Iceland - Round Up

Experience Level
  • Open Sep-Oct
  • Set arrivals
  • 3 to 6 nights / 3 to 6 days of riding
  • Weight limit: 17st 4lbs (110 kg) (242 pounds)
  • Usual maximum: 20

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.

The round up is an unforgettable sight. You will see thousands of sheep and/or hundreds of horses herded down the mountain slopes into the round-up pens. You are invited to be part of this very traditional Icelandic event and to join the farmers on their trusted Icelandic horses, the one means of transport capable of meeting the rigours of the round up.

Each Round Up week is different. Some of the Sheep Round Ups can be more challenging in terms of the riding and guest participation.

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 and has no difficulty carrying someone weighing 100kg.

What makes this horse 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. Since the riding at this time of year may be additionally challenging due either to the weather or the unpredictability of the round up, it is recommended that you have ridden in Iceland before and know what to expect.

On the trail you change horses once or twice a day. Your spare horses will usually travel with you as a herd of loose horses, but on some days you may be required to lead a spare horse.

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

Riding style is English.

Hard hats are mandatory on these rides.

Farmhouse accommodation is in two to four person rooms, with shared facilities. Some of the sheep round ups have sleeping bag accommodation, which may be at the farm or in basic mountain cabins, shared between the whole group.

Accommodation Gallery

( GBP | EUR | USD )

Upcoming Dates

If you do not see availability for your preferred dates, please do contact us since there might have been a cancellation.

Set arrival and departures.

Holiday Experience LevelExp Lvl Arrive - DepartArr - Dep   Price Itinerary Availability
October Horse Round Up (1)
3 Oct 2018 - 7 Oct 2018 4 nights 4 ngts £1,522.46 View (.pdf) Book
Sheep Round Up - Melrakkaslétta
5 Sep 2019 - 9 Sep 2019 4 nights 4 ngts £1,441.53 View (.pdf) Book
September Horse Round Up (1)
12 Sep 2019 - 16 Sep 2019 4 nights 4 ngts £1,434.32 View (.pdf) Book
Sheep Round Up - Rangárvallaafrétt
15 Sep 2019 - 21 Sep 2019 6 nights 6 ngts £1,842.98 View (.pdf) Book
Sheep Round Up - Landmannaafréttur
20 Sep 2019 - 26 Sep 2019 6 nights 6 ngts £1,963.17 View (.pdf) Book
October Horse Round Up (1)
2 Oct 2019 - 6 Oct 2019 4 nights 4 ngts £1,370.21 View (.pdf) Book

Prices

EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNT of 10% for 2019 dates booked before the end of 2018.

INCLUDES Shared farmhouse accommodation (Melrakkaslétta, Rangárvallaafrétt & Landmannaafréttur have sleeping bag accommodation); meals on the ride; riding; transfers on the ride.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT Single rooms are not available on these rides and you should be prepared to share.

PAYABLE LOCALLY Drinks; tips; airport transfers.

NEAREST AIRPORT Keflavik.

TRANSFERS Included from Reykjavik city at set times.

In The Saddle Gallery

Client Photos

Location

The Round Ups take place in the north and south of Iceland.


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 in the autumn, 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.

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Round Up Riding Specialist

Chris says

To be riding out in such an amazing country at this time of year is an incredible feeling. The whole atmosphere of the Round Up is like a big party!

My Top Tip

Be prepared for cold weather and perhaps long hours of standing on top of a mountain waiting for the herd!

Email: chris@inthesaddle.com

Chris Day
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from £1,006.07 for 3 nights Book Now