Icelandic horses roaming free in iceland

Vididalstungurett horse round-up

Join local farmers on a great autumn riding adventure. You will round up a herd of loose Icelandic horses, moving them from their summer pastures to the farms where they will spend the winter. Riding across wild and vibrant landscapes, far from the crowds, you will discover the highland moors, greens valleys turning red and gold, as well as deep blue lakes and gorges. You are taking part in a unique equestrian experience, helping drive the herd down to Víðidalstungurétt corral before celebrating a successful event with the farmers.
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Trail Riding
6 days / 4 days riding
From £1,678
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- Take part in a unique cultural and equestrian event
- A special experience for outdoors and horse lovers
- Enjoy riding Icelandic horses and experience the flying pace, or the "tölt"
- Celebrate a successful round-up with the traditional “réttardansleikur” (ball)
  • Day 1 1: ARRIVE IN REYKJAVIK - No riding

    Flight to Reykjavik and overnight in Reykjavik, ready for your early morning departure the next day (these services are not included but we can book these for you on request).
  • Day 2 2: Reykjavík – Hvammur – Sveinsstaðir – Hvammur Farm - 25km riding

    The meeting point is the BSI central bus station at 8:30 a.m. Transfer by bus from Reykjavík to Hvammur Farm, where you meet the horses and guides. Visit a factory outlet with woollen goods on the way.

    Your first ride will take you through Vatnsdalur valley, the setting of the Vatnsdæla-Saga. You will ride along the banks of River Vatnsdalsá before crossing over to the western side of the valley. Your ride ends at Sveinsstaðir Farm and you return to Hvammur Farm for the night.

  • Day 3 3: Sveinsstaðir – Dæli – Hvammur - 40km riding

    Gear up for a long and exciting day in the saddle! Today takes you alongside the Hóp and across the Gljúfurá River, through the countryside of Vestur-Hóp and into the beautiful Víðidalur valley. You follow Víðidalsá River to Dæli Farm where you will leave the horses.

    Return to Hvammur farm for the night. The outdoor hot tub is waiting, as well as a hearty dinner.
  • Day 4 4: Dæli – Kolugil – Víðidalstungheiði – Hvammur - 32 km riding

    Start the ascent towards the highland plateau Víðidalstunguheiði and meet the horses coming down from their pastures in the highlands.

    Enjoy a warm lunch at a mountain shelter before you join the farmers in driving the herd down from the mountains. Before ending your ride at Dæli Farm, you will stop at Kolugili Farm for refreshments. (32 km, about 8-9 hours including lunch and coffee breaks).

    Back to Hvammur farm for the night.

  • Day 5 5: Víðidalstungurétt – Lake Hóp – Hvammur - 30km riding

    Your day starts at the round up place Víðidalstungurétt, where horses are sorted out. An auction is held right on the spot and you can join the farmers in their joyful singing, celebrating the return of their horses. In the afternoon, you join up with your horses close to Borgarvirki and ride towards Lake Hóp. Feel the excitement of the horses as they reach the open plain. The trail leads you right across Lake Hóp, Iceland’s fifth biggest lake, on a safe track across the water. Ride past Thingeyrar, a place of great historical importance and into Vatnsdalur valley. It is time to say good bye to the horses and return to Hvammur. (30 km)

    Optional (not included in the tour price):
    “Stóðréttardansleikur” dance at Víðihlíð, where everybody relaxes after the excitement of the day and celebrates yet another successful round up.
  • Day 6 6: REYKJAVIK - HOME

    Departure from the North and return to Reykjavík. Approx. arrival at the BSI at 14:00.

    Self-transfer by Flybus to the airport for your flight home (Flybus or international flight not included).

Dates & prices

Price details

Promotional rate for 4 first bookings until 31/10/2024.

- Flights to your destination are not included, but can be booked on request - please contact us for rates.

- Rates are per person, based on riders sharing a 2-4 bedded room. No single supplement and you must be prepared to share.

- Groups consist of 6 to 20 international riding guests plus guides.

- Hotel nights in Reykjavik, and transfers to and from Reykjavik airport are not included in the price for the trip. See for more information on how to get from the airport to the city centre.

- Vegan and/or Gluten Free diets will incur on an extra supplement of around £90/€100/$110 per person.
Please Note
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.

Price includes

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide from Reykjavik
Icelandic expedition leaders


1 vehicle and driver
Equipped Icelandic horses
1 cook

Inland transports



Shared rooms at a Farm (2-4 beds per room)
Sleeping bag provided


Full board from first diner to last breakfast

Extra equipment

First aid kit
Tourist sites fees included in the program, except the visit in option on day 5.

Price doesn't include


Beverages and personal extra
Meals in Reykjavik
Special diet supplement - please see above


Return airport transfers (FlyBus shuttle)
International flights


Tips to local team


Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation



Extra nights in Reykjavík: please contact us for the price
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    01/10/2024 06/10/2024 £1,750 €2,013 $2,170
    Guaranteed departure
    Book now
  • Departure Return Price without flights Status
    30/11/2025 05/12/2025 £1,803
    Book now

Equestrian info


The Icelandic horse is a part of the history and saga of the country and it's Vikings. It is characterised by it's extra pace - the tölt, which is fast and very comfortable. Some are also capable of an additional Flying Pace, which is similar to trot, but much faster and used for racing. Icelandic horses are small, sociable, comfortable and energetic. Icelandic tack consists of simple snaffle bridles, often with drop nosebands and straight cut saddles similar to English style.

Guide & local team

Our well-known farmer Haukur Suska operates this tour.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a competent rider who is comfortable riding at all paces in the outdoors. You will be riding with a group of loose horses and so experience of riding in a group is essential.

Rider weight limit is 110kg/17,3 st/242lb


There will be long periods of tolt along the sandy tracks and grassy pastures. There will also be walking and trotting across more difficult terrain. The tölt is a fast pace - you can expect long periods of tölt, but canters are not frequent.

Tacking ability and participation

You will be expected to assist with grooming, tacking and un-tacking your horse. The whole group gets involved in meal preperation.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be fit and have good stamina for the long periods of tolt, which is a fast but comfortable pace. There are some long hours in the saddle (5-8 hours) and the terrain can be rough. The weather can also be unpredictable.

Experience of riding a trail over several days would be an advantage but is not essential. Riders who do not ride regularly would need to get back into the saddle before joining this ride.

Equestrian equipment

Comfortable Icelandic saddles with saddle bags.

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.

You will be provided with a raincoat but should still bring your own warm coats to wear underneath.

Travel info


Hvammur farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley known for the old Sagas and a famous salmon fishing river (Vatnsdalsá). The farmhouse was renovated 4 years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view off the river.

Please understand that accommodation in the highlands is always basic, with little privacy, small rooms and limited showers.

Number of rooms: 6 rooms
Number of beds: 2 – 4 beds in each room, altogether max 19
Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
Number of showers: 2
GSM connection : Yes
WiFi: Yes
Made up beds: Yes
Number of WC: 2


Lunches are simple picnics; dinners are generous and hearty.
You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.

Vegan and Gluten free diets can be accommodated at an extra cost.

Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.


Contrary to popular belief, the general climate in Iceland is temperate and cool with extreme cold temperatures only recorded in winter. In summer the average temperatures are 10-12c but can be as low as 5c and as high as 25c. You should be prepared for both sun and rain and dress in layers.


Tips are welcome but not expected. You should tip what you feel is appropriate and you are comfortable with.

Packing list

There are some important packing considerations for a riding holiday in Iceland. The Icelandic horses have had no contact with other equine species and are not vaccinated. They do not have any resistance to diseases which are common elsewhere in the world and so it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of infections.

- 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:

- A riding helmet is compulsory and we recommend that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
- 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

Upper body
- Thermals in case of cold weather
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun or extra warmth
- Down jacket or gilet for cold evenings
- T-shirts
- 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. Boots should be waterproof as river crossings are a possibility.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the evenings
- Sandals/flipflops
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

- Beds are made up but you may find a sleeping bag liner (silk/cotton/fleece) adds extra comfort
- A small camping pillow
- Slippers (you will have to remove your shoes inside the accommodation)
- An eye mask can help with the 24hr daylight

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)

Medical kit
- 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

Our Recommendations
- 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!
- Carry a copy of your passport and insurance documentation with you.

Sustainable tourism

  1. 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!).
  2. Reduce plastic waste. Take your favorite reusable bottle with you. Avoid single-use bags, cups, or straws.
  3. 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.
  4. Choose your experiences carefully. Respect animal life by not participating in any activities that abuse wild animals (shows, elephant rides, etc.).
  5. Support local populations. Buy local handicrafts, be respectful of customs, and learn about the culture of local communities.
  6. Share! Raise awareness among your family and friends about sustainable tourism.

For more information please see this page.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The ancient tradition of the horse round-up is very much kept alive in Northern Iceland. Every autumn, before the cold Icelandic winter sets in, farmers need to bring the herds of young Icelandic horses down from the highlands and back to the farms. This centuries-old tradition takes place every year, and is always a very special occasion for both local farmers and international riders. You ride for long hours and watch farmers sort horses in the corrals before enjoying well-deserved celebrations on the last evening. 

On the blog

The Icelandic horse breed holds a very special place in the Icelander's hearts and souls. When riding these horses in Iceland, you will surely understand why it is considered to be one of the most curious, intelligent and independent horses in the world. Read our report on this breed on the blog.