring their own waterproof jacket and pants). Dressing in layers works best in Iceland’s changeable weather. Extra clothes can be left with our outfitters while we are on the horseback trip.

Clothing and Gear

Rain suits, helmets, and saddle bags (for lunch, water, camera, gloves, etc.) are all supplied during the ride. The following is a suggested list of other appropriate clothing and items to bring.

  • Although rain suits and riding helmets are supplied, you should bring your own riding helmet if you have one. Your own helmet will fit you better than the helmets supplied, and will be more comfortable and safe. You can also bring your own rainsuit (jacket and pants – no ponchos) if you choose. It needs to be waterproof, not water-resistant. Instead of full rain pants, you might consider wearing waterproof rain chaps. You can find these by going to www.horse.com and entering oilskin chaps in the Search field. They are a great deal at $54.95 (do not bring leather chaps).
  • Knee high riding boots - NOT leather, but rubber. At times we will be crossing rivers and leather boots are slow to dry. These are English style boots that can be obtained through any good riding supply store, OR boots like Wellingtons, that often have a sturdy, lug sole. Some also have steel tipped toes!
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes such as tennis shoes or sport sandals to wear in the evenings. You should bring a pair of lightweight slippers to wear inside the house at Stóri Kálfalækur Farm (Icelanders remove their shoes when entering a house).
  • Duffel bag for all your clothing, plus another small duffel to leave in Reykjavik with your “city” clothes and clean clothes.
  • Warm jacket – lightweight down or down alternative.
  • Warm fleece jacket/sweater.
  • Warm socks, 2 pair gloves (one lightweight and one heavier for colder weather riding), wool hat (that will fit under your helmet if it gets cold), and scarf.
  • Polypropylene long underwear (top and bottom).
  • 2-3 pair riding trousers.
  • Lightweight jogging suit or sweatsuit and slippers - to wear during our farm stay nights.
  • Swim suit, towel (fast drying), for hot springs and swimming pools.
  • Turtlenecks, long sleeved shirts (flannel/wool/polypropylene).
  • A few T-shirts.
  • Pajamas.
  • A really good sports bra or two, plus padded riding briefs if you choose. Look up "Equetech Equestrian Soft Seat Brief"
  • Small digital camera (best to be small enough to fit into your pocket) with plenty of memory cards and battery charger with adaptor.
  • Water bottle. We recommend the 24 oz. Nalgene Everyday OTG Tritan Bottle. Made of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester, the bottle is completely BPA-free. Tritan™ copolyester provides excellent impact resistance and is suitable for both warm and cold beverages.
  • Baseball cap (some women wear a cap under their helmets instead of sunglasses). It helps if it is raining.
  • Sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses and maybe even a pair of ski goggles (for the dust).
  • Insect repellent.
  • Your favorite snacks or sweets to take with you on strenuous riding days (chocolate!!??).
  • Small, lightweight flashlight (extra batteries).
  • The original "Buff", made of polyester microfiber, which is a new adventure-tech accessory, multi-functional, and can be used as a sun-guard, scarf or hat, neck gaiter or dust screen.
  • In addition to the Buff, bring 2 or 3 bandanas (100% cotton) for other uses too numerous to mention. Besides, it’s a tradition at AdventureWomen!
  • Washcloth (not supplied in Iceland).
  • Antiseptic towelettes.
  • Toiletries.
  • Small travel alarm clock.
  • Earplugs. We recommend Mack's Pillow Soft White Moldable Silicone Snore Proof Earplugs, which you can buy at most drugstores. Good to 22 Decibels!
  • Extra clothes for evenings.
  • Lots of ziplock plastic bags in various sizes, and a few larger garbage bags (for wet bathing suits, dirty boots, toiletries, etc.)
  • Small and waterproof nylon dry bag(s)/stuff sack(s). The use for this is the following: to carry your lunch, water bottle, snacks and anything else you are taking to and from the horses to put into your saddle bags. Inside the saddle bags, it also keeps things dry.
  • Bring a valid driver's license for the snowmobile tour on our last day.

Camera Equipment

For many women, photography will be a very large part of this trip. The opportunities are endless, and the scenery spectacular! We suggest that you bring      many more memory cards and batteries than you think you could ever use!

  • We recommend bringing a small digital camera (that you can carry in your pocket on the horse), memory cards, battery charger, and a European adapter for Iceland. You will be able to charge all of your batteries at night.

Personal First-Aid Kit

  • *** A product for chafing. We recommend Lanacane Anti-Chafing Gel, and/or Anti Monkey Butt Powder. You'd be well covered with both!
  • Cloth, not plastic, Bandaids; about 10 individually-wrapped alcohol pads; and a small tube of Neosporin or other antibiotic cream.
  • Aspirin/ibuprofen, etc.
  • Ace bandage.
  • Cold-symptom relief tablets, antihistamine, cough drops.
  • Tweezers.
  • Systemic antibiotic (prescription)/optional (but not a bad idea to always take this on international trips.)
  • Prescription medicines in their original bottles.
  • Acidophilus enzyme (available in capsules in health-food stores). This often helps your digestive system get in shape for “new” flora.
  • Immodium, Lomotil, or similar anti-diarrhea medicine.
  • Pepto-Bismol tablets and/or liquid (in leak-proof bottle).
  • Laxative tablets.
  • Visine or similar eye drops.
  • If you are only going to read one guide on Iceland, we recommend reading, The Insight Guides: Iceland

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686