Trail of Hope

2016

In the area of Lake Hóp in beautiful Northwest Iceland

 
  • Accommodations in made up beds
  • 4 Days of riding in the North
  • Returning South through the highland desert (by coach)

This tour presents an ideal opportunity to enjoy a comfortable ride in different types of landscapes. You’ll travel to the north of Iceland and then ride through beautiful valleys and on a water trail on your way across Iceland’s fifth largest lake and over to Borgarvirki, an impressive Viking fortress made out of basalt strata. You’ll ride through untouched nature in Northern Iceland and visit places and hear stories from the Saga ages. Then, after riding, you’ll make a trip back over Kjölur highland route when you’ll be driven between two glaciers, enjoy the hot springs in Hveravellir and visit Geysir and the mighty waterfall Gullfoss.

Here’s an outline of the day to day itinerary. Nature may bring about some variance in it, but usually it is followed pretty closely.

Friday Night
:Travelers from North America leave for Iceland on an overnight flight with an early morning arrival at Keflavik Airport in Iceland.

Saturday:
Welcome to Iceland
From Keflavik International Airport, a convenient shuttle bus will drop you at your hotel. Then you’ll have the day to explore Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik and overnight in a comfortable hotel. There’s lots to do and see, and plenty of interesting places to eat. Then get a good night’s sleep, as tomorrow you ride!

Sunday:
Reykjavík - Hvammur - Vatnsdalur - Sveinsstaðir
You’ll have a pretty bus ride from Reykjavík to Hvammur Farm in the north where you’ll meet your horses and guides. You’ll get helmets and rain gear and then set off through the beautiful Vatnsdalur valley, the setting of the Vatnsdæla-Saga. You’ll cross the river - Vatnsdalsá, and then ride up the western side of the valley to Sveinsstadir Farm, where the horses will spend the night. Riders return to Hvammur . (25 km)

Monday:
Hvammur - Sveinsstaðir - Hóp - Borgarvirki
You’ll start from Sveinsstaðir Farm and ride alongside the lagoon Hóp. The black sand at the beach is ideal for riding tölt, the special gait of the Icleandic horse. This trail along the shore gives you an idea of the beatiful lagoon you are going to cross tomorrow. You continue the ride along the banks of Víðidalsá river and cross over it. Before leaving the horses at Stóra-Borg you will ride past Borgarvirki, a fascinating fortress from the Viking ages. The night is spent at Hvammur Farm. (30 km)

Tuesday:
Hvammur – Hvítserkur – North Atlantic – Thingeyrar
This is a day for discovering the beauty of the Vatnsnes peninsula, as you follow black dunes on Sigríðarstaðasandur towards the North. Just off the shore you’ll see the basalt rock formation, Hvítserkur, a nesting place to many seabirds. With a little luck you may see some of the many seals who often rest and play on the beach. Then you’ll cross Lake Hóp by a different route, as and the horses find their way back to Thingeyrar Farm, once the site of a monastery founded in the 12th century. For sure this day is one of the highlights of this ride. Relax in the outdoor hot tub at Hvammur Farm before a hearty dinner. (40 km)

Wednesday:
Hvammur - Thingeyrar – Húnavatn –Hvammur
The day starts with a tour of the lovely old church at Thingeyrar. This is your last day of riding and you’ll bring the horses back to Hvammur Farm. You’ll ride across Lake Húnavatn, emerging on the black sand of the east side of the Lake. The ride continiues on the eastern side of Vatnsdalur valley, past Hvammsfoss waterfall, surrounded by impressive basalt columns. The ride ends with a celebratory barbecue back at the farm – “Icelandic style”! (25 km)

Thursday:
Hvammur - Kjölur Highland Route - Reykjavík
After you say good bye to the guides and horses, you’ll board the scheduled bus for the Kjölur Highland Route back to Reykjavik. You’ll travel through the rugged wilderness of the Icelandic highland, with the majestic glaciers Hofsjökull and Langjökull, and the green oasis of Hveravellir, where you can soak in the natural hot water pools. There will be stops at the mighty Gullfoss waterfall, before reaching the geothermal field at Geysir . You’ll be back in Reykjavik about 6:30 PM. While the other rideres go to a B&B, we give a bit of pampering by upgrading you to a comfortable hotel room for this last night - your own room, your own bath, all for a good nights’ sleep.

Friday:
Home again!.. Or....

For those returning home, the Flybus will take you back to Keflavik Airport. Or you can start further explorations of Iceland - we’ll be happy to help plan those travel.

ffYou can download a PDF of The Trail of Hope itinerary

Travel Dates and Per Person Prices

The Trail of Hope runs 7 times in the summer of 2016. Below are travel dates--and it’s easy to add a couple days on either end, if you want to see a bit more Iceland. Your arrival day in Iceland is always a transfer day, which allows you to rest from the short night of sleep on the flight, before you start riding on the second day. For the last night in Iceland we upgrade accommodations to a nice hotel near Reykjavik center..

The price for this tour is $3285 p/p, d/o, and $3599 single

Travel Dates 2016
Fri Jun 24 to Fri July 1
Fri Jul 8 to Fri Jul 15
Fri Jul 15 to Fri Jul 22
Fri Jul 22 to Fri Jul 29
Fri Aug 5 to Fri Aug 12
Fri Aug 12 to Fri Aug 19
Fri Aug 19 to Fri Aug 26

Finer Print: Price includes round trip airfare, including fuel surcharge and departure taxes from Boston, New York, and Washington Dulles International Airport - ask about prices from Denver, Minneapolis, Seattle, Anchorage, and Toronto. The price also includes all airport transfers, a night before and after the tour in a Reykjavik hotel with private bath, tv, internet connection and breakfast on departure day. During the ride, you’ll spend all nights in double or quad rooms in guesthouses. All meals are included during the ride, while you’ll need to add lunch and dinner on your days before and after the ride.

*Not included are travel insurance, meals on pre-and post-tour days and any additional expenses or travel you may choose.

While the riding on this tour is traditionally Icelandic, accommodations during the Trail of Hope are not! You’ll spend comfortable nights in made-up beds in hotels and farm guest houses, in double, triple or quad rooms. An extra bonus will be the chance to travel down Kjölur on your return to Reykjavik, which also incudes a stop at Gulfoss and Geysir.

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