Northern Lights short break

A trail ride in Iceland visiting the best-known sights (Secret Lagoon, Geysir Hot Spring, Gullfoss Waterfall) and with the chance to view the Northern Lights in the night sky. The ideal introduction to the Icelandic horse and the amazing landscapes of Iceland, whilst only being away from home for a long weekend. Get ready to experience the unique tranquillity of the Icelandic countryside and, if you are lucky, the magic of the Aurora Borealis. A fantastic short riding tour in Iceland.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Centre based holidays
4 days / 3 days riding
From £800
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Experience the magical Icelandic horse on fine riding paths
- Relax at the Blue 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), and enjoy the blazing colours of the Icelandic fall.
  • Day 1 1: Europe - Reykjavík – Blesastaðir Guesthouse - No riding

    We 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 17:00. You will be transferred to Blesastaðir Farm 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: Kálfhóll Farm – Þjórsá – Secret Lagoon - 3-4 hours riding

    You will be driven to the Farm Kálfhóll where your 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. In the evening, after dinner with your hosts, take a stroll outside to look again for the Northern Lights.
  • Day 3 3: Kálfhóll Farm – Hvítá - 3-4 hours riding

    Start 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 Kálfhóll farm 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 riding

    After 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

Price details

Promotional rate for 4 first bookings until 30/12/2020.

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

- 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, please contact us for details.

- 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.

- Meals on the ride are included but not for the days in Reykjavik when you can choose from the many restaurants available.

- Children from 8 years of age can be accommodated provided they are good riders.

- Discounts available for families of 3+ (two parents and one child aged 12+), and for children under the age of 12. Please contact us.
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

Logistic

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle

Inland transports

Minibus

Accommodation

Collective room in farms

Meals

Full board from first dinner to lunch on D4

Extra equipment

First aid kit

Extras

Entrance fee to the secret lagoon

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverage and personal extra

Transport

Return airport transfers (FlyBus shuttle)
International flights

Extra

Tips to local team

Insurance

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

Optional

Accommodation

Extra nights in Reykjavík: please contact us for the price
  • September - October 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    30/09/2020 03/10/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    07/10/2020 10/10/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    28/10/2020 31/10/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    04/11/2020 07/11/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    18/11/2020 21/11/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    25/11/2020 28/11/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    09/12/2020 12/12/2020 £890 Guaranteed departure Book now
    16/12/2020 19/12/2020 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • January - February 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/01/2021 30/01/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    03/02/2021 06/02/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/02/2021 13/02/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/02/2021 20/02/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/02/2021 27/02/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • March - April 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/03/2021 06/03/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/03/2021 13/03/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/03/2021 20/03/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • September - October 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/10/2021 30/10/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
  • November - December 2021

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    03/11/2021 06/11/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    10/11/2021 13/11/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    17/11/2021 20/11/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    24/11/2021 27/11/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    01/12/2021 04/12/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    08/12/2021 11/12/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now
    15/12/2021 18/12/2021 £890
    £800
    Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

The Icelandic horse is a part of the history and saga of the country and is 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.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You need to be a competent rider, confident at all paces in open spaces. You also need to be open to a new style of riding.

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

Pace

The pace is mixed but the highlight of riding Icelandic horses is the tolt. There will be plenty of opportunities to experience this fantastic pace, which can be fast or slow depending on the terrain.

Tacking ability and participation

You may be asked to assist with tacking and untacking your horse, but you will be shown what to do (the Icelandic saddles are positioned further back than you are used to!).

Trip conditions and Requested experience

You need to be prepared for inclement weather - it can be cold in Iceland in Autumn/winter and so we recommend taking plenty of warm clothing.
Riders who are not riding regularly are requested to get riding fit before joining the ride.

Equestrian equipment

Saddle bags are provided, as are rain coats.

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.

Travel info

Comfort

You spend two nights at Blesastaðir Farm where you sleep in a purpose built accommodation unit in twin or 4-bedded rooms, with bed linen provided (sleeping bags are not required) The bathrooms are shared. There is a communal sitting and dining area.

Meals


Lunches are simple picnics; dinners are generous and hearty (fish or lamb, usually). You prepare your own picnic lunch at breakfast time.

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.

Climate

The general climate in Iceland is temperate and cool, but as this ride runs only in the autumn the weather is likely to be colder than the UK. There is the possibility of rain and wind, so you should wrap up warm, but clear, warm days are still possible.

Guide and local team

You will be guided by a local horseman who is familiar with the landscape and the horses. He will likely be accompanied by a number of backup riders who spread throughout the group.

Tips

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

Packing list

Important!!
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

Head
- 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

Legs
- 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
- Sandals/flipflops
- Several pairs of warm socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- 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

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!
- We recommend you carry a copy of your passport and insurance policy at all times.

Visa & Health

Formalities

British citizens: other nationalities, please contact us.

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you don’t need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

Visas
If you hold a British Citizen passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Iceland

The rules on travel will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
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
    75016 Paris
    Tél. : 01 44 17 32 85
    Fax :
  • 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
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01 44 17 32 85
    Fax : 01 40 67 99 96
    icemb.paris@utn.stjr.is
  • Ambassade d'Islande
    Rond-Point Schuman 11
    1040 Bruxelles
    Tél. : +32 (0)2 238 50 00
    Fax : +32 (0)2 230 69 38
    emb.brussels@mfa.is
  • Ambassade d'Islande
    Rue du Mont-de-Sion 8
    1206 Genève
    Tél. : 022/703 56 56
    Fax : 022/703 56 66
    consulat-is@nbh-law.ch

Health

There are no vaccinations legally required to travel to Iceland. The country has a very good public health infrastructure with hospitals, good doctors and widely available pharmacies.
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.

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

220 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are two-pin

Budget and money

The Icelandic currency is the króna (Ikr.). Coins come in denominations of five, ten, fifty and one hundred krónur and there are notes of 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000 krónur.
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

The international telephone code is 354
Standard GMT

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 month of October, when the nights are lengthening and there is a good chance of seeing the lights, provided there is no cloud cover!

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.