- Ride with a maximum of 8 guests (plus a number of local farmers and guides)
- Enjoy the stunning Icelandic countryside
Day 1 1: ARRIVE IN REYKJAVIK - No ridingFly from to Reykjavik. Spend a night at a hotel in Reykjavik - these services are not included, but easily booked upon request. Please contact us. Dinner to your own account.
Your tour will begin the following morning.
Day 2 2: REYKJAVIK TO LOCAL FARMPick up between 8:30:00 – 10:00 depending on your chosen tour, from the BSI (central bus station). Please come dressed already in riding clothes. Transfer to the farm before meeting your guides and horses. Today is your first ride in Iceland, and will be kept short and sweet for you to get used to the land and your horses' paces.
Depending on your chosen dates, the duration and location of the round-up will vary. Landscapes are also different.
With this sheep round-up, plunge into the life of the Iceland farmers. Please note that you need to have a good level of fitness to cope with long hours in the saddle, under sometimes unpredictable weather conditions. As participants, you are joining an annual tradition and not a customized riding tour. Therefore an open mind, good physical health and the ability to work as a team are essential. Expect to be treated as one of the crowd, be prepared to pull your weight each day and enjoy the camaraderie of all those participating.
PLEASE CONTACT US FOR DETAILED ITINERARIES
> Melrakkaslétta - 4 riding days
There is a lot of diversity on this tour starting with beautiful mountain views from the wide Öxarfjörður Fjord. The Peninsula of Melrakkaslétta, which stretches almost to the Arctic Circle, is a paradise for birdwatchers and people with geological interest. Gather the sheep from Núpasveitafréttur and Melrakkaslétta peninsula and drive them into Katastaða communal sheepfold so the farmers can sort out their flock and take them to their farms.
> Rangarvallaafrettur - 6 days riding
Ride across Mælifellssandur, a large area of sand and stones north of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, between the mountains Einstigsfjall and Brattháls. Gather the sheep at beautiful Lake Álftavatn before riding through the area of Sultarfit and Rangárbotnar, through Reiðskarð Mountainpass and Laufahraun Lavafields.
> Reykjarettir - 3 riding days
From Kálfhóll Farm we head off through fertile farmland and enter the beautiful trail along mighty glacier river Thjórsá. The ride continues towards the herd of sheep that are herded down from the highlands in tenth of thousands. When we meet the herd we will herd them for the rest of the way to Reykjaréttir (Reykja Coral) where all the sheep farmers come together to collect their sheep from the herd.
> Landmannaafrettur - 6 days riding
On this special tour you join the farmers in South Iceland as they round up thousands of sheep from the mountains. Help gather the sheep into the Landmannaafréttur communal sheepfold close to the famous Landmannalaugar geothermal area. The yellow, reddish and greenish hue of the rhyolite mountains give this area a magical touch.
Day 3 3 TO DAY 4 OR 6You ride out on your first round-up. This is a day filled with emotions and a real immersion intot the Iceland culture. Riders and farmers work together to make sure that no sheep is left behind.
Day 4 5 OR 7Today is your last ride in the beautiful and wild Icelandic countryside. You are transferred to Reykjavik (BSI) at the end of the day. You settle into your hotel (not included) where you are free to make your own plans for the night or take your flight home.
Day 5 6 OR 8 - HOMEIf you have chosen to stay in Reykjavik last night, self-transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on riders sharing communal rooms. There is no single supplement and you must be willing to share.
- Groups are comprised of 5-12 international riding guests plus guides depending on your chosen dates.
- Transfers from the airport to Reykjavik are not included, but are included from Reykjavik to the farm. See https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/ for more info on how to get from the airport to the city centre.
- Accommodation in Reykjavik is not included but easily booked upon request.
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.
2-4 assistants in charge of the free herd.
2 local horse guide, horses owners
1 vehicle and driver
Price doesn't include
2 free dinner in Reykjavik (£28-36 each meal)
Touristic sites fees not already included on the program
Guide & local team
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Rider weight limit is 110kg/17,3 st/242lb
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Having previous experience of riding a trail of several days in Iceland would be an advantage but it is not compulsory. Only guests who ride regularly and are fit are able to join the round-up rides. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces for long hours in the saddle.
All participants join an annual tradition and not a customized riding tour. Therefore an open mind, good physical health and the ability to work hand in hand with others is required. Expect to be treated as one of the crowd, required to fulfil your duty every day and enjoy the camaraderie of all those participating in this great adventure.
Hard hats are mandatory. We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.
On some dates, accommodation is provided in more comfortable lodgings and you will not need a sleeping bag. Please contact us for details.
Please understand that accommodation in the highlands is always basic, with little privacy, small rooms and limited showers.
You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.
- You should NOT take the following products into Iceland: saddles, bridles, halters, saddle pads, whips, brushes or any leather products which have been in contact with a horse.
- Your riding clothes must be thoroughly cleaned at least 5 days before departure (riding breeches, jumpers, coats, gloves) and should be washed in temperatures of at least 40c.
- Items which cannot be washed at 40c, such as riding hats or leather boots must be thoroughly disinfected at least five days before departure:
1. Wash in detergent.
2. Dry thoroughly
3. Spray with a 1% solution of Virkon detergent (10g per litre of water)
For more details please visit the Icelandic veterinary authority website: www.mast.is/english/frontpage/import-export/import/ridingequipment
- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- A flyhat to wear over your helmet may be a good idea in the summer months, when flies can be be an issue
- Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun, wind or rain
- Warm hat for cold evenings/days
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- Down jacket or gilet for cold evenings
- Lightweight fleece or jumper
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent (plus a spare in case one gets wet)
- Waterproof jacket - rain can be difficult to predict and it's better to be prepared. In the mountains the weather can change quickly
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub. Take two pairs
- Waterproof over trousers
- Casual clothes for the evenings (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermal trousers
Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may wish to take long chaps. We don't recommend taking your favourite long leather boots in case they get damaged. Boots should be waterproof as river crossings are a possibility.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
- Sleeping bag with a minimum comfort rating of minus 5, although you may find minus 10 more comfortable
- Sleeping bag liner (silk/cotton/fleece) to add extra comfort and warmth
- A small camping pillow
- Slippers (you will have to remove your shoes inside the accommodation)
- An eye mask can help with the 24hr daylight
- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (camera, sunscreen, lipbalm etc)
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
Other useful items
- Swimsuit - for hot tubs
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Headtorch or small torch for moving around at night - bring spare batteries and bulbs
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Wet Wipes or equivalent (for when washing facilities aren't available)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Swiss army knife or equivalent
In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Handwash gel
- Travel light. It's a little known fact, but the lighter you pack, the better for the environment as heavy bags will produce higher emissions (when flying a plane or driving a car!).
- Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
- Preserve nature. Always take your rubbish with you during the ride and recycle them. Leave all the flowers or plants as you found them, and never get too close when observing wildlife. Make sure to use eco-friendly products such as body wash or laundry detergent (if camping) to protect both your skin and the environment.
- Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
- Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
- Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.
Did you know?
Did you know?
The Icelandic sheep is a special breed that has been isolated since the island has settled and is now protected. There are over 30 natural sheep colours including yellow, black and rust brown, but the vast majority are white.
Icelandic sheep are free to roam the mountains and valleys for the whole of the summer and every autumn Icelandic farmers and shepherds ride into the mountains to collect their sheep. The sheep round-up is called Rettir and is one of the most important events in the Icelandic country calendar.
By joining the farmers on this annual ritual, you can really get involved and experience a riding holiday with a purpose.
On the blog