from 9 y.o
- The most pleasant climate of Iceland and the unique spectacle of the midnight sun
- The thrill of riding with a herd of loose horses
- Discover the Icelandic horse and it's magical extra gait - the tölt
- The opportunity to bathe in the warm geothermal waters of the outdoor pool at the Mývatn Nature Baths.
- Optional whale watching trip
- This tour was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the 10 best trails in the world.
Day 1 1: ARRIVE IN REYKJAVIK - No ridingFlights to Reykjavik are not included but can be booked upon request.
On arrival at Reykjavik airport (Keflavik) you need to transfer to your hotel by FlyBus (https://www.re.is/tour/flybus/). The transfer, hotel night and dinner are not included, but we can book a hotel for you upon request.
Day 2 2: REYKJAVIK - HUSAVIK - BJARNASTADIR - 20km ridingBjarnastadir FarmYou will be collected from one of the official bus stops (www.busstop.is) between 06:30 and 07:30 am and transferred to the Domestic Airport for your flight to Húsavík and then transfer to Bjarnastaðir Farm. You should dress in your riding clothes so that you are ready to ride on arrival, and must remember to keep your passport in your hand luggage for this domestic flight.
At Bjarnastaðir, you will first have lunch and then start your ride with a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits. You will be riding on the east side of the National Park Jökulsárgljúfur, before joining a sightseeing tour by bus to visit Europe's largest waterfall, Dettifoss and the famous Asbyrgi canyon. A wonder of nature, this wide, horseshoe shaped canyon has sheer cliff faces up to 100m high.
Overnight at Bjarnastaðir Farm.
Day 3 3: BJARNASTADIR - THEISTAREYKIR - 35km ridingRefuge de TheistareykirAfter breakfast, you will be driven to Kelduhverfi and start your ride from there. Today's ride takes you into the mountains to discover the fantastic views off Öxafjörður Fjord. The rest of your trail today will see you ride to the geothermal area of Theistareykir.
Overnight at Theistareykir Mountain Cabin.
Day 4 4: THEISTAREYKIR - LAXARDALUR - 35km ridingBjarnastadir FarmRide from the Theistareykir area to Halldorstaðir in Laxardal. The landscape becomes rought as you ride across the geothermal area and lava fields to the desert area of Hólasandur. You will then ride down to Laxárdalur Valley and over the Laxá river to Halldórstaðir. Car transfer to Bjarnastaðir farm, where you stay the night with a hot tub on the premises.
Day 5 5: LAXARDALUR - 30km ridingBjarnastadir FarmSaddle up again and head off through a black sand desert along the colourful Laxárdalur valley with the glittering Salmon River Laxa at the heart of it. A true day of contrasts in the ever-changing Icelandic landscape. Stop at the special Hraunsrett which is made of lava. Ride to Skógarhlíð, where you leave the horses before you head back to Bjarnastaðir farm where you will spend the night. Enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböðin, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water.
Day 6 6: GELDINGADALUR – REYKJAHEIÐI - 40km ridingBjarnastadir FarmToday, you set out through Geldingadalur Valley and Reykjaheiði heathland. At one point, you will practically cross over from one continental plate to another as you ride over the Mid-Atlantic ridge! It is a fascinating area with deep earthquake fissures, multi-coloured mountains and geothermal energy. With all the volcanic activity still going on, it is easy to understand that Iceland is still under “natural construction”. At the end of a full day in the saddle, you will ride into Öxarfjörður Fjord to Bjarnastaðir Farm, where the hot outdoor tub is waiting to soak your tired bones!
Day 7 7: BJARNASTADIR - HUSAVIK - REYKJAVIK - No ridingIn the morning, return to Husavik by bus for an optional whale watching trip (please see dates and prices). For those not interested in the whale watching there are hot tubs in the town or you could go for a stroll.
In the afternoon, fly back to Reykjavik for a final night in the capital and transfer to your hotel. Hotel night not included but can be booked upon request.
Day 8 8: DEPARTURE FROM REYKJAVIKTransfer is by Flybus to Reykjavik airport in time for your flight home.
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on sharing a collective room. There is no single supplement as you should be prepared to share.
- Groups usually consists of 6 to 20 international riding guests plus guides. All departures are confirmed regardless of the number of riders on the tour.
- Transfers to and from Reykjavik airport are not included in the price for the trip. 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 and can be booked upon request.
- Optional whale watching tour at the end of your ride: €80/£75/$90. These are approximate costs and this is payable locally.
- Family and children discounts available - please contact us.
- Children from 9 years of age can be accommodated provided they are good riders. Teenagers 14+ years old may come unaccompanied, but with parental consent, a good English level, independence and a good riding level.
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.
1 Icelandic expedition leader
2-4 assistants in charge of the free herd.
2-3 horses per rider equipped with saddle and bridle
1 vehicle and driver
Flight from Reykjavík to Húsavík and return
Nights in collective mountain huts with bunk beds and mattresses
Price doesn't include
Free dinner on day 1 and 7 in Reykjavik
Whale watching on day 6: see dates and prices
Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status 31/07/2022 07/08/2022 £1,990 €2,343 $2,428 Full 07/08/2022 14/08/2022 £1,990 €2,343 $2,428 Full 14/08/2022 21/08/2022 £1,990 €2,343 $2,428 Full 21/08/2022 28/08/2022 £1,880 €2,214 $2,294 Full
Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Rider weight limit is 110kg/17,3 st/242lb
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
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.
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.
You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.
Guide and local team
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
- 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. It is recommended your boots are waterproof as you may be crossing rivers and they can get wet.
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding
- Sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner
- 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
- A fly net against bugs
- 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)
- 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
- Please bring a soft bag instead of hard shell suitcase and pack light because transport space is limited.
- 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.
Visa & Health
The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:
- you can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.
- if you are travelling to Iceland and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
At border control for Iceland, you may need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay, and
- use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing
- Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.
Passport validity from 1 January 2021
From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).
If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You will need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
Please visit for the FCO website for up-to-date information - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/iceland/entry-requirements
Addresses of consulates
- Consulat d'Islande
8 av. Kléber
Tél. : 01 44 17 32 85
- Ambassade à l'étranger
Tungata n°22-PO Box
1750 Reykjavik 121
Tél. : +354 551 76 21/22
Fax : +354 562 55 67
- Ambassade en France
8 avenue Kléber
Tél. : 01 44 17 32 85
Fax : 01 40 67 99 96
- Ambassade d'Islande
Rond-Point Schuman 11
Tél. : +32 (0)2 238 50 00
Fax : +32 (0)2 230 69 38
- Ambassade d'Islande
Rue du Mont-de-Sion 8
Tél. : 022/703 56 56
Fax : 022/703 56 66
The biggest hazard in Iceland is probably the weather, especially when venturing inland along the difficult roads. You need a very sturdy high clearance 4wd vehicle and all supplies like food, water and fuel. Also, watch out for sudden storms and blizzards, even in the middle of summer. Also, after rain, some slow flowing small rivers might all of sudden turn into wide and deep rivers, almost impossible to cross by car. So if you do venture inland and away from the main roads, watch all of these things very closely.
Budget and money
You don't have to bring lots of cash, because Iceland is a country where plastic money seems to have been invented and even small things can usually be bought by credit card. If you don't have one, most banking cards of your own country (Cirrus, Maestro logo) will be fine for taking money from ATM's and these can be found in almost every small town.
Tipping is not necessary in Iceland as taxes (VAT) and service are included in the price.
Telephone and jetlag
Did you know?
Did you know?
A highlight of this riding tour in Northern Iceland is a visit to Dettifos Waterfall. Dettifos is the highest waterfall in Iceland and one of the most powerful waterfalls in all of Europe. With a height of 45 meters (144ft), it spans over 100 meters in width and is a hugely popular attraction in the area. It is located on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier and collects water from a large area in Northeast Iceland. A loose translation of “Dettifos” could be “the Collapsing Waterfall”.
This riding tour includes many other highlights and sights, including Ásbyrgi Canyon, Lake Mývatn and Laxárdalur Valley
On the blog
Extend your trip
Blue Lagoon hot springs
Budget: £149Set in a stunning black-lava field, the Blue Lagoon is probably one of the most popular attractions in Iceland. It is also very conveniently located between the airport and the city centre, making it an ideal first stop!
Take the time to relax in these natural hot springs, enjoy your first day in Iceland. The heated water (38°C) is rich mineral salts and silica mud, which are a real treat to the skin.
You can decide to visit the Lagoon from the BSI in Reykjavik or from the airport - shuttles run throughout the day.
Whale watching excursion
Budget: £112This half-day excursion is a unique opportunity to watch Minke whales, Humpback whales, Dolphins and Porpoises in their natural element.
This is a fantastic day out, ideal for all from individuals to couples or families! Children can even enjoy a discount - pleace contact us. Obviously, we can never guarantee anything with wild animals, but viewing chances are good, and especially in the summer.
One or two departures a day depending on the season, pick up at your hotel.
Puffin watching tour
Budget: £67The Atlantic Puffin is a captivating and beautiful bird. Between May and August, it settles along the Icelandic coast to nest during the warmer months. Iceland boasts the largest colony in the world and provides some amazing opportunities for bird-watching!
Animal lovers will love this excursion. On a boat, you get as close to the birds as can be - if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of other species such as grey headed ducks or cormorans.
Three departures a day from Mid-May to Mid-August.
Children discounts (7-15 yo).