We recommend arriving in Iceland a day or two before the first day of your tour. This will give you some time to adjust to the time difference. On the morning of the first day of your tour, you’ll either be picked up in Reykjavik or from Keflavik International Airport, depending on when you decided to arrive in Iceland. On the morning of the last day of your tour, you’ll be dropped off in Reykjavik or at Keflavik International Airport, depending on if you have a departing flight that day or have decided to extend your stay in Iceland.
Preparing for Your Trip
The key to Icelandic summer weather is layering under waterproof rain jackets and pants. Think 45-50°F and rain and wind for the worst scenario and T-shirt weather for the best.
What to bring:
- Bathing suit
- Sleeping mask
- Ear plugs
- Waterproof jacket with hood (please don‘t bring a long coat for riding)
- Quilted vest or jacket and/or warm fleece to wear under jacket, especially if you’re out all day.
- Waterproof footwear – paddock boots, hiking boots, high boots, preferably with some sort of heel for riding.
- Helmet (or use Hestaland’s) with rain proof cover *
- Buffs and/or balaclavas (open-faced) are great to wear under helmets
- Outer fleece-lined windstop layer to wear under jacket
- Waterproof pants to wear over breeches
- Waterproof riding gloves
- Warm (woolen or fleece) sweater
- Layering tops & t-shirts (cotton, Coolmax)
- Long underwear (protects also from chaffing)
- Warm socks (1 pair/day)
- Riding pants
- Band-aids and second skin plasters for chaffing
- Gnat net head cover
- Sunscreen for face and lips
- Slippers, shoes like Crocs or warm socks for wearing inside the guesthouse (in Iceland everyone takes their shoes/boots off when inside)
* Hestaland has helmets of all sizes for you to use. However, we can not promise to have the perfect helmet for you. So if you have a kind you really like, we recomend that you bring it.
There is a washer and dryer at your disposal if you need to do laundry during your stay.
Hestaland provides saddle bags for treks. Bring toilet paper, Kleenex, Ziploc bags, any medication you need, string to tie stuff onto the saddle, sunglasses, etc. You will also be given a canteen for water.
The electric current in Iceland is 220 volts, 50 HZ AC
Hair dryers are available in every room. Other appliances: bring ones with dual current or you need a converter. You will need adaptor plugs for computers and phones, which don’t need converters.
Check with your cell phone provider for cell and data coverage to start when you get off the plane. Also, let your credit card companies know you will be abroad. Use WiFi wherever available. Iceland is a very wired country.
ALMOST everything you need, including many over-the-counter meds, is available in Borgarnes, but bring any meds or other items you really can’t live without (i.e. sunglasses, contacts, eyeglasses). Note that despite rainy weather, there is little humidity in Iceland, and you will need good moisturizers. Eye masks and earplugs may help if you are a light sleeper, though the guesthouse has good impervious curtains.
WHAT YOU CAN’T GET: Prilosec or Nexium, antibiotic ointment
Wine and beer are complementary with dinner at Hestaland. However, you are welcome to bring alcohol. The best place to buy it is at the duty-free store in the airport on your way out of arrivals. Everywhere else is expensive, but there is a Vinbuðin (liquor store) in Borgarnes, which is open 11:00-6:00 pm.
Passport, driver’s license, a list of health problems and specifics of prescription meds (best to bring the original bottle), copy of eyeglass/contact prescription, ATM and credit cards. Keep a photocopy of your passport separate from the original.
Get a receipt and VAT forms for larger purchases so you can claim a refund at the airport. Be prepared to show customs the items you have purchased before check-in.
Pack outerwear in garbage bags so you can take it back dirty. Also, bring a couple of ziploc bags for wet bathing suits
DISINFECTING RIDING GEAR
It is important to follow the regulations regarding the disinfecting of used riding gear. Riding gear (boots, riding trousers, jackets, hats, gloves, etc.) needs to be washed (40°C) or dry cleaned. Leather items which can not be washed or dry cleaned need to be disinfected at least five days prior to arriving in Iceland. The Icelandic Veterinary Authority recommends the broad-spectrum disinfectant Virkon-S or Nolvasan (Hibiclens for humans, available at the drugstore) for disinfection. Saddles, bridles and other used leather gear as well as waxed canvas outerwear (eg Outback jackets etc) may not be brought into the country.
Please understand that these precautions are necessary because there are no contagious animal diseases in Iceland. Horses are not vaccinated and are therefore susceptible to infectious agents from abroad. Please help us protect Iceland’s fragile nature!
The weather in Iceland is relatively good during the summer months, averaging 55-65°F. Having said that, there is no guarantee with Icelandic weather. It’s best to come prepared, so you can adjust accordingly. We find that layering is the best approch.
We have horses for all skill levels and plan our rides so that everyone has fun. Each ride is led by a professional riding instructor and horse trainer who shares tips and tricks for getting the smoothest, most comfortable tölt (the Icelandic horse’s signature gait). The first day and a half you’ll be paired with a horse based on what we know about you or from your answers to your pre-trip questionnaire. We will do our best to find the right horse for you. Then we have the first day and half to tweak these matches. The intent of that first day and a half is to find a suitable horse for you and for you to learn about your four-legged partner before heading out.
Our new Saga/Trail tour is designed for you. Now you can take separate vacations together!
For horseback riders traveling with non-riders, this “either/or” tour joins the historical and cultural expertise of author Nancy Marie Brown with the top-flight riding instruction and horsemanship of Hestaland’s Guðmar Petursson. Bring your family to Iceland and follow your passion!
Guests can choose to ride with Guðmar both morning and afternoon, or to ride in the morning and go hiking and sightseeing with Nancy in the afternoon, or to not ride at all. All guests are invited on one half-day sightseeing trip, to include a dip at the famous hotspring and spa, Krauma.
While the riders enjoy personalized lessons and relaxing (or exciting!) trail rides with Guðmar, the hikers join Nancy to explore the scenes and sagas that have inspired her many books about Iceland’s history and culture. Visit museums and saga sites. Discuss the medieval Icelandic Sagas and learn how Norse mythology has shaped popular culture. Explore volcanoes, hotsprings, waterfalls, glaciers, bird cliffs, and black beaches. Learn about the Viking woman who discovered America. Meet the Icelandic horse and learn why “a good horse has no color.” For the adventurous hiker, short horseback rides are available.
Yes! Any break you take from Facebook will be of your own volition.
The electrical current in Iceland is 220 volts. So if you are coming from a country where the voltage is different, such as the US, you need to be careful when plugging in electronics. Luckily, most small electronic devices, such as phones, laptops and tablets are designed to run on 100-240V (but be sure to check the charger). In that case, you only need an adapter plug to allow your device plug to fit into an Icelandic outlet. You can buy a small adapter plug on Amazon before your trip. For most other electronics, such as hair dryers, straighteners, curling irons, you’ll need a voltage converter, so we recommend leaving those types of electronics at home.