Sheep Roundup

ISK 310.000 Book now

Become Icelandic!

Take part in the farmers’ work and enjoy this traditional festival of Icelandic culture. We’ll ride into the highlands with a hand horse in search of the sheep that have been running free in the mountains all summer. They have to be brought down safely to the farms before the harsh Icelandic winter takes hold. You will be riding “off road” through breathtaking scenery and there will be plenty of opportunities to help to handle the sheep.

Riding Experience

Very good riding skills and good physical condition needed

Duration

6 days / 5 nights

Departures

3rd – 8th of September

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Daily riding distance

20 – 40 km

Minimum age

14 years

Number of participants

4 – 8 persons

Price per person (11% VAT incl.)

ISK 310.000

INFORMATION

Itinerary

Day 1: We welcome you at the bus station in Varmahlíð at 14:15. From there we drive together to the Hestasport Cottages – only 1 km away. We take some time to settle in and unpack. After a light lunch we head to meet our horses. Our first ride takes us through the magnificent Héraðsvötn river delta to the corral Mælifellsrétt. This is where our horses spend the night. We return to our cottages, where we tuck into the tasty dinner and spend the rest of the evening soaking in the hot pot.

Day 2: Today we set out to our adventure! We pack all necessary luggage for the next two days and drive to meet our horses at Mælifellsrétt. From there we ride into the fertile Mælifellsdalur valley and soon all signs of civilization vanish behind us. Slowly, but steadly we follow an uphill trail – we should reach the higlands within a few hours. After a couple hours more we arrive at the simple “one room” mountain hut Bugarskáli by Aðalmannsvatn lake, where our chef is ready to serve us a delicious dinner. We and our horses have the luxury of a fresh (cold) water well in the big paddock where the horses stay overnight.

Day 3: After a hearty breakfast we are ready for the first day of sheep gathering. We ride for 2-3 hours further into the highlands of Eyvindarstaðaheiði until we meet the farmers who started this morning from Ströngukvísl. From now on we support the farmers as a part of the “gangnaröð “. All riders spread widely along an imaginary line, which is formed to comb the area for sheep. The search must be precise, so ideally no sheep is left behind. In the evening we ride back to Bugarskáli where we and our horses spend another night. After a long day of sheep herding we enjoy a sumptuous dinner and soon fall asleep to restore our strength for tomorrow.

Day 4: We will wake up at the break of dawn to join the farmers again. Now we know already what is expected of us, so we will be a good assistance for them. At the end of the day a huge white herd of sheep will be streaming down a mountain side like a raging river. Such an unforgettable sight! While collecting and leading the sheep you will experience the adventure of riding over extreme landscapes, just like the Icelandic farmers have done for centuries. When this long day comes to an end, we will leave our horses next to the sheep corral for the night. Our bus will take us back to the Hestasport cottages.

Day 5: In the morning the farmers will sort their sheep into their respective pens and we are going to help them with that. We will dive into the hustle and bustle of the corral. Everyone, young, or old, participates in the sheep sorting. As the day passes, everyone starts singing. The festive, merry atmosphere of Icelandic round-ups attracts both participants and onlookers, and you can be sure you will have a great time! When all sheep are sorted, we assist one farmer to drive his livestock over a mountain pass back to the home valley. Late in the afternoon we leave the sheep behind and our “home sick” horses quickly tölt back home to Vindheimamelar. 

Day 6: After a few long days in the saddle we will enjoy a long sleep and a delicious late breakfast. We can have a last dip in the hot tub before catching the 11:20 am bus to Reykjavík. The bus arrives to the capital city in the late afternoon.  

*We reserve the right to change the itinerary in a short notice depending on weather condition or other unexpected nature phenomes. It could be that the hut is even more basic or we have to recourse to tents.

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Included in the price

  • Transfer by public bus from Reykjavík to Varmahlíð
  • All ground transportation throughout the riding tour
  • Full board during the riding tour, starting with a light meal for lunch on day 1, ending with breakfast on day 6
  • 3 nights in Hestasport Cottages (2-4-bed rooms, shared facilities)
  • 2 nights in Mountain Huts (sleeping bag place, sleeping bags are provided) 
  • English and / or German speaking guides
  • Helmets, raingear, saddlebags
  • Accompanying service carrying luggage, food, etc.
  • Transfer by public bus from Varmahlíð to Reykjavík in the end of the tour
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Not included in the price

  • Transfer to and from Iceland
  • Riding breeches, boots, jackets, gloves
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Accommodation in Reykjavík (but bookable on demand for an extra charge)

Practical Information

What to bring

Temperatures in the summer can range from freezing to 20° C, so be prepared for all kinds of weather. Pack warm clothes such as a wind-proof jacket, woollen or fleece sweaters, gloves, thick woollen socks, headbands/earmuffs, scarf, long underwear (thermals) and of course your riding breeches. We recommend riding boots and/or hiking boots for riding. If you are comfortable with walking in rubber boots, you can bring them too. For the cabins/indoor use, slippers are advisable. Also, prepare for warmer weather and bring along lighter clothes and sunblock, and don’t forget your swimsuit (hot pools). If you need them, you should bring a small pillow and all personal medication. Our staff members are not allowed to give out medication except for emergency situations.

If you enjoy alcoholic beverages in the evening, we recommend that you buy them either at home or take advantage of the duty-free shop in Keflavík airport, because alcohol is rather expensive in Iceland and only sold in special state-run shops. Please find information regarding duty-free regulations here.

 

Riding in Iceland

Your riding clothes and boots must be disinfected before you arrive. It is prohibited by Icelandic law to bring used riding gear including saddles, bridles, etc. into the country, as well as used leather riding boots, other leather riding wear or riding gloves. Riding clothes, rubber riding boots and any other gear should be machine-washed (min. 40°) or dry-cleaned (chemically cleaned), and disinfected with VirkonS®. More detailed information can be found here.

On long riding tours, apart from Home at Hestasport, we ride 5-8 hours per day (on Wilderness Expedition sometimes even more) over plains, hills, rocks and rivers. We, therefore, recommend that participants have solid riding experience and are healthy and in good physical condition.

Note: We reserve the right to alter any itinerary in the guests’ best interest and for reasons of safety. This will not reduce the quality of our tours!

 

Meals and Accommodation*

Our staff will prepare all meals and you’ll get the chance to taste traditional Icelandic specialities such as fresh and smoked lamb, trout, salmon and a variety of cheese and other dairy products. Depending on the tour you choose, you may stay in mountain cabins or our Hestasport Cottages. Sleeping bag accommodation during the Wilderness Expedition tour includes mattresses with a sheet and accommodation is shared, sometimes with the whole group.

*Does not apply to Home at Hestasport and Mountain Challenge

 

Insurances

We strongly recommend that you have your own personal insurance when joining a riding tour in Iceland.

Booking and cancellations

Booking

Please use the “Book now” button on the corresponding tour’s page to book a long riding tour or contact us by email or phone. We’ll contact you with the specifics and will be happy to answer all your questions. 

Once you have decided to participate in the tour and we have agreed on the details, you are kindly asked to secure your booking by making a (down) payment. We require a down payment of a minimum 25% to reserve your place on the tour. The rest of the payment is due no later than 4 weeks prior to the agreed departure. 

Cancellation

We only accept cancellations by email. 

If you cancel your multi-day tour 4 weeks or more before departure, 25% of the total price of the tour will be charged as a cancellation fee. 

If you cancel less than 4 but more than 2 weeks before departure, the cancellation fee will be 50% of the total price. 

If you cancel less than 2 weeks but more than 48 hours before departure, you will be charged 75% of the full price. 

In case of cancellation within less than 48 hours of the scheduled departure or in case of no-show the full price of the reservation will be charged. 

Terms and conditions

Safety rules
  • The minimum age for long riding tours varies according to the level of difficulty, please refer to the individual tour for information.
  • Pregnant women are riding at their own risk. In case of an accident, we do not assume liability for harm caused to the mother or the unborn child.
  • People under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs are not permitted on the riding tours.
  • Please note that the weight limit for our riders is 110 kg (240 lbs)
  • All clients must participate in the riding tour by their own free will and they are obliged to inform the tour guide of any condition that might affect their ability to participate in the tour.
  • Children who cannot communicate in English or German must be accompanied by their parents.
  • All customers are obliged to listen to and acknowledge the safety instructions.
  • Backpacks or bags cannot be taken on the ride.

With your security in mind, we have done everything in our power to ensure that these trips will be enjoyable and safe, and we ask you to confirm the following when making your booking:

  • I am taking this trip of my own free will.
  • I consider myself physically and mentally able to take part in this trip.
  • I agree to follow the instructions of the guide in every respect.
  • I am aware that this trip/these trips can involve some danger.
  • I agree to notify the tour guide of any illnesses that could affect my ability to take part in this trip (i.e. epilepsy, asthma, diabetes) and the medication that I take for them.
  • I am aware that the operator’s liability extends only to accidents that derive from defects in or incorrect use of equipment by the company’s employees and/or carelessness on their part. I myself bear all responsibility for damage caused by me due to my carelessness or failure to follow set/given/published instructions.
  • I am liable for all personal property taken by me on this trip.
  • I am not under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs.
Liability

Hestasport reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables without prior notice, should the necessity arise. We reserve the right to cancel the tour or exclude individual riders if we deem it in the person’s or group’s best interest. No liability is accepted for loss or expenses due to delays or changes of arrival or departures of flights or other services, injury, sickness, accident, strikes, damage, negligence, weather, wars or other causes outside the control of Hestasport. All such losses and expenses are the personal liability of the traveller. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.

BOOK NOW

Please note that your tour has not been confirmed until you receive a confirmation email from Hestasport Riding Tours. When your tour has been confirmed you will receive payment information.

Riding Experience - If you are booking for more than one person, please indicate the appropriate level of experience for each rider

Kennitala: 5005942769
VSK: 94859

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The Icelandic Pledge

Visit North Iceland

Contact information

info@riding.is
+354 453 8383
Varmahlíð, 560 Varmahlíð