Scan Magazine | Issue 73 | February 2015

Page 71

2_6_ScanMag_72_Feb_2014_Text_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 04/02/2015 10:59 Page 71

Scan Magazine | Attraction of the Month | Denmark

The tours of Luxury Riding Holidays, aimed at experienced riders, have attracted visitors from as far away as New Zealand and the US, and many return every year to enjoy a truly unspoilt piece of Denmark.

Attraction of the Month, Denmark

A very modern Nordic adventure Jesper Finderup, who offers luxury two- to four-day riding holidays atop Icelandic horses in the beautiful and wild North-West of Denmark, may have hit upon the perfect definition of raw, modern Nordic luxury: “We treat our guests just as we would our dearest friends,” he explains, “we don’t hold out their chairs at dinner; we’re relaxed and informal, but we provide pure quality throughout and we make sure there’s always plenty of everything. We pursue ‘the good life’ here, alongside our guests.” By Louise Older Steffensen | Photos: Luxury Riding Holidays

No other riding resort offers anything quite like Finderup and Rikke Olsen’s Luxury Riding Holidays, which they’ve run since 2005. Their tours, aimed at experienced riders, have attracted visitors from as far away as New Zealand and the US, and many return every year to enjoy a truly unspoilt piece of Denmark. North-West Jutland has remained largely untouched for centuries, and the area is rich in beautiful forests, wild beaches and moorland. It’s not unusual to ride for half a day without seeing anyone else. “It’s often just us, the horses and the wind,” Finderup, who has worked in Iceland, runs his own acclaimed stud farm and has competed on Danish national teams, says.

There is no danger of loneliness in Finderup’s company, however. The owner loves chatting with guests about the big and small things in life. “Each group develops different dynamics, but the conversations always flow and it’s always very hyggeligt.” Hyggen, that quintessentially Danish concept of a cosy, relaxed time, is garnished with excellent wine (which Finderup stresses he always personally checks for quality) and fantastic local gastronomy. “We’re minutes from the coast, so our fish come straight from the sea. Not even Noma can beat us! Not on freshness, anyway.” After a long day’s ride, guests can enjoy spa treatments, massages, and unwind.

The pair pick up non-local visitors at the local airport, Aalborg, and are planning special trips to celebrate the World Championships for Icelandic Horses in Herning this year. Icelandic horses, favourites of the Vikings and famous for their tölting gait, may be small, but they’re hardy, enthusiastic, and suit the Nordic environments perfectly. Rikke and Jesper carefully select and bring together the best horses, of a range of temperaments, on sale in Denmark. If you’re looking to buy, Luxury Riding Holidays’ weekends allow you to really get to know the horse in all scenarios and with all kinds of people. Finderup challenges anyone who doubts the little fellows’ capabilities to come along and experience a fabulous, charming race.

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Issue 73 | February 2015 | 71

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