Northern Lights Ride

Iceland Shorts Iceland: (IT-ICRT15)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/iceland_norther_lights_is.aspx

Introduction
Iceland Shorts Iceland
Winter in Iceland means a countryside ablaze with color and the Northern Lights dancing in the Arctic night sky.

Enjoy visiting the best-known sights in Iceland, riding the Icelandic Horse along fine bridle paths and viewing a dazzling Northern Lights display after a great day in the saddle. Riding during the wintertime is an Icelandic tradition and a wonderful experience.

We will take a tour and visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral-rich water. We will ride between the rivers Þjórsá and Hvítá and visit the Golden circle. During the riding days, “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic Horse will be introduced to you.

Get ready in the evenings to experience the unique tranquility of the Icelandic countryside and gaze skywards to perhaps see green-colored Northern Lights dancing above you (weather permitting).

Accomodation

Accommodations
This is a stationary ride so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
You will be accommodated in Blesastaðir Guesthouse. This newly renovated guesthouse can accommodate up to 20 guests in dormitory style rooms. Beds come with linen so no need to bring your sleeping bag. Guests have access to a lounge with a TV & Wi-Fi access. There is a hot tub onsite.

Room Occupancy
Single rooms are not available on this trip.


Meals
During the ride full board is provided.

The menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb).
All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.

Alcoholic beverages are not included but can be purchased in the duty-free store of Keflavik airport.

Dietary Restrictions
Vegetarian meals are available if requested in advance.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Riding Experience
This tour is a great riding experience that is suitable for intermediate riders. You need to be comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt) and short canters. Riding days can be as long as up to 35 km in the saddle so you should be in good physical condition and have a basic knowledge of horsemanship. You will get a thorough introduction into the gaits of the Icelandic horse and feel the Tölt, the extremely soft traveling gate of the Icelandic horse.

Riding Gear – Disinfect!
Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Items which cannot be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots, riding hats) need to disinfected at least 5 days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection. Used riding gloves, whips, saddles, bridles, chaps and other used leather gear may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help us to protect Iceland’s fragile nature!
We provide saddle bags, rain wear and safety helmet.



Tack & Riding Style
The tack used for Icelandic horses is slightly different then the tack ordinarily used for other breeds.
The saddle is built close to a dressage saddle and has a relatively flat seat. Saddles come with plain or quilted seats. On longer rides, a crupper helps keeping the saddle in place. Riding style used on Icelandic horses is close to English riding style, but stirrups are worn long.
Bits used are mostly simple snaffles. Bridles have a detachable noseband and clip on reins.

The Farmers
The real connoisseurs of the local terrain and history. We make sure that each tour has its own charm and is organized by the local expert, the farmer, and his family. They use their own horses and ride through the part of the country they know so well.
Our farmers have over 30 years of experience in leading riding groups through Iceland.

Herd of Horses
On this ride, you will be riding several days (except for two days) with a free running herd of horses. Herding along free running horses is the traditional way of travelling in Iceland, since horses are changed at least once a day on longer tours. You get to ride a variety of horses. 

Horses
The Icelandic horse is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider, especially on a longer tour.  Riding an Icelandic horse in its native habitat land is an authentic riding experience. The horses are especially chosen for this trip and are suited even for riders who have not had much riding experience. 

Itinerary

Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Day 1 (Wednesday): Arrival
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation (see: www.busstop.is) around 5:00pm. Our bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Blesastaðir Guesthouse, where horses and staff are waiting for us. After a lovely introductory meal where we get to know each other, we relax and rest so we are well prepared for the adventure ahead of us. We can enjoy the nice hot tub outside and look up into the sky for dazzling Northern Lights.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Blesastaðir Guesthouse


Day 2 (Thursday): Ride along Þjórsá River & Visit of Secret Lagoon
We will drive to the Farm Kálfhóll where our guide will introduce us to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits. This first riding day is a perfect way to get to know Icelandic winter riding in a relaxed atmosphere along the mighty river Þjórsá (the longest river in Iceland: 212 km). We enjoy the southern countryside with an impressing view of mountain ranges, pastureland in its winter coat and the Hekla volcano watching over us in the distance. After a magical day in the winter wonderland, we will go and visit the Secret Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral-rich water. Dinner will be served at Blesastaðir and afterward, you can take an evening stroll with your guide and host to look for the Northern Lights again.
Riding approximately 15 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Blesastaðir Guesthouse


Day 3 (Friday): Ride along the Hvítá River 
We start the day with a short ride in the winter fields, by the Kálfhóll farm, before we have lunch. Our ride then takes us to the glacier river Hvítá with the milky water that streams from the glaciers into the highland. We ride through lava and moss-covered terrain and enjoy the view all around us. After a short break near the river, we 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.
Riding approximately 15 km
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Blesastaðir Guesthouse


Day 4 (Saturday): Ride along the Þjórsá River and Golden Circle Tour 
After breakfast, we take our last ride along the Þjórsá river and take in the breathtaking winter pastures one last time. After a light lunch, we 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, the waterfall Gullfoss and Thingvellir National Park.
Geysir is a geothermal area with boiling mud pits and 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 we drive to Thingvellir National Park and see an amazing nature and geological phenomena. Since 2004 Thingvellir has been listed on UNESCO‘s World Heritage List for its geological the uniqueness and historical significance.
We will be back in Reykjavík at approx. 6:00 pm.
Riding approximately 15 km
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch


Rates and Dates for Northern Lights Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals, Transfers from/to Reykjavik city center, Entrance to Secret Lagoon, Golden Circle Tour & 3 riding days
Rain wear, Water bottle, Saddle bag & Riding helmet can be provide

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20204 day trip, AP€999$1130
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2020 Pick up at BSÍ Bus station or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation between 7:30am-8:30am on Day 1

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2020 09/16 - 09/19 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Expired
A 2020 09/30 - 10/03 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 10/07 - 10/10 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 10/28 - 10/31 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 11/04 - 11/07 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 11/18 - 11/21 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 11/25 - 11/28 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 12/09 - 12/12 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve
A 2020 12/16 - 12/19 4d / 3n 4 day trip, AP 1 /16 Reserve

Dates Note: Saturday- Thursday

Rates do not include:

Alcoholic beverages (can be bought at Duty Free ahead of time) & Gratuities

Note:

Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Northern Lights Ride (IT-ICRT15):
For bookings made after March 11th until June 15th that are affected by Covid19 (travel restrictions), we will help you find another departure with us.
We are offering our guest to reschedule later in 2020 or for 2021 at no extra cost. If you are not able to join us this summer or the next, we want to give a voucher open for four years, so you can ride with us when the time is right for you.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: Reykjavik
Airport: Reykjavik Airport
Transfer: Reykjavík

Climate:
                                                Reykjavík area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

37

37

39

43

49

54

57

57

51

45

40

37

Average Low Temperature (°F)

27

28

29

33

39

44

48

47

42

36

31

28

Average High Temperature (°C)

3

3

4

6

10

12

14

14

11

7

4

3

Average Low Temperature (°C)

-3

-2

-2

1

4

7

9

8

6

2

-1

-2

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

13

13

14

11

10

9

9

12

12

12

12

14

Source: NOAA
 

Seasons
As its name suggests, Iceland is cold, but not as cold as might be expected; thanks to the passing warm waters of the Gulf Stream, which regulate the climate. Its average mid-winter temperatures are no lower than those in New York City. The city's coastal location does, however, also mean it is prone to wind, and gales are common in winter. Reykjavik is also a very wet city, having on average 213 rainy days out of the year, with spring having slightly more sunny days! The south is the wettest part of the country. Coastal areas tend to experience winter gales and are generally windy.

Icelandic weather is known to be unpredictable and changing several times a day. A beautiful day can suddenly turn windy and rainy (and vice versa). Travelers to Iceland should be prepared for anything and dress in layers.

Winter
The average January temperature is 31°F (-0.5°C). From mid-November until the end of January, in the darkness of winter, the country only experiences a few hours of daylight each day.

Summer
The summer temperatures in Reykjavík range from 41°F (5°C) at night to as high as 77°F (25°C) during the day.  During the summer months there is almost continuous daylight; early spring and late autumn feature long twilights. 
 
The Northern Lights are often visible in autumn and early winter.

What To Bring:
You should be ready for all kinds of weather as it can change very quickly.
We provide you with good rain-clothes, a riding helmet and a saddle bag (where you can keep the picnic lunch, a small camera, extra pair of gloves etc.).

Bring bags rather than hard cover suitcases. Pack light because transport space is limited.

You should be ready for all kinds of weather as the weather can change very quickly. We recommend that the following items are included when preparing for our longer tours.
• Knee high riding boots - water resistant/ waterproof
• Warm jacket or overcoat.
• Warm (woolen or fleece) sweater.
• Warm socks and gloves, at least two pairs, scarf and a cap or hat.
• Warm underwear, long if possible (protects also against chafing).
• For the ladies – sports bra.
• Riding trousers.
• Track suit.
• A pair of slippers to wear in the accommodation (Icelanders take off their shoes when entering a house).
• Swim suits, towels, soap etc.
• A small camera to take with you on the ride.
• Band aids and second skin plasters for chaffing.
• Insect repellent, gnat net head cover.
• Chocolate or glucose sweets for strenuous riding days.
• Sun lotion for face and lips (with high sun factor).
• Sunglasses.
• For those with sensitive eyes/contact lenses, goggles. 
• Ear plugs. Some people snore!

Disinfecting of the riding gear
It is important to follow the regulation regarding the disinfecting of used riding clothes. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Items which can not be washed or dry cleaned (riding boots, riding hats) need to be disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection. Used riding gloves, whips, saddles, bridles and other used leather gear may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help us to protect Iceland's fragile nature! For further information please take a look at: http://www.mast.is/english/frontpage/import-export/import/ridingequipment/ 

Cameras:  
We recommend to bring a small camera that can be taken in a pocket, a waist/hip bag or in the saddle bag.
Large camera equipment we can not allow on the horses for security reasons. Tours are operated with a free running herd - at speed of tölt or trot for most of the day. We take breaks to relax the horses and then it is possible to take pictures. While on the horse taking pictures is rather difficult since the horses are constantly moving. Because of the herd instinct it is not possible to stop an individual horse, they all will follow each other.
You can leave larger Digital SLR with your luggage at the farm or put it in their luggage that will be transferred to the new accommodation.