Sheep round up – Auðkúlurétt
On this new and fantastic tour we join Haukur in Hvammur and his fellow farmers in North Iceland as they round up thousands of sheep from the mountains.
1499 per pers.
Horseback riding with Icelandic farmers
Íshestar is proud to present a sheep round up tour in the North West of Iceland. We will meet sheep farmers on their way back to civilization after many days in the saddle, herd a big flock of sheep. It is for sure a unique sight to witness 14 thousand sheep on their way back home after spending the summer up in the highland followed by over 30 shepherds with 100 horses! You can feel the joy and the excitement as this is their last day and everyone is on their way back home. You can for sure help them out and take part in the singing and the happiness.
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 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 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!
Duration4 nights - 4 riding days
Riding skillsAdvanced riders
DeparturesDates 2018: Thursday – Monday, September 6 – 10
AccommodationBeds with bed linen in 2 – 4 bed units at the farm.
What is included
- 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.
- Rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.
- 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
- Day by day itinerary
- Useful information
Thursday, September 7 : Hvammur – Vatnsdalsá – Kárdalstunga
Pick up between 07:30 – 08:30 from your hotel in the morning. Please be ready at the earliest pick up time. Your accommodation might be the first one for pick up and dress already in riding clothes. You will arrive to Hvammur farm around noon and have a nice local lunch. After we have met our horses we start our ride through the beautiful Vatnsdalur valley. The valley is the setting of the Vatnsdælir Saga and our guide, Haukur, knows this Saga well. It will be interesting to listen to him tell stories of the past and present. Our route runs along the banks of river Vatnsdalsá and we have to cross it several times. We end our ride deep in the valley where our horses rest but we go back to Hvammur and enjoy a well-deserved meal and relax in the hot tub. (3 – 4 hours)
Friday, September 8: Kárdalstunga – Auðkúluheiði -Sléttárdalur – Auðkúlurétt
Great authentic experience! We ride from Kárdalstunga and into the Highlands with a stunning view of the glaciers. We will meet sheep farmers on their way back to civilization after many days in the saddle, herd a big flock of sheep. It is for sure a unique sight to witness 14 thousand sheep on their way back home after spending the summer up in the highland followed by over 30 shepherds with 100 horses! You can feel the joy and the excitement as this is their last day and everyone is on their way back home. We end our day in the Auðkúlurétt corral where we leave the sheep and horses and go back to Hvammur farm and continue our singing. (8 – 9 hours)
Saturday, September 9: Auðkúlurétt – Reykir – Húnavatn – Þingeyrar – Sveinsstaðir
We drive from Hvammur farm to Auðkúlurétt Corral where a number of people have showed up to help the farmers sorting out their sheep. We can also give a helping hand to Haukur´s grandfather, who is 86 years old and a sheep/horse farmer at Röðull farm.
Auðkúlurétt is the largest Sheep corral in Iceland (and possibly in the world) with up to 14,000 sheep. This is also where you can get really deep into the Icelandic culture and it does not get more authentic than this! When our job is done at the corral we continue with our riding tour. We ride from the farm, Reykir, across lake Húnavatn. We also look at the remarkable stone church at Þingeyrar built in 1877. After this cultural stop we continue our ride on lowland countryside to Sveinsstadir farm where the horses rest overnight. (6 – 7 hours)
Optional (not included in the tour price) ,,Réttardansleikur” dance at a nearby community center, where everybody relaxes after the excitement of the day and celebrates yet another successful round up. On special occasions like this, our guide and farmer, Haukur, put his best dancing shoes on!
Sunday, September 10 : Sveinsstaðir – Lake Hóp – Þingeyrar
Today is our last riding day and of course we finish the tour in style! We ride from Sveinsstadir towards Lake Hóp (one of the biggest lake in Iceland). On our way we pass the historical place, Þrístapar, where the last execution in Iceland took place in 1830. Haukur will tell us the dramatic story which will leave no one untouched. We then ride alongside the lagoon Hóp. The black sand at the beach is ideal for riding tölt, the special gait of the Icleandic horse as well as feeling the joy in the horses when they are running in the shallow water. The lake is a reservoir (lagoon) because it is connected with the se. The view and the movement of the horses give us an unparalleled sense of freedom. We spend the last evening at Hvammur farm enjoying good food and of course we sing a long and share entertaining stories of men and horses. (6 – 7 hours)
Monday, September 11 : Return to the South – Reykjavík
Breakfast will be served and after we say goodbye the bus will take us back to Reykjavík city.
– We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –
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.
Morning pick up: Between 07:30 – 08:30
Terms & conditions:
Íshestar 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.
Íshestar 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 Íshestar. 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.
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 renevated 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
Made up beds: Yes
Number of WC: 2
- Number of rooms: 6 rooms