The Arctic North
This part of Iceland is inhabited by only a few people, most of them living in little fishing villages along the coast. There is a lot of diversity in this tour starting with beautiful mountain views from the wide Öxarfjörður Fjord. The Peninsula of Melrakkaslétta, which stretches almost to the Arctic Circle, is a paradise for birdwatchers and people with geological interest.
- July: 4 - 11
This part of Iceland is inhabited by only a few people, most of them living in little fishing villages along the coast. There is a lot of diversity on this tour starting with beautiful mountain views from the wide Öxarfjörður Fjord. The Peninsula of Melrakkaslétta, which stretches almost to the Arctic Circle, is a paradise for birdwatchers and people with geological interest. Here we are right on top of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North-American and Eurasian plates drift apart. From mid-June to mid-July this area is “home” to the Midnight Sun which sends its golden light over the deep fjords of North Iceland.
Hosts for this tour are Halldór and Elín with their family from Bjarnastaðir Farm, known to many Icelanders for their excellent breeding of horses. Halldór is a respected member of his community and among other things, he is a “mountain king” when the time calls for gathering up the sheep in autumn.
- 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.
Day 1: Reykjavík – Húsavík – Bjarnastaðir – Presthólar
Departure from pick up points in Reykjavik www.busstop.is to the Domestic Airport for the flight to Húsavík and transfer to Bjarnastaðir Farm. Pick up between 06:30 – 07:30. Please dress already in riding clothes and bring your passport or other identification for your domestic flight. Bus transfer to Bjarnastaðir Farm, where we meet up with the guides and horses and have lunch. After a short introduction to the horses, we set out through Kerlingaskógur´s low bushy and enjoy great views over the Fjord Öxarfjörður and the famous Lake Skjálftavatn which suddenly appeared over night after a strong earthquake 28 years ago when the land had been lowered by 4 meters overnight. During our ride to Presthólar, we stop at Tungurétt round-up place and Kvíar (Fjárborgir) Canyon. Overnight at Bjarnastaðir and on our way there, we stop at Lundur swimming pool.
Day 2: Presthólar – Blikalón
We head north and enjoy the soft tracks of the Melrakkaslétta plains. The name Melrakki derives from an almost forgotten word for the fox. This area is a paradise for birds and well known for its fantastic nature, beautiful lakes filled with trout and rich vegetation. We finish the day by riding down the Blikalónsdalur valley, leave the horses at Blikalón and drive to Bjarnastaðir farm for an overnight stay.
Day 3: Blikalón – Raufarhöfn
During this riding day along the coast, we stop at Hraunhafnarviti Lighthouse, only 3 km away from the Arctic Circle and finish off at Raufarhöfn village. Most of the 250 inhabitants of this small village live of traditional fishing and we will take a good look at their way of life here in the far north of Iceland.
Day 4: Raufarhöfn – Flautafell
Today we continue to ride towards Flautafell farm which draws its name from the mountain Flautafell hovering over the area. Flautafell farm is an old abandoned farmhouse where nobody lives anymore. It’s about 65 meters above sea level with beautiful nature all around.
Day 5: Sightseeing around Langanes
On this exciting day, we rest the horses and head out on a fun bus tour to Langanes peninsula. The peninsula is known for its rich bird life and stunning nature with rock stacks in the sea full of birds and wildlife.
Day 6: Flautafell – Bjarnastaðir
We meet our horses where we left them at Flautafell and head towards Bjarnastaðir over Öxarfjarðar heath. The heat is about 500m above sea level and around 60km long. Around 1850 there were lots of farms on the but all were abandoned after the volcanic eruption in 1875 so now this heath is very rural and you hardly ever see people there.
Day 7: Bjarnastaðir – Jökulsárgljúfur
On this adventurous day, we ride beside the majestic Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. The canyon is part of the Vatnajökull glacier national park. Through the canyon, you can see the longest glacier river in Iceland Jökulsá flowing from Vatnajökull glacier. On the way is a perfect photo stop where you can see the whole canyon behind you.
Day 8: Bjarnastaðir – Húsavík – Reykjavík
Before we say goodbye to horses and drive to Húsavík airport to catch the flight to Reykjavik we will ride to Ásbyrgi canyon one of the wonders of nature, a horseshoe-shaped canyon. The old saga says that the god Odin from northern mythology rode his giant horse Sleipnir who stepped down on the ground and formed this shoe print. Arrival in Reykjavík in the afternoon.
– We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –
- Bus transfer from Reykjavík 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, 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 overnight 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
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.
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 traveller. 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]