"This is really a professionaly run riding centre out in the countryside - so many cute Icelandic horses - all living as a happy herd. Everyone was so friendly and the hotel modern and fresh. The riding is unique and there is something for everyone with the ever changing scenery."
This is a Summer tour available every Thursday and Sunday between 14 May 2023 - 14 September 2023
Riding with Northern Lights and Hot Springs & Whale Watching Winter Tours Available up until 14 May 2023 and from 15 September 2023
Option 1: 3 days Riding approx 55 km
Day 1: Arrival
After arriving at Keflavík Airport, participants take the Flybus to BSÍ bus station in Reykjavik. There you will be greeted around 17:30–18:00 by one of our team and be driven (under one hour) to the farm, close to the village Hveragerði. Your accommodation is onsite at our award winning eco friendly and sustainable hotel. The day ends with dinner at the farm hotel.
Day 2: Ölfusá River Delta
Your guide will meet you after breakfast for a short introduction before you get to know the horses. The day starts with a practical riding demonstration, followed by a few rounds in the indoor arena or paddock. We then start riding out into nature, discovering the beautiful landscape opening up between the volcanic mountains and the Atlantic ocean in southern Iceland. We begin the tour on nice riding trails along our green meadows which are ideal for trying the special gait of the Icelandic horse, tölt. The trail continues along the river Gljúfurá to an old cemetery close to the mighty glacial river Ölusá, where we stop for a lunch break and enjoy the panoramic view of the river delta and the famous volcanos Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, weather permitting. We then follow a grassy path further down to the soft, black lava sand on the river banks and through shallow water to the green islands in the river delta. We enjoy riding on soft ground on the islands, across sand and water, with good chances of seeing various kinds of birds living in the wetlands of the nearby bird sanctuary Ölfusforir. We end the ride on trails along meadows and relax with coffee and home-baked cake in our Cafeteria. Before dinner you may want to relax in the warm hot tubs at the hotel.
Day 3: The Hot Spring Tour Reykjadalur Valley
This day offers spectacular views and a surprising variety of magnificent Icelandic nature. We first ride along the slopes of Reykjafjall mountain and continue on nice riding trails surrounding the small village Hveragerði. The path then takes us through a green forest to a colourful geothermal valley with hot springs, an area which expanded dramatically during an earthquake in 2008. On our way towards the green hills surrounding the volcano Hengill, we have good opportunity to try the “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse. The horses then take us on a leisurely pace following narrow trails up into the valley Reykjadalur. We pass the beautiful waterfall Djúpagilsfoss and some hot springs before we reach Reykjadalur valley and will have the opportunity to take a relaxing bath in a warm stream. During the ride down the valley, we enjoy fascinating panoramas over the surroundings, the village Hveragerði, picturesque farmland and all the way down to the coastline, where we might see the Westman Islands, weather permitting. We continue along the mountain slopes again back to the farm, where coffee and home-baked cake are waiting for us. This tour includes about 30 minutes of hiking (four short walks),
Day 4: Ingólfstrail
After breakfast and check-out we start the day tour following the route of the “Heritage Tour”. The trail takes us through a small river, a lava field and along meadows, passing by several horse farms that give us an idea of how agriculture has developed in the last decades in Iceland. On our way we enjoy the fascinating scenery of volcanic mountains towering over green hills and pastures, riding between large fields with grazing horses on excellent paths that are ideal for a brisk tölt. After the lunch break we head towards the table mountain Ingólfsfjall, named after the first settler of Iceland, Ingólfur Arnarson The landscape is changing drastically at the foot of the mountain, and we take a break between huge rocks, soft pillows of green moss and perhaps some grazing sheep. We then follow a scenic, narrow old Viking trail along the slopes of the mountain, riding in the footsteps of the first settler Ingólfur Arnarsson. On the way back to our farm Vellir we ride along the mountain Reykjafjall, where both sheep and horses graze in the summer, with nice views over the surrounding area and the village of Hveragerði. After the ride, we enjoy some refreshments before the bus takes you back to Reykjavik at about 16:15. If you are booked on for the 4 day ride you will enjoy dinner at the Hotel and can look forward to a trip to the beach tomorrow.
Tours start every Thursday and Sunday, from 14 May - 10 September 2023
Pick up in Reykjavik 17.30 - 18.00 every Thursday and Sunday
4 days, 3 nights full board hotel accommodation, transfer based on two people sharing £1110 pp
Double room for single occupancy additional £65 per night
As above with the extra day
Day 5: The Beach Ride
After breakfast and check-out we take the horses in the trailer to the small fishing town Thorlákshöfn, where we start the tour with a ride on the long, black beach. We follow the scenic beach along the surf of the North Atlantic for a few kilometres, riding on soft black lava sand until we reach the beautiful area where the mighty glacial river Ölfusá meets the sea in a large delta. We then continue through shallow water at the edge of the river delta and ride on grassy river banks and along wetlands and meadows towards the farmland in the Ölfús area, where our farm Vellir is located. On our way we have plenty of opportunities to try the smooth gait of the Icelandic horse “tölt” on nice trails in beautiful scenery which seems to be far from civilization and enjoy spectacular views of mountains and the volcanos Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull, weather permitting. We also have good chances to see the sea- and wetland birds of various kinds living in the Flói Bird Reserve between the ocean shore and the river. After we have reached the old cemetery at Arnarbæli we ride along the river Gljúfurá and pastures with grazing horses back to our farm. The bus takes you back to Reykjavik at about 16:15.
The start point of the final days tour can vary depending on tides.
Availability & Price
Tours start every Thursday and Sunday
5 days, 4 nights full board hotel accommodation, transfer based on two people sharing £1400pp
If you want to travel outside of these months have a look at our Northern Lights Riding Tour and Hot Springs and Whales Tour.
Double room for single occupancy additional £65 per night
Note: The riding tours can be combined differently in the most enjoyable way for the participants, according to both weather conditions and group riding skills. You can choose to ride for three or four days.
What to bring
We can provide you with hats, riding boots and rain/ outerwear but please have good shoes, comfortable leggings or tracksuit bottoms (riding jodphurs not necessary), gloves and a buff is recommended and if you want to bring a camera, please bring a small waist bag as backpacks cannot be taken on horseback. Bring your swimsuit and towel!
Riding wear / gear – Caution: Disinfect!
Used boots, riding wear, helmets, saddlebags etc. must be disinfected before arrival in Iceland. Chaps, bridles and other used leather gear must not be brought to Iceland. That is because infectious, contagious diseases can easily be brought into the country, which poses a great threat for the horses as they are not vaccinated. Riding wear is normally washed and shoes and are washed and cleaned with VirkonS, Iodine or some other fluid disinfectant.
Our hotel was built with ecological technology and is the first lodging in Iceland to receive the Nordic Swan. The Swan certification ensures the highest standards in terms of quality, environment, and health. Among other regulations, certified operations are subject to certain guidelines regarding energy and water consumption, waste management and use of chemicals.
The daily changing menu is comprised of the finest selection of Icelandic produce with a vegan or vegetarian option.
Every day from 16:00 to 22:00 you can enjoy our hot tubs or just relax in the hotel.
At peak travel times we sometimes use our hotel in the local village - they are the same standard and we take care your trips to and from the stables.
The riding style in Iceland is similar to English riding. We use simple snaffle bits, bridles with detachable nose-bands and clips on the end of the reins so they can be easily removed when grazing. Our saddles are comfortable with soft, rather flat seat, it is not necessary to bring saddle seat pads.
These tours are suited for all experience levels. We select horses according to riding skills and participants on our tours always get to try “tölt”, the special, smooth gait of the Icelandic horse.
Children from Age 10 years.
Icelandic horses are capable of carrying adults without difficulty. The maximum weight is 120 kg/18 stone . Riders must be able to mount a horse with little assistance.
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, temperatures are usually moderate all year round. Average temperatures in Reykjavík are about 12°C in July and 1°C in January. Icelandic weather is known to be unpredictable and changing several times a day. A beautiful day can suddenly turn windy and rainy (and vice versa). Travellers to Iceland should be prepared for anything and dress in layers.
From mid-May to mid-August the sun only sets for only a few hours per day, and it is effectively light for the whole 24-hour period. In contrast, there are around 4-5 hours of effective daylight during mid-winter. But Iceland’s inexpensive geothermal energy means that streets and buildings are well-lit during winter darkness.
We can offer other longer riding tours and include stays in the Icelandic wilderness, please get in contact with us in Equestrian Escapes to discuss your riding holiday adventure.
For tips regarding your holiday such as what to wear and riding ability, please visit the Travel Tips page.
We work hard to ensure that each customer has a great time on their holiday. Please see some riding holiday reviews here.
We have a large range of holidays to suit a range of riding abilities. Please see here for more information.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.