The Lake Mývatn area is often called the Diamond Circle due to the high density of interesting sights. It witnesses the power of Mother Earth with a display of eerie lava formations, high rising steam clouds, black sand deserts and boiling multi-coloured mud pools. The lake itself is a famous breeding area for ducks, nesting in lush vegetation and raising their ducklings, sheltered by nature and protected by man. This tour is an alternative for those who want to combine the excitement of a highland ride with comfortable accommodation. You also have the advantage of being in a group of maximum 14 guests, which is fewer than we usually, have on our tours. Our hosts for this tour are Bjarni Páll and Elsa from Saltvík, well known from the Northern Exposure tours.
As on the Northern Exposure tour you enjoy the varied terrain surrounding Lake Mývatn. Our ride starts over Hvammsheiði Heath and we follow Laxá Salmon River towards Lake Mývatn. A bus brings us to Dimmuborgir, a true maze made by nature and Hverarönd boiling mud pools and steam vents. Natural warm water is harnessed at Jarðböð geothermal outdoor pool where we can swim in the mineral rich water. The riding leads further into the highlands and we catch a glimpse of Ódáðahraun Lava Field, the largest in Iceland, before the ride leads towards the shore again. In Bárðardalur Valley we visit Goðafoss Waterfall and ride partly along the river banks back to Saltvík Farm. Sail out into the Midnight Sun on an optional whale watching boat trip on your last night in the north.
On this tour we exchange the usual mountain cabins for beds in double rooms. Single room accommodation is also possible. Bathroom facilities are shared and a hot shower is available every night. During the three nights spent at Saltvík Farm we enjoy two outdoor hot tubs and the amazing view over the ocean and the Kinnafjöll Mountain Range.
Saturday: 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.
Sunday: Reykjavík – Saltvík – Hvammsheiði – Saltvík Holiday Farm
Flight to Akureyri and drive to Saltvík Farm. Ride into the mountains along the river Laxá to the highland plateau Hvammsheiði. We cross the Laxá River at Thúfuvað ford at the end of our riding day. Tonight we stay at Saltvík Farm where the hot outdoor tubs are waiting. (20 km)
Monday: Laxárdalur – Lake Mývatn – Guesthouse Vogar
We continue our ride through Laxárdalur valley, named after famous salmon river, and follow the river all the way to Lake Mývatn. The valley of Laxá is an adventure to discover and we see the river runnig quietly through lava fields and birch grown hillsides. We stay overnight at guesthouse Vogar, situated in beautiful surroundings near the lake. In the afternoon we enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböð, a geothermal outdoor lagoon. (40 km)
Tuesday: Vogar – Guesthouse Kiðagil
We start the day by having a nice sight seeing tour by bus and visit some interesting places near Lake Mývatn. The lake is famous for its geological wonders and rich bird life. We continue our ride towards Mt. Sandfell, through the valleys of Engidalur and Bárðardalur, enjoying excellent riding paths throughout most of the day. Today we will view parts of the mighty Odáðahraun lava field, the largest lava field in Iceland and stay overnight at the cosy Guesthouse Kiðagil on the banks of the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. (40 km)
Wednesday: Kiðagil – Goðafoss – Hrifla – Saltvík Holiday Farm
We ride through Bárðardalur valley and follow mighty Skjálfandafljót River towards the magnificent waterfall Goðafoss. Riding on the river banks of this beautiful and historical waterfall is a moment to remember! Our horses rest at the Fosshóll farm while we drive to Saltvík for the overnight stay. (35 km)
Thursday: Hrifla – Fellskógur – Aðaldalshraun – Saltvík Holiday Farm
Enjoy a last riding day through beautiful landscape characterized by the rich birch forest in Vatnshlíð and the vast lava fields of Aðaldalshraun. We cross Laxá River at the ford Thúfuvað where the river is about 100 m wide! On the other side of the river we reach Hraunsrétt, an old round up place for sheeps made from lava stones. Here our ride ends and we drive back to Saltvík where we spend another night and enjoy the hot outdoor tubs. (35 km)
Optional (available at an extra charge): Whale Watching
At Húsavík harbour a boat is waiting to go out on a whale watching cruise.
(Price per person EURO 60)
Friday: Saltvík – Reykjavík
Return to Akureyri and flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport with arrival at approx. 13:30. Last night in a guesthouse in Reykjavík.
Saturday: Departure from Iceland - Reykjavík - Keflavík Airport
Transfer by bus to Keflavík Airport in time for the flight back home.
Airfare to Iceland is not included in the tour price.
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