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Voted as one of the "Top 10 Trails in the World" by the Sunday Times, this tour introduces you to the wonders of the north; following great riding trails through various landscapes of the northern countryside and highlands! The North of Iceland is best known for its great natural sights and beautiful landscape, the tour leaves from Saltvík Farm near Húsavík and leads to the Lake Mývatn area, known for its volcanic features and countless numbers of wild breeding ducks.
The accommodation for this tour will be in 2 to 4-person rooms with made-up beds at Saltvík Holiday Farm and one night in a cozy mountain hut at Þeistareykir (sleeping bags). At Saltvík Farm, guests have access to hot tubs every evening to relax after long days in the saddle! A free Wi-Fi connection is also offered at Saltvík Farm.
An optional whale watching tour concludes the circle of natural highlights on and offshore. A visit to the picturesque and mighty waterfall Goðafoss will be something to remember. You will ride on mainly soft riding tracks, ideal for riding “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horses. During the first two days, ride along the shore and over Hvammsheiði heath and cross the river Laxá.
The next day will take you from the forested hillsides in Laxárdalur via the black sand deserts of Hólasandur to lake Mývatn, where boiling mud pools and eerie lava formations remind you of the active volcanic energy hidden beneath the surface. After a long day in the saddle, it is ideal to take a relaxing soak in the outdoor bathing facility with hot geothermal water at "Jarðböð".
From there, ride the next day towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains. Through an area covered with cracks and fissures from countless earthquakes and volcanic activity, the route leads towards the mountain cabin at Þeistareykir, a place with bubbling hot water and white clouds rising to the sky from the steam vents. You will spend the night at this magical place and on the last day, ride home to Saltvík, enjoying the terrific view over Skjálfandi bay!
In the morning, leave your guesthouse to go to Eagle Air Airport/Reykjavík Airport (RKV) for a direct flight to Húsavík. Saltvík is only a five-minute drive from the airport. At Saltvik, you will start your ride after a short introduction to the Icelandic horses and its special gaits. Ride along the seaside of the Arctic Ocean, north of Iceland, enjoying a fantastic view out towards the arctic circle. A relaxing bath in a warm outdoor tub before dinner at Saltvík Farm is well deserved after this first day of your journey!
OPTIONAL: In the afternoon for 80 EUR, which already includes transport from/to Saltvík, a whale watching tour starting from the harbor in Húsavík can be offered. Húsavík and the bay of Skjálfandi are known to be one of the best places in the world to find and see some of the gentle giants of the ocean. Humpbacks, Minky Whales, Dolphins, and even Blue Whales are some of the creatures you can expect to see!
Ride across Hvammsheiði heathlands following excellent soft "tölttrails" and riverbanks of Mýrarhvísl river towards the big Laxá river which you cross at passing where the river spreads out over a 100-meter wide river path! During the ride, enjoy a great view over the green valleys of the north: Aðaldalur and Reykjadalur.
Today, ride from the farmlands of Aðaldalur towards the deserted vast land of Hólasandur before arriving to the nature paradise, "Lake Mývatn". This is a day of many contrasts, from green valleys to the black desert on your way to the lava fields and green birch forests of the Mývatn area.
A magnificent view over the Lake Mývatn area that is surrounded by mighty volcanoes awaits when you come closer to the lake. Before dinner, relax and enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböð, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water overlooking the lake.
Leave the Myvatn area and head up towards the mountains, passing Gæsadalur oasis and riding at the footsteps of the mighty old volcano Gæsafjöll. When you get closer to the geothermal area of Þeistareykir, you will start noticing huge cracks and fissures which are remarks of the enormous powers of nature hidden under the roots of Iceland smile.
You will practically ride across the boundaries which connect the tectonic plates of North America and Europe and the power of creation becomes real when you arrive at the destination of Þeistareykir with bubbling craters and mud pools all around the hut where you will spend the night!
On your last day of the journey, ride home to Saltvík Farm crossing the lava fields of Bóndhólshraun. Then, following nice riding trails through the valley Geldingadalur and along Skarðaháls with a great view over the bay of Skjálfandi, north of Iceland. The last track leads across Reykjaheiði, back home to the Saltvík Farm where you can celebrate your adventures in the evening with a cheerful farewell party!
After a hearty breakfast, it's time to drive with a small bus back to Reykjavík and enjoy the beautiful scenery on the way.
To find the right tour and, later, also the best horse for you, Riding Iceland reserves the right to inquire about information about your age, weight, height, and riding experience. Please let Riding Iceland know about dietary requirements, vegetarianism, as well as allergies in advance.
At least one qualified professional guide will be present on every tour. The guide will be accompanied by experienced Iceland riders in cases where needed. All guides are dedicated to the Icelandic nature and passionate horse riders. They will be happy to share their cumulative knowledge about Glacier Rivers, Table Mountains, volcanic activity, the lively birdlife, and the Icelandic history and culture with you during the ride.
GSM connectivity is nowadays almost everywhere available in Iceland, even in the very remote areas. In case of emergency, full medical insurance is required to join RidingG Iceland's tours.
Group size ranges from 10 to 20 riders according to types of tours. We usually calculate to bring 3 horses for every rider.
The tours are attended with relatively high physical demands. Please make sure you are fit to join, the minimum riding ability required is mastery of the basic aids and the ability to control the horse at all paces and in the open country. It is a great advantage if you are a proficient rider. Riding Iceland does not accept absolute beginners but would be happy to offer help in finding a more suitable tour.
Riding Iceland does accept children but they must be strong competent riders. Riding Iceland offers a 25% discount for children up to 12 years old if they are traveling with an adult family member.
The mean length of the day is four to six hours in the saddle and can sometimes be longer than that. It will start shortly after breakfast when all necessary preparations are done. Whenever the terrain allows it, you will enjoy the fast but still comfortable tölt of the Icelandic horse. You will take short breaks every hour or two to stretch your muscles and allow the horses to rest a bit. During a long break at midday, you will have lunch and change horses before you continue to the destination of the day.
Bjarni and Elsa with their family at Saltvík Farm have been operating riding tours in the north of Iceland for over 20 years. From the base at Saltvík, the family is operating tours in the amazing northeast region of Iceland which contains many pearls of Icelandic nature and great riding trails in all directions. The Saltvík team also operates wilderness tours across the highlands with the challenging trail "Sprengisandur" as a prime option for riders seeking true highland experience!
Iceland’s landscapes offer a wide variety of landscape, ranging from rough rocky mountain passes to smooth and wide heathland, flowery meadows, swamps, and stony deserts. The sure-footed Icelandic horse is perfectly fit to carry you even through difficult terrain. Riding Iceland's aim is to find the most remote spots that remain beyond the reach of any vehicle or hiker.
All meals from the start till the end of the tour are included. Alcohol, however, is very expensive in Iceland so you might want to visit the Duty-Free shop at the airport to bring a small stash.
The day starts with a hearty high energy breakfast (usually including warm porridge). You will then pack lunchboxes for the days the car won’t reach you in the wilderness. On days, you will meet the car, you might even get a small hot snack. The dinner is aimed to be one of the highlights of the day where you explore healthy and fresh Icelandic cuisine.
Although Riding Iceland's priority is riding, they might reserve some time to visit interesting sites in case they are reachable from the camp like geysers, waterfalls, or hot water pools. There is usually no entrance fee for natural wonders in the Icelandic mountains, it might, however, come in handy to have a small stash of Icelandic Kronas in case you want to visit swimming pools in the civilized areas.
Please arrange your flight to arrive at Reykjavík Airport (RKV). From this airport, the domestic flight to Húsavík Airport (HZK) is included. All transfers during the tour are included.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookHorseRidingHolidays.com. All major credit cards supported.
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