Issuu on Google+

2014 Riding in Iceland

�shestar – a leading, fully licensed tour operator since 1982

www.ishestar.is


ÍSHESTAR WELCOMES YOU WHAT IS INCLUDED? TO ICELAND A very exciting year awaits us, where some new tours together with the ones that have been the core of our operation for more than 30 years, make the Íshestar program the largest in the country. Íshestar offers 10 destinations all over Iceland with over 120 departures, ranging from 1 hour tour up to 2 weeks. We have always had the good fortune to work with fantastic partners who are ready to make your experience a lifelong memory. We are also very proud to invite you to our newly renovated Riding Center and we hope that the addtions will furthermore enhance your riding experience. I would like to thank all of you who joined our tours this year and for the years that have passed. We hope to see you again this summer and for the coming years.

THE TRADEMARK OF ÍSHESTAR Ever since Ishestar was founded we have co-operated with farmers all over Iceland; the real connoisseurs of the local terrain and history. By doing this we make sure that each trip has its own charm and and is orginized 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. Security, quality and a personal service has always been Ishestar’s trademark and with our large selection of fine horses we are able to offer a broad range of riding tours for experienced riders and beginners alike. Herding along free running horses is the traditional way of riding in Iceland, since horses are changed at least once a day. We are proud to follow this tradition on most of our multi-day tours riding through the highlands, across lava fields, rivers and through bushy vegetation.

BOOKING & INFORMATION You can book a tour on our website, or by contacting either the sales office of Íshestar or our sales agents throughout the world. You can obtain further information by contacting us by e-mail or telephone. Íshestar ehf., Sörlaskeið 26, 220 Hafnarfjörður, Iceland www.ishestar.is Tel: +354 555 7000 • Fax: +354 555 7001 MULTI-DAY TOURS • E-mail: ishestar@ishestar.is, DAY TOURS • E-mail: info@ishestar.is ÍH TRAVEL • E-mail: info@ihtravel.is

DAY BY DAY ITINERARIES AND MORE INFORMATION Available on www.ishestar.is or upon request from our office and our sales agents.

Videos and Photos

Looking forward to seeing you in Iceland! On behalf of Íshestar’s staff,

____________________ Fannar Ólafsson Managing director

From left: Fannar, Harpa, Kristín, Hulda, Hansína, Rannveig, Jessica, Lilja, Einar Thór, Silja, Samúel, Dagbjört

2


Why riding in Iceland? • The Icelandic Horse

The breed 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.

• Herd

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.

• Icelandic Nature

Iceland is the least densely populated country in Europe, with a pure, unpolluted and truly magical landscape.

• Nature bathing

In Iceland (and on our riding tours) you can find hot spring oasis featuring hot pools and geothermal hot springs that are perfect for relaxing after a long riding day.

Why Íshestar? • Our partners

The real connoisseurs of the local terrain and history. By cooperating with local farmers 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.

• Diversity

Íshestar offers riding tours in most parts of the country, South, West, North and East Iceland and across the highlands. Everything from a 2 days countryside tour to a 10 days highland tour, as well as day riding tours in the Capital area.

• Experience

Íshestar was founded in 1982 and has over 30 years of experience in leading riding groups through Iceland.

• International groups

Our guests come from many countries, so be prepared to meet new horse lovers from all over the world.

• Innovation

We are constantly working on new ideas and itineraries to offer to our riders and come up with new tours every year.

3


WHAT IS INCLUDED? It is important for clients to be aware of what is included in the tour price, and what is not. Accommodation in the Capital area of Reykjavík (included in many of our tours) is shared in double or triple rooms and includes breakfast only. Single room accommodation is available for these nights at an extra charge. During the ride full board is provided. Our menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested in advance. All riders make their own lunch pack from the breakfast table. Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour prices. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland. Clients from Europe, please bring your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

• •

Íshestar reserves the right to change a day’s itinerary, if road or weather conditions prove unfavourable. A cancellation of a tour due to insufficient participation must be made with at least 4 weeks notice. Íshestar shall make every effort to provide similar alternative arrangements without additional cost to the buyer. Should the alternative not be to the buyer’s satisfaction a full refund will be made. Still we are proud to confirm that this has rarely happened since we started our operation in 1982.

Included in all our multi-day tours:

• All transfers and domestic flights according to our tour • • • •

programme as well as accommodation and full board during the riding tour. Our tour guides are English and Scandinavian speaking, some speak also German and French. Included in tours no. 3 – 10, 12, 19, 20, 25 and 26 is one night in a hotel including breakfast in the Capital area before and after the riding tour, and a welcome meal* (*not incl. for IH20). Tour 21 includes one night in a hotel in the Capital area. Tours no 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 23 and 24 start and end in Reykjavík and do not include accommodation in Reykjavík. Rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet and sleeping bag with a sheet (where necessary).

Included in all day tours:

• Transfers, riding helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm • • •

outfit during the ride. Meals are included on some of the tours, but optional on others, see tour programme for details. Our tour guides are English and Scandinavian speaking, some speak German. See tour programmes for details on what is included in combination tours.

Terms & conditions We request a 30% confirmation payment upon booking to be able to confirm a seat. When we have received the confirmation payment the seat is secure. The remaining balance is due six weeks before the tour starts. If making your booking through the Íshestar website, full payment is required. Our cancellation terms are as follows: A cancellation made (by letter, fax or e-mail) with more than six weeks notice is subject to 10% of the tour price. A cancellation made (by letter, fax or e-mail) with less than six weeks but more than three weeks notice is subject to 30% of the tour price. A cancellation made with less than three weeks and more than one week notice is subject to a 50% cancellation fee. A cancellation made with less than one weeks notice means that the full price will be collected.

• • • •

4

SUSTAINABILITY POLICY Íshestar is proud to be a certified member of the EarthCheck Programme, the largest environmental management system used by the travel and tourism industry. Our goal is to support the sustainable development of nature, society, culture and the economy using EarthCheck standards as our guidelines.

We put special importance on:

• Choosing riding trails in full agreement with local stakeholders. • Taking care that horse and man disturb nature as little as possible. • Using renewable resources in our activities as far as possible. • Minimizing the production of waste and emphasizing on recycling and reuse.

Further steps to improve our environmental performance can be found on our website www.ishestar.is


CONTENTS USEFUL INFORMATION

Page

Why Íshestar?..............................................................................................................3 Terms & Conditions....................................................................................................4 Sustainability Policy...................................................................................................4 What is included ........................................................................................................4 Disinfecting of riding gear.......................................................................................5 Find the right tour......................................................................................................6 Plan your vacation......................................................................................................7 The Icelandic horse................................................................................................8-9 Meet our partners................................................................................................. ...28 Meet our guides..................................................................................................... ...29 Íshestar route map........................................................................ ..........................34 About Iceland.............................................................................................................35

MULTI DAY RIDING TOUR PACKAGES

Include airport transfers, Welcome Meeting, accommodation in the Capital area for one night before/after the ride. Sleeping bag accommodation during the ride: IH-3 Northern Exposure: Wonders of Lake Mývatn and Dettifoss........ ...10 IH-7 Kjölur: Between the Glaciers...................................................................... ..14 IH-8 Egilsstaðir: Secrets of the East....................................................................15 IH-9 Grand Tour..........................................................................................................17 IH-10B Íshestar Special: Arctic Circle, Dettifoss etc....................................... 16 IH-10C Íshestar Special: Arnarstapi, Snæfellsnes etc ................................... 16 IH-12 Power of Creation: Fjallabak Trail and Lakagígar Craters.................18 IH-19 Hekla-Landmannalaugar: Mountain Spirit.............................................23 Farm, guesthouse or hotel accommodation for all/most nights of the ride: IH-4 Thingvellir Viking Trail; National Treasures...............................................11 IH-5 Snæfellsnes: Magical and Mysterious........................................................12 IH-6 Golden Circle: Southern Comfort...............................................................13 IH-20 Country Living and Horses ................................................................ ......24 IH-21 Riding and Northern Lights........................................................................25 IH-25 Horse Round up - Skrapatungurétt........................................................27 IH-26 Horse Round up - Víðidalstungurétt......................................................27

MULTI DAY RIDING TOURS from/to Reykjavík

Include Transfer from RVK to the farm and back, accommodation in Reykjavík is not included. Farm- or guesthouse accommodation for all nights of the ride: IH-11 Countryside Riding Adventure....................................................................17 IH-13 Geysir-Gullfoss Special................................................................................. 19 IH-14 Thórsmörk Nature Reserve: Underneath Glacier Eyjafjallajökull......... 20 IH-15 Riding Lesson and Treks: Tölt and Trails..................................................21 IH-16 Beach and Mountain Ride........................................................................... 19 IH-18 Trail of Hope: North-West Explorer.........................................................22 IH-23 Sheep Round up – Rangárvallaafréttur................................................26 IH-24 Sheep Round up - Landmannaafréttur................................................ 26

DAY TOURS

D01 Nature Comfort: Ideal tour for beginners............................................... 30 D02 Lava Tour: Our most popular tour............................................................ 30 D03 Viking Tour Express: For experienced riders..........................................31 D04 Meet the Icelandic Horse............................................................................. 30 D05 Viking Tour: For experienced riders...........................................................31 D41 Horses and Blue Lagoon: Wellness............................................................32 D42 Horses and Gullfoss – Geysir: Saddles and sights................................32 D43 Horses and Whales: Animal life..................................................................32 D45 Family Adventure: We care about children...........................................30 D46 The Blue Lava Tour: Riding and snorkeling............................................33 D47 The Black Lava Tour: Riding and caving..................................................33 D48 Nature and Vikings: Riding and dining ...................................................32 D50 Midnight Sun Riding: Bright Nights...........................................................31 D51 Northern Lights Riding: Winter riding........................................................31 D52 Riding and Wellness: Lava and Fontana..................................................33 D54 Riding and Biking: Saddle up......................................................................33

! DISINFECTING OF THE RIDING GEAR It is important to follow the regulation regarding the disinfecting of used riding clothes. Riding gear (riding trousers, jackets, gloves, boots, 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 cleaned and disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon S for disinfection. 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! For further information please take a look at: www.mast.is

5


FIND THE RIGHT TOUR You do not have to be an expert rider to participate in our tours, but some tours are by nature more difficult than others. All Íshestar tours are marked with small horses to indicate the difficulty of each one. Some tours are for riders with little riding experience, others are more difficult and therefore the rating should help to find a suitable tour for everyone. If in doubt call us or send an e-mail.

Beginners Little or no riding experience needed.

Intermediate riders Comfortable and in control at the walk, moderate length trots (tölt) and short canters.

Strong intermediate riders Comfortable and in control at all paces, firm seat, comfortable in the saddle for up to 7 hrs. per day.

Experienced riders A strong intermediate rider who rides regularly and is capable of handling horses in open country.

If you know how to ride a horse using English riding style you should have no problems riding an Icelandic horse. Western style riders should not experience any difficulties adjusting to the Icelandic way of riding either. Íshestar guides will take some time at the beginning of each tour to explain the correct way to saddle the horse, mount it and how to ride the different gaits. They will carefully explain how and when to ride “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse.

TESTIMONIALS from 2013 “Just great = Great horses, great guides, great cook, great adventure!” S.K. from Germany Egilsstaðir tour The best tour I have done. Siggi and Ólöf were super! K.H. from Iceland Snæfellsnes tour “Iceland is beautiful, the landscape and skies are fantastic, and people so kind. Discovering Iceland on horseback is ideal and the typical horse riding experience is a must to understand this country. The Golden Circle is the best choice to visit Iceland for the first time.” S.V. from Belgium Golden Circle tour “Really great tour, absolute Iceland experience, had every extreme you could imagine. Great horses!” M.S. from Austria Landmannalaugar tour “Well done Íshestar, you have done it again! Magical riding across the Lagoon! I will be back. Thank you! “ S.P. from U.K. Trail of Hope tour “A very nice riding tour that can show you a part of Iceland while enjoying the most amazing Icelandic horses. They just kept going and going. I had a great time!” M.H. from Switzerland Gullfoss – Geysir special tour What more can I say than “I will be back, baby.” S.T. from Sweden Beach and Mountain Ride tour

6


PLAN YOUR VACATION Tours starting in May:

Tours starting in September:

MAY 23. 30.

SEP

14 Thórsmörk 14 Thórsmörk

Tours starting in June: JUN 5. 7. 8. 13. 14. 15. 21. 22. 28. 29.

16 Beach and Mountain Ride 6 Golden Circle 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 14 Thórsmörk 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 16 Beach and Mountain Ride 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur, 19 Landmannalaugar, 16 Beach and Mountain Ride, 13 Geysir Gullfoss 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope

5. 10. 12. 14. 18. 19. 25. 31.

14 Thórsmörk 25 Horse Round Up- Skrapatungurétt 14 Thórsmörk 24A Sheep Round Up- Rangárafréttur 21 Riding and Northern Lights 24 Sheep Round Up- Landmannaafréttur 21 Riding and Northern Lights 26 Horse Round Up- Víðidalstungurétt

Tours starting in October: OCT 2. 9. 16. 3.

21 Riding and Northern Lights 21 Riding and Northern Lights 21 Riding and Northern Lights 21 Riding and Northern Lights

Weekly departures all year:

20 Country Life and horses

Tours starting in July: JUL 5. 6. 7. 12. 13. 14. 16. 19. 20. 21. 26. 27. 28.

5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 14 Thingvellir 19 Landmannalaugar 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 12 Power of Creation 10C Ishestar Special 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 4 Thingvellir, 8 Egilsstaðir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 12 Power of Creation 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur, 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 19 Landmannalaugar

Tours starting in August: AUG 2. 3. 4. 9. 10. 11. 16. 17. 18. 23. 24. 25. 31.

5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 4 Thingvellir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 19 Landmannalaugar 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 12 Power of Creation 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur, 10B Ishestar Special, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 12 Power of Creation 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur, 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 16 Beach and Mountain 19 Landmannalaugar 11 Countryside Riding Adventure

7


THE ICELANDIC HORSE

HISTORY The history of the Icelandic Horse can be traced right back to the settlement of the country in the late 9th century. Viking settlers brought with them their best horses, from various origins, though mostly of Germanic descent. The breed has remained pure for over a thousand years and thus today there is only one breed of horse in Iceland – The Icelandic Horse. Today, there are close to 80,000 horses in Iceland which is an incredible number for a nation that counts 300,000 people.

8

The Icelandic Horse is intelligent, good-tempered and versatile. It is the most colourful breed in the world, with over 40 different colours and over 100 variations. Travel on horseback is growing in popularity and Icelandic horsemen are respectful and considerate when it comes to nature, just as they are with their horse. All sorts of competitions are held, emphasizing the different gaits of the horses, from novice fun classes to top class championships.


The Icelandic Horse is unique amongst horse breeds because it masters five gaits; walk, trot, tölt, canter/gallop and flying pace. The breed is best known for its four-beat smooth gait, the “tölt”, which is very comfortable for the rider and elegantly displayed by the horse.

WALK

THE FIVE GAITS

The walk TROT

The walk is a four-beat gait. The horse should be relaxed when walking, moving ahead briskly and putting each foot down independently.

The trot The trot is a two-beat gait where front and hind legs on opposite sides move together. It is important to train it as well as the other gaits.

The canter/gallop is a three-beat gait, ridden at different tempi. A slow canter is comfortable while a fast gallop can liven up the horse and increases its willingness.

CANTER/GALLOP

The canter/gallop

TÖLT

The tölt The tölt is the specialty of the Icelandic Horse. It is a smooth four-beat gait in which the horse’s hind legs move well under the body. The Icelandic Horse can manage this gait naturally and with variations in speed, from a gracious, collected slow tölt up to a very fast and extended tölt. The smoothness of this gait is what makes it so desirable.

The flying pace is a two-beat lateral gait. Not all Icelandic horses can perform the pace, but those that manage all five gaits well are considered the best of the breed.

FLYING PACE

The flying pace

Text and photos by The Horse Breeders Association of Iceland www.fhb.is

9


HIGHLAND TOUR

3

NORTHERN EXPOSURE

Wonders of Lake Mývatn and Europe‘s largest waterfall, Dettifoss

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 5 riding days – 170 km Dates 2014: Sunday – Sunday June 29 – July 6 • July 6 – 13 • July 20 – 27 • July 27 – August 3 • August 10 – 17 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Sleeping bag accommodation in shared rooms during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Whale watching boat trip, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 3 The North of Iceland is known for its great natural sights and varied landscape. Our tour leads from Bjarnastaðir Farm near Húsavík to the Lake Mývatn area, known for its volcanic features and countless numbers of breeding ducks. An optional whale watching tour concludes the circle of natural highlights on and off shore. We ride along soft riding tracks ideal for “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse. From fertile farm land we turn 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

10

Strong intermediate riders

This tour was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the 10 best trails in the world.

and eerie lava formations remind you of the volcanic energy hidden beneath. We can take a relaxing bath in an outdoor bathing facility with hot geothermal water. The next three days take us through beautiful valleys, across glittering salmon rivers toward the ocean. Visits to Europe´s largest waterfall, Dettifoss and Ásbyrgi canyon are truly some of the highlights of this tour. After the amazing ride in ever changing scenery we can relax in an outdoor swimming pool, near the shore of the North Atlantic at Lundur, located in a mysterious, yet fascinating landscape.


Countryside tour

NEW

4

Thingvellir Viking Trail National Treasures, Sagas and Wonders of Nature Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days - 6 nights - 5 riding days - 140 km Dates 2014: Sunday - Saturday July 6 - 12 • July 20 - 26 • August 3 - 9 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Guesthouse and holiday farm accommodation during the ride with shared facilities. Group size: Max. 14 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Reservation code: IH – 4

For centuries, the Thingvellir area has been a central place for people travelling around the country on horseback.

zone running through Iceland, being situated on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Routes to different parts of the country cross at Thingvellir; the trail along Uxahryggir and Kaldidalur leading to the Borgarfjörður inland and to Western-Iceland, while the trail passing by Gjábakki leads to the East, to the rural districts of Southern-Iceland. At Thingvellir - the Althing general assembly was established around 930 and continued to convene there until 1798. Major events in the history of Iceland have taken place at Thingvellir and therefore the place is held in high esteem by all Icelanders. The area is part of a fissure

On this tour we enjoy great riding paths in the Thingvellir National Park as well as soaking in the new wellness facilities Fontana Spa. We follow in the foot steps of the crazy viking, Egill Skallagrímsson and get to know his story along the way. We also learn about the famous Saga writer, Snorri Sturluson, who lived at Reykholt in Borgarfjörður. This riding tour is a real mixture of great riding trails, Icelandic Sagas of crazy vikings and wellness at the Fontana spa facility.

11


HIGHLAND TOUR

5

SNÆFELLSNES Magical and mysterious Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 215 km Dates 2014: Saturday – Sunday June 14 – 22 • June 21 – 29 • July 5 – 13 • August 2 – 10 • August 9 – 17 • August 23 – 31 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms, beds with bed linen for four nights, sleeping bags accommodation for two nights during the ride. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for the beach ride! Optional: Bus tour to sights on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 5 The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of the most recognized sights in Iceland; the glacier covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. Its mythical atmosphere became famous through Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Many of the famous Sagas unfolded in this spectacular area. Today rich bird life attracts visitors from all over the world. The peninsula itself is often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape.

This tour leads through mighty lava fields, craters and ashes of ancient eruptions in Hítardalur valley. We also enjoy wideopen stretches of light-coloured sand at Löngufjörur beach, where only the tide sets a limit to the freedom of horses and riders. Crater Eldborg is a landmark, where the light sand turns black once you reach its lava field. On our last riding day we follow the outskirts of the lava flow along the shore before we return the horses to Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm.

Experiencing “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse is made easy for you on this tour when we follow good riding tracks on land. The smooth sand of the beach makes this tour a delight for both horses and riders.

Part of this tour can be booked as a 5-day tour/4 riding days – see our tour IH-16.

12


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

6

GOLDEN CIRCLE Southern Comfort

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 6 riding days – 165 km Dates 2014: Saturday – Saturday June 7 – 14 • June 14 – 21 • June 21 – 28 • June 28 – July 5 • July 5 – 12 • July 12 – 19 • July 19 – 26 • July 26 - August 2 • August 2 – 9 • August 9 – 16 • August 16 – 23 • August 23 – 30 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. 2 – 4 bed units with shared facilities. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Snowmobile drive on Langjökull glacier, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 6 There is no better way to visit the hot springs area of Geysir and the Golden Waterfall – Gullfoss – than by riding through the lovely countryside of South Iceland. On our way to the farm we witness the great scenery at Thingvellir National Park. This popular tour is ideal for families and those who do not have the required riding experience for our highland tours. Still riding days can be long so you should be in good physical shape and have a basic knowledge of horsemanship. On the first riding day you get acquainted with the Icelandic

+

Intermediate riders, comfortable during long hours in the saddle.

This tour was nominated by CNNgo as one of the 15 greatest horse treks in the world.

horse and its special gaits on a relaxed ride along majestic Thjórsá River. We then ride towards magnificent Gullfoss Waterfall and the hot springs area of Geysir. After a relaxed riding day in that area we experience riding along the edge of civilisation. We cross the highland moor of Hrunaheiði and enjoy good riding tracks when riding past Hrepphólar basalt columns on our way back to Kálfhóll Farm. Part of this tour can be booked as a 5-day tour/4 riding days - see our tour IH-13.

13


HIGHLAND TOUR

7

KJÖLUR Between the Glaciers Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 210 km Dates 2014: Saturday – Sunday June 21 – 29 • June 28 – July 6 • July 5 - 13 • July 12 – 20 • July 19 – 27 • July 26 – August 3 • August 2 – 10 • August 9 – 17 • August 16 – 24 • August 23 - 31 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 20 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: Tours operate alternatively from north to south, the next tour being from south to north. Optional: Boat trip on Hvítárvatn glacier lagoon, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 7 Move back in time and ride along the historic Kjölur trail as Icelanders did throughout the centuries while travelling to the big summer parliament at Thingvellir, first held in 930 AD. We visit this historic place which has since become a National Park. Before leaving civilisation for the rugged wilderness of the interior we stop at the Geysir hot spring area and admire majestic Gullfoss Waterfall.

14

Travelling from south to north or vice versa right across the heart of Iceland we find ourselves riding in sand deserts close to mighty Langjökull and Hofsjökull Glaciers. Sheltered green valleys come as a surprise in this rugged terrain. At Hveravellir, a geothermal area in the highlands, we can relax in a long hot bath under the Midnight Sun! If you want to see as much as possible of the Icelandic highland, this tour, which has been in operation since 1983, might be the perfect choice for you.


HIGHLAND TOUR

8

EGILSSTAÐIR Secrets of the East

+

Strong intermediate riders capable of handling horses in open country

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 215 km Dates 2014: Sunday – Monday June 29 – July 7 • July 6 – 14 • July 20 – 28 • July 27 – August 4 • August 10 – 18 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: 4x4 Jeep Safari to Vatnajökull glacier, fee to be paid locally. Note: Some walking might be involved at steep hillsides. Reservation code: IH – 8 Discover the incredible wild beauty of East Iceland. Even among Icelanders this part of the interior is a well-kept secret. The surefooted Icelandic horse is the best way of transportation to discover the untamed nature. This ride ascends from sea level to the great highland plateau where vegetation and landscape bear an arctic character. Hrafnkelsdalur valley is where the great Saga of Hrafnkel unfolded during the Middle Ages. Gigantic Hafrahvammagljúfur Canyon is an unforgettable sight and a witness to the power

of nature. The ride leads past Mt. Snæfell – the second highest mountain in Iceland. A vehicle then takes us to Europe´s largest glacier, Vatnajökull Glacier, where we spend some time at the rim of the huge icecap. We enjoy watching wild geese and herds of reindeer roaming free in their natural pastures before following Jökulsá River down through Norður­dalur Valley. We enjoy a number of beautiful waterfalls until we reach green meadows again.

15


HIGHLAND TOUR

10B

ÍSHESTAR SPECIAL Arctic Circle, Dettifoss Waterfall, Ásbyrgi Canyon and Jökulsárgljúfur National Park Experienced riders

Duration: 11 days – 10 nights – 8 riding days – 265 km Dates 2014: Saturday – Tuesday: August 16 - 26 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in Reykjavík. Sleeping bag accommodation in shared rooms during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Boat tour to the Arctic Circle, fee to be paid locally Note: This tour is only recommended for experienced riders with the necessary stamina for long riding days of 40 – 50 km during 7 – 9 hrs. Reservation code: IH – 10B Íshestar is proud to present a special tour in the very North East of Iceland. 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 in this tour starting with beautiful mountain view from the wide open Öxarfjörður Fjord. The peninsula of Melrakkaslétta that 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. Ásbyrgi Canyon, Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall and the strange rock formations at Hljóðaklettar are just a few gems of nature that we will visit during this tour. Optional boat trip to the Arctic Circle concludes the circle of natural highlights on and off shore on this fantastic tour. Our hosts are Halldór and his family from Bjarnastaðir Farm, known to many Icelanders for their excellent horse breeding. Halldór is a respected member of his community and among other things he is leading the sheperds as “mountain king” when the time calls for gathering up the sheep in autumn.

16

10C

Íshestar Special Arnarstapi, Snæfellsjökull, Stykkishólmur, Breiðafjörður boat trip and Beach ride Experienced riders

Duration: 12 days – 11 nights – 9 riding days – 325 km Date 2014: Wednesday – Sunday, July 16 – 27 Accommodation:Hotel accommodation in Reykjavík. Beds with bed linen at Stóri-Kálfalækur farm, sleeping bag accommodation in other places. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Viking Sushi boat tour from Stykkishólmur, fee to be paid locally Note: This tour is only recommended for experienced riders with the necessary stamina for long riding days of 40 – 50 km during 7 – 9 hrs. Reservation code: IH – 10C Íshestar is delighted to introduce a new special tour on the Snæfellsnes peninsula with Siggi and Ólöf. The Snæfellsjökull National Park is where you find one of the most recognised sights in Iceland; the glacier covered cone volcano Snæfellsjökull. Its mythical atmosphere became famous through Jules Verne’s novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth“. After enjoying the beach ride on the southern shore for a while, we continue to Arnarstapi, where we stay overnight. The surroundings truly present some wonders of nature with numerous caves and high cliffs going into the sea. We continue our ride on the northern side of the peninsula where we pass by villages Hellissandur and Ólafsvík, and spend two nights just outside the beautiful fishing village Stykkishólmur. On our way to Stykkishólmur we stop at Bjarnarhöfn, home of shark hunter and expert; Hildibrandur Bjarnason. Before we leave Stykkishólmur it is possible to take an optional boat trip onto Breiðafjörður bay with its rich birdlife and numerous islands. We continue our ride to Bíldshóll farm before we cross the peninsula again to the south and return home to cozy Stóri-Kálfalækur farm.


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

11

COUNTRYSIDE RIDING ADVENTURE Intermediate riders

Duration: 3 days – 2 nights – 3 riding days – 60 km Dates 2014: Sunday - Tuesday June 15 – 17 • June 29 – July 1 • July 13 – 15 • July 27 – 29 • August 10 - 12 • August 24 – 26 • August 31 – September 2 Accommodation: 2-bed units, beds with bed linen, shared facilities. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Reservation code: IH – 11

If you are not ready for many days in the saddle, yet an outdoor person with a basic knowledge of riding and good stamina, this tour might be what you are looking for. We follow fine bridle paths to the magnificent sights of Iceland, Geysir Hot Spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall. During three riding days our guide leads you to these wonders of Iceland.

9

Tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse will be introduced to you. We use this comfortable gait for parts of our tour, but also trot and walk the horses in between. On the way to Kjóastaðir Farm a visit to Thingvellir is made, a place of historic and geological importance and first National Park of Iceland.

GRAND TOUR Combine two tours

Duration: Combine any two departures of our tours 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, and 19 starting on two following weekends. Accommodation: According to the tours chosen Group size: According to the tours chosen Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Reservation code: IH – 9

Experienced riders

Why not discover more than one part of Iceland during your visit? Imagine the remote highland grasslands on the Egilsstaðir Tour in the East. Crossing the central highlands on the Kjölur Trail and viewing the natural wonders at Lake Mývatn in the North. Enjoy Snæfellsjökull Glacier in the West and the multi-coloured mountains of Landmannalaugar in the South. Most of our longer tours can be combined and you can choose the two parts of Iceland you wish to discover. Take a look at the detailed description of each tour and find the two you have been dreaming about.

17


HIGHLAND TOUR

12

POWER OF CREATION Fjallabak Trail and Lakagígar Craters

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 195 km Dates 2014: Monday – Tuesday July 14 – 22 • July 21 – 29 • August 11 – 19 • August 18 - 26 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: Tours operate alternatively from west to east, the next tour being from east to west. Reservation code: IH – 12 Our ride combines the varied nature of Iceland, geological highlights with great riding tracks that please riders and horses alike. Well trained horses carry us through the mountains, through sand deserts, lava fields and green valleys. Our ride starts at Eyvindarmúli Farm and leads alongside Markarfljót River up into the mountains. We follow good riding tracks through black ash from Mt. Hekla eruptions and

18

+

Strong intermediate riders capable of handling horses in open country

spend a night close to Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. We continue across the sand desert Mælifellssandur and into lava fields originating from Skaftáreldar, a devastating eruption in the 18th century. The Lakagígar craters created an area of dramatic beauty and are just one of the many natural highlights we visit on this tour. Whether you join this tour from west to east or east to west, riding through the amazing Fjallabak landscape is an unforgettable experience.


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

13

GEYSIR - GULLFOSS + SPECIAL Intermediate riders, comfortable during long hours in the saddle.

Duration: 5 days – 4 nights – 4 riding days – 95 km Dates 2014: Sunday - Thursday June 8 – 12 • June 15 – 19 • June 22 – 26 • June 29 - July 3 • July 6 – 10 • July 13 – 17 • July 20 – 24 • July 27 – 31 • August 3 – 7 • August 10 – 14 • August 17 – 21 • August 24 – 28 Accommodation: 2 – 4 bed units with shared facilities. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Note: The tour arrives back in Reykjavík at 10:30 on Thursday morning. Optional: Snowmobile drive on Langjökull glacier, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 13 This tour is a short version of our popular Golden Circle tour covering the hot springs area of Geysir and the Golden Waterfall Gullfoss. We also visit Thingvellir National Park on our transfer day. Enjoy accommodation at a cozy holiday farm with a hot outdoor tub and a hotel with private facilities during this tour. Participants on this tour join the longer Golden Circle tour for four days, but return back to Reykjavík on the fifth day while those on the longer ride continue. This tour is a part of a longer tour. See our tour IH - 6.

16

BEACH AND MOUNTAIN RIDE Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 5 days – 4 nights – 4 riding days – 145 km Dates 2014: Sunday – Thursday June 5 – 9* • June 15 – 19 • June 22 – 26 • August 24 – 28 *This departure is from Thursday - Monday. Accommodation: Shared accommodation, two nights in beds with bed linen and two nights in sleeping bags. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Note: Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for this ride. Optional: Bus tour to sights on the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 16 The Snæfellsnes Peninsula stretches out into the west of Iceland. You can find many features of the Icelandic nature in this part of the country. At Stóri-Kálfalækur Farm we start our ride into the mountains and enjoy the colors of nature in Hítardalur valley. 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. Participants on this tour join the longer Snæfellsnes tour for four days, but return back to Reykjavík on the fifth day while those on the longer ride continue. This tour is a part of a longer tour. See our tour IH - 5.

19


Highland tour

NEW

14

Thórsmörk Nature Reserve Underneath Glacier Eyjafjallajökull

Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 3 days – 2 nights – 3 riding day - 80 km Dates 2014: Friday - Sunday May 23 - 25 • May 30 – June 1 • June 13 - 15 • Sep 5 - 7 • Sep 12 - 14 Accommodation: Shared sleepingbag accommodation in mountain cabins. Group size: Max. 14 guests Meeting place: Reykjavik. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Reservation code: IH – 14

We present here a truly wonderful tour into the fascinating Thorsmörk Nature Reserve.

We ride past one of the lava streams emerged from the mighty glacier capped volcano Eyjafjallajökull.

This tour used to be one of our most popular tours in our earlier days and we are proud to be able to present it again.

We ride for 4-7 hours (25-40 km) every day and we stay in cosy mountain cabins with our horses nearby. Onsite we have both a sauna, an outdoor hot tub and warm showers. Can you imagine relaxing in a natural hot tub in the highlands of Iceland enjoying; a) the midnight sun (May/June departures) or b) Northern Lights dancing in the sky (September departures).

Riding in this wonderland of nature, is something one cannot easily forget. On our way to Thorsmörk we are reminded of the huge volcanic eruptions that took place 2010.

20


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

NEW

15

Riding Lessons and Treks Tölt and Trails

Intermediate riders

Dates 2014: June 14 - 22 Duration: 8 days - 7 nights - 3 days riding lessons - 4 days trek June 25 - July 6. Duration: 11 days - 10 nights - 3 days riding lessons - 5 days trek - 3 days Landsmót Accommodation: Two bed rooms with private facilities at a farm (all nights) Group size: Max. 12 guests Meeting place: Reykjavik Reservation code: IH – 15 We are pleased to introduce new tours that includes 3 days of riding lessons with the well known competition rider and riding instructor Gudmar Pétursson, ollowed by a 4 days trek in the historic Borgarfjöður or the Snæfellsnes peninsula or a 5 days trek from Borgarfjörður to Landsmót. Accommodation for all nights is at Guðmar’s farm, Staðarhús in Borgarfjörður, in twin rooms with private facilities. Gudmar started riding at age five. Soon after, he was winning competitions. Gudmar holds many Icelandic championship titles and has been very successful in competition in the United States as well. Gudmar is a certified FT competition trainer and as a B instructor, he has earned the highest degree awarded by Holar University.

Prior to the clinic all participants are given a questionnaire about their experience and preferences. These are reviewed by Gudmar and used as a basis to match horses and riders. We always maintain several extra horses in case the first horse and rider combination is not a fit. Riders are divided into groups and the clinic schedule consists of class time, 2 or 3 mounted sessions per day, indoors, outdoors and on the trail. The goal is to get the riders comfortable with their horses first inside the arena and then outside on a trail ride. We are getting ready to go on a trek with a big herd of loose horses riding across the country side, so the general focus of the riding lessons is to prepare for that.

21


Countryside Tour

18

TRAIL OF HOPE North-West Explorer Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 5 days – 4 nights – 4 riding days – 120 km Dates 2014: Sunday – Thursday June 29 – July 3 • July 13 – 17 • July 20 – 24 • July 27 – 31 • August 3 – 7 • August 10 – 14 • August 17 – 21 Accommodation: 2 – 4 bed units, beds with bed linen. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride are to be arranged individually. Note: Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for this ride. Reservation code: IH – 18

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.

22

We start the ride at Hvammur Farm in Vatnsdalur valley. It is a thrilling experience riding in water on our way across the lagoon called Lake Hóp, accompanied by a herd of free running horses ahead of us. A visit to a seal colony on the North-Atlantic coast is something you do not want to miss. Another highlight of this tour is the bus trip back to Reykjavík following the highland route of Kjölur. We drive between two glaciers and enjoy bathing in the natural hot pool at Hvera­ vellir. We also visit the Geysir hot spring area and the majestic waterfall Gullfoss before returning to Reykjavík.


Highland tour

19

VOLCANO MT. HEKLA - LANDMANNALAUGAR Mountain Spirit Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 6 riding days – 225 km Dates 2014: Monday – Monday June 21 – 28* • July 7 – 14 • July 28 – August 4 • August 4 – 11 • August 25 – September 1 *This departure starts and ends on a Saturday Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Reservation code: IH – 19 Hekla Volcano, often called the “Queen of Iceland”, towers over this facinating area and every day we will be reminded of the devastating numerous eruptions through the ages. Landmannalaugar, colourful beauty in the southern highlands. A natural bathing spot is only one of the highlights which make this area one of Iceland’s most popular destinations for all lovers of nature and adventurous souls. On our way to the Eyvindarmúli Farm we visit the hot springs of Geysir and Gullfoss Waterfall. Our ride starts into the

mountains, viewing majestic glaciers and the glacier fed river Markarfljót. The beautiful area Landmannahellir is a fitting outpost in the central highlands before we enjoy the colourful rhyolite mountains in Landmannalaugar, surrounded by black lava fields. Our way back to civilisation leads us down from the mountain and into green valleys. The spirited, yet well trained horses make this tour enjoyable for everyone who is looking for a challenging highland adventure

23


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

Country Living and 20 Horses Individual Centre-based Riding Individual riding tours according to experience

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 5 riding days Dates 2014: Thursday – Thursday, year round Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in dbl. rooms in the Capital area. Farm stay during the ride in dbl. rooms with shared facilities. Group size: Min. 2, max. 8 guests Note: The programme includes 15 hours of riding time. Meeting place: Int. Keflavik Airport Reservation Code: IH – 20 For those who would like to experience the Icelandic horse in its natural habitat we offer this unique opportunity for individuals to stay at the breeding farm Miðás in the South of Iceland. Familiarize yourself with the daily life-style of Icelandic horse farmers and ride on horses especially chosen to your abilities and skill. Your friendly hosts will make sure to make this a fantastic and memorable vacation.

24


Autumn Tour

21

Riding and Northern Lights Intermediate riders

Duration: 4 days – 3 nights – 2 riding days – 45 km Dates 2014: Thursday – Sunday September 18 – 21 • September 25 – 28 • October 2 – 5 • October 9 – 12 • October 16 – 19 • October 23 - 26 Accommodation: Two bed units in guesthouse for two nights, beds with bed linen, hotel accommodation in Reykjavík for one night. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík Int. Airport, suggested arrival time not later than 16:00/04:00 PM. Reservation code: IH – 21

Autumn in Iceland means a colorful countryside and Northern Lights dancing in the black night sky. Enjoy visiting the best known sights in Iceland, riding the Icelandic horse along fine bridle paths and viewing dazzling Northern Lights after a good day in the saddle. After arrival you start your tour with a visit to the Blue Lagoon where you can relax in the mineral rich water. We continue to

Kjóastaðir Farm located near the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall. During two riding days “tölt”, the special gait of the Icelandic horse will be introduced to you while riding to both these magnificent natural sights. Get ready in the evenings to enjoy the tranquillity of the Icelandic countryside and look up into the sky to see green colored Northern Lights dancing above you (weather permitting).

25


AUTUMN TOUR

23

Sheep Round Up Rangárvallaafréttur Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 6 riding days Date 2014: Sunday – Saturday, September 14 – 20 Accommodation: Sleeping bag acco. (bring your own!) in simple mountain cabins, shared by the local farmers participating with you in rounding up the sheep. Group size: Max. 8 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Note: Some walking will be involved. Reservation code: IH – 23 Rounding up sheep with the farmers in Rangárvallaafréttur, Hvanngil and Reykjadalur (close to the Landmannalaugar area and near Volcano Hekla). Also in parts of the large Mælifellssandur, all the way to the glacier Mýrdalsjökull. Join the farmers in South Iceland in the great autumn adventure. We gather sheep in Rangárvallaafréttur the grazing grounds close to the famous Landmannalaugar area. Yellow, reddish and greenish rhyolite mountains give this area a magical touch. Mælifellssandur a large area of sand and stones north of Mýrdalsjökull Glacier, is our destination for today. This area is surrounded by mountains and glaciers, mostly barren yet covered with grass here and there. This is what attracts the sheep who seek into this remote area far away from any human contact. Local farmers and their ancestors have been gathering sheep in this area for centuries. Learn from them how to manage the flock, drive sheep down hill sides, across rivers and out of sheltered valleys to their resting place for the night, only to go out again the next day to gather more. This area is covered with lava fields, craters and lakes and sheep can be found widely. All participants join an annual tradition and not a customized riding tour. Therefore an open mind, good physical health and the ability to work hand in hand with others is required. Expect to be treated as one of the crowd, required to fulfil your duty every day and enjoy the camaraderie of all those participating in this great adventure of the fall.

26

24

Sheep Round Up Landmannaafréttur Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 6 riding days Date 2014: Friday – Thursday, September 19 – 25 Accommodation: Sleeping bag acco. (bring your own!)in simple mountain cabins, shared by the local farmers participating with you in rounding up the sheep. Group size: Max. 8 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Note: Some walking will be involved. Reservation code: IH – 24 Rounding up sheep with the farmers in Landmannalaugar, Jökulgil and near Volcano Hekla. On this unique tour we join the farmers in south Iceland as they gather thousands of sheep from the mountains. We gather sheep in Landmannaafréttur, the grazing grounds close to the famous Landmannalaugar area. Yellow, reddish and greenish rhyolite mountains give this area a magical touch. Mt. Hekla dominates this area and we gather sheep in the black sand and ashes which have been sent into the sky by this great volcano throughout the centuries. Local farmers and their ancestors have been gathering sheep in this area for centuries. Learn from them how to manage the flock, drive sheep downhill sides, across rivers and out of sheltered valleys to their resting place for the night, only to go out again the next day to gather more. One can not get any closer to the heart and soul of the true Icelanders – the farmers. All participants join an annual tradition and not a customized riding tour. Therefore an open mind, good physical health and the ability to work hand in hand with others is required. Expect to be treated as one of the crowd, required to fulfil your duty every day and enjoy the camaraderie of all those participating in this great adventure of the fall.


AUTUMN TOUR

25

HORSE ROUND-UP Skrapatungurétt Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 4,5 riding days – 130 km Date 2014: Wednesday – Tuesday, September 10 – 16 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Beds with bed linen in 2 – 4 bed units at the farm. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavik International Airport Important: To be able to join the introductory ride arrival needs to be before 16:00/04:00PM. Optional: Dance at the community centre in Blönduós, entrance fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 25 Imagine free and spirited horses rushing down from their highland summer pastures to be returned to their owners. Mares and their foals, young horses and geldings make their way through rough territory, not really willing to give up their freedom yet before winter returns once again. The ancient tradition of rounding up horses is only kept alive in the North of Iceland. A short first ride is already scheduled on the arrival day from our Riding Centre in Hafnarfjörður. This is a good opportunity to get to know the Icelandic horse and prepare for the coming days. The additional four riding days take place in the North. From Hvammur Farm we ride through beautiful valleys and mountains to Laxárdalur valley. Here we become one with the Icelanders and help gathering the horses and driving them down from the mountains to Skrapatungurétt corral. When this task has been fulfilled the locals celebrate the successful round-ups with a ball “réttardansleikur” and we are welcome to join in the fun. The round-up continues the next day when the horses get sorted at the corral and we help returning some of them to their home meadows.

26

HORSE ROUND-UP Víðidalstungurétt Strong intermediate riders

Duration: Strong intermediate riders Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 4,5 riding days – 130 km Date 2014: Tuesday – Monday, September 31 - October 6 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Double rooms, beds with bed linen during the ride. Group size: Max. 20 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Important: To be able to join the introductory ride arrival needs to be before 16:00/04:00PM. Optional: Dance at the community centre in Víðihlíð, entrance fee to be paid locally. Reservation code: IH – 26

Join the farmers in this great autumn adventure. Ride along when they drive the herd, sort the horses and celebrate the successful return of horses and men. The varied terrain includes the highland moors, green valleys just turning into their autumn colours of burning red and yellow, deep blue lakes and rivers and Kolugljúfur gorge where a troll woman resided in the old days. A short first ride is already scheduled on the arrival day from our Riding Centre in Hafnarfjörður. This is a good opportunity to get to know the Icelandic horse and prepare for the coming days. From Bjargshóll Farm in the North we follow good riding tracks until we meet the Icelanders who have been gathering horses already for some days. We join them and help driving the herd down to the Víðidalstungurétt corral. When this task has been fulfilled the locals celebrate the successful roundups with a ball “réttardansleikur” and we are welcome to join in the fun. The next day the horses get sorted. Experience the excitement of horses and men when the horses and foals are selected from the herd and returned to their rightful owners.

27


MEET OUR PARTNERS

Denni and Arna took over the Egils­ staðir tour in 2011 and made an instant impact on this popular tour that we have operated since 1991. Pure nature and remote areas have always been the trademark of this tour as well as amazing riding trails, their great horses and their love of the land.

Siggi and Ólöf have been operating the Snæfellsnes tours since 1987. They have been one of the cornerstones of the Íshestar family. Who could ever forget Siggi’s great horses or Ólöf’s fantastic cooking? This year they will also take care of Íshestar´s special tour 10C where we will enjoy the highlights of Snæfellsnes peninsula.

Hjalti G. and Åsa take care of our oldest tour Kjölur, as well as our Countryside Riding and Northern Lights tours from their farm Kjóastaðir. Good horses and great food is their trademark. Hjalti will for sure find his way through the highlands, since he has ridden more than 140 times along the Kjölur trail already.

Haraldur (Halli) and his daughter Ólafía are newcomers since 2013, although he has already made himself known as an Íshestar guide. Halli is famous for his delicious meals, Scottish breakfast and Viking spirit. Halli (and Ólafía) take care of our new tour to Thingvellir National Park.

Haukur and Sonja together with their family run the Trail of Hope tour, the horse round-up to Skrapatungurétt. They are successful horse breeders and with their good horses and friendly way of operating the tours they make sure our clients return home happy.

Gestur and Margrét and sons have been taking care of both, the Landmanna­ laugar tour and our Golden Circle tour in the past, but have now committed themselves to the Golden Circle tour entirely. Known for their excellent breeding and their hospitality it is often hard for our guests to say goodbye.

Gísli and Ásta Begga are with Íshestar once more after making their home at a new farm. They take care of our Country Living and Horses, operating all year from their new farm Miðás. They will surely continue attending to all personal needs, as they have been known to do in the past.

Kiddi and Birna will operate three tours this season; The popular Hekla/ Landmannalaugar tour, our Power of Creation tour into the fascinating highlands of Syðra-Fjallabak and Lakagígar craters, as well as our new spring and autumn tour to Thórsmörk Nature Reserve. Their great selection of horses and their passion to please every guest will touch the heart of everybody riding with them.

Halldór and Elín with their family at Bjarnastaðir farm, are known to many Icelanders for their excellent horse breeding. Halldór is a respected member of his community and among other things he is leading the sheperds as “the mountain king” when the time calls for gathering up the sheep in autumn. Halldór takes care of our Northern Exposure tour as well as Íshestar Special tour 10B.

28


MEET OUR GUIDES Benóný Jónsson started working for Íshestar in 1986. Biologist, working in the field of freshwater fish research. Languages: English, Danish and German

María Tinna Árnadóttir She has worked at the Íshestar Riding centre since 2009 as a guide on our day tours. She is now also guiding some longer tours. Language: English

Björk Jakobsdóttir has been guiding our tours since 2007. She is an actress, play writer and a stand-up comedian. Languages: English, German and some Scandinavian.

Meike Witt is back as a guide after some years at home with her children. She is a trained tour guide and a member of the Icelandic Search and Rescue Team. Languages: English and German.

Edda Pálsdóttir is a medicine student. She has been working on Íshestar tours as a staff rider and started guiding tours in 2010. Languages: English, Norwegian, German and some Spanish.

Oddný Erlendsdóttir works in the office of a hardware store, but spends most of her spare time around horses. She started guiding our tours in 2012. Languages: English and Danish.

Guðmundur Ragnarsson is a teacher and pastime farmer. Since 2012 he is guiding tours for us when he is not busy teaching or working at his farm. Languages: English and some Danish.

Samúel Örn Erlingsson, teacher and TV sports correspondent has been guiding our tours since 2008. Languages: English, Danish, some Norwegian, Swedish and German.

Hildur Þ. Ágústsdóttir started guiding tours for us in 2012. She grew up on one of the first official holiday farms in Iceland. Languages: English and German.

Soffía Sveinsdóttir, teacher, IB coordinator and TV weather person. She started guiding our tours in 2012. Languages: English and German.

Katrín Sif Einarsdóttir has a master degree in Ecotourism and is a professional traveler. She started guiding Íshestar´s riding tours in 2013. Languages: English, French and some Spanish

Vilborg Halldórsdóttir is an actress and play writer. She has been an Íshestar guide since 2003. Languages: English, Italian, some German, Danish and French.

Magnús Kjartansson has been an Íshestar guide since 2008. He is a musician, composer, arranger and conductor. Languages: English and Scandinavian.

Þórdís Björt Sigþórsd. is studying at the Iceland Academy of the arts. She has been working at Íshestar since she was a teenager but started as a guide in 2013. Languages: English, Spanish and some Scandinavian.

And others.

29


DAY TOUR

D01

NATURE COMFORT Ideal tour for beginners

D02

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year at 13:00 plus at 16:30 from 15. April - 15. October Duration: 2-3 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 hour Departures: 13:00 and 16:30 Transfer starts from: 11:30 and 15:30 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter. During this comfortable ride you follow beautiful riding tracks along bushy hillsides and moss covered lava fields. No previous riding skills are required for this tour and we choose a slow pace to make you feel safe. If you prefer a faster ride we recommend our Lava Tour or one of our other tours.

D45

FAMILY ADVENTURE We care about children

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: ½ hour Departures: 13:00 Transfers: Not included. Age limit: 6 years. Children 6-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter.

Are young horse lovers travelling with you? The whole family can enjoy a half hour’s riding tour on comfortable riding tracks in the vicinity of the Íshestar Riding Centre. We offer calm horses suitable for children and inexperienced riders. At our Riding Centre we have a children’s corner with farm related toys. Children under the age of 6 will be led by rein in a paddock. Two circles cost ISK 1.000.Please note that at least one adult needs to stay behind with a young child at the Riding Centre.

30

LAVA TOUR Our most popular tour Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 3 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 ½ - 2 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 and 14:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 and 12:45 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter Extras: Homemade lunch at Jósalir Restaurant at the Riding Centre (avail. at an extra charge)

Riding an Icelandic horse is something you have to experience at least once in your life. From the Íshestar Riding Centre in Hafnarfjörður you can enjoy the friendly horses on excellent riding paths. Ride through lava fields and along beautiful green hillsides. Look for different rock formations in the lava while experiencing the special gait, tölt. This tour is ideal for beginners as well as for more experienced riders.

D04

MEET THE ICELANDIC HORSE Keep the memory

NEW Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 2 hours (with transfers) Departures: 11:00 Transfer starts from: 10:00 Riding: 15 min Age limit: Children under 12 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, leading in the paddock, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter and homemade lunch at Jósalir Restaurant at the Riding Centre

This tour is ideal for those who want to come close to the Icelandic Horse but do not want to go on a riding tour. It gives you a chance to pet the horse, being led on the horse in the paddock and have a picture taken with your camera. As a reward you get a homemade lunch and transfer back to hotel.


DAY TOUR

D03

VIKING TOUR EXPRESS For experienced riders Strong intermediate riders

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 5 hours (with transfers) Riding: 2 ½ - 3 hours with stops Departures: 13:00 Transfer starts from: 11:30 Age limit: 12 years Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter Extras: Homemade lunch at Jósalir Restaurant at the Riding Centre (avail. at an extra charge)

Do you want to test the strength of the Icelandic horse? Are you an experienced rider? Then these tours are for you! We ride on excellent riding paths across stunning lava fields, crossing Kaldá River, around Mt. Helgafell or into Heiðmörk Nature Park. Our Viking Tour starts with an introductory ride in the morning. After lunch at the Riding

MIDNIGHT SUN RIDING

D50 Bright nights

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Thu, Fri Season: 01 June - 15 July. Duration: 2 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 hour Departures: 22:00 Transfer starts from: 21:00 Age limit: 12 years. Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear. Note: For a group of min. 4 persons, this tour can be operated every day of the week.

In the month of June the sun never fully sets and the nights are bright in Iceland. According to Icelandic folklore, cows gain the powers of speech, seals become human, and it is healthy to roll naked in the dew-covered grass on the brightest night of the year. A spectacular evening ride from our Riding Centre on excellent riding paths surrounded by lava.

D05

VIKING TOUR For experienced riders

Strong intermediate riders

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 7-8 hours (with transfers and lunch) Riding: 4 ½ - 5 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 Age limit: 12 years Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, homemade lunch at Jósalir Restaurant at the Riding Centre.

Centre we head out again and try the different gaits of the Icelandic horse. Be prepared to ride trot, tölt or a short canter and really experience the versatility of the Icelandic horse. Our Viking Tour Express joins the Viking Tour in the afternoon.

Northern Lights Riding

D51 Autumn and Winter

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Operation: Fridays from 15 Sep – 01 Mar. Please note weather permitting! Duration: 2 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 hour Departures: 21:00 Transfer starts from: 20:00 Age limit: 12 years Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit inthe winter Minimum: 2 pax (please contact us if you are travelling alone) Note: For group of min 4 persons this tour can be operated every day of the week. The Northern Lights, also called Aurora Borealis are one of the most spectacular shows on this earth. Sometimes they cover almost all of the sky and seem to be dancing around with such grace and speed that one can only watch in awe. A spectacular evening ride from our Riding Centre on excellent riding paths surrounded by lava.

31


RIDING AND BEYOND Make the most of your day

HORSES AND BLUE LAGOON

D41 Wellness

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: Your choice! Riding: 1 ½ - 2 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 and 14:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 and 12:45 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, picnic lunch, bus transfer to/from Blue Lagoon Extras: Entrance fee to the Blue Lagoon according to Blue Lagoon´s pricelist. See www.bluelagoon.is Please bring with you: Swimsuit and towel (also available to rent at the Blue Lagoon) Experience the famous Icelandic horse (Lava tour) and discover hidden muscles you have not felt before. After the ride you go by bus to the fabulous Blue Lagoon where you can choose to swim, enjoy a massage or just relax and enjoy the facilities.

HORSES AND WHALES

D43 Animal Life

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 7-8 hours. Riding: 1 ½- 2 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 (all year) and at 14:00 July and August Transfer starts from: 08:30 (all year) and 12:45 July and August Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, picnic lunch, guided whale watching tour Please note: Tour ends at the harbour in down-town Reykjavík after the boat ride. Transfer back to the hotel is not included (can be arranged for additional cost). Meet the biggest animals in Iceland in one day. Enjoy excellent riding routes (Lava tour) and breathtaking scenery while riding the sturdy Icelandic horse and finish off with a cruise out on Faxaflói bay watching for whales and dolphins.

32

HORSES AND

D42 GULLFOSS – GEYSIR Saddles and sights Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 7-8 hours Riding: 1 ½- 2 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, picnic lunch, guided bus tour to Gullfoss and Geysir.

The Icelandic horse is a symbol of its country´s natural forces. This tour gives you a taste of it all. After a ride of 1 ½ -2 hours (Lava Tour) through lava fields, visit the fascinating Geysir hot spring area and the beautiful Gullfoss waterfall on a guided bus tour.

Nature and Vikings

D48 Riding and dining

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: 15.April – 15.October Duration: 5 - 6 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 hour (Nature Comfort Ride) Departures: 16:30 Transfer starts from: 15:30 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfers (from hotel to Riding Centre and from Riding Centre to Viking Restaurant), guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter and a Viking dinner (2 courses). Please note: Transfer from Viking Restaurant is on your own and not included in tour price. Why not add a unique Viking dinner after your riding tour? The Viking Restaurant in Hafnarfjörður (close to our riding centre) emphasis is on the Viking Era and as you enter, you step into the world of the past. The décor is in the Viking style and traditional meals are served in old-fashioned Viking-style trays.


DAY TOUR

THE BLUE LAVA TOUR

D46 Riding and snorkeling Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: 15. May - 15. September Duration: 7-8 hours. Snorkeling/Riding: 1 ½ - 2 hours each Departures: 10:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 Age limit: 14 years Min: 2 persons (please contact us if you are travelling alone) Included:Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, guided snorkeling tour and all equipment, picnic lunch at Jósalir Restaurant Bring with you: warm undergarment clothing (fleece/wool sweater and pants), warm socks and a change of clothing. Riding on the Icelandic horse (Lava tour) and snorkeling in clear blue water in Thingvellir National Park is Iceland’s ultimate lava tour! Explore lava from land and under water.

Riding and Wellness

D52 Lava and Fontana

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

THE BLACK LAVA TOUR

D47 Riding and caving

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Duration: 7 hours. Riding/Caving: 1 ½ - 2 hours each. Departures: Summer (15th May - 15th Sep): Tue, Fri, Sun at 10:00. Winter: Every day at 10:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 Age limit: 10 years Min: 2 persons (please contact us if you are travelling alone) Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter on the riding tour, guided cave tour, caving gear, homemade lunch at Jósalir Restauran Bring with you: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket and trousers, headwear and gloves. After an adventurous riding tour on lava fields above ground, we explore a 2200-year-old lava cave in the Blue Mountains and discover Iceland from below.

Riding and Biking

D54 Saddle up

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Fri, Sat, Sun Season: All year Duration: 8 - 9 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 ½ - 2 hours with stops Departures: 10:00 Transfer starts from: 08:30 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Transfer from hotel, guided riding tour, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, return bus fare with audio guidance, admission to the Laugarvatn Fonanta, picnic lunch.

Days of week: Every day Season: 15 May - 15 October Duration: 8 - 9 hours (with transfers) Riding: 1 ½ - 2 hours with stop. Biking 2 1/2 hours Departures: 10:00 from Ægisgarður, Reykjavik harbor place Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Included: Guided biking tour of Reykjavik, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots and rainwear on riding tour, transfer to Riding Centre and transfer back to your hotel. Note: Lunch on your own.

Experience the sturdy and friendly Icelandic horse on a morning ride from Hafnarfjörður (Lava Tour) and then enjoy the healing powers of the natural steam baths in the community of Laugarvatn. On the way back to Reykjavik we visit the Thingvellir National Park.

Enjoy Reykjavik’s parks and back roads only locals know on comfortable, high quality bikes and discover the friendly Icelandic horse by riding on great riding paths surrounded by lava from Hafnarfjörður. A very eco-friendly tour.

33


34

Day tours

Horse Round-up

Sheep Round-up

Riding and Northern Lights

Country Living and Horses

Hekla and Landmannalaugar

Trail of Hope

Riding Lessons and Treks

Thórsmörk

Power of Creation

Countryside Riding Adventure

Íshestar Special

Egilsstaðir

Kjölur

Golden Circle

Snæfellsnes

Thingvellir National Park

Northern Exposure

Snæfellsjökull

Staðarhús

Eyvindarmúli

Miðás

L

UL

ÖK

Hvammur

J NG

LA

Eiríksjökull

Kjóastaðir

Þórisjökull

Kálfhóll

Ok

Dæli

Eyjafjallajökull

H

LL

KU

S OF

MÝRDALSJÖKULL

Mælifell

Húsavík

VATNAJÖKULL

Bjarnastaðir

Printing: Svansprent

Photos: Christophe Leservoisier, Gígja Einars, Kiddi and Birna, Carla Blekkink Kay Uwe Eggert, Sigurður Jökull, Sabine Hanggi, Helgi Thoroddsen, Steinunn Guðbjörnsdóttir, Cory Ryan, A2I, Anton Antonsson, Ásta Begga, Guðmundur Jónsson. Frank Bradford, Arctic Adventures, Frank Bradford, Silja Birgisdóttir,Blue Lagoon and others.

HAFNARFJÖRÐUR

Reykjavík

Stóri-Kálfalækur

DRANGAJÖKULL

Skriðuklaustur


ABOUT ICELAND

The Country

Weather

Iceland is an island of 103.000 km2 (39,756 sq.miles), about one-third larger than Scotland or Ireland. Its highest peak, Hvannadalshnjúkur, rises to 2.109 meters (6,921 ft). Over 11% of the country is covered by glaciers, including Vatnajökull, the largest glacier in Europe.

Iceland enjoys a much milder climate than its name and location adjacent to the Arctic Circle would imply. A branch of the Gulf Stream flows along the southern and the western coast greatly moderating the climate. In Reykjavík the average temperature in January is 0,1 °C (32°F) and 11,2 °C (52,2°F) in July.

Energy Situated on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Iceland is a hot spot of volcanic and geothermal activity: more than 30 volcanoes have erupted in the past two centuries, and natural hot water supplies much of the population with natural, pollution-free heating. Rivers, too, are harnessed to provide environmentally friendly hydroelectric power.

People Out of a population numbering a little over 300.000, half live in the capital Reykjavík and its neighbouring towns. The highland interior is uninhabited (and uninhabitable), and most centres of population are situated on the coast.

Language Iceland was settled by Nordic people in the 9th century. Icelanders still speak the language of the Vikings, although modern Icelandic has undergone changes of pronunciation and, of course, of vocabulary.

History In 930, , the Icelandic settlers founded one of the world´s first national parliaments, Althing. The Old Commonwealth Age, described in the classic Icelandic Sagas, lasted until 1262, when Iceland lost its independence to Norway and later to Denmark. In 1944 Iceland was declared an independent republic.

EAST In East Iceland, the visitor will be astonished by the contrast of the landscape. One finds impressive fjords and high mountains, friendly and peaceful fishing villages; fertile and forested valleys as well as barren highlands and deep canyons.

WEST In the West and the West Fjords, the unspoiled nature attracts visitors. For understandable reasons as well: the high West is untouched and almost uninhabited. The Snæfellsnes peninsula has been named Iceland in Miniature since many natural sights can be found in the area.

NORTH North Iceland, impresses with its flourishing villages and farming communities, soaring mountain peaks, offshore islands. A landscape in formation makes parts of the North a unique world of its own, with craters, lava formations, bubbling mud pools and steam vents.

SOUTH The varied landscape of South Iceland boasts a wealth of natural wonders, glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers and an amazing coast line. Historical sites marking milestones in the history of the country and society are well-marked and accessible.

35


Íshestar brochure 2014 english