8-Day Horse & Sheep Gathering Tour in Iceland | Highlands, Golden Circle, Snæfellsnes Peninsula & Whale Watching


Combine breathtaking nature with authentic culture on this 8-day tour. Travel around the untouched Highland region of Iceland, explore the high seas on a whale-watching tour, and take part in the ancient tradition of gathering sheep and Icelandic horses from the mountains. If you’re an animal lover, you won’t want to miss this unforgettable wildlife vacation. 

On this tour, you will also get to explore the attractions found on the Golden Circle route and the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and hunt for the elusive Northern Lights in the evening. Not only that, those looking for some geothermal relaxation on their holiday can add a visit to the exclusive Blue Lagoon Spa during the booking process.

All transportation and accommodations will be taken care of before you arrive; this includes farm stays and a night in a mountain hut in the Highlands. Also included is a whale watching tour from the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, and an opportunity to participate in an ancient Icelandic custom of sheep and horse gathering, called ‘réttir’.

In the summer, Icelandic horses and sheep roam free around the countryside, grazing on fresh grass and herbs. Each autumn, they are rounded-up from their pastures in the Highlands to a corral where they can be claimed by their owners. ‘Réttir’ is part of an age-old tradition in Iceland which still lives on today, and participating is a unique opportunity not many get to take.

Experience ancient traditions, amazing wildlife and beautiful nature this autumn with this 8-day tour. Book now to secure your spot. 


– 10th to 15th of September 2022


Not included


Sun Voyager Sculpture on the coastline of Reykjavik

You’ll arrive at Keflavík International Airport, located in the middle of a lava field on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Once you’ve collected your bags, hop aboard a bus which will take you to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. 

If you want to start your holiday off with a bang, you can add a visit to the Blue Lagoon on this day during the booking process. The luxurious spa is located midway between the airport and the city, and it provides weary travellers much-needed relief and relaxation in the form of geothermal waters and silica mud masks. 

After checking into your accommodation in Reykjavík, you can explore the city a little before heading to bed. We recommend seeing the light display at Harpa Concert Hall or checking out a concert or show at one of the many pubs and bars found in the downtown area. 


  • Reykjanes Peninsula – a dark lava field you’ll travel through on your way to Reykjavík
  • Reykjavík – Iceland’s colourful and energetic capital

Optional Activities:

  • Visiting the Blue Lagoon Spa

Hraunfossar waterfall with turquoise glacial water from Langjökull forming the Hvítá river

After an early pickup in Reykjavik capital we are headed towards Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Our first stop will be in the rift valley of Þingvellir National Park, which should already be in the autumn colours and therefor one of the most beautiful sights on the island during this time of year.

Leaving the national park we will drive through the highlands of Kaldidalur or the Cold Valley, passing Langjökull glacier. We will have lunch in Húsafell. Hraunfossar is next on the itinerary, amazing waterfalls that come to life from underneath the lava field Hallmundarhraun. Barnafossar are close by with the glacier river Hvítá running through.

In good time we will enter the Snæfellsnes Peninsula were we will make several stops until we reach your hotel in the area. Northern lights lookout after dinner.


  • Þingvellir National Park – Meeting place of two tectonic plates
  • Langjökull Glacier – Iceland’s second-largest glacier
  • Hraunfossar – A series of trickling waterfalls that come from under a lava field.
  • Barnafoss – A rapid waterfall which rushes through a narrow gorge.

Optional Activity:

  • Viðglemir Lava Cave

Kirkjufell mountain on the Snæefellsnes peninsula in the west of Iceland.

The beautiful Snæfellsnes Peninsula is on your itinerary today. The area is known for inspiring novels, its mystical energy, and stunning beauty.

Your first stop is in the little village of Arnarstapi. Here, you’ll find rugged cliffs, stunning mountains, and rich history which your guide will tell you all about. Then it is off to explore the massive Lóndrangar rock stacks where hundreds of guillemots and kittiwakes nest and raise their chicks. 

You will then walk through a natural labyrinth of lava rocks to get to the beautiful black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur. Amongst the smooth, black stones are the remains of a fishing trawler which perished in these treacherous waters more than 50 years ago.

You will have lunch in the town of Ólafsvík before setting your sights on the high seas. At Ólafsvík’s harbour, you’ll board a whale-watching boat and search for these gentle giants for the next three hours. 

Once you reach shore again, you’ll head to the nearby Grundarfjörður town to take a few photos of its iconic landmark; the mountain Kirkjufell. This majestic feature served as “the Mountain like an Arrowhead” in the HBO TV show, Game of Thrones. 

After dinner, you’ll head back to your accommodation.  


  • Arnarstapi – A charming fishing village surrounded by beautiful nature
  • Lóndrangar – Massive rock pillars which rise high out of the ocean
  • Djúpalónssandur – A stunning black pebble beach hidden in a little cove
  • Kirkjufell – A majestic pyramid-shaped mountain
  • Whale-watching in Faxaflói

curious Icelandic sheep looking this way

Today after breakfast, you’ll hop aboard the comfortable 4×4 vehicle and follow the coastline north. You will spend the morning by the ocean, spotting seals by the massive rock stack, Hvítserkur. 

Today, you will participate in the annual gathering of sheep or ‘réttir’. Icelandic sheep spend their summers roaming free around the countryside, grazing on fresh grass and herbs. In the autumn, farmers on horseback herd them from the plateaus and into a sorting fold called Hamarsrétt.

Here, farmers and other helping hands begin sorting the sheep. The lambs were carefully marked in the spring to make the sorting easier. If you wish, you can help out wrestling the sheep. Alternatively, you can sit back and enjoy the scene, perhaps taking part in the singing and drinking, which often accompanies these events. 

Once the sheep have been sorted, you will head to a nearby farm called Ósar, where you will have dinner and spend the night.


  • Hvítserkur Rock – A 15 meter’s high monolith which some say resembles a dragon or elephant.
  • Vatnsnes Peninsula – Here, you can find a black pebble beach where seals can often be found lounging.
  • Sheep Gathering or ‘Réttir’ – The annual collection of sheep from the mountain, an ancient tradition in Iceland.

Group of horses running during the annual horse gathering in Iceland

The age-old tradition of rounding up horses in the autumn is only kept alive in North Iceland. Much like the sheep, Icelandic horses roam the countryside in the summer. They are only brought back to the stables in the autumn. 

Now it is time to bring hundreds of free-spirited horses down from their grazing pastures in the Highlands so their owners can reclaim them. Once down from the mountains, they will be herded into the Skrapatungurétt corral where the sorting begins. 

Just like yesterday, you can help out or just observe if that’s more your speed. And remember, singing along with the other observers is always encouraged. 

You will then spend another night at the Ósar farm. If the sky is clear and you are not too tired after the day, you can head out to hunt for the northern lights before retiring for the night.


  • Horse Gathering or ‘Stóðréttir’ – You’ll witness hundreds of Icelandic horses coming from the mountains.
  • Northern Lights Hunting – If the sky is clear of clouds, you’ll go out and search for the dancing, green lights.

The Icelandic highlands

Today, you’ll explore the Icelandic Highlands where you’ll spend the night in a mountain hut surrounded by nothing but the untouched nature.

On your way there, you’ll travel on gravel roads through black sand deserts, seeing glaciers, volcanoes and geothermal areas. You’ll spend the day in Hveradalir valley where you can hike amongst the rust-colour mountains and pillars of white steam. 

You will end the day in a mountain hut surrounded by the mountain range, Kerlingarfjöll, located between the glaciers Hofsjökull and Langjökull. The uninhabited area is the perfect spot to look for the northern lights in the evening. 


  • Kjölur – A gravel road which stretches across the Icelandic Highlands
  • Hveradalir – A geothermal region filled with colourful mountains, bubbling mud pools, and steam vents.
  • Kerlingarfjöll Mountains – A vast mountain range named after a troll woman

Erupting Strokkur geyser at sunset

You’ll wake up among the mountains, but now it is time to return to the city. First, however, you will visit two of the attractions that make up the Golden Circle along with Þingvellir National Park. 

Your first stop is the waterfall Gullfoss. This beautiful feature drops 32-metres into a canyon, resulting in a cloud of mist in which you can often see a rainbow. Then it is off to Geysir Geothermal Area where you’ll find the iconic geyser, Strokkur. This erupting hot spring goes off every 5-10 minutes, creating a 15-20 metre high water column each time.

Before being dropped off in Reykjavík, you will then stop at a local farm where you will have lunch and learn about farm life in Iceland. After you’ve bid farewell to your guide, you will have the rest of the day to explore the city. 


  • Gullfoss Waterfall – A stunning cascade fed by Langjökull Glacier.
  • Geysir Geothermal Area – Here, you’ll find bubbling mud pools and erupting geysers
  • Strokkur – Iceland’s most active geyser 

Optional Activities:

  • Snowmobiling on Langjökull
  • Secret Lagoon

Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background

Now it is time to pack your bags and return to Keflavík Airport. When it is time to leave, you’ll board a bus which will take you through the lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula in time for your flight. 

If you have an afternoon or evening flight, you will have some time to explore Reykjavík first. We recommend walking down Laugavegur Street to see where the sights and sounds take you. Here, you’ll find fascinating museums, colourful buildings, quirky cafés, and perhaps a souvenir to take home. 

Alternatively, you can opt for a relaxing visit to the Blue Lagoon. The mineral-rich waters are sure to soothe aching muscles you might have after days on the road. Afterwards, you’ll hop on a bus that will take you straight to the airport.


  • Laugavegur Street – Reykjavík’s main shopping street
  • Hallgrímskirkja Church – The city’s iconic landmark building
  • Harpa Concert Hall – A beautiful structure located by the harbour

Optional Activities:

  • Relaxing at the Blue Lagoon


You’ll have a choice of three accommodations levels. See details about each one in the boxes below. Accommodations in Reykjavík have been hand-picked by our local travel experts.

Single rooms will be allocated to bookings for one person. Shared twin/double or triple room(s) will be arranged for two or more people. Groups with an odd number of participants will be allotted a single room in quality-level. Children and teenagers will be arranged in the same room as their parents. Additional cost may occur if additional room(s) is needed.

For this tour, the levels reflect the choice of accommodations in Reykjavík. Accommodations outside of the capital cannot be upgraded and therefore the levels below do not apply. The accommodations outside of Reykjavík all include a private bathroom and breakfast. We do our best to accommodate special requests, but additional costs may incur.


Comfortable rooms in three-star hotels or quality guesthouses, centrally located, very close to popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Fosshotel Rauðará. 


Rooms in four-star hotels or superior rooms in quality three-star hotels at fantastic locations near popular attractions. Private bathroom and breakfast is included. An example of this in Reykjavík would be Icelandair Hotel Marina. 


Optional Activities

Women in the silky blue waters of the blue lagoon in Iceland with smoke in the background
Blue Lagoon Comfort Entrance
Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel and 1st drink of your choice.
Blue Lagoon Premium Entrance
Includes entrance to the Blue Lagoon, silica mud mask, use of towel, 1st drink of your choice, second mask of choice, slippers, use of bathrobe, table reservation at Lava Restaurant, and sparkling wine if dining.
The vidgelmir lava cave in the west of iceland is one of the biggest that you can visit
Viðgelmir Lava Cave
One of the largest caves in Iceland. Tour includes an English speaking guide and use of caving equipment such as a helmet and headlamp. No age limit.
snowmobiles under the sun on Langjokull glacier in Iceland
Snowmobiling on Langjökull
An exhilarating tour on top of a glacier, no previous riding experience needed. Included is a one-hour snowmobile ride with a guide and use of overalls. Two people share a snowmobile and the driver needs to bring their driving licence. Age limit for passenger is 8 years.

Good to know

What to bring

Other tours you might be interested in

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Good to know: In high season, the average cost of a Self-Drive tour is around $250 per person per day
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Terms of Service

For further information, please see our Terms and Conditions.

  • More than 24 hours before scheduled tour departure time: 100% refund. Some day tours might have a different cancellation policy, in which case it will be clearly mentioned in the “Good to know” section of the tour.
  • Less than 24 hours before scheduled tour departure time: 100% cancellation fee. Some day tours might have a different cancellation policy, in which case it will be clearly mentioned in the “Good to know” section of the tour.
  • More than 7 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 15% cancellation fee
  • Less than 7 days before scheduled tour departure date: 75% cancellation fee
  • Less than 72 hours before scheduled tour departure date: 100% cancellation fee
  • 45-30 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 50% cancellation fee
  • 29-15 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 75% cancellation fee
  • 14 days before scheduled tour arrival date: 100% cancellation fee

Scheduled international and domestic flights are non-refundable, be they a part of a package, multi-day tour, or any other service purchasable on the Traveo website, unless the Cancellation insurance is purchased. If a cancellation insurance is purchased, a full refund is given.

If flights are a part of a tour listed as a Day-Tour, standard terms of cancellations of day tours apply to a full refund. For cancelling and refunding of private flights (flights specifically arranged and scheduled for you personally or your group in specific), please contact your service agent.

If your tour is cancelled by the tour provider due to weather conditions or any other environmental circumstances you will always receive a full refund. Exempt from this are any rescheduled second tries of tours which already have been serviced as a first departure. In the case of a volcanic eruption taking place on Icelandic soil stopping you from getting to Iceland, you will also receive a full refund on all products booked on Traveo.

All booking change requests must be made via email by the person who submitted the original booking request.

Changing the number of people in a booking to a smaller number is considered cancellation for the change in number of participants.

  • Packages: 

For multi-day tours and packages, all requests for changes must be made minimum 7 days in advance. Please note that we might not be able to fulfil your changed requirements due to lack of availability, though we will always do our best, and do offer alternative options.

Depending on how far in advance a tour package has been booked and when changes to a booking are requested, an administrative fee of 5000 ISK may be charged each day/night of the itinerary that is modified. Additional supplier costs may still apply depending on the changes requested.

For bookings made within 60 days of arrival, changes can be made without incurring the administrative fee until services have been confirmed and the travel documents have been issued. However, for bookings made 30 days or less before arrival, the administrative fee and any applicable supplier fees may be charged due to the short processing time.

  • Day tours and activities: 

Day tours and activities booked on the Traveo.is that are serviced by independent operators can be changed up to 24 hours before departure.

  • Transfer of bookings: 

A booking may be transferred from one party to another, provided that the new party upholds the terms and conditions of the booking. An administrative fee of 5000 ISK will be charged for the transfer, and both parties must assume joint liability for this fee and any other costs that may be incurred by changes to the booking.

  • Parties travelling together: 

Should two parties wish to book separately but travel together, they should inform travel agents of this prior to booking. If a co-travel request is sent after the booking process has been finished, the change to a package is counted as a tailoring and is subject to a 5000 isk service fee.

  • Significant changes to packages: 

If a package is significantly changed from the original package setup/route as offered on the site, the product will be considered to be a tailored tour and might be subject to a 15% service fee of the total price of the package. This does not apply to added nights at the end or at the beginning of a package as this does not change the original package setup/route.

For budget-level, single rooms will be allocated to bookings for one person.  Shared twin/double or triple room(s) will be arranged for two or more people. Groups with an odd number of participants will be allotted a single room in quality-level. Children and teenagers will be arranged in the same room as their parents. Additional cost may occur if additional room(s) is needed.

During the booking process you will be able to choose a pickup location and starting time. If you do not show up for the scheduled pickup time and location stated on your booking, your reservation is non-refundable.

If you do not know your pickup location at the time of booking, you can choose to update your pickup location later, up to 24 hours before tour departure. Please call the number listed on your voucher if you do not receive a confirmation of your pickup location.

Traveo cannot be liable to any loss, damage, accidents, injuries, death or sickness during your tour. The same applies for any changes in tour schedule due to weather, strikes or any other force majeure. Tour operators reserve the right to change routes, schedules and itineraries if needed because of weather, road conditions or should the necessity arise because of unforeseen reasons or circumstances.

We advise all travellers to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance to minimize possible losses due to unforeseeable situations during your travel. Traveo does not offer any travel insurance, so please contact your preferred private travel insurance company.

If you have a complaint about any of our partners please contact us at [email protected] and we will protect your rights.