Three horses facing front surrounded by stacked rocks

Northern Exposure

Wonders of Lake Mývatn. This tour was nominated by the Sunday times as one of the 10 best trails in the world. Explore the wonders of lake Mývatn and Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifoss!

Dates 2023

  • June: 26 - July 1
  • July: 31 - Aug 5th
  • August: 7 - 12 & 14 - 19 & 21 - 26

10th Best Riding Trails in the world

This tour was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the 10th best trails in the world.

The North of Iceland is known for its spectacular natural sights and diverse landscape. Our tour goes from Bjarnastaðir Farm near Húsavík to the Lake Mývatn area, famous for its volcanic features and rich birdlife. Ásbyrgi Canyon, Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall, and the strange rock formations at Hljóðaklettar are just some of the gems of nature we´ll be seeing on this amazing tour.

An optional whale watching tour concludes the selection of natural attractions on and offshore.

We ride along soft riding tracks ideal for “tölting”, the unique extra gait of the Icelandic Horse. The first day we spend in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park and visit both Dettifoss Waterfall and Ásbyrgi Canyon.
From rich green pastureland, we head towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and spend a night in a mountain cabin at Theistareykir. Through an area scarred with cracks and fissures from earthquakes and volcanic activity, the route takes us to Lake Mývatn where bubbling mud pools and eerie lava formations are a reminder of the powerful energy right beneath our feet. We have the opportunity to bathe in the warm geothermal water of the outdoor pool at the Mývatn Nature Baths.

Our farmers Halldór and Elín offer our guests this extraordinary tour.

Attention

  • Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour
  • Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour price. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland.
  • Flight to and from Iceland is not included
  • Bring bags rather than hardcover suitcases
  • Pack light because transport space is limited.

Tour Highlights

Húsavík

is a town in north Iceland around 10 km from the domestic airport. The town is famous for whale watching tours and has around 2300 inhabitants

Bjarnastaðir Farm

is situated in north-east Iceland in the low bushy area of Kerlingaskógur, close to the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Dettifoss waterfall. It is the farm of Elín and Halldór, breeders of both horses and sheep 

Jökulsárgljúfur National Park

located north around the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and the waterfall Dettifoss. Since 2008 it has been a part of Vatnajökull National Park, the largest national park in Europe

Lake Mývatn

famous for its volcanic features and rich birdlife

Dettifoss waterfall

is considered the second most powerful waterfall in Europe. It measures 44 m high and 100 m wide. It is located in north-east Iceland within the Vatnajökull National Park and flows from the glacier river Jökulsá á fjöllum that has its source in Vatnajökull

Ásbyrgi canyon

one of the wonders of nature. It is a wide, horseshoe-shaped canyon with sheer cliff faces up to 100 m high

Öxarfjörður Fjord

a broad fjord in north-east Iceland located right on top of the Mid – Atlantic ridge

Þeystareykir

a geothermal area with colourful mud pits, mountains, hills and lava fields. The mountain hut stays warm all year round due to the geothermal activity of the area

Halldórsstaðir in Laxárdalur valley

A farm in the north. The land has one renovated house built in 1893

Hólasandur

Big sandy, deserted area between Mývatn and Laxárdalur. Part of it is a protected and fenced land reclamation area, around 130 km2 growing Alaskan Lupine and birch. There is one road through the area Hólasandur

Laxá river

glittering salmon river

Mývatn Nature Baths

an outdoor lagoon filled with mineral rich geothermal water heated from natural hot springs

Natural bath in north Iceland

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

a tectonic plate boundary. In Iceland it is where the North American and the Eurasian plates meet and drift apart. It extends above sea level

  1. Monday: Reykjavík – Húsavík – Ásbyrgi – Dettifoss – Bjarnastaðir
    Meeting place is at Flugfélagið Ernir  in Reykjavík airport at 07:30.  We fly to Húsavík and drive to Bjarnastaðir farm. Please dress already in riding clothes and bring your passport or other identification for your domestic flight. At Bjarnastaðir, we have lunch and start our ride with a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits.

    This is truly a day to remember when we ride on the east side of the National Park Jökulsárgljúfur. On this day we have a sightseeing tour by bus to Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifoss, and the famous Ásbyrgi Canyon, one of the wonders of nature, a wide, horseshoe-shaped canyon with sheer cliff faces up to 100 m high. Overnight at Bjarnastaðir Farm. (Approx. 20 km)

  2. Tuesday: Bjarnastaðir – Kelduhverfi – Theistareykir Mountain Cabin

    After breakfast, we drive to Kelduhverfi and start our ride from there. We ride into the mountains and see a magical landscape over Öxafjörður Fjord. We ride to the geothermal area of Theistareykir. Overnight at Theistareykir Mountain Cabin. (Approx. 35 km)

  3. Wednesday:  Theistareykir – Laxárdalur

    Enjoy today’s ride from the Theistareykir area to Halldorstaðir in Laxárdal. Over the rough landscape and riding through the geothermal area and lave fields up to the desert area of Hólasandur. Then we ride down to Laxárdalur Valley and over the Laxá river to Halldórstaðir. We then drive to Bjarnastaðir farm, where we stay the night with a hot tub on the premises. (Approx. 35 km)

  4. Thursday: Laxárdalur

    We saddle up again and head of through a black sand desert along the colorful Laxárdalur valley with the glittering Salmon River Laxá in the middle on our side. A true day of contrasts in the ever-changing Icelandic nature. We stop at the very special Hraunsrétt – made of lava. We ride to Skógarhlíð, where we leave the horses before we head back to Bjarnastaðir farm where we spend the night. We will enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböðin, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water.  (Approx. 30 km)

  5. Friday: Geldingadalur – Reykjaheiði

    Today we set out through Geldingadalur Valley and Reykjaheiði heath. 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-colored mountains, and geothermal energy. With all this volcanic activity going on here, it is easy to understand that Iceland is still under “natural construction”. We ride into Öxarfjörður Fjord to Bjarnastaðir Farm, where the hot outdoor tub is waiting and we spend our last night. (Approx. 40 km)

  6. Saturday:  Bjarnastaðir – Húsavík (optional: whale watching) – Reykjavík

    In the morning return to Húsavík by bus and a whale-watching cruise for those interested. (Price per person EUR 80). Others can enjoy the town‘s swimming pool with its hot tubs or just go for a stroll in this beautiful town. Afternoon flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport and a transfer to your accommodation.

    – We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

  • Flight from Reykjavík to Húsavík and bus drive to the farm.
  • During the ride full board is provided. Our menu consists of a large breakfast and traditional Icelandic meals (fish or lamb). Vegetarian meals are available if requested when booking. All riders make their own packed lunch from the breakfast table.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not included in the tour price and are hard to get in the highlands. They can be bought at a reasonable price in the Duty-Free Store at Keflavik Airport upon arrival.
  • Rainwear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.

Bjarnastaðir farm

Bjarnastaðir Farm, home of Halldór Olgeirsson and Elín Maríusdóttir is situated in the low bushy area of Kerlingaskógur, close to the glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum and Dettifoss Waterfall. You will enjoy great view over the Fjord Öxarfjörður and the famous Lake Skjálftavatn which suddenly appeared over night after a strong earthquake 28 years ago. Halldór and Elín, breeders of both horses and sheep will welcome you with open arms and their warmth and hospitality is indeed second to none.

  • Number of beds: 23
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes
  • Number of showers: 4
  • GSM connection: Yes
  • WiFi: Yes

Þeistareykir Mountain Hut

Þeistareykir is known as a geothermal area, with colorful mud pits, tabletop mountains, hills and lava fields, you will find the earth constantly at work. The mountain hut stays warm all year round due to the geothermal activity of the area. The area is great for hikers and those who want to enjoy nature in the “raw.”

  • Number of rooms: 1
  • Number of beds: 30
  • Outdoor jacuzzi: No
  • Number of showers: 0
  • GSM connection: No
  • WiFi: No
  • Made up beds: No
  • Number of WC: 2
  • Website with photos: No

Here you can book your Flybus ticket to and from Reykjavík. The Flybus departs from Keflavík airport 35-40 minutes after each arrival. Busses are located right outside the terminal building. Book my ticket.

Terms & conditions:
Íslandshestar requests a confirmation payment upon booking of minimum 30% of the tour price. When the confirmation payment is received the seat is secure. The remaining balance is due 6 weeks before the tour departs. If you book the tour through the website the full amount is requested. Children’s under 12 years receive 25% discount on our multi-day tours.

Liability:
Íslandshestar reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables without prior notice, should the necessity arise. No liability is accepted for loss or expenses due to delays or changes of arrival or departures of flights or other services, injury, sickness, accident, strikes, damage, negligence, weather, wars or other causes outside the control of Íslandshestar. All such losses and expenses are the personal liability of the traveler. The estimated duration of tours as indicated by km or timing can change according to road or weather conditions.

For more information please see also our Frequent Asked Questions and/or contact us at [email protected]

Reviews

I really wish I would have done this trip sooner, this is truly a life changing experience and one you can´t describe until you try it your self! The horses, nature, hosts, and helpers were amazing. I 100% recommend all riders to ride with them!

L.E. Germany.

Perfect tour! Great staff, beautiful landscapes. Amazing horses, good food. I would definitely recommend it!

 M.O. Germany.

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