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Iceland - Home at Hestasport
Home at Hestasport is a relaxed lodge based (self-catering) ride. Each day you ride out from the centre, exploring a little further afield with each trail.
You will also have time to explore the history and museums of the local area. Other activities such as river rafting, boat trips, bird watching and sea angling are available at an extra cost.
The village of Varmahlíð, with a small supermarket, hotel and restaurant is just 1 km away.
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.
The riding style is English. The pace will be tailored to suit the ability of the riders, with slower rides for beginner and novice riders and faster, more challenging rides for experienced riders. Guests may ride with another group of similar ability.
The daily rides will be between 5 to 15 km. You should be fit enough to spend between one to five hours in the saddle each day. You may be required to lead a spare horse but if you are not comfortable with this then an alternative plan will be made.
Children over the age of eight years are welcome on this ride. This holiday would also be suitable for non-riders and novice riders with shorter rides available.
Hard hats are mandatory on these rides.
On the Home at Hestasport ride you stay in one of seven comfortable self-catering cottages close to Varmahlíð with made up beds, towels and bath robes provided for the hot tub. The cottages have twin, triple, four and six-bed rooms, private facilities (one or two bathrooms per cottage) and a kitchen. Two people booking will have a cottage to themselves. Single cottages may be available at a supplement.
The cottages are about 1km from Varmahlíð and 8km from the stables. If you do not have your own car, your guide will transfer you to the stables each day.
Alternative accommodation is sometimes available at Háabrekka Country House, 12km from Varmahlíð at the base of Mælifellshnjúkur mountain. The house has two bedrooms, a large living room and lounge area, spacious kitchen and bathroom. Outside there is a terrace with seating area, barbecue and a natural stone hot tub. The house can accommodate up to six guests. The stables are 6km away and the nearest restaurant is about 2km. You will need a hire car when staying at Háabrekka Country House.
These stays are on a self-catering basis. There is a shop in Varmahlíð, although you may wish to bring some of the essentials (coffee, tea, cereal) with you. You may also wish to treat yourself to a meal or two at the Varmahlíð Hotel, which is within easy walking distance from the cottages.
The normal arrival day is Monday and you stay four nights departing on Friday. Alternative dates are on request and can be confirmed for a minimum of two guests.
Sample Itinerary for Home at Hestasport
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HOME AT HESTASPORT (4 nights)
$1,123.40 per person (2 or 3 sharing)
Discount of $138.26 per person if 4 or more are sharing.
INCLUDES Accommodation in a cottage (self catering); riding.
PAYABLE LOCALLY Meals; drinks; additional activities; tips.
NEAREST AIRPORT Keflavik.
TRANSFERS Included from Varmahlíð.
These rides take place in northern Iceland in the famous horse region of Skagafjörður.
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.
The riding was great. I did not know what to expect with the tolt and flying pace, but prefer it to English riding!!! Definitely going back. Nothing to improve.
This ride is a great way to discover Iceland. Be warned though, you could get completely hooked!
Try to leave enough time to see Reykjavik or to extend your holiday to see other parts of Iceland. Don't miss the Blue Lagoon!