Throughout the month of September, take part in the farmers’ work and enjoy this traditional festival of Icelandic culture. We’ll ride into the highlands with a hand horse in search of the sheep that have been running free in the mountains all summer. They have to be brought down safely to the farms before the harsh Icelandic winter takes hold. You will be riding “off road” through breathtaking scenery and there will be plenty of opportunities to help to handle the sheep.
We will meet you around noon in Varmahlio, Skagafjourour at the bus station. If you travel by car, you will meet us in our office in Varmahlio. You will then check in to one of our cosy Hestasport Cottages, about 1km away and settle in.
In the afternoon, we will take you to our stables, Vindheimamelar, where you will meet our horses. We will show you how to ride with a hand horse and then we will set out for our first ride, following the trails leading along the pristine nature of the river Héraðsvötn delta. We will leave the horses at the corral Mælifellsrétt and drive back to the cottages (2-3hours)
In the morning we will pick you up from your cottage and return to the corral. You will saddle up and ride into the valley of Maelifellsdalur, following the trail with the mountains of Mælifellsdalur to your left, Reykjafjall to your right. The pure Icelandic air will be filed with the rhythmic sound of hoofsteps. Around midday, we might see the edge of two glaciers - Hofsjokull and Langjokull. Afterwards you will descent to the impressive valley Einarsdalur and the narrow gorge Stafnsgil, where we will cross the meandering g river numerous times. We might meet already the farmers and see how they round up their sheep. The path will lead us to the corral Stafnsrett, where we will leave the horses and the sheep for the night. Our driver will meet us there and take us back to our cottages. You can relax in the hot tub after the long day in the saddle (6-7 hours riding).
In the morning, the farmers will sort their sheep into their respective pens and we are going to help them with that. We will dive into the hustle and bustle of the corral. Everyone, young or old, participates in the sheep sorting. As the day passes everyone starts singing. The festive, merry atmosphere of Icelandic round-ups attracts both participants and onlookers. and you can be sure of a great time!. When all sheep are sorted, we assist one farmer to herd his livestock over a mountain pass back to the home valley. Late in the afternoon, we leave the sheep behind and with our horses we will tolt back to Vindheimamelar.
After the few long days in the saddle you can enjoy the morning sleeping in and have a last dip in the hot tub before your departure. We will drop you off at the bus station in Varmahlio. Or you can extend your stay and book a few additional nights!
*We reserve the right to change the itinerary in short notice depending on weather conditions or other unexpected natural phenomena.
This is a self catering tour. You can shop for your groceries/food in the shop nearby and prepare your breakfast/lunch/dinner in the cottage. Pack your own lunch for the tour. If you enjoy alcoholic beverages in the evening, we recommend that you buy them either at home or take advantage of the duty-free shop in Keflavík airport, because alcohol is rather expensive in Iceland and only sold in special state-run shops.
Package is bookable on request (Children at least 14 years old). Tour will go ahead with a minimum of 2 Riders.
Package includes: Accommodation for 3 nights, all ground transportation throughout riding tour, English and/or German speaking guides, helmets, rain gear and saddlebags.
Not included: Transfer to and from Iceland, Transfer to and from Varmahlio, Meals and drinks, riding breeches, boots, jackets, gloves.
What to bring: Temperatures in the summer can range from freezing to 20° C, so be prepared for all kinds of weather. Pack warm clothes such as a wind-proof jacket, woollen or fleece sweaters, gloves, thick woollen socks, headbands/earmuffs, scarf, long underwear (thermals) and of course your riding breeches. We recommend riding boots and/or hiking boots for riding. If you are comfortable with walking in rubber boots, you can bring them too. For the cabins/indoor use, slippers are advisable. Also, prepare for warmer weather and bring along lighter clothes and sunblock, and don’t forget your swimsuit (hot pools). If you need them, you should bring a small pillow and all personal medication. Our staff members are not allowed to give out medication except for emergency situations.
What to wear:
Temperatures in the summer can range from freezing to 20° C, so be prepared for all kinds of weather. We recommend a wind proof jacket, woollen or fleece sweaters, gloves, thick woollen socks, headbands/earmuffs, scarf, long underwear (thermals) and of course your riding breeches. Comfortable pants and strong shoes (hiking boots are fine). We will provide you with a helmet and rain gear, if necessary. Please note that we require you to wear a helmet when riding with us, so if you’d like to wear a woollen hat or headband, make sure it’s a thin one and fits comfortably under a helmet.
If you are an experienced rider and want to bring your own riding clothes with you, they must be disinfected before you arrive. It is prohibited by Icelandic law to bring used riding gear including saddles, bridles, etc. into the country, as well as used leather riding boots, other leather riding wear or riding gloves. Riding clothes, rubber riding boots and any other gear should be machine-washed (min. 40°) or dry-cleaned (chemically cleaned), and disinfected with VirkonS®. If you are comfortable with walking in rubber boots, you can bring them too. Also, prepare for warmer weather and bring along lighter clothes and sunblock, and don’t forget your swimsuit (hot tubs).
Personal medication: If you need them, you should bring all personal medication. Our staff members are not allowed to give out medication except for emergency situations.