Iceland - Highland Adventures

Experience Level
  • Open Jun-Jul
  • Set arrivals
  • 6 nights / 6 days of riding | 2 to 5 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Reykjavik
  • Weight limit: 17st 2lbs (109 kg) (240 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 14

Iceland ridingThe Breath of the Highlands ride takes you from Varmahlið on a trail leading through the wilderness of the Icelandic highlands where in times gone by horses were the only means of transport. For June 2020 we are pleased to offer an exclusive In The Saddle ride, escorted by a member of our team.

With a herd of free running horses, you follow trails through Gilhagadalur canyon and into the remote highlands and the beautiful Svartádalur valley, with the sight of the glaciers Hofsjökull and Langjökull leading you further.

A healthy mixture of adventure on horseback, with more than just a hint of comfort thrown in; you spend five nights in comfortable cottages at Hestasport and one night in the remote mountain hut at Galtará.

The Icelandic horse is a pure-bred descendant of those brought to Iceland by the Vikings over a thousand years ago. Horses remain an important part of Icelandic culture; they are used on remote farms to round up livestock and are still the best means of getting around in many parts of the island. Although small (the average height is 13hh to 14hh), the Icelandic is a powerful horse with great stamina and strength of character.

What makes the Icelandic Horse extra special is its fourth gait, the tölt, which is comparable to a running walk. Most riders can master it fairly quickly; it's fast, comfortable and enables the horse to cover great distances.

For these trails you need to be a confident rider able to adapt to different riding styles. General fitness is as important as riding experience due to the long hours in the saddle, riding around 20 to 40 km each day.

On the trail you change horses once or twice a day and as you ride, the herd of fifty or more loose horses travels with you.

Riders are expected to care for their horse (grooming and tacking up) but help is always on hand should you need it.

The riding style is English.

Hard hats are mandatory on this ride.

On the Breath of the Highlands ride you spend five nights in the comfortable cottages close to Varmahlíð with made up beds, towels and bath robes provided for the hot tub. The cottages have twin bed rooms with private facilities (one or two bathrooms per cottage). Accommodation is usually shared, although single/twin cottages are sometimes available at extra cost.

One night on the trail is spent at Galtará mountain cabin in four bed bunk rooms. Sleeping bags are provided. There are shared toilets and hot showers.

On all mobile trails a support vehicle goes ahead carrying personal gear, cooking equipment and food.

 

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

This exclusive In The Saddle ride offers a bespoke itinerary combining comfortable accommodation with riding in the remote highlands of northern Iceland.

 

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
Breath of the Highlands (escorted ride)
25 Jun 2020 - 1 Jul 2020 6 nights 6 ngts $3,440.68 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

INCLUDES Accommodation and meals on the ride; riding; return transfers by public bus from Reykjavik to Varmahlið.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Single rooms are sometimes available (except in the mountain cabin). Please ask us for details.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; tips; airport transfers.

NEAREST AIRPORT Keflavik.

TRANSFERS Included by bus from/to Reykjavik (at set times).

 


Getting There

For Breath of the Highlands (escorted ride)

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik city at set times by public bus.

You are met at c.14:00 in Varmahlið in Skagafjörður at the bus station. The bus fare for the Straeto bus (Route 57 - https://www.straeto.is/en/) from Reykjavík is included in the price of the ride. The bus departs from the from the bus terminal at Mjódd at 09:00 and so you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavík for the night before the ride.

If you prefer to self-drive we will provide you with directions, and you should aim to arrive in Varmahlið at c.14:00.

On the last day of the ride, your bus to Reykjavík departs from Varmahlið at 11:30 and arrives into the bus terminal at Mjódd at 16:45.

Alternatively, we can arrange a flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík domestic airport. You will have an early transfer to Akureyri and the flight arrives into Reykjavik domestic airport at c.10:00. (extra cost c. €100 per person).

Depending on the time of your flights, you may need to arrange your own accommodation in Reykjavik for the night after the ride. Please ask if you are uncertain about the timings.

For Breath of the Highlands

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik city at set times by public bus.

The bus fare for the Straeto bus (Route 57 - https://www.straeto.is/en/) from Reykjavík is included in the price of the ride. The bus departs from the from the bus terminal at Mjódd at 09:00 and so you will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavík for the night before the ride.

You are met at c.14:00 in Varmahlið in Skagafjörður at the bus station.

If you prefer to self-drive we will provide you with directions, and you should aim to arrive in Varmahlið at c.14:00.

On the last day of the ride, your bus to Reykjavík departs from Varmahlið at 11:30 and arrives into the bus terminal at Mjódd at 16:45.

Alternatively, we can arrange a scheduled bus to Reykjavík over the famous Kjölur route, departing at 09:20 and arriving in Reykjavík at 18:30. The bus stops for a time at Hveravellir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir on the Golden Circle before arriving in Reykjavík. This option is at an extra cost of c. €45 per person.

We can also arrange a flight from Akureyri to Reykjavík domestic airport. You will have an early transfer to Akureyri and the flight arrives into Reykjavik domestic airport at c.10:00. (extra cost c. €100 per person).

Depending on the time of your flights, you may need to arrange your own accommodation in Reykjavik for the night after the ride. Please ask if you are uncertain about the timings.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

This ride take place in northern Iceland in the famous horse region of Skagafjörður.


Weather & Climate

The climate in Iceland is milder than its name and latitude suggests. However, the weather can change very quickly, especially in the mountains, going from warm and sunny to freezing cold in a few hours, and it is often very windy. Therefore, you must be prepared for all types of weather. In the summer months of June and July there are 24 hours of daylight.

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Guest Review

We had incredible horses. The staff was VERY competent. They always checked how we were doing, what type of horse we would like and what wishes we had. They did everything they could, to give us the perfect riding experience! and the horses where very well looked after.

Anna ,Zürich

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

Highland Adventures Riding Specialist

Chris says

What a great way to experience all Iceland has to offer - comfortable accommodation, great scenery and fantastic riding with the herd of horses.

My Top Tip

Take your swimming costume to make the most of the hot tub at the cottages - wonderful after a long day in the saddle!

Email: chris@inthesaddle.com

Chris Day
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from $3,417.74 for 6 nights Book Now