Riding an Icelandic horse is not only tremendous fun, it’s also a great way to experience the natural beauty of Iceland; snow topped mountains, the largest glacier in Europe, volcanoes, thundering waterfalls and striking lunar landscapes.
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 Icelandic is a powerful horse and has no difficulty carrying someone weighing 90kgs.
What makes this horse special is its fifth 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.
Home at Hestasport is a relaxed lodge based ride. You stay in a private self-catering cottage and enjoy riding out from the centre each day. You will also have time to explore the local area and take part in other activities.
The daily rides will be between 5 to 10 km and you should be fit enough to spend between one and five hours in the saddle a day. The village of Varmahlíð, with a small supermarket and hotel, is just 1 km away.
This holiday would also be suitable for novice riders, with shorter rides available.
You are met at around noon either in Varmahlið in Skagafjörður at the bus station, or at the airport in Sauðárkrókur. There will be time to settle into your cottage before an afternoon ride.
In the afternoon have your first experience of the Icelandic Horse and its movements.
Today enjoy a three hour ride. You ride along the riverbanks of Húseyarkvísl to the competition area Vindheimamelar and further on to the beautiful waterfall Reykjafoss.
The rest of the day is free for you to relax or you may wish to explore the local area. Your hosts will be happy to assist you and make suggestions of things to see.
On the next two days longer rides are planned, but this depends on the riding abilities of the group and the local conditions.
The plan is to ride to the folk museum Glaumbær, a grand old farm turned into a folk museum. There you will also find the burial grounds of Snorri Þorfinnsson, the first white man born on the American continent. The old farm and surrounding houses give the visitor an excellent view of how the Icelandic people built their houses and are a window into the lives of past generations.
You will leave your horses near to Glaumbær and return to the cottages by car.
Return to the horses by car this morning and saddle up for a final time to ride back to Varmahlið. After the ride relax in a last bath in the Hot Pool.
You will be transferred back to the bus station in Varmahlíð or to Sauðárkrókur airport.