Horse Trekking in Wild Iceland
During the midnight sun
An unforgettable trip on Icelandic horses through the pristine, rugged natural beauty of northern Iceland. We organise this tour especially in this period - around midsummer - because at that time of the year the sun never sets, this close to the arctic! Moreover, this period also has the best weather conditions to ride.
Travel duration: 7 days
Date: date for 2022 TBC
Price per person: 2790 euros/
(Price based on a shared double room.)
Included: Domestic flight from Reykjavik to Keflavik in the north.
Not included: flight to and from Reykjavik. First night and/or last night in Reykjavik
A unique and rugged trail ride on the edge of the Arctic Circle
The north-eastern part of Iceland is often referred to as the 'edge of the polar region' with the polar circle just off the Icelandic coast. During the period around midsummer the sun stays up all night and it is an unforgettable experience to see the colourful contrasts of light and water when the blood-red sun floats over the shimmering ocean at night.
This rugged horseback ride takes us along the pristine coastline of Northern Iceland. We ride past isolated farms and the imposing Jökulsá River that comes all the way from the Vatnajökull glacier. The tour also takes us across the plateaus of Melrakkaslétta and Reykjaheiði, where the view is breathtaking and our only companionship are some birds and sheep roaming the heath. We visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and the National Park of Jökulsárgljúfur, with Ásbyrgi, the hoof-shaped gorge, as an absolute highlight. The Icelandic sagas say that this is the footstep of Sleipnir, the eight-legged stallion of Óðinn, the king of Valhalla.
We’ll be staying in comfortable farmhouses (Saltvik and Klifshagi) and a mountain hut.
Program day by day
When you arrive at Keflavík airport, it is best to take the Flybus service to your hotel or guest house of your choice in Reykjavík.
Day 1. Saltvík - Þeistareykir (25 km)
We assemble in the morning at the Eagle Air airport in Reykjavík for a direct flight to Húsavík (the flight Reykjavik-Húsavík - Reykjavík is included in the price of this trek).
The Saltvík farm where we start the journey is a 5 minute drive from Húsavík airport and someone from the farm will be at the airport to pick us up.
After an introduction to the guides and the horses, there will be a short briefing about riding Icelandic horses before we go to the highlands. We drive over the Reykjaheiði heath and through ancient lava and heathland fields until we arrive at our destination at Þeistareykir, where we will spend the night in a cozy mountain hut, surrounded by geothermal hot springs that bubble and boil 24 hours a day. They are just a glimpse of the earthly forces that created the small island of Iceland millions of years ago!
Day 2. Þeistareykir - Þórseyri farm (35 km)
On the second day we will drive from the heath to the banks of Öxarfjörður, a wide fjord. We follow great bridle paths through the heathlands of Bláskógar ('blue forests') and to farmland in the northeast. We follow the mighty Jökulsá River to our destination, the Þórseyri farm, at only a few kilometers from the Arctic coast. We drive back to the Saltvik farm where we will spend the night. Here, after two days in the highlands we will be able to enjoy a soothing bath in the hot springs again!
Day 3. Þórseyri - Klifshagi farm (30 km)
We ride over the sandy banks of the Jökulsá River to the national park of Ásbyrgi Canions, the ‘horseshoe ravines’ which according to legend are footsteps of Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of Odinn, the highest in rank of the Norwegian gods! We cross the river via a bridge and enter the birch forest area of Öxarfjörður. We ride through green fields of one of the most important sheep grazing areas of Iceland. This night and the next we will stay at the Klifshagi farmhouse where we will have a fantastic view of the arctic bay of Öxarfjörður and hopefully enjoy a clear sky in the evening to fully enjoy the midnight sun.
Day 4. Klifshagi - Melrakkaslétta- Klifshagi (40 km)
Öxarfjörður is one of Iceland's best kept natural secrets. The rich vegetation, mighty volcanoes and the largest river (Jökulsá á Fjöllum) of Iceland make the landscape breathtaking. We drive through heathlands, along the river and follow beautiful bridle paths through dense forests, from time to time enjoying the fantastic view over the Arctic sea. In the evening we return to our base at the Klifshagi farmhouse for another night at the edge of the Arctic.
Day 5. Klifshagi - Ásbyrgi (25 km)
Today is an easy ride back to the Saltvik farm. We ride to the Canions of Ásbyrgi where we say goodbye to the horses and enjoy a sightseeing bus tour to the national park Jökulsárgljúfur. A with highlight for sure will be a visit to Dettifoss (the most powerful waterfall in Europe). We will spend the night in a nearby guest house called River Guesthouse. It lies on the banks of Litla á (small river) and brave riders can close off the day with a traditional cold bath in the river!
Day 6. Ásbyrgi - Saltvík (50 km)
Our last day is also the longest day of the trek. We follow the ancient trail of Bláskógar that was used over the centuries by lonely travelers on foot or on horseback. We cross the borders of the American and Eurasian tectonic plates that ‘glue’ Iceland together from the south west coast to the north east coast. Huge drift walls of lava show the frenzied forces that slowly pull the plates apart. As the day progresses, the horses will pick up speed as they smell the barn when we get closer to the Saltvík farm. The last hour of the ride offers a beautiful view over the bay of Skjálfandi and the high mountains on the other side of the sea. In the evening we enjoy our farewell dinner at the Saltvik farm that will undoubtedly be cheered up by some good stories about the adventures of the previous days!
POSSIBILITY OF WHALE WATCHING!
The bay of Husavik is the centre of whale watching in Iceland. We can arrange for those who want an early return to the farm followed by some awesome whale watching!
Day 7. Húsavík - Reykjavík
After we say farewell to the horses and the guides, a tour bus takes us back to Reykjavík in the morning. Estimated arrival in Reykjavík at 15.00.