Ride through northern Iceland’s most interesting and dramatic landscapes
This tour highlights one of our favorite areas - northern Iceland - and goes all the way to Lake Myvatn, an area with so many interesting things going on, it’s astounding that you can take it all in! This tour has some real riding, so we recommend it to experienced and fit travelers - but it’s worth the effort!
8 Days/6 Riding through beautiful North Iceland
Ride with a Herd of remounts
On the track of Gods and Vikings!
Iceland here we come!
Travelers from North America leave for Iceland on an overnight flight with an early morning arrival at Keflavik Airport in Iceland.
After arriving at Keflavik International Airport the Flybus will take you right to the Reykjavik domestic airport, for a dramatic 45 minute flight to Akureyri, the “capital” of northern Iceland. Here Polar Hestar will pick you up for a short drive to their farmhouse Grytubakki for a hearty dinner and good night’s sleep.
The day starts after breakfast with a little tour -a trip to Godafoss, the waterfall of the Gods. In the year 1000, according to the Sagas, Þorgeir of Ljósavatn, known as Thorgeir the Lawgiver, made a decision and converted Iceland to Christianity when he threw his statues his Gods over the falls. Then it's just a short drive to Fremstafell farmhouse, where the horses are waiting! Riders will help catch them, and learn about Icelandic tack as you help saddle up. You’ll rid to the Bardardalur valley, following the river Skjálfandafljót to the Hotel Kiðagil, where you'll have dinner and spend the night. The Skálfandafljót flows through the valley over the Bárðardalshraun lava field that probably came all over the way from Trölladyngja in Ódaðahraun north of Vatnajökull more than 7,000 years ago. The first days ride will be 5 to 6 hours in the saddle.
After a good Icelandic breakfast, you'll leave Kiðagil and ride over the bridge at Stóruvellir to the other side of the valley to the old farmhouse Stóratunga. Here you are very close to the entrance of Ódaðahraun, the enormous lava field, believed to be the home of outlaws, elves and trolls in the old days. Some of the herd will stay at Stórutunga while riders take the rest on to the impressive waterfall Aldeyarfoss, a great spot to appreciate Iceland’s unique and lovely landscape. Then it’s back to Stóratunga for overnight. Today you'll ride for about 5 hours.
Today you’ll take in the breathtaking surroundings of Stóratunga. In the morning you’ll head Northeast, alongside river Skjálfandafljót over to the old lava of Tunguhraun. Continue to Tunguhamri and south alongside river Svartá back to Stóratunga farmhouse. Here you’ll have lunch. In the afternoon continue towards the highland and south river Suðurá to the area of Réttartorfur up to the waterfalls of Hrafnabjörg. Ride over lava and sand. In the morning you’ll ride about 12km, in the afternoon about 16km. Arrive at farmhouse Stöng where for two nights.
Better yet, a hot pool awaits riders after 5.5 hours in the saddle!
You’ll say goodbye to Storatunga and ride over Landsmelat at Viðiker into the areaof Myvatn. Continueover sandy hills and moorland. A tremendous view awaits you as you reach the summit. If lucky you might see Herdubreið, the queen of Iceland’s mountains. After dinner you’ll go by coach to visit the Pearls of the North by bus: the pseudocraters of Skutustaðir, the bizarre lava formations at Dimmuborgir and the bubbling mud pools at Namaskarð,. 3 to 4 hours of riding.
Ride south from Stöng close to the old farmhouse of Hörgadalur and then along Myvatnsheiði to the valley of the smoke - Reykjadalur. You'll have a day of adventurous tracks and smooth trails, over lots of different landscapes, seeing the mountain Kinnarfjöll to the west side and mountain Gaesafjöll in the east, if the weather allows. Spend the night at Breiðimyri, close to the little village Laugar, after 6 hours of riding.
There are wonderful woods to ride along in Vatnshlid and a great view over the valley Reykjadalur and the lake Vestmannsvatn. You'll ride past the hill Fljótsheiði where a lovely trail takes you along the river Skjálfandafljót and through the forest Fellskógur, past the waterfalls Ullarfoss and Barnafoss. You'll need to bid the horses goodbye as they stay at Fremstafell farm while riders are driven back to the farmhouse at Grytubakki. This last day will have you in the saddle for about 6 hours.
You'll have one last breakfast to share stories before saying goodbye to your friends and guides. Then you'll be taken back to the airport at Akureyri for your flight south, followed by a bus from the domestic to the international airport. Then you’ll be back home before you know it!
Download a PDF of the itinerary of The Fascinating North Tour
Travel Dates 2013
The Fascinating North Iceland tour runs 6 times in 2012. The first day in Iceland is always a transfer day, which allows you to rest from the short night of sleep on the flight, before you start riding on the second day.
Fri, June 21-Sat, June 29
Sun, June 30-Mon, July 8
Wed, July 10-Thurs, July 18
Sat, July 20 -Sun, July 28
Thurs, Aug 1 - Fri, Aug 9
Sun, Aug 11 - Mon, Aug 19
The price for this 8 day tour is $3805 per person.
The price includes round trip airfare, with US taxes and fuel surcharge, from NYC, Boston, and Washington Dulles International Airport (ask for prices from Denver, Minneapolis, Anchorage, Seattle, and Toronto,). The flights to and from northern Iceland are included with most transfers as are accommodations in guest and farm houses with shared baths, all meals, as well as rain gear and safety helmets. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag or make prior arrangements .to borrow one.
*NOT included are travel insurance, breakfast and lunch on arrival day, lunch and dinner on departure day, and any additional travel you choose while in Iceland.
Accommodations on this Fascinating Northern Iceland tour are traditionally Icelandic. You’ll need to bring a sleeping bag and towels, soap and shampoo. Mattresses are provided. The farmhouses, mountain huts and cabins where you‘ll sleep are all warm and clean. Typically there are several beds per room, and in huts there may be one big room. Most will have shared bathroom facilities. Meals will be family style with lots of typical Icelandic cuisine which features fish, dairy products, lamb, and potatoes. Vegetarians can be accommodated with advance notice. We’ll send you a gear list that provides tips for packing, as well as info on converting money and electricity, weather advice (no guarantees, though) and other useful stuff.
We can mail complete itineraries and will talk to you via e-mail or phone if you have any questions.