Have you ever dreamt of stepping into a fairytale and riding over endless green hills, valleys, and into the horizon?
Now that I have you day dreaming of those magical green hills just beyond the enchanted forest, I would like to tell you where and how this dream could become a reality.
Your fairytale will happen in Iceland, as you gallop over the hills on a beautiful Icelandic horse. Though purchasing one of these beauties is pricey (and will be challenging to bring home with you), most travelers prefer to join a locally run “Riding Trek”.
A “Riding Trek” is an organized tour that pairs each of its guests with a hearty Icelandic horse that takes “their humans” on extended treks that can last a few hours to a few weeks.
As you gallop away on your new 4-legged friend, you will leave the world behind and join the historical hoof prints that have been traveled since the first Viking explorers settled this enchanted land.
Though this is not a budget activity, if you visit the ranch that I went with, I guarantee that every penny will be well worth your while and will leave you with beautiful memories that will last a lifetime.
Though small in stature the Icelandic horse is a beautiful breed that is brave and very strong. On the back of this small, sturdy, (and not easily spooked) horse it is assured that your journey will be safe and very enjoyable.
I was paired with a beautiful chestnut horse named, Stormur (translated as storm). His soft chestnut mane and gentle eyes seemed so delicate yet fierce. Although the ancestors of this small horse had been imported long ago, (from Norway by the Vikings), it seemed to be apart of the land just as the mountains and streams.
Together in silence, we galloped through long summer days, and into the light of the legendary midnight sun.
We traveled over rolling green hills, up steep jagged mountains, down steep valleys, and across rushing rivers. The silence and raw beauty of the Icelandic landscape, made me feel as if I had traveled away from the world and back in time, or perhaps into a classical fairytale setting. 🙂
Stopping every so often in the green fairy meadows of the Huldufólk , we sat aside bubbling geothermal streams that boil with rainbow hues. Our guide instructed us when a stream was cool enough for swimming, or fit for our horses to drink from. I could never fully describe the wonderful feeling of bathing in a bubbling hot spring in the middle of the rugged Icelandic wilderness. In fact, due to the high geothermal activity, Icelanders have access to unlimited hot water. If every household in the country left their tap running all day, only about 1% of the country’s water would be drained.
Before eating our own meals, we were each given the task of feeding and caring for the beautiful horses that carried us for so many miles. Though challenging at times there’s something very rewarding about caring an animal that worked so hard for me all day long.
I sat next to Stormur as he nibbled on delicate green blades of grass, and contemplated how disconnected I had become with the natural world. There’s something about nature that brings peace and balance to my soul. Thinking of my busy life back in the hustle & bustle of the modern world I treasured every second that I spent with my new four-legged friend in the embrace of nature.
I challenge my readers to take a break from your daydreaming and make your dreams a reality in Iceland, where you will be able to disconnect from the noise of everyday life and reconnect with yourself. To witness the midnight sun while galloping over Iceland’s emerald hills, valleys and into the horizon, will leave you with memories to last a lifetime and turn your fairytale dreams into a reality.