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Iceland - Golden Circle Trail
Unique country, excellent hosts, very special and very different riding holiday!

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Horse Riding Holidays Iceland – Golden Circle Trail

PRICES & DATES top

Golden Circle Trail : 2017 Prices

Rates are quoted per person sharing. The Golden Circle is a fixed departure ride.

5 nights/6 days – £1,665/€1,980/$2,055

Included – All the riding with 3-4 ponies per person & full board shared accommodation.

Excluded – Flights, tips, airport trasnfers and alcohol (BYO policy).

Getting There
International flight to Klefavik.

Transfer
Short transfer to Reykjavik.

Golden Circle Trail : 2017 Dates

Monday – Saturday
June 5 – 10, June 12 – 17, June 26 – July 1
July 3 – July 8, July 10 – 15, July 17 – 22, July 24 – 29, July 31 – Aug 5
Aug 7 – 12, Aug 14 – 19, Aug 21 – 26, Aug 28 – Sep 2
Sep 4 – 9

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

SUMMARY OF THE TRIP top

Iceland is a unique country in itself but if you add the Icelandic pony with its extraordinary gait and stamina, and our excellent hosts on the Golden Circle Trail, you end up with a very special and very different horse riding holiday in Iceland.

There is no better way to visit the hot springs area of Geysir and the Golden Waterfall of Gullfoss than by riding on Icelandic ponies on the Golden Circle Trail through the stunning countryside of Southern Iceland, viewing the unique scenery at Thingvellir National Park, including the assembly fields where the oldest parliamentary institution was founded in AD 930.

This particular ride on the Golden Circle Trail is very popular because it hits all the highlights of the island. It’s also great for families and the less experienced, although you do need to be fit and brave as there are long days in the saddle and you will be expected to keep up with the pace. If pace and speed is key to your experience, then do get in touch as there are plenty of other rides across the island, where only intermediate plus riders can venture and we can talk you through the best ones to suit your needs.

On the Golden Circle Trail ride you can expect on the first day you get acquainted with the Icelandic horses and their special gaits during a relaxed ride through the countryside surrounding Fossnes Farm. The following day you set off with your guide and spare, loose horses, ready for you to change on to, to keep up the pace and ride towards the magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall and the hot springs area of Geysir.

On the Golden Circle Trail you will ascend through lovely birch forests with wild mountain flowers to a highland plateau with wonderful views of mountains and glaciers. The last two days of the ride are more challenging since you will now be able to herd your own spare horses. You will experience riding on the edge of civilisation as you cross the highland moor of Hrunaheiïi. On the last riding day, enjoy good riding tracks as you follow the Laxïrdalur Valley, on the way back to Fossnes Farm.

Icelandic horses, although small in height are extremely comfortable to ride and famous for the 5 gaits unique to this breed.

A bit about the special gait the ‘Tolt’

The tolt is the speciality of the Icelandic Horse. It is a smooth four-beat gait in which the horses hind legs should move well under the body and carry more of the weight on the hind part, allowing the front to rise and be free and loose. This flying pace is a two-beat gait, well known in the international racing world. When pacing the horse moves both legs on the same side together. In Iceland, pace horses are ridden in races and pace racing in Iceland is one of the oldest and most respected equestrian sports.

THE RIDING top

Golden Circle Trail : Horses – Pure Icelandic Ponies.

Golden Circle Trail : Level of Riding & Pace – Novice to Intermediate. A good level of fitness is required as you will be spending long hours in the saddle.

Tack – English.

Weight Restriction – 16 Stone / 102 kg / 224 lbs.

Golden Circle Trail : Group Size – Maximum 18.

ACCOMMODATION top

A mix of cosy, simple guesthouses & farmhouses. The food is lovely home cooked Icelandic food, consisting of soups & stews, fish & lamb, with healthy breakfasts & lunches.

 

Please Ask About

The Golden Circle Trail ride is the most popular riding holiday in Iceland, and particularly good for first time visitors to the country and includes all the highlights like Gullfoss and the Hot Spring Geysir. However there are a wide variety of other rides available like Sheep round ups throughout the summer. Please see list below, and call or email for more details and itineraries:

  • Northern Exposure – Wonders of Lake Mývatn – (Sleeping bag acco.) If you are adventurous and don’t mind sleeping bags, try this challenging riding expedition, nominated by ‘The Sunday Times’ as one of the top ’10 treks in the world’ – The North of Iceland is known for its great natural sights and varied landscape. The ride starts from Saltvík Farm near Húsavík to the Lake Mývatn area, known for its volcanic features and countless numbers of breeding ducks. You’ll ride along soft tracks ideal for “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse. From fertile farm land you head towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and spend a night in a mountain cabin at Theistareykir. Through an area covered with cracks and fissures from earthquakes and volcanic activity the route leads towards Lake Mývatn where boiling mud pools and eerie lava formations remind you of the volcanic energy hidden beneath. You can take a relaxing bath in an outdoor bathing area with hot geothermal water. The next two days take you from the black sand deserts of Hólssandur over Hvammsheiði heath towards the shore and back to the farm, ending the tour chilling out in outdoor hot tubs with a great view over to the ocean and the Kinnafjöll Mountain Range.
    Dates / June 26 – July 1 • July 3 – 8 • July 10 – 15 • July 17 – 22 • Aug 7 – 12 • Aug 14 – 19 • Aug 28 – Sep 2
    Prices /£1,730/€2,060/$2,136 per person
  • Snæfellsnes
    Dates / June 18 – 24 • June 25 – July 1 • July 9 – 15 • July 16 – 22 • Aug 3 – 9 • Aug 10 – 16 • Aug 20 – 26
    Prices / £1,775/€2,110/$2185 per person
  • Kjölur 
    Dates / June 25 – July 1 • July 2 – 8 • July 10 – 16 • July 23 – 29 • July 30 – Aug 5 • Aug 6 – 12 • Aug 13 – 19
    Prices / £1,755/€2,090/$2,165 per person
  • Volcano Mt Hekla Landmannalaugar
    Dates / June 28 – July 3 • July 5 – 10 • July 12 – 17 • July 19 – 24 • July 26 – 31 • Aug 2 – 7 • Aug 9 – 14 • Aug 16 – 21 • Aug 23 – 28 • Aug 30 – Sep 4
    Prices /£1,755/€2,090/$2,165 per person
  • Trail of Hope
    Dates / June 18 – 22 • June 25 – 29 • July 3 – 7 • July 9 – 13 • July 16 – 20 • July 30 – Aug 3 • Aug 6 – 10 • Aug 13 – 17 • Aug 20 – 24
    Prices / £1,190/€1,420/$1471 per person
  • Thorsmork Nature Reserve
    Dates /  June 2 – 4 • June 16 – 18 • July 7 – 9 • July 21 – 23 • Aug 4 – 6 • Aug 25 – 27 • Sep 8 – 10
    Prices / £750/€890/$922 per person
  • Geysir Gulfoss Special
    Dates / June: 5 – 9 • 12 – 16 • 26 – 30 July: 3 – 7 • 10 – 14 • 17 – 21 • 24 – 28 • 31 – Aug 4 Aug: 7 –11 • 14 – 18 • 21 – 25 • 28 – Sep 1 Sep: 4 –8
    Prices / £1,165/€1,390/$1,440 per person
  • From Geysirs to Mountains
    Dates / June: 9 – 10 • 16 – 17 • 30 – July 1 July: 7 – 8 • 14 – 15 • 21 – 22 • 28 – 29 Aug: 4 – 5 • 11 – 12 • 18 – 19 • 25 – 26 Sep: 1 – 2 • 8 – 9
    Prices / £495/€590/$611 per person
  • Beach & Mountains
    Dates / June 18 – 21 • June 25 – 28 • July 9 – 12 • July 16 – 19 • Aug 3 – 6 • Aug 10 – 13 • Aug 20 – 23
    Prices / £1,150/€1,370/$1,419 per person
  • Longufjorur Beach
    Dates / June 21 – 24 • June 28 – July 1 • July 12 – 15 • July 19 – 22 • Aug 6 – 9 • Aug 13 – 16 • Aug 23 – 26
    Prices / £620/€740/$766 per person
  • Riding under Northern Lights
    Dates / Mar 16 – 18 • Mar 23 – 25 • Mar 30 – Apr 1 • Sep 21 – 23 • Sep 28 – 30 • Oct 5 – 7 • Oct 12 – 14 • Oct 19 – 21
    Prices / £810/€960/$994 per person
  • Horse Round up Skrapatungurétt 
    Dates / September 14 – 18
    Prices / £1,485/€1,770/$1,833 per person
  • Horse Round up Víðidalstungurétt
    Dates / October 4 – 8
    Prices / £1,295/€1,545/$1,600 per person
  • Sheep Round up Landmannaafrettur
    Dates / September 15 – 21
    Prices / £1,955/€2,332/$2,415 per person
  • Sheep Round up Melrakkaslette
    Dates / September 7 – 11
    Prices / £1,470/€1,750/$1,812 per person
  • Sheep Round up Reykjarettir
    Dates / September 14 – 17
    Prices / £915/€1,090/$1,129 per person
  • Sheep Round up Andkulurett
    Dates / September 7 – 11
    Prices / £1,215/€1,450/$1,502 per person
  • Sheep Round up Rangarvallaafrettur
    Dates / September 10 – 16
    Prices / £1,845/€2,200/$2,279 per person
  • Northern Lights Comfort Tour
    Dates /March 30 – Apr 1 • Apr 6 – 8 • Oct 19 – 21 • Oct 26 – 28 • Nov 2 – 4
    Prices / £1,255/€1,495/$1,549 per person

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

GOLDEN CIRCLE RIDE

 

Monday

Reykjavík – Thingvellir – Kálfhóll – Réttarholt Guesthouse Pick up between 09:00 – 10:00 at your accommodation in the morning. Transfer from Reykjavík to Kálfholl Farm. Welcome meeting and introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits we start our ride along the pleasant trail at Thjórsá glacier fed river. We leave the horses at Sandlækjarmýri field and drive to Réttarholt Guesthouse. This day is the perfect start to get to know your horse and the Icelandic way of trail riding in a relaxed atmosphere. Enjoy the outdoor hot tub at Réttarholt Guesthouse before a hearty dinner. (approximately 15 km)

Tuesday

Réttarholt – Hvítárdalur We leave Réttarholt and drive back to the horses. From there we head off to the fertile farmlands of neighbouring community Hrunamannahreppur. We drive spare horses along in a free running herd, enabling us to change our mount regularly and traveling at a brisk space. We cross the well know Salmon River Stóra-Laxá and stop for our picnic lunch at Hrunaréttir, a corral used for the annual sheep round-up in autumn. We ride to Hvítárdalur Farm where we spend the night. (approximately 30 km)

Wednesday

Hvítárdalur – Gullfoss – Myrkholt/Hvítárdalur We continue our ride on soft trails ideal for tölting towards the majestic canyon Brúarhlöð where milky green water passes through bizarre rock formations. Alongside Hvítá River we follow the ever deepening canyon on to the impressive Golden Waterfall Gullfoss and continue to the famous Geysirhot spring area. (approximately 20 km)

Thursday

Geysir – Haukadalur – Haukadalsheiði – Myrkholt/Hvítárdalur Our ride takes us through Haukadalur valley with its beautiful birch forest. Cross clear little streams on the way and enjoy the rich vegetation of wild mountain flowers that bloom during high summer. While you ascend to a highland plateau you will notice the changes in nature as you reach higher ground. A breathtaking view of the mountain ranges and glaciers of the highland around awaits you when you reach the top of Haukadalsheiði. Rest of the day is spent at the Geysir area. You have plenty of time to explore this highly interesting area with its countless bubbling hot springs. (approximately 15 km)

Optional (available at an extra charge): Snowmobile drive on Langjökull glacier
Enjoy the white ice field of Langjökull glacier up-close. A 4×4 vehicle take us to a base camp where we change into warm gear. After safety instructions we drive into the white world of ice and snow. Two people share a snowmobile during the 1 hr. drive and both get to drive the vehicle (a valid driver´s license is necessary to drive a snowmobile, younger participants and children can sit in the back). Price per person ISK 26.200

Friday

Geysir – Tungufellsdalur – Kaldbakur – Réttarholt Guesthouse We leave the Geysir area and ride along green pastures back to the bridge at Brúarhlöð canyon where we cross mighty Hvítá River. Now we head towards the interior and follow beautiful Tungufellsdalur valley onto Hrunaheiðar heath plateau and we experience riding along the edge of civilization. Our horses spend the night at Kaldbakur Farm, we drive to the Secret Lagoon for relaxing bath in the geothermal pool and then drive to Réttarholt Guesthouse and spend the night. (approximately 30 km)

Saturday

Réttarholt Guesthouse – Kaldbakur – Hrepphólar – Kálfhóll – Reykjavík Our last day of riding includes yet again terrific scenery. Today we follow good riding tracks past Mt. Galtafell and see the amazing basalt columns at Hrepphólar. We cross River Laxá before we reach Sandlækjarmýri. We turn towards the banks of Thjórsá River and follow them to Kálfhóll Farm. (approximately 40 km) Here we say goodbye to our guides, staff and horses and return to Reykjavík, drop off at your accommodation. Approx, arrival at 19:00.

DESTINATION MAP top

Zara’s Planet Horse Riding Holidays Guarantee:

All our horse riding holidays hold a price guarantee. We believe in your piece of mind on price when you book one of our horse riding holidays and will refund the difference should you find the same horse riding holiday elsewhere at a lower price.

If you are having trouble finding exactly the right horse riding holiday for you from our horse riding holidays collection, please contact us directly using the form below and tell us in your own words what you would like to do and we will use our extensive knowledge to make sure we find that perfect horse riding holiday.

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Iceland Holidays Testimonials

Jane & Sarah on Vikings Trail, Iceland

I just thought I would drop you a line to say thanks for organising a wonderful holiday for Sarah and I. Iceland was everything I thought it would be. I felt that you really delivered on what you promised. The horses were all in great condition and seemed very happy in their work. The guide

Jane & Sarah Evans from Ireland