Horse Round Up

Icelandic horses roundup
from £2000 6 nights | Sep - Oct Inc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Sep - Oct

Overview

The round up is a long-standing Icelandic tradition that dates back to the days of the early settlers. Take part with a small group and your expert guide escorting you, in this unique experience tour in Iceland's north west, the ultimate thrill for horse lovers. With fertile land surrounding the farms at a premium, livestock were taken to graze up in the highlands leaving the lower pastures free for crops. Every autumn these animals were rounded up and returned to the lower fields for the winter months.

A sight like no other, the horse round up is perhaps the ultimate thrill for those with a passion for horses - spectacular to see and invigorating for the rider.

Highlights

  • join an impressive herd of approximately 2000 free-running and spirited horses as they make their way across rugged territory to their winter pastures
  • celebrate with the locals as they sing traditional songs, a much-heralded ritual

Staying at local farms in the north west of the country, the round up is based around beautiful scenery. Suited to the more experienced rider the round up is intense yet quite unforgettable as mares, foals and geldings reluctantly leave the freedom of the highlands to be brought down to the fertile valleys below. They are then sorted at an auction held right there and then, should you feel tempted to take home a souvenir! This annual event is also a chance for Icelanders to demonstrate their natural inclination for celebrating whilst a hearty fill of traditional Icelandic lamb soup and other delicacies is never far away (vegetarian options are also provided).

Heading back to Reykjavik for the final night offers the opportunity to also get a taste for Iceland's lively capital city. Accommodation is in comfortable 2-4 bed units with shared facilities. Hotel accommodation with private facilities is included in Reykjavik at the start and end of the tour.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Vididalstungurett Itinerary
Day 1: Keflavik - Reykjavik
Arrive at Keflavik airport and transfer to Reykjavik. Later head to the Ishestar Riding Center for an introductory riding tour to Mt. Helgafell Volcano and a briefing of the rest of the tour. Transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavik.

Day 2: Reykjavik - Gauksmyri Farm
Drive to the north west and meet Eggert with his staff and horses at Hvammur Farm. On the way, there is a visit to a factory outlet of woolen goods. The ride takes you alongside the river Midfjardara to the ocean and from there, underneath Vatnsnesfjall Mountain to Gauksmyri Farm, where you will stay overnight in a cosy country hotel.

Day 3: Gauksmyri Farm - Vididalur Valley
This long and exciting ride day takes you into the friendly countryside of Vestur-Hop, past a lake and into the beautiful valley of Vididalur. Follow the Vididalsa River to Daeli Holiday Farm, close to Kolugil canyon. This farm is beautifully located in Vididalur Valley and you will enjoy the hospitality of Sigrun and Viglundur. The outdoor hot tubs are waiting, as well as a hearty dinner.

Day 4: Vididalur Valley - Daeli Farm
Today you ascend towards the highland plateau Vididalstunguheidi and meet the horses coming down from their pastures in the highlands. Enjoy a warm lunch in the mountain, before you join the other guests and locals following the farmers driving the herd down from the highland. Before ending your ride at Daeli Farm, you stop at Kolugili Farm for refreshments. Following dinner that day, you spend time with the farmers and other guests in Daeli and join in their singing, dancing and celebrating of this great event of the Autumn.

Day 5: Daeli Farm
The day starts at the round up place Vididalstungurett where the horses are sorted out. An auction is held right on the spot and you can join the farmers in celebrating the return of their horses. In the afternoon, ride to Bjargsholl Farm and return the horses to their meadows, before driving back to Daeli for a hearty dinner.

Day 6: Daeli Farm - Reykjavik
After breakfast, leave the north and return to Reykjavik by bus. Approximate arrival at the Reykjavik hotel is 14:00.

Day 7: Reykjavik - Keflavik
Transfer to Keflavik Airport in time for the return flight to the UK.
Skrapatungurett Itinerary
Day 1: Keflavik - Reykjavik
Arrive at Keflavik airport and transfer to Reykjavik. Later head to the Ishestar Riding Center for an introductory riding tour to Mt. Helgafell Volcano and a briefing of the rest of the tour. Transfer to your accommodation in Reykjavik.

Day 2: Reykjavik - Hvammur Farm
This morning you will be picked up and transfered by bus from Reykjavik to Hvammur Farm, where you meet the horses and guides. Start your ride in Vatnsdalur valley. This beautiful valley is the setting of the Vatnsdaela-Saga. Ride on the eastern side of Vatnsdalur valley, past Hvammsfoss waterfall, surrounded by impressive basalt columns. The horses rest close to Stora-Gilja Farm whilst the riders return to Hvammur Farm, home of hosts Sonja and Haukur, for an overnight stay.

Day 3: Lake Hunavatn - Langadalur Valley Rejoin
The horses and start the ride along the shore of Lake Hunavatn, then follow the salmon fishing river 'Laxa a Asum' and continue to Blonduos village. Here cross the glacier-fed river Blanda by bridge and continue on to Bjornsolfsstadir Farm in the Langadalur valley. This farm belongs to Haukur's grandfather who is known for his storytelling and warm personality. Overnight stay at Hvammur Farm.

Day 4: Laxardalur - Skrapatungurett
Meet up with the horses again at Strjugsstadir Farm. Today meet the farmers coming down from the mountains where they will have already spent some time gathering the horses from their summer pastures. Hundreds of horses return at this time from the highlands and you will participate in herding them to the round up location at Skrapatungurett. During this long riding day you may even join in with the farmers' singing, celebrating this great autumnal event!

Day 5: Sorting of the horses and driving of the herds
The day starts at Skrapatungurett where the horses are sorted. Experience the excitement and view beautiful horses while joining in this great event. Once the horses are sorted, help in returning some of them to their meadows at their home farms. Then enjoy dinner at Hvammur Farm and time to share your personal experience on the adventure with your fellow riders.

Day 6: Return to Reykjavik
After breakfast leave the North and return to Reykjavik by bus - lunch and dinner are not included. Approximate arrival at the hotel will be at 14:00.

Day 7: Reykjavik - Keflavik
Transfer to Keflavik Airport in time for the return flight to the UK.
Notes
  • The above itineraries are guidelines only and are subject to change.

Prices & Dates

2017 Departures

Skrapatungurett Itinerary
13 September from £2,164 per person

Vididalstungurett itinerary
3 October from £2,000 per person

Single supplement from £137 per person

Twin and single accommodation will be in Reykjavik only. Accommodation during the riding tour will be in 2-4 bed units with shared facilities.

Price includes flight credit of £250*; airport transfers • accommodation in Reykjavik on breakfast basis before and after tour • lall transfers during riding tour • accommodation in 2-4 bed units with shared facilities on a full board basis whilst on tour (Icelandic breakfast, packed lunch and dinner) • rainwear • saddle bag • water bottle • safety helmet • sleeping bag with a sheet where necessary while on riding tour.

Prices exclude insurance policy upgrades, dance at the community centre at end of round up - entrance fee to be paid locally, personal expenses, tips and gratuities.

* Flight credit is based on a typical airfare for a budget airline with checked in luggage and the actual cost of the flight will be shown on your quotation. This may reduce or increase the cost of your holiday.

How to book

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