Snæfellsnes peninsula contains many of the most recognised sights in Iceland; the glacier covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull, famous from the Jules Verne story "Journey to the Center of the Earth”, maritime villages with whales and seals off shore, rich valleys known from the Sagas and home to elves, trolls and ancient sorcerers. There’s mountains, lava fields, and rare bright sand beaches - and this special tour offers a chance to experience this panoply of Icelandic landscape - which could be called Iceland in a Nutshell.
Your hosts, Siggi and Ólöf have been training horses and riding on Snaefellsnes for over 20 years, and they convey the sense that the ride goes through their big back yard. Their farmhouse - Stóri-Kálfalækur - will be your base for much of the ride, with a couple of nights in other guesthouses along the trail. Hot pots provide a nice ending to most days rides!!
Travelers from North America leave for Iceland on an overnight flight with an early morning arrival at Keflavik Airport in Iceland.
Welcome to Iceland
After arrival at Keflavik International Airport you will be taken to Reykjavik where you you’ll check into your guesthouse, and have some time to explore Iceland’s capital city. Then at the outfitters Riding Center, you will get meet your fellow riders, as well have a traditional meal of Icelandic soup.
After breakfast, you’ll go north and west to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, and meet your guides and horses. You’ll get a helmet, raingear and saddle, and have an introduction to the special qualities of the Icelandic horse. You’ll put this into action, with a ride through green valleys, and over mountains to Grímsstaðir Farm with its proud history dating back to medieval times. The horses will stay here, while riders return to Stóri-Kálfalækur where a hot tub beckons! (30 km)
You’ll ride through multicolored mountains to the geologic paradise low . Hítardalur. Here you’ll go on riding trails through a lunar landscape of vast lava fields, with volcanic ashes which has a lot of saga history in it as well. The horses will spend the night at Hítarhólmur mountain while riders return to Stóri-Kálfalækur, (30 km)
Hítarhólmur Kolviðarnes Laugagerði Schoolhouse
The morning continues through the mystical volcanic valley with a stop at the sheep round up corral Hítardalsrétt - where you may also glimpse Hít, the troll woman who was turned into stone returning late from a date. (it’s a long story!) Then you’ll cross the Hítará River and through an area known as a shelter for out of Iceland’s most famous outlaw, Grettir, before arriving at Kolviðarnes Farm. The horses stay here, and riders have sleeping bag accommodations at Laugagerði Schoolhouse, which has a warm geothermal swimming pool! (45 km)
Laugagerði Traðir Hof Farm
Today’s the day -- hit the beach! You’ll start your ride on Löngufjörur, the famous horse trail on the golden sands of Snæfellsnes peninsula. Under the watchful eye of Snæfellsjökull Glacier, you’ll be able to feel the horses’ excitement as they carry you swiftly along this extraordinary trail!! The horses spend the night at Traðir Farm while riders stay at Hof Farm with a geothermal hot tub on site. (40 km)
In the evening there’s an optional excursion to Arnastapi and Hellnar, which are at the base of Mt Snaefellsjokull. You can learn more about the natural, supernatural and cultural history of this special area at the Visitors Center for Snæfellsnes National Park. Cost per person for this outing is ISK 4000. (About $35)
Hof Traðir Kolviðarnes Stóri-Kálfalækur
You’ll have another full day´s ride on the beautiful yellow sands of Snaefellsnes today. Then you’ll turn and head back towards mighty Eldborgarhraun lava field. You’ll ride with lava-fields and mountains on one side of the trail and the Atlantic Ocean on the other - a pretty unique day on horseback! You’ll return to Stóri-Kálfalækur, for the last two nights. (40 km)
Another ride on the beach but you’ll see the sand turn from yellow to black as ride along the outline of Eldborgarhraun lava field. The black lava feels as if it were still on the move as you ride back to dry land. The ride ends at Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm, with Ólöf’s farewell dinner. (30 km)
After breakfast, you can say good-by to the guides and horses and head back to Reykjavík where you’ll arrive about 11:30 AM. You’ll have that night in a hotel room, giving you some time to enjoy Reykjavik! (Or we’ll be happy to add a couple more days to explore Reykajvik and Iceland if you’d like!)
Keflavik and Home
After.breakfast you can see more of the city or soak in a swimming pool or the Blue Lagoon - depending on your flights. You’ll have a voucher for the Flybus shuttle to the airport.
Download a PDF of the itinerary of Snaefellsnes tour
The Snaefellsnes Ride runs only 6 times in the summer of 2014. Below are travel dates--and it’s easy to add a couple days on either end, if you want to see a bit more Iceland. Your arrival day in Iceland is always a transfer day, which allows you to rest from the short night of sleep on the flight, before you start riding on the second day.
Leave N America -- Return N America
Fri, June 13 - Sun, June 22
Fri, June 20 -Sunt, June 29
Fri, July 4 - Sun, July 13
Fri, Aug 1 - Sun, Aug 10
Fri, Aug 8 - Sun, Aug 17
Fri, Aug 22 - Sun, Aug 31
The price for this Snaefellsnes Tour is $3770 per person pp/do: $3863 single. This price includes round trip airfare, including fuel surcharge and departure taxes from Boston, New York, and Washington Dulles International Airport - ask about prices from Denver, Minneapolis, Anchorage, Seattle, and Toronto. The price also includes all airport transfers, your arrival night in a Reykjavik hotel with private bath and breakfast the next morning, and 6 nights in farm and guesthouse accommodations with shared bath. During the ride you have all meals, from dinner on the first day to breakfast on the last day.
*Not included are travel insurance, lunch on arrival or departure day, any extra time in Iceland before or after the ride.
Accommodations on the Snaefellsnes Tour are traditionally Icelandic, with a special upgrade for the first and last nights - you’ll be at the Hotel Eldhestar and a comfortable Reykjavik hotel on those nights. During the ride, you'll need to bring a sleeping bag; the outfitter will provide a mattress. The farmhouses, mountain huts and cabins where you'll sleep are warm and clean. Typically there are several beds per room. In huts there may be one big sleeping room. Most will have shared bathroom facilities.