Iceland - Round Up

Experience Level
  • Open Sep-Oct
  • Set arrivals
  • 3 to 6 nights / 3 to 6 days of riding | 3 to 9 hours riding per day | Nearest airport:Reykjavik
  • 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, please see the detailed itinerary for each ride. Some of the Sheep Round Ups can be more challenging in terms of the riding and guest participation.

Horses canteringSeptember Horse Round Up (4 nights/4 riding days) This Horse Round Up takes place in the north of Iceland in the Vatnsdalur area. You ride through the beautiful valleys and mountains to Laxárdalur valley, where you meet the farmers as they drive the herd down to the corral at Skrapatungurétt. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour. You stay in farmhouse accommodation with two to four person rooms with shared ablutions. The usual maximum group size is 16.

October Horse Round Up (4 nights/4 riding days) This Horse Round Up takes place in the north of Iceland in the varied terrain around Kolugljúfur gorge. From the highland moors and green valleys, where tales of trolls abound, you join the farmers as they drive the herd down to the corral at Víðidalstungurétt. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour. You stay in farmhouse accommodation with two to four person rooms with shared ablutions. The usual maximum group size is 20.

Autumn Adventure – Pearls of the Northwest (4 nights/4 riding days) This tour in the northwest of Iceland includes a day with the farmers as they bring the flocks down from the mountains. Beautiful mountain views from the Húnaflói Fjord towards Hofsjökull and Langjökull glaciers dominate this ride. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour. You stay in farmhouse accommodation with two to four person rooms with shared ablutions and a hot tub. The usual maximum group size is 16.

Sheep round up in IcelandSheep Round Up – Melrakkaslétta (4 nights/4 riding days) In the remote northeast of Iceland, an area where most people live in small fishing villages along the coast or farms in the highlands, you join the farmers as they gather the sheep from the Núpasveitafréttur and Melrakkaslétta peninsula and drive them into Katastaða corral to be sorted. You learn from the farmers how to manage the flock in the highlands, driving them down hills sides, across rivers and out of sheltered valleys to bring them safely home. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour, with good general fitness and the ability to work as a team. You stay in sleeping bag accommodation (bring your own) in dormitories with shared ablutions and a hot tub. The usual maximum group size is 8.

Sheep Round Up – Reykjaréttir (3 nights/3 riding days) The first day is spent riding through the fertile farmland and trails along the glacier river Thjórsá. Later you meet the farmers as they return from the mountains with the flock and then help with the sorting of the sheep at Reykjaréttir (Reykja Coral). This tour is a great introduction to riding in Iceland. You should be an intermediate rider to join this Round Up tour. You stay in farmhouse accommodation with two to four person rooms with shared ablutions and a hot tub. The usual maximum group size is 18.

Sheep round up in IcelandSheep Round Up – Rangárvallaafréttur (6 nights/6 riding days) In sight of Mt Hekla in southern Iceland, you help the farmers rounding up the sheep and bringing them to Rangárvallaafréttur corral to be sorted. This is not a customised tour and you should expect to be treated as one of the crowd, required to fulfil your duty every day. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour, with good general fitness and the ability to work as a team. We recommend you have ridden in Iceland before. You stay in mountain cabin sleeping bag accommodation (bring your own) with shared ablutions. The usual maximum group size is 12.

Sheep Round Up – Landmannaafréttur (6 nights/6 riding days) You join the farmers of Landmannalaugar in southern Iceland and help as they round up thousands of sheep and drive them to Landmannaafréttur corral. This is not a customised tour and you should expect to be treated as one of the crowd, required to fulfil your duty every day. You should be an intermediate plus rider to join this Round Up tour, with good general fitness and the ability to work as a team. We recommend you have ridden in Iceland before. You stay in mountain cabin sleeping bag accommodation (bring your own) with shared ablutions. The usual maximum group size is 12.

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.

Iceland horse and riderWhat 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 the Round Ups you need to be a strong, 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 and the fast pace of the ride.

The Reykjaréttir Round Up is suitable for less experience riders.

For the Landmannaafréttur and Rangárvallaafréttur Round Ups we recommend you have ridden in Iceland before and know a little about what to expect. There will be times when you are riding for a long time on the mountains, perhaps in all weathers at this time of year. You may be required to lead a spare horse during the Round Up.

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. During the actual Round Up you will not ride with the spare horses.

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.

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
Autumn Adventure - Pearls of the Northwest
10 Sep 2020 - 14 Sep 2020 4 nights 4 ngts
$1,724.39
$1,551.95
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Sheep Round Up - Reykjaréttir
10 Sep 2020 - 13 Sep 2020 3 nights 3 ngts
$1,299.91
$1,169.92
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Sheep Round Up - Melrakkaslétta
10 Sep 2020 - 14 Sep 2020 4 nights 4 ngts
$2,069.50
$1,862.55
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Sheep Round Up - Rangárvallaafréttur
13 Sep 2020 - 19 Sep 2020 6 nights 6 ngts
$2,645.83
$2,381.24
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September Horse Round Up (1)
17 Sep 2020 - 21 Sep 2020 4 nights 4 ngts
$2,059.14
$1,853.23
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Sheep Round Up - Landmannaafréttur
18 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020 6 nights 6 ngts
$2,818.38
$2,536.54
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October Horse Round Up (1)
30 Sep 2020 - 4 Oct 2020 4 nights 4 ngts
$1,967.11
$1,770.40
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Prices

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.


Getting There

For Sheep Round Up - Melrakkaslétta

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 08:00 and 08:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 11:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 15:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Autumn Adventure - Pearls of the Northwest

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 07:30 and 08:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 14:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 18:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For October Horse Round Up (1)

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 07:30 and 08:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 14:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 18:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Sheep Round Up - Reykjaréttir

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 09:00 and 10:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 11:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 18:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Sheep Round Up - Rangárvallaafréttur

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 09:00 and 10:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 18:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 20:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For Sheep Round Up - Landmannaafréttur

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 09:00 and 10:00 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 18:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 22:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

For September Horse Round Up (1)

Return transfers are included from Reykjavik BSI central bus station and hotels in Reykjavik between 07:30 and 08:30 on the first day of the ride, dropping off in Reykjavik city on the last day at about 13:00.

You will need to make your own accommodation arrangements in Reykjavik for the night before the ride.

There is a regular Flybus service (http://www.re.is/flybus) between Keflavik airport and Reykjavik BSI central bus station. To allow sufficient time to transfer by Flybus, we recommend your return flight departs Keflavik after 17:00 on the last day.

Depending on the time of your return flight, you may also need accommodation at the end of the ride. Please check with us if you are unsure of the timings.

It is possible to arrange collection and drop off for some hotels in Reykjavik, except those in the very centre. For these hotels you will be collected from the nearest designated bus stop. You will find a map of the bus stop locations and further information at www.busstop.is.

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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Guest Review

The horses were well looked after and it was good fun riding Icelandic Horses and being part of the horse-round up. Pre information was excellent and the trip was well organised.

Jane ,Derbyshire

5 star rating Overall rating: 5/5

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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