- Experience the magical Icelandic horse on fine riding paths
- Relax at the Secret Lagoon in its mineral rich waters
- Visit the famous Gullfoss Waterfall and Geysir hot springs
- Watch the night sky in the hope of seeing the Northern Lights (weather permitting - sightings cannot be guaranteed), and enjoy the blazing colours of the Icelandic fall.
Day 1 1: Arrive in Reykjavík – Blesastaðir Guesthouse - No ridingWe recommend that you arrive at the airport before 13:00. If you cannot find matching flights, you should arrive a day earlier and we can book a hotel night downtown on request.
You should take a bus to the BSI (main bus station) where you will meet your group at 18:00. You will be transferred to Blesastaðir Guesthouse where you will meet your hosts and have a hearty dinner at the farm. After dinner step outside and look skywards to hopefully see the Northern Lights.
Day 2 2: Þjórsá – Secret Lagoon - 3-4 hours ridingThis morning, you will drive to the horses where the guide will introduce the Icelandic horse and its special gaits before you start our ride along the mighty river Þjórsá, (longest river in Iceland 212 km). A perfect first riding day where you get to know the Icelandic horse and the way of riding in a relaxed atmosphere. Not far from your trail the queen Hekla (volcano) watches over you. After dinner you will go and visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral rich water. Enjoy the evening with your guide and hosts and take an evening stroll to look again for Northern Lights. Overnight Blesastaðir Guesthouse
Day 3 3: Kálfhóll Farm – Hvítá - 3-4 hours ridingStart the day with a short ride in the winter fields by the farm before you have lunch. The ride then takes you to the glacier river Hvítá with the milky water that streams from the glaciers in the highland. Ride through lava and moss-covered terrain and enjoy the views. After a short break near the river, you saddle up again and head back through the beautiful countryside to have a lovely dinner. There is nothing better after a wonderful day in the saddle than to relax in the steamy hot tub, watching the clear sky and hope for the Northern Lights to show up. Overnight at Blesastaðir Guesthouse.
Day 4 4: Kálfhóll – Þjórsá – Geysir – Gullfoss – Þingvellir - Reykjavik - 2-3hrs ridingAfter breakfast, you enjoy your last ride along the Þjórsá river and take in the breathtaking winter pastures one last time. After a light lunch, say goodbye to the horses and hop on to the bus to visit the Golden Circle, the three most impressive natural sights in South Iceland. The Golden Circle consists of the Geysir geothermal area, golden waterfall Gullfoss and Thingvellir National Park. Geysir is a geothermal area with boiling mud pits, the lively geyser Strokkur which spouts water 30 meters into the air every few minutes. At Gullfoss, you will have a chance to witness the mighty waterfall, and you can feel the power from the water coming down the canyon as you stand near the cliffs. Then you will be driven to Thingvellir National Park and see an amazing nature and geological phenomena at Thingvellir. Since 2004 Thingvellir has been listed on UNESCO‘s World Heritage List for its geological the uniqueness and historical significance.
Arrival back in Reykjavík at approx: 18:00. We recommend you spend the night in Reykjavik (not included) or take a late flight home.
Dates & prices
- Rates are per person, based on riders sharing a twin or 4-bedded room.
- There is normally no single supplement for the riding days as you should be prepared to share. On some dates a single room can be organised with a supplement: €150/£130/$175.
- Groups usually consist of 1 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, but we can book a hotel for you upon request.
- Children from 8 years of age can be accommodated provided they are good riders. Discounts are available for families of 3+ (two parents and one child aged 12+), and for children under the age of 12. Please contact us.
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.
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Minimum riding ability
Minimum riding ability
Rider weight limit is 110kg/17,3 st/242lb
Tacking ability and participation
Trip conditions and Requested experience
Riders who are not riding regularly are requested to get riding fit before joining the 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.
Dinners are generous and hearty (fish or lamb, usually).
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.
Vegetarian diets can be accommodated with advance notice.
Guide and local team
Horse breeding at the farm is a family affair: his parents, Gestur and Margrét started the business here in Kálfhóll many years ago. Gestur now takes care of the horses, and Margrét cooks dinner for the guests. They don't speak much English but are friendly people.
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: 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Accommodation is in made up beds but you may find a sleeping bag liner (silk/cotton/fleece) adds extra comfort
- Slippers (you will have to remove your shoes inside the accommodation)
- An eye mask can help with the 24hr daylight
Other useful items
- Flynet 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)
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
- 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!
- We recommend you carry a copy of your passport and insurance policy at all times.
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?
The Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) is
a natural light display in the sky, predominantly seen at high northern
latitudes. A similar phenomenon in the southern hemisphere is called the aurora
australis. The name comes from the Latin word for sunrise and the Roman goddess
of dawn - Aurora - and the Greek word for the north wind - Boreas.
The Aurora Borealis is caused by cosmic rays, solar wind and magnetospheric plasma interacting with the upper atmosphere. The charged particles enter the atmosphere from above, and the ionisation of the particles and atmospheric constituents creates light emissions.
The northern lights are most clearly seen on a clear night against a dark sky, and so the remote highlands of Iceland are perfect. During summer months Iceland experiences almost 24 hour daylight, and so it's only possible to see the northern lights during the autumn and winter months when there are long periods of darkness. Our Northern Lights trail ride in Iceland runs during the winter months, when the nights are lengthening and there is a good chance of seeing the lights, provided there is no cloud cover!