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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 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.

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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. Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought for a reasonable price in the Duty Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival. 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).

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• 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. 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, 14, 17, 19, 20 and 25 - 26 is one night in a hotel including breakfast in Capital area before and after the riding tour, and a welcome meal. Tour 21 includes one night in a hotel in Reykjavík. Tours no. 11, 13, 16, 18, 24 and 711 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.

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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 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 ÍH-Travel ..............................................................................................................36-37

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.....................................10 IH-7 Kjölur: Between the Glaciers..................................................................... ..14 IH-8 Egilsstaðir: Secrets of the East.................................................................. 15 IH-9 Grand Tour........................................................................................................ 16 IH-10A Íshestar Special: North West Safari..................................................... 16 IH-10B Íshestar Special: Diamonds of the North........................................... 17 IH-10D Íshestar Special: Pearls of the East ..................................................... 17 IH-12 Power of Creation: Fjallabak Trail and Lakagígar Craters............... 19 IH-17 Northern Odyssey: Highlands of Skagafjörður.................................. 22 IH-19 Hekla - Landmannalaugar: Mountain Spirit........................................ 24 Farm, guesthouse or hotel accommodation for all/most nights of the ride: IH-4 Volcano vista: Southern Delight................................................................. 11 IH-5 Snæfellsnes: Magical and Mysterious...................................................... 12 IH-6 Golden Circle: Southern Comfort............................................................. 13 IH-14 The Twilight Zone: Beaches, valleys and fjords.................................20 IH-20 Country Living and Horses...................................................................... 25 IH-21 Riding under Northern Lights.................................................................. 26 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.................................................................. 18 IH-711 Bright Nights Riding................................................................................... 18 IH-13 Geysir-Gullfoss Special...............................................................................20 IH-16 Beach and Mountain Ride.......................................................................... 21 IH-18 Trail of Hope: North-West Explorer....................................................... 23 IH-24 Autumn Adventure: Sheep Round up - Landmannaafrétt........... 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 D05 Viking Tour: For experienced riders......................................................... 31 D41 Horses and Blue Lagoon: Wellness........................................................... 31 D42 Horses and Gullfoss – Geysir: Saddles and sights............................... 31 D43 Horses and Whales: Animal life................................................................ 32 D44 Horses and Hiking: Mountains and lava................................................. 32 D45 Family Adventure: We care about children..........................................30 D46 The Blue Lava Tour: Riding and snorkeling.......................................... 32 D47 The Black Lava Tour: Riding and caving................................................ 32 D48 Nature and Vikings: Riding and dining..................................................30 D50 Midnight Sun Riding: Bright Nights........................................................ 33 D51 Northern Lights Riding: Winter riding..................................................... 33 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

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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 “Beautiful landscape! The staff on the riding tour is so nice that I didn´t want to leave Iceland”. M.D. from France Egilsstaðir Tour “It was a dream come true! A dream I had for 15 years. Absolutely stunning and amazing! Perfect tour and very recommendable”. T.K. from Germany Hekla & Landmannalaugar Tour “Riding with a herd of proud horses was breathtaking. Changing landscape from lava fields to green pastures was beautiful and the staff´s sincere desire to make our journey enjoyable was heartwarming. Thank you for Northern Odyssey”. I.R.F. from Slovenia Northern Odyssey Tour “This tour rejuvenates every ounce of your heart and soul. It is the high of a lifetime to feed us the energy of the amazing Iceland horse and the breathtaking view this country has to offer. A must to do and see! ” K.A.B. from Canada Countryside Riding Adventure “This tour was a great experience, once in a lifetime! The horses, the nature, the friendly people, I will carry it in my heart forever. And I am definitely considering coming back for a new riding tour. I am so happy that I decided to go on this trip” . H.L. from Sweden Horse Round Up

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PLAN YOUR VACATION Tours starting in June: JUN 1. 6 Golden Circle 16. 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 16 Beach and Mountain Ride 2. 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 22. 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 6. 711 Bright Nights 23. 3 Northern Exposure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 8. 6 Golden Circle 24. 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 19 Landmannalaugar 9. 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 27. 711 Bright Nights 10. 11 Countryside Riding Adventure 29. 6 Golden Circle, I7 Kjölur 13. 711 Bright Nights 30. 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss 15. 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle Special, 18 Trail of Hope

Tours starting in July: JUL 1. 6. 7. 8. 9. 13. 14. 15. 20. 21. 22. 27. 28. 29.

11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 19 Landmannalaugar 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 4 Volcano Vistas, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 19 Landmannalaugar 10D Íshestar spec: Pearls of the East 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 17 Northern Odyssey, 18 Trail of Hope 12 Power of Creation 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 8 Egilsstaðir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 18 Trail of Hope 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 12 Power of Creation 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 4 Volcano Vistas, 8 Egilsstaðir, 10B Íshestar Spec: Diamonds of the North, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 17 Northern Odyssey 19 Landmannalaugar

Tours starting in August: AUG 3. 4. 5. 10. 11. 12. 17. 18. 19. 24. 25. 26.

5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 17 Northern Odyssey, 18 Trail of Hope, 19 Landmannalaugar 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 3 Northern Exposure, 4 Volcano Vistas, 8 Egilsstaðir, 10A Íshestar Spec: North-West Safari, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 17 Northern Odyssey 11 Countryside Riding Adventure, 12 Power of Creation 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur, 14 The Twilight Zone 3 Northern Exposure, 8 Egilsstaðir, 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special 12 Power of Creation 5 Snæfellsnes, 6 Golden Circle, 7 Kjölur 13 Geysir Gullfoss Special, 16 Beach and Mountain Ride 19 Landmannalaugar

Tours starting in September og October: SEPT 11. 19. 20. 26.

25 Horse Round-up: Skrapatungurétt 21 Riding under Northern Lights 24 Autumn Adventure: Sheep Round Up 21 Riding under Northern Lights

OCT 1. 3. 10. 17. 24.

26 Horse Round-up: Víðidalstungurétt 21 Riding under Northern Lights 21 Riding under Northern Lights 21 Riding under Northern Lights 21 Riding under Northern Lights

Weekly departures all year: 20 Country Life and horses

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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.

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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

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HIGHLAND TOUR

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NORTHERN EXPOSURE Wonders of Lake Mývatn Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 5 riding days – 170 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Sunday June 23 – 30 • June 30 – July 7 • July 7 – 14 • July 14 – 21 • August 11 - 18 • August 18 – 25 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Sleeping bag accommodation in shared rooms during the ride. Group size: Max. 18 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 Saltvík 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

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

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. We can take a relaxing bath in an outdoor bathing facility with hot geothermal water. The next two days take us from the black sand deserts of Hólssandur over Hvammsheiði heath towards the shore and back to the farm. After this amazing tour in an ever changing landscape we can relax in outdoor hot tubs with a great view over to the ocean and the Kinnafjöll Mountain Range.


HIGHLAND TOUR

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VOLCANO VISTAS Southern Delight Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 5 riding days – 150 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Sunday July 7 – 14 • July 28 – August 4 • August 11 – 18 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in dbl. rooms in the Capital area. Guesthouses and holiday farm acco. during the ride in dbl. rooms with shared facilities. Single rooms available at an extra charge. Group size: Max. 14 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Reservation code: IH – 4 Riding in an area shaped by two majestic volcanoes is an experience beyond compare. Notorious volcano Mt. Eyja­ fjallajökull towers the region and volcano Mt. Hekla is close by. We will be reminded of devastating eruptions through the ages and enjoy the smooth riding grounds created by ash and pumice eruptions. This tour also covers sights from the famous Njáls Saga so we can expect to hear from heroes and villains of the Saga ages. We visit the Geysir hot springs and Gullfoss waterfall on our way to Eyvindarmúli Farm in the historical Fljótshlíð area. Our

ride starts alongside Markarfljót River and we get a glimpse of Thórsmörk Natur Park as we ride into the mountains. Our horses stay behind and we return to the inhabited areas for our comfortable overnight stay. We continue on good riding tracks west of Tindfjallajökull Glacier and ride into lava fields created by volcano Mt. Hekla. We follow the Hekla trail and ride back into the Fljótshlíð area where we finish our ride. Before returning to Capital area we take a detour along the south coast and enjoy a relaxing bath in the Blue Lagoon before we reach our hotel again.

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HIGHLAND TOUR

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SNÆFELLSNES Magical and mysterious Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 215 km Dates 2013: Saturday – Sunday June 15 – 23 • June 22 – 30 • July 13 – 21 • July 20 – 28 • August 3 – 11 • August 24 – September 1 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 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”. 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.

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COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

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GOLDEN CIRCLE Southern Comfort

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Intermediate riders, comfortable during long hours in the saddle.

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 6 riding days – 165 km Dates 2013: Saturday – Saturday June 1 – 8 • June 8 – 15 • June 15 – 22 • June 22 – 29 • June 29 – July 6 • July 6 – 13 • July 13 – 20 • July 20 – July 27 • July 27 - August 3 • August 3 – 10 • August 10 – 17 • August 17 – 24 • August 24 – 31 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. 2 – 4 bed units with shared facilities at Fossnes Farm and Kálfhóll Farm, rooms with private facilities for two nights at the Geysir Hotel. 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 horse and its special gaits on a relaxed ride along majestic Thjórsá River. We then and 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.

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HIGHLAND TOUR

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KJÖLUR Between the Glaciers Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 210 km Dates 2013: Saturday – Sunday June 22 – 30 • June 29 – July 7 • July 6 - 14 • July 13 – 21 • July 20 – 28 • July 27 – August 4 • August 3 – 11 • August 10 – 18 • August 17 – 25 • August 24 – September 1 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.

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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

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EGILSSTAÐIR Secrets of the East

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Strong intermediate riders capable of handling horses in open country

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 215 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Monday June 30 – July 8* • July 21 – 29 • July 28 – August 5 • 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 Please note: *The first departure is different and ends in Höfn in Hornafjörður. 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 transport­ ation 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 takes us to 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. Enjoy a number of beautiful waterfalls until we reach green meadows again.

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HIGHLAND TOUR

NEW

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GRAND TOUR

10A Experienced riders

Duration: Combine any two departures of our tours 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17 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 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. Explore the northern highlands on the Northern Odyssey and the southern highlands on the Power of Creation Trail. 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.

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ÍSHESTAR SPECIAL North-West Safari Experienced riders

Duration: 12 days – 11 nights – 9 riding days – 300 km Date 2013: Sunday - Thursday, August 11 - 22 Accommodation: Hotel rooms in Capital area. Sleeping bag accommodation in shared rooms at all other accommodation – please bring your own sleeping bag! Group size: Max. 17 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: This tour is only recommended for experienced riders with the necessary stamina for riding days of 40 - 50 km during 7 - 9 hrs. Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for this ride. Reservation code: IH – 10A Ride with our host Haukur and his family from Hvammur Farm through the northern highlands all the way into the heart of Iceland. You will find yourself in remote desert-like areas and view some of the mighty glaciers of Iceland. Our trail leads from the lush farmlands of the North to the geothermal area Hveravellir and back to civilisation again. Another highlight of this tour is the ride in the shallow water of the Lake Hóp lagoon. Enjoy the Icelandic horse in this great variety of terrain.


HIGHLAND TOUR

NEW

10B

ÍSHESTAR SPECIAL Diamonds of the North Experienced riders

10D

ÍSHESTAR SPECIAL Pearls of the East Experienced riders

Duration: 13 days – 12 nights – 10 riding days – 355 km Date 2013: Sunday – Friday, July 28 – August 9 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in Capital area. Sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 20 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport 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

Duration: 12 days – 11 nights – 9 riding days – 330 km Date 2013: Tuesday – Saturday, July 9 - 20 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in the Capital area. Sleeping bag accommodation during the ride, one night in tents. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: This is a tour into the wild and only recommended for healthy, fit, experienced riders. The tour may include steep up- and downhill riding, single-file tracks and riding in rugged terrain. Reservation code: IH – 10D

This is a special 10 day‘s ride with our hosts Bjarni Páll and Elsa from Saltvík Farm to celebrate their 20 years of operating riding tours for Íshestar.

Discover hidden nature gems together with our host Denni and enjoy the amazing horses of the East on this tour into the remote wilderness. On this tour we ride from the South to Egilsstaðir and discover never before seen treasures of the East.

This tour covers the highlights of our popular tours of past years, „Northern Exposure“, „Diamond Circle“ and touches a glimpse of our old „Sprengisandur Trail“.

From the picturesque town of Höfn in Hornafjörður we ride into the amazing scenery of the Lón and Lónsheiði area with harsh yet colorful mountains. With view to the glaciers we ride in abandoned valleys like Geithellnadalur with dramatic cliffs and numerous waterfalls. Our host Denni has developed this amazing trail into the wild. Get smitten by his passion for the East of Iceland and join him on this trail far away from the beaten tracks.

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COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

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COUNTRYSIDE RIDING ADVENTURE Intermediate riders

Duration: 3 days – 2 nights – 3 riding days – 60 km Dates 2013: Monday – Wednesday June 10 – 12 • June 24 - 26 • July 1 – 3 • July 8 – 10 • July 22 – 24 • August 5 - 7 • August 12 – 14 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. 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.

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711

Bright Nights RidING Intermediate riders

Duration: 2 days – 1 night – 2 riding days – 45 km Dates 2013: Thursday - Friday June 6 – 7 • June 13 – 14 • June 27 – 28 Accommodation: 2-bed units, beds with bed linen, shared facilities Group size: Min. 6, max. 16 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Reservation code: IH – 711

During the summer months the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In June the sun never fully sets in the North. According to Icelandic folktales, cows gain the powers of speech, seals become human, and it is healthy to roll naked in dewcovered grass on the brightest night of the year ”Jónsmessa”. Icelandic folklore also states that if you sit at a crossroads all night, elves will attempt to seduce you with food and gifts. Kjóastaðir Farm, where this tour operates, is located near the Geysir hot spring area and Gullfoss Waterfall. The highlight of this tour is the ride out into the night to enjoy the tranquillity of Iceland‘s nature on a bright summer night.


HIGHLAND TOUR

12

POWER OF CREATION Fjallabak Trail and Lakagígar Craters

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Strong intermediate riders capable of handling horses in open country

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 195 km Dates 2013: Monday – Tuesday, July 15 – 23 • July 22 – 30 • August 12 – 20 • August 19 - 27 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 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.

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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 2013: Sunday - Thursday June 2 - 6 • June 9 - 13 • June 16 - 20 • June 23 - 27 • June 30 - July 4 • July 7 - 11 • July 14 - 18 • July 21 - 25 • July 28 - August 1 • August 4 - 8 • August 11 - 15 • August 18 - 22 • August 25 - 29 Accommodation: 2 – 4 bed units with shared facilities at Fossnes Farm, rooms with private facilities for two nights at the Geysir hotel. 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 cosy 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.

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14

THE TWILIGHT ZONE Beaches, valleys Strong intermediate riders, and fjords older than 50 years.

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 190 km Date 2013: Saturday – Sunday, August 17 – 25 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms, beds with bed linen, throughout the tour. Group size: Max. 18 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for the beach ride! Reservation code: IH – 14

This tour for riders, 50 years and older, was already a great success in its first year. This is why we are offering such a tour again, with a slightly changed itinerary. On this tour we hope to meet many of our older friends again, as well as making some new ones. Our hosts and partners since 1988, Sigurður (Siggi) and Ólöf lead again this tour. We ride through valleys and mighty lava fields in Hítardalur valley. Majestic Snæfellsjökull rises ahead of us when we traverse the beach on a traditional trail only known by the locals. Besides great riding routes this tour includes some sightseeing as well. We visit the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes and Deildartunguhver hot spring, as well as Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls. Do not miss out on this great opportunity to join a comfortable riding tour, exploring the highlights of the Snæfellsnes peninsula.


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

16

BEACH AND MOUNTAIN RIDE Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 5 days – 4 nights – 4 riding days – 145 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Thursday June 16 – 20 • August 25 - 29 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.

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HIGHLAND TOUR

17

NORTHERN ODYSSEY Highlands of Skagafjörður

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Strong intermediate riders capable of handling horses in open country

Duration: 9 days – 8 nights – 6 riding days – 200 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Monday July 14 – 22 • July 28 – August 5 • August 11 – 19 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared rooms in the Capital area. Shared rooms in simple mountain cabins and at farmhouses, sleeping bag accommodation during the ride. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: Some walking might be involved at steep hillsides. Reservation code: IH - 17 Skagafjörður is a district in Iceland that has a long tradition in horse breeding. With great pleasure we present a riding tour from this well known district into the rugged wilderness of the highlands. This tour leads all the way to Laugafell, a place well known for the natural hot pool and green vegetation, a true oasis for those following the old and famous Sprengisandur Trail. From green pastures we ascent onto remote desert-like areas close to the majestic glacier Hofsjökull. Explore the outback of Iceland, following the old Sprengisandur Trail for parts of this

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ride. Only here in the North you can see horses living freely in sheltered valleys during the summer months, independent of men, just relying on their natural instincts. Enjoy the peaceful Austurdalur valley and Ábær countryside church, where service is held only once a year. Merkigil canyon is a landmark on this trail before your ride returns to lush green fields and meadows. This is a tour that combines the fascinating and varied wilderness of northern Iceland with historical sights and stories of remarkable men and women.


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

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TRAIL OF HOPE North-West Explorer Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 5 days – 4 nights – 4 riding days – 120 km Dates 2013: Sunday – Thursday June 30 – July 4 • July 7 – 11 • July 14 – 18 • July 21 – 25 • *Monday – Friday, August 5 – 9 Accommodation: 2 – 4 bed units, beds with bed linen. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Reykjavík. Accommodation before and after the ride to be arranged individually. Note: Knee-high rubber boots are recommended for this ride. Reservation code: IH – 18 Please note: * The last departure starts on Monday and ends on Friday. 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 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.

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HIGHLAND TOUR

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VOLCANO MT. HEKLA - LANDMANNALAUGAR Mountain Spirit

Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 6 riding days – 225 km Dates 2013: Monday – Monday June 24 – July 1 • July 1 – 8 • July 8 – 15 • July 29 – August 5 • August 5 – 12 • August 26 – September 2 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. Landmanna­ laugar, 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

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mountains, viewing majestic glaciers and the glacier fed river Markarfljót. The beaturiful 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.


COUNTRYSIDE TOUR

NEW

Country Living and 20 Horses Individual Centre-based Riding Beginners - Experienced riders

Duration: 8 days – 7 nights – 5 riding days Dates 2012 - 2013: 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 Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Note: The program includes 15 hours of riding time. 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 vacation to remember.

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AUTUMN TOUR

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RIDING UNDER NORTHERN LIGHTS Autumn Colors Intermediate riders

Duration: 4 days – 3 nights – 2 riding days – 45 km Dates 2013: Thursday – Sunday September 19 – 22 • September 26 – 29 • October 3 – 6 • October 10 – 13 • October 17 – 20 • October 24 - 27 Accommodation: 2-bed units, beds with bed linen, shared facilities. Hotel accommodation in Capital area 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).

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AUTUMN ADVENTURE Rounding up sheep with the farmers in Landmannalaugar, Jökulgil and near Volcano Hekla. Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 6 riding days Date 2013: Friday – Thursday, September 20 – 26 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 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 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. 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.

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AUTUMN TOUR

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HORSE ROUND-UP Skrapatungurétt Strong intermediate riders

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HORSE ROUND-UP Víðidalstungurétt Strong intermediate riders

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 4,5 riding days – 130 km Date 2013: Wednesday – Tuesday, September 11 – 17 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared room in the Capital area. Group size: Max. 16 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Dance at the community centre in Blönduós, entrance fee to be paid locally. Important: To be able to join the introductory ride, arrival needs to be before 16:00/04:00 PM. Reservation code: IH – 25

Duration: 7 days – 6 nights – 4,5 riding days – 130 km Date 2013: Tuesday – Monday, October 1 - 7 Accommodation: Hotel accommodation in shared room in the Capital area. Group size: Max. 20 guests Meeting place: Keflavík International Airport Optional: Dance at the community centre in Víðihlíð, entrance fee to be paid locally. Important: To be able to join the introductory ride, arrival needs to be before 16:00/04:00 PM. Reservation code: IH – 26

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.

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.

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.

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.

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MEET OUR PARTNERS

Bjarni Páll and Elsa take care of our Northern Exposure and Íshestar Special in the North. They are known for their excellent horses and good organization. They have been with Íshestar for more than 20 years and we hope that they will work with us for another 20 years, at least.

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? They will offer again the special ride “Twilight Zone” for everybody, 50 years and older.

Hjalti G. and Åsa take care of our oldest tour Kjölur, as well as our Countryside Riding, Northern Lights tours and the new Bright Nights Riding tour 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 120 times along the Kjölur trail already.

Kiddi and Birna will operate three tours this season; our comfortable Volcano Vistas ride, our Power of Creation tour into the fascinating highlands of SyðraFjallabak and Lakagígar craters, as well as the popular Hekla/Landmannalaugar tour. Their great selection of horses and their passion to please every guest will touch the heart of everybody riding with them.

Haukur and Sonja run the Trail of Hope tour, the horse round-up to Skrapa­ tungurétt and an Íshestar Special Tour from th­eir farm Hvammur. They are successful horse breeders. With their good horses and friendly way of operating the tours they make sure our clients return home happy.

Gestur and Margrét have been taking care of both, the Landmannalaugar 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. We welcome them back and introduce a new programme, 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.

Denni and Arna took over the Egilsstaðir tour in 2011 and made an instant impact on this popular tour that we operate since 1991. Pure nature and remote areas have always been the trademark of this tour. They also offer an Íshestar Special Tour in the East for those who can’t get enough of the amazing riding trails, their great horses and their love of the land.

Hjalti J. and Anna Lísa are newcomers since 2010, although Anna Lísa had already made herself known as an excellent chef on Special Tours and our Kjölur tour. Their Northern Odyssey in the beautiful Skagafjörður area was an instant success from the beginning.

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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

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

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.

Haukur Hauksson has been with Íshestar since 2002. His main job is deputy director of Ísavia. Languages: English and Scandinavian.

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

Svandís Dóra Einarsdóttir has been working for us as a tour guide since 2006. She is a trained actress. Languages: English, Scandinavian and some French.

Ingvar P. Guðbjörnsson studies history and works as a journalist. He started guiding our tours in 2010. Languages: English, Danish and Scandinavian.

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

And others.

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DAY TOUR

D01

NATURE COMFORT Ideal tour for beginners

D02

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: 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.

D48 NEW

Nature and Vikings Riding and dining

Why not add a unique Viking dinner after your riding tour? At 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.

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 Jóalir Restaurant at the Riding Centre available 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.

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 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. Viking dinner (2 course) Please note: Transfer from Viking restaurant is on your own and not included in tour price.

LAVA TOUR

D45

FAMILY ADVENTURE We care about children

Days of week: Every day Season: All year Departures: 13:00 Duration: ½ hour Transfers: Not included. 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 at a discounted rate. Please note that at least one adult needs to stay behind with a young child at the Riding Centre. One adult must go with the child on a riding tour.

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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.

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.

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.

Our Viking Tour starts with an introductory ride in the morning. After lunch at the Riding 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.

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 Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, bus transfer to/from Blue Lagoon, picnic lunch. 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

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 Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, guided bus tour to Gullfoss and Geysir, picnic lunch.

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.

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RIDING AND BEYOND Make the most of your day

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, picnic lunch, helmet, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, guided whale watching tour Please note: Tour ends at the harbour in down-town Reykjavik 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.

HORSES AND HIKING

D44 Mountains and lava Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day Season: March to October Duration: 6-7 hours. Riding/Walking: 1 ½ - 2 hour each. Departures: 14:00 Transfer starts from: 12:45 Age limit: 8 years. Children 8-11 years receive a 50% discount Min: 4 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, guided walking tour. Why let the horses do all the work? First enjoy the strength of the Icelandic Horse on your riding tour through the lava fields (Lava Tour) and then challenge yourself to a 2 hour walk up Mt. Helgafell near our Riding Centre.

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THE BLUE LAVA TOUR

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

NE

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 Included: Transfers, guided riding tour, helmets, rubber boots, rainwear or a warm outfit in the winter, guided snorkeling tour and all equipment, homemade lunch at Jósalir Restaurant Min: 2 persons (please contact us if you are travelling alone) 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.

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. Age limit: 10 years Departures: Summer (15th May - 15th Sep): Tue, Fri, Sun 10:00. Winter: Every day at 10:00 Transfer starts from 08:30. 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 Restaurant Min: 2 persons (please contact us if you are travelling alone) Bring with you: Warm outdoor clothing, waterproof jacket and trousers, headwear and gloves. Explore a 2200-year-old lava cave in the Blue Mountains and discover Iceland from below. Continue above ground on an Icelandic horse on your ride through the lava fields of Hafnarfjörður (Lava tour).

NE


DAY TOUR

Riding and Wellness

D52 Lava and Fontana NEW

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

Days of week: Every day 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. 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 Þingvellir National Park.

Riding and Biking

D54 Saddle up NEW

Beginners – Little or no riding experience needed

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

MIDNIGHT SUN RIDING

D50 Bright nights NEW

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

Northern Lights Riding

D51 Autumn and Winter NEW

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 and rainwear or a warm outfit in the 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. An exciting evening ride from our Riding Centre on excellent riding paths surrounded by lava. Northern Lights sighting is weather depending and therefore not guaranteed.

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34 HAFNARFJÖRÐUR

Stóri-Kálfalækur

Miðás

N

Eyjafjallajökull

Printing: Svansprent

F

HO

LL

KU

Ö SJ

MÝRDALSJÖKULL

Mælifell

Eyvindarmúli

LL

KU

Ö GJ

Hvammur

LA

Eiríksjökull

Kjóastaðir

Þórisjökull

Kálfhóll

Ok

Dæli

Photos: Gígja Einars, Hanna Skúladóttir, Carla Blekkink, Denni, Kay Uwe Eggert, Sigurður Jökull, Steinunn Guðbjörnsdóttir, Emily Nilsson, Anne Mette Halvorsen, Cory Ryan, Sabine Hänggi, Annette Baier, Judith Köster, Frank Bradford, Arctic Adventure and more.

Day tours

Íshestar Special

Country Living

Countryside Riding Adventure

Riding under Northern Lights

Egilsstaðir

Volcano Vistas

Northern Exposure

Trail of Hope

Horse Round-up

Northern Odyssey

Snæfellsnes

Twilight Zone

Kjölur

Power of Creation

Hekla and Landmannalaugar

Golden Circle

Snæfellsjökull

DRANGAJÖKULL

Saltvík

VATNAJÖKULL

Skriðuklaustur


Ishestar brochure 2013 - English