Thursday, June 19, 2014



THE SETTLER Ingolfur Arnarson wasn’t the first to reach Iceland, but he was the most prepared to endure its winter, becoming its first recognized permanent resident in the ninth century. Legend holds that as his boat neared land, he threw the pillars of his high seat overboard, bidding the god Thor to divine where he should live. The spot the pillars landed is known today as Reykjavik.

Brought by Viking settlers some 1,000 years ago, Icelandic horses are coveted for their flowing manes, good temperaments, and graceful gaits. Walk, trot, gallop, and tolt (a natural gait unique to the breed) astride one of these beauties through the meadows, lava fields, and sandy beaches of Snaefellsnes Peninsula-all in the shadow of Snaefellsjokull, the glacier-capped cone volcano that inspired Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. Refuel at simple country guesthouses, where hosts regale you with Viking sagas. Women only. Adventure Women: “Horseback Riding in Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice,” 9days; $3,995

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