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

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from £1,870 or €2,080

Horse Riding Holidays Iceland – Golden Circle Trail

PRICES & DATES top

This is one example of many rides that run across Iceland, please see the ‘Please Ask About’ section below for the full list.

Golden Circle Trail : 2019 Prices

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

6 nights – £1,870/€2,080/$2,370

Note: Rates are subject to daily exchange rate fluctuations, please refer to our ‘Terms & Conditions’ for full details.

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

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

Getting There
International flight to Klefavik.

Transfer
Short transfer to Reykjavik.

Golden Circle Trail : 2019 Dates

June: 8 – 14, 15 – 21
July: 6 – 12 • 13 – 19 • 20 – 26
Aug: 10 – 16 • 17 – 23 • 24 – 30

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 first riding day you get acquainted with the unique Icelandic Horse and its special extra gait as we take an easy trek along the banks of the majestic Thjórsá River. We continue towards Gullfoss Waterfall with its thundering waters and the hot spring area of Geysir. After a relaxed day´s riding in that locality we next explore some of more remote places, well off the beaten track. On our way to our accommodation, we visit the charming Secret Lagoon for a well-deserved bath. We cross the highland moor of Hrunaheiði and enjoy good riding tracks when trekking past iconic basalt columns at Hrepphólar on our way back to Kálfhóll 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
    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.
    Prices – £1,940/€2,159/$2,455 per person
    Dates – / June 24 – 29 • July: 1 – 6 • 8 – 13 • 15 – 20 • Aug: 5 – 10 • 12 – 17 • 26 – Aug 31
  • Snæfellsnes
    The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of Iceland´s most beautiful and emblematic sights – the glacier-covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. Riding on this trail is definitely the best way to see the astonishing nature of the peninsula. The mystery and spiritual aura of this still active volcano were made famous through Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Many of the great Sagas are located in this very area. Today the remote beauty and rich bird life draw visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.
    Dates – June: 1 – 8 • 15 – 22 • 29 – July 6 • July: 13 – 20 • 27 – Aug 3 Aug: 10 – 17 • 24 – 31
    Prices – £1,965/€2,190/$2,490 per person
  • Kjölur
    Step back in time and ride along the ancient Kjölur trail as Icelanders did over the centuries when traveling to the annual summer parliament at Thingvellir, first held in 930 AD. We visit this historic site where the heart of the nation beats and which became Iceland´s first National Park in 1930. When we arrive at the south we will visit and enjoy the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall.
    Travelling from south to north or vice versa right across the heart of Iceland we find ourselves traversing sandy deserts close to the mighty Langjökull and Hofsjökull Glaciers. Sheltered green valleys come as a surprise in this rugged terrain. Hveravellir is a geothermal area in the highlands where we can soak in a long hot bath under the Midnight Sun.
    Prices – £1,975/€2,199/$2,500 per person
    Dates / June: 22 – 29 • 29 – July 6 July: 6 – 13 • 13 – 20 • 20 – 27 • 27 – Aug 3 Aug: 3 – 10 • 10 – 17
  • Landmannalaugar to Volcano Mt Hekla
    Mount Hekla is a highly active volcano often titled the “Queen of Iceland”. The mountain towers regally over the region and every day we see evidence of its numerous devastating eruptions throughout the ages. In the old times, people actually believed it to be the gateway to hell. Landmannalaugar is a geothermal wonderland in the Southern Highlands. It’s natural bathing pools are only one of the highlights which make this area one of Iceland’s most popular destinations for nature lovers.
    Prices -£1,975/€2,199/$2,500 per person
    Dates / June: 25 – July 1 July: 30 – Aug 5 Aug: 27 – Sep 2
  • Trail of Hope
    This tour is an ideal opportunity for everyone who wants to enjoy a comfortable ride in different types of landscape. We ride through unspoiled nature and get an excellent insight into Icelandic history when listening to stories from the Saga ages. Riding the horses on smooth sandy grounds is a joy for the rider and his mount. There is plenty of time to enjoy the unique gait “tölt” while exploring nature and the history of this outstanding area. We start the ride at Hvammur Farm in Vatnsdalur valley. It is a thrilling experience riding in the water on our way across the lagoon called Lake Hóp. A visit to a seal colony on the North-Atlantic coast and the majestic Hvítserkur monolith is a wonderful thing to see.
    Prices – £1,340/€1,490/$1,695 per person
    Dates / June: 16 – 20 • 23 – 27 • 30 – Jul 4 • July: 21 – 25 • 28 – Aug 1 • Aug: 4 – 8 • 11 – 15 • 18 – 22
  • Thorsmork Nature Reserve
    A truly wonderful tour into the fascinating Thorsmörk Nature Reserve. The Thórsmörk area is a hiker´s paradise. Riding in this wonderland of nature is pure joy. On our way to Thorsmörk we are reminded of the major volcanic eruptions that occurred in 2010 causing massive disruption to international air traffic. We ride past one of the lava streams that flowed from the mighty glacier-capped volcano with the unpronounceable name, Eyjafjallajökull. We´re in the saddle for 4-7 hours (20-35 km) daily and stay in cosey mountain cabins with our horses nearby. On site, we have a sauna, an outdoor hot tub and warm showers. Can you imagine the sheer magic of relaxing in a natural hot tub in the highlands of Iceland with the Northern Lights dancing in the sky above? Life hardly gets any better!
    Prices – £1,070/€1,190/$1,355 per person
    Dates / May: 31 – June 2 Sept: 6 – 8
  • Geysir Gulfoss Special
    This tour is a short version of the popular Golden Circle Tour taking place in the hot spring area of Geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall. We also visit Thingvellir National Park on our transfer day. Enjoy accommodation at a cosy holiday farm with a hot outdoor tub and a hotel with private facilities during this tour.
    Prices – £1,310/€1,460/$1,660 per person
    Dates / June: 8 – 13 • 15 – 20 July: 6 – 11 • 13 – 18 • 20 – 25 Aug: 10 – 15 • 17 – 22 • 24 – 29Beach & Mountains
    This is a shorter version of the Snæfellsnes tour. Through lava fields and along hillsides we ride down to the shore and continue our ride on the beach. This traditional trail, only revealed by the tide, offers horses and riders great opportunities to perform the smooth gait “tölt” over long distances.
    Prices – £1,295/€1,440/$1,640 per person
    Dates / June: 1 – 5 • 15 – 19 • 29 – July 3 • July: 13 – 17 • 27 – 31 Aug: 10 – 14 • 24 – 28
  • Longufjorur Beach
    This is a much shorter version of the Snæfellsnes tour. Enjoy wide-open stretches of light-coloured sand at Löngufjörur beach, where only the tide sets a limit to the freedom of horse and man.
    Prices – £700/€780/$890 per person
    Dates / June: 5 – 8 • 19 -22 • July: 3 – 6 • 17 – 20 • 31 – Aug 3 Aug: 14 – 17 • 28 – 31
  • Northern Lights Trail
    Bonfire, traditional stories and great Icelandic food combined with visits to the Secret Lagoon and a Northern Lights hunt in the saddle in the dark are unique features of this tour.
    Prices –  £1,340/€1,495/$1,700 per person
    Dates / March: 28 – 30 • Apr: 4 – 6 • Oct: 17 – 19 • 24 – 26
  • Northern Lights & Riding Trail
    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.
    Prices – £900/€999/$1,135 per person
    Dates / Mar: 14 – 16 • 21 – 23 • Sep: 19 – 21 • Oct: 3 – 5 • 10 – 12
  • Horse Round ups
    Dates – September 12 – 16
    Prices / £1,605/€1,790/$2,040 per person
    Dates – October 2 – 6
    Prices / £1,535/€1,710/$1,945 per personSheep Round ups
    Dates – September 5 – 9
    Prices / £1,615/€1,799/$2,045 per person
    Dates – September 12 – 15
    Prices / £1,015/€1,130/$1,285 per person
    Dates – September 15 – 21
    Prices / £2,065/€2,300/$2,620 per person
    Dates – September 20 – 26
    Prices / £2,195/€2,450/$2,790 per person
  • The Kings Trail
    The Kings Trail is a unique tour where we ride across Iceland´s western highlands, from the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley in the north and shrine of the nation Þingvellir in the south.
    Prices – £2,325/€2,590/$2,950
    Dates / July: 6 – 12 July: 14 – 20
  • Under Mystique Midnight Sun
    On this unique tour, we will let the midnight sun guide our path! We ride during the night and sleep during the day. The midnight sun is nowhere brighter than where we will be riding in the northernmost part of Iceland. We will be riding exactly when the Summer Solstice occurs on June 21 when we have the longest day of the year. On that day we will have the unique opportunity to see the sunshine through all three pillars of the Arctic Henge in Raufarhöfn. This is a newly built monument for the island´s Pagan worshippers.
    Prices – £2,325/€2,590/$2,950
    Dates / Monday – Saturday June 17 – 22
  • Arctic North
    This part of Iceland is inhabited by only a few people, most of them living in little fishing villages along the coast. There is a lot of diversity on this tour starting with beautiful mountain views from the wide Öxarfjörður Fjord. The Peninsula of Melrakkaslétta, which stretches almost to the Arctic Circle, is a paradise for birdwatchers and people with geological interest. Here we are right on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North-American and Eurasian plates drift apart. From mid-June to mid-July this area is “home” to the Midnight Sun which sends its golden light over the deep fjords of North Iceland.
    Prices – £2,235/€2,490/$2,835
    Dates / July: 23 – 30 Aug: 18 – 25
  • Towards Two glaciers
    On the ancient Kjölur trail we meet our hosts for the famous Kjölur tour Gústi and Jónína. They will lead us towards the beginning of the magical Kjölur trail through the southern countryside of Iceland.
    Prices – £1,525/€1,699/$1,935
    Dates / Thursday – Monday May: 16 – 20

SAMPLE ITINERARY top

GOLDEN CIRCLE RIDE

Saturday: Reykjavik – Réttarholt Guesthouse
Pick up at BSÍ Bus station in Reykjavik or at Reykjavik official bus stops near your accommodation (see: www.busstop.is) between 18:00-19:00, where our Íshesta bus will transfer you and your fellow riders to Réttarholt 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.

Sunday: Réttarholt Guesthouse – Thjórsá glacier river
After an 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)

Monday: Réttarholt – Hvítárdalur
We leave Réttarholt and drive back to the horses. From there we head off to the fertile farmlands of neighboring 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)

Tuesday: Hvítárdalur – Gullfoss – Myrkholt
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 Geysir hot spring area. (approximately 20 km)

Wednesday: Haukadalur – Haukadalsheiði – Myrkholt
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 takes 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

Thursday: 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)

Friday: Réttarholt Guesthouse – Kaldbakur – Hrepphólar – Kálfhóll – Thingvellir – Reykjavík
Our last day of riding includes yet again terrific scenery. Today we follow good riding tracks past Mt. Galtafell. 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 20:00.

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

Wendy Roberts on Golden Circle Trail, Iceland

I can say without exception that this has been the best holiday ever. Everything was ace, the country, scenery, terrain, horses, guides – it really was ‘tip-top’. If I could only use 1 word to describe the holiday it would be ‘WOW’. Many thanks for being so helpful.

Wendy Roberts from UK