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By end August Iceland's summer is all but over. The days in September shorten, introducing a wide range of autumn colours and the fascinating Northern Lights.
We ride through dreamy valleys where flocks of cackeling geese are resting before their journey south. We ride up to the mountains where we meet the sheep that have been roaming around in total freedom the whole summer. Now it is almost time to bring them back to their home fields as the winter starts knocking on the door!
Pick up in Akureyri (airport, bus station or hotel) in the late afternoon. A 30-minute drive will bring us to the farmhouse Grýtubakki the village of Grenivík. On the way you may enjoy the beautiful view of Eyjafjörður and the surrounding mountains.
Details about the next days' programme will be provided after dinner.
After breakfast we catch the horses and saddle up. Every rider gets a suitable horse. Then we start the ride down to the Gljúfurá river and around the Höfði promontory with a superb view of the fjord and the Island of Hrísey. We continue to Grenivík, the little fishing village which is only a few km away from the farmhouse. From there we ride along the coast of Látraströnd. The North Sea is greeting us! We ride above steep cliffs, through lush meadows, clear brooks and impressive valleys. On the way we will across some ruins that will give us the feeling for the times past.
In this area the young horses of the farmers are spending the summer, but soon they will turn back to their home meadows, because the intensive autumn colours are early signs of the coming winter.
We ride back to the farm.
(approx. 4 – 5 hours in saddle). Coffee and cakes are waiting for us as a reward for the daily effort.
Dinner and overnight at Grýtubakki.
Today we start on 2–day tour. We ride into the Fnjóskadalur valley which is split in two by the chrystal blue Fnjóská river. On both sides of the river there are mountains up to 1000 metres high. We ride along the southern part of the valley with babbling brooks, mossy hills and through little forrests of autumnal colours.
Cackeling geese are sitting in flocks at the river bank, preparing themselves for the journey to the South. They are going to spend the winter in warmer areas, but will be back to Iceland in spring when the sun starts to shine for longer hours.
We stay over night at Hjarðarholt farmhouse.
In the evening there will be possibility for a relaxing soax in the hot tub. We may be lucky to spot the Northern Lights!
After breakfast we get the horses and start the ride back home on a higher way along the slopes of Mt.Draflastaðafjall. This route offers a great view over the Eyjafjörður fjord and the Fnjóskà river delta. On our way home we ride to Helguhóll - "The Holy Hill". Local people say there is a Viking ship full of gold buried under it. But the legend also says if anyone should try to get it all the churches that can be seen from the hill would burn down.
After the deserved coffee and cakes at Grýtubakki we drive to one of the most beautiful northern waterfalls - Goðafoss. The waterfall played an important role at the time of christianization of Iceland.
Dinner and overnight at Grýtubakki.
Today we leave for the mountains. Our destination is the shepherds' hut Gil at the end of the Trölladalur valley. From the highest point of Leirdalsheiði we have a fantastic view over the Hvalvatnsfjörður fjord and the open sea of the North Atlantic.
After dinner we can enjoy a walk under stars and hope to spot the dancing northern lights. A wonderful experience far away from civilisation and all the electric lights of the cities.
After breakfast we saddle up again and leave this beautiful space to ride home to our farmhouse Grýtubakki.
On the way we will see some of the thousands of sheep which have spent the summer months here on the pastures in the mountains. They are on their way back home, knowing that soon everything will be under snow.
Farewell dinner will be awaiting us after returning to the farmhouse Grýtubakki.
After breakfast transfer to Akureyri.
All the participants are required to use riding helmets. The helmets and rain clothes will be provided. Tours are based on a minimum number of guests. If there are less participants than we have the right to cancel the tour. In this case we try to offer an alternative solution/riding tour for the affected guests. We reserve the right to alter any itinerary in the guest’s best interest or for reasons of safety. It is advisable to have your own personal insurance when joining one of our riding tours. All tours are undertaken at the participants own risk. To protect the Icelandic horse from infectious diseases, visitors are asked to adopt strict bio security measures. Riding clothes and boots must be disinfected before you arrive, used riding equipments such as bridles, whips etc. may not be imported. We will send you the official disinfection instructions by request. Prepare for all kind of weather when travelling to Iceland. Bring warm clothes, gloves, ear band, warm jacket and good shoes!