This tour was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the 10 best trails in the world.
The North of Iceland is known for its great natural sights and varied landscape. Our tour leads from Saltvík Farm near Húsavík to the Lake Mývatn area, known for its volcanic features and countless numbers of breeding ducks. An optional whale watching tour concludes the circle of natural highlights on and off shore.
Our hosts on this tour are Bjarni Páll and his wife Elsa. Bjarni Páll will lead most of the tours. He takes special interest in geology so you can expect to learn a lot about Icelandic nature! A visit to picturesque Goðafoss Waterfall is just one of the highlights on your first day in the north. We ride along soft riding tracks ideal for “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse. From fertile farm land we turn towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and spend a night in a mountain cabin at Theistareykir, a place with bubbling hot water and white clouds from steam vents rising to the sky.
Through an area covered with cracks and fissures from earthquakes and volcanic activity the route leads towards Lake Mývatn where boiling mud pools and eerie lava formations remind you of the volcanic energy hidden beneath. We can take a relaxing bathe in an outdoor bathing facility with hot geothermal water in Jarðböð. The next riding days will take us from the black sand deserts of Hólssandur to forested hillsides. Our last riding day over Hvammsheiði Heath towards the shore offers a terrific view of Skjálfandi Bay before we get back to Saltvík Farm. After this amazing tour in an ever changing landscape we can relax in outdoor hot tubs with a great view over to the ocean and the Kinnafjöll Mountain Range.
Accommodation on this tour is in sleeping bags. One night in a remote mountain cabin is an adventure, while the other nights are spent at holiday farms or guesthouses with an outdoor hot tub nearby. Two nights in a guesthouse with shared facilities in Reykjavík are included, one at the beginning and one at the end of this tour.
Sunday: Arrival in Iceland - Keflavík Airport - Reykjavík
Transfer from Keflavík Airport to a guesthouse in Reykjavík. We invite you to a Welcome Meeting including traditional Icelandic soup. Receive details of your tour and meet your fellow riders.
Monday: Reykjavík - Akureyri - Goðafoss - Hvammsheiði - Saltvík Holiday Farm
Domestic Flight in the morning to Akureyri and transfer to Saltvík Farm. On the way we stop at majestic Goðafoss waterfall. At Saltvík, we start our ride after a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits. We cross the mountain plateau Hvammsheiði towards the Reykjahverfi area with its white steaming hot springs. Surely you will enjoy a relaxing bath in a warm outdoor tub before dinner at Saltvík farm and overnight stay. (20 km)
Tuesday: Heiðabær - Theistareykir Mountain Cabin
Through the Geldingadalur valley and over the plateau Reykjaheiði heath our trail leads us to the geothermal area of Theistareykir. At one point we will practically cross over from one continental plate to another as we ride over the Mid-Atlantic ridge! It is a fascinating area with deep earthquake fissures, multi-coloured mountains and geothermal energy. With all this volcanic activity going on here, it is easy to understand that Iceland is still under “natural construction”! (40 km)
Wednesday: Theistareykir – Jarðböð – Hraunbrún Guesthouse
Enjoy today’s ride from the Theistareykir area past the mountains Gæsafjöll and Hrafnabjörg. We follow good riding tracks through the mountains, past lakes and through bushy vegetation. Enjoy the magnificent view over the Lake Mývatn area, surrounded by mighty volcanoes, before riding down towards our guesthouse Hraunbrún, located near the lake. Before dinner we relax and enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböð, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water. (40 km)
Thursday: Laxárdalur – Reykjahverfi – Saltvík Holiday Farm
We start the day with an exciting sightseeing tour by bus. Visit Dimmuborgir, fantastic black lava formations with rich vegetation. Our next highlight is the geothermal area of Hverarönd with boiling mud pools and steam vents. We saddle up again and head out of the Mývatn area. Through a black sand desert we ride along colourful Laxárdalur valley with glittering salmon River Laxá in the middle. A true day of contrasts in the ever changing Icelandic nature. Overnight at Saltvík Farm for the last two nights. (40 km)
Friday: Reykjahverfi – Saltvík Holiday Farm
Our ride continues over Hvammsheiði heath. Today we cross Laxá river and ride alongside it for a while through beautiful countryside. We visit Æðarfossar waterfalls and finish our ride on the shore of Skjálfandi bay before returning to Saltvík Farm where the warm outdoor tub is waiting. (30 km)
Optional (available at an extra charge): Whale Watching
At Húsavík harbour a boat is waiting to go out on a whale watching cruise. There is no better way to end a great tour than by sailing into the evening sun with, hopefully, whales swimming alongside. (Price per person EURO 60)
Saturday: Saltvík – Akureyri – Reykjavík
In the morning return to Akureyri by bus and flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport with arrival at approx. 13:30. Last night in a guesthouse in Reykjavík.
Sunday: Departure from Iceland – Reykjavík – Keflavík Airport
Transfer by bus to Keflavík Airport in time for the flight back home.
Please note that accommodation is shared, a single room in Reykjavik is an option.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Iceland Outdoor: Land Rambler Horse Riding
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