Does it sound appealing? I have experienced both and I still do love the “crude” highland tours but as I am getting older I do appreciate a bit more the comfort of sleeping in privacy in nice, comfy and warm beds after a long day in the saddle.
Let me talk you through the main difference between our tours:
First of all we should consider the group size. On a traditional group riding tour in Iceland the group usually consist of 10-20 riders plus 5-7 people as staff. On our signature hotel accommodation riding tours the maximum number of riders are 4-6 persons (depending on tour) but usually between 2-4 riding guests. You will have in addition 1-2 riding guides and another member of staff in the tour car taking care of transfers, lunch etc. This makes the tour naturally much more personal and you really get to know your Icelandic guides who also own the horses you are riding. Of course you can also ask for a completely private tour for your party.
On our hotel riding tours we stay at 3 and 4 star country hotels. We carefully pick and choose our hotels with your greatest comfort in mind and all of them provide a geothermal outdoor jacuzzi and licenced restaurant so you can enjoy a nice glas of wine with your dinner or at the cozy bar afterwards. Single, double or twin rooms are available and provide all the modern amenities you would expect from a nice hotel!
On the authentic highland tours you make your own picnic lunch from the breakfast table. On our Exploring Iceland hotel accommodation riding tours we provide the lunch. It is usually a mix of saddle bag picnic lunches, a nice lunch at a local restaurant or an outdoor luxury lunch with Icelandic specialities. We always strive to make a healthy and delicous Icelandic lunch with hot drinks and are happy to cater for people with special diets! Once we have returned the horses into the field in the afternoon there will be coffee and cakes waiting for you. And when it´s raining? A horse-trailer with spare horses travels along so it is easy to set up a table and chairs inside and enjoy a happy lunch in the dry if the weather is not quite as favorable!
Good and „fresh“ horses
Since we are not offering tours week after week, our horses get a good break in between our signature hotel accommodation tours. Our tours last generally from 3-5 days, usually around weekends. We take our horses back home in between tours where they graze free until the next tour begins. We have a total of 25 horses to choose from, depending on your riding skills and expectations. We usually ride 20-25 km per day with 2-3 horses per person and we take horse welfare very seriously. On every tour we take along a list with detailed information about each and every horse which is good and fun to read during the tour.
Personal service and flexibility
With such small micro group tours we can be more flexible with the itinerary for example in case of bad weather. We enjoy spending the day with our guests from when we meet them in the hotel lobby in the morning until we return them to their hotel in the afternoon. We can easily take a de-tour to stop at a nice café or at interesting museum according to your wishes. We truly run our tours according to our „come as a guest, but leave as a friend“ scheme as the numbers of returning guests clearly show!
Offering very good hotel accommodation and running tours with such small groups obviously comes at a price but we are happy to hear from our guests that they are totally worth it!
A few words from some new friends from summer 2019
„Last but not least: You did a really great job during the tour with us. Thank you so much. You always gave us the feeling to be safe and sound, you kept us warm, you prepared delicious meals for us, we did not have to worry about a thing! You even got a surprise Spa-stop for us! And a fabulous trip in the car, too! Everyone who has the opportunity to go on a holiday with you, should be lucky.“ L.D.from Germany
Our own tours are:
Borgarnes Beach and Mountain
Tölt with Glacier view West
Riding the Rift Valley
Black lava and Green valleys
We look forward to welcome you in the saddle!
Text and photos: Steinunn/Meike