Horse Round Up in Skrapatungurétt

Imagine hundreds of free and spirited horses cantering down from their highland summer pastures to be reclaimed by their owners. Mares and their foals, young horses and geldings traverse the rough terrain, not yet quite willing to surrender their freedom before the onset of winter.

Dates 2020

  • September: 17 - 21

Dates 2021

  • Dates will follow as soon as we have information about the round up date

Rounding up horses is an experience you will not forget

Imagine hundreds of free and spirited horses cantering down from their highland summer pastures to be reclaimed by their owners. Mares and their foals, young horses and geldings traverse the rough terrain, not yet quite willing to surrender their freedom before the onset of winter. The ancient tradition of rounding up horses is only kept alive in the North of Iceland.

From the Vatnsdalur area, we ride through beautiful valleys and mountains to Laxárdalur valley. Here we team up with the Icelanders and help round up the horses and drive them down from the mountains to Skrapatungurétt communal corral.

When this task is complete the locals celebrate with a special round-up dance or “réttardansleikur”. We are of course more than welcome to join in the fun. The round-up continues the next day when the horses get sorted at the corral and we help in returning some of them to their home meadows.

When you participate in the Round-Ups you are experiencing the Real Thing! You will be one of the group to herd and sort the animals. Of course, that means long hours outside in the sometimes cold weather. Iceland in autumn has many colors and types of weather. Anticipate to be in golden sunshine one moment and to ride in the rain and even sleet during the next.

We, therefore, recommend to dress well during these tours, to bring long woolen underwear and lots of woolen socks and gloves. It is also good to bring some „quick energy supplier“ like chocolate. A warm rider is a happy rider!

Our well-known farmer Haukur Suska operates this tour.

Attention

  • Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland.
  • Flight to and from Iceland is not included.
  1. Thursday: Reykjavík – Hvammur – Vatnsdalur – Stóra-Giljá

    Pick up from pick up points (www.busstop.is) between 07:30 – 08:30 in the morning. Please be ready at the earliest pick up time and be ready in your riding clothes. Transfer by bus to Hvammur Farm, where we meet horses and guides. On our way to the north we visit a factory outlet for woollen goods. We start our ride in Vatnsdalur valley. This beautiful valley is the setting of the Vatnsdæla-Saga. We ride on the eastern side of Vatnsdalur valley, past Hvammsfoss waterfall, surrounded by impressive basalt columns. The horses rest close to Stóra – Giljá Farm and we return to Hvammur Farm, home of our host Haukur, for our overnight stay. (Approx. 20 km)

  2. Friday: Stóra-Giljá – Björnsólfsstaðir – Hvammur

    After rejoing our horses we start our ride along the shore of Lake Húnavatn, follow the expensive salmon fishing river Laxá á Ásum and continue to Blönduós village. Here we cross the glacier fed river Blanda on a bridge and continue to Björnsólfsstaðir Farm in Langadalur valley. This farm belongs to Haukur’s grandfather who is known for his storytelling and warm personality. Overnight stay at Hvammur Farm. (Approx. 30 km)

  3. Saturday: Gathering horses in Laxárdalur – Skrapatungurétt

    We meet up with our horses again at Farm Strjúgsstaðir. Today we meet the farmers coming down from the mountains where they already spent some time gathering the horses in their summer pastures. Hundreds of horses are coming down from the highlands and we participate in herding them to the roundup place Skrapatungurétt. Join in the singing of the farmers, celebrating this great event of the fall during this long riding day. (Approx. 45 km)

  4. Optional (not included in the tour price):

    “Stóðréttardansleikur” dance at Blönduós, where everybody celebrates yet another successful roundup.

  5. Sunday: Sorting of the horses and driving the herds to their home pastures

    Our day starts at the roundup place Skrapatungurétt where horses are sorted out. Experience the excitement and view beautiful horses while joining in this great event. When the horses are sorted we participate in returning some of them to their meadows at their home farms. Dinner at Hvammur Farm and time to share our personal experience on this riding adventure with our fellow riders. (Approx. 25 km)

  6. Monday: Return to the South – Reykjavík

    Departure from the North and return to your accommodation in Reykjavík. Approx. arrival at 13:00.

     

    – We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

  • Bus transfer from Reykjavík to the farm.
  • 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 when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch 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 at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.

Hvammur farm

Hvammur farm is situated in the beautiful Vatnsdalur Valley which is so full of the old Sagas and has the famous salmon fishing river Vatnsdalsá running down the middle. The farmhouse was renovated 4 years ago and has a hot tub in the garden with a view over the river.

  • Number of rooms: 6 rooms
  • Number of beds: 2-4 beds in each room, altogether max 19
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
  • Number of showers: 2
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: Yes
  • Made up beds: Yes
  • Number of WC: 2

Here you can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building. Book my ticket.

Terms & conditions:

Íslandshestar request a confirmation payment upon booking of minimum 30% of the tour price. When the confirmation payment is received the seat is secure. The remaining balance is due 6 weeks before the tour departs. If you book the tour through the website the full amount is requested.

Children’s under 12 years receive 25% discount on our multi-day tours.

Liability:

Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables without prior notice, should the necessity arise. 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 Íslandshestar. All such losses and expenses are the personal liability of the traveler. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.

For more information please see also our Frequent Asked Questions and/or contact us at [email protected]

Reviews

I really wish I would have done this trip sooner, this is truly a life changing experience and one you can´t describe until you try it your self! The horses, nature, hosts, and helpers were amazing. I 100% recommend all riders to ride with them!

L.E. Germany.

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