Towards the Midnight Sun
The North-East part of Iceland is often referred to as the “Edge of the Arctic” with the arctic circle just outside the shores. During a two-week period around the 21st of June, the sun stays up all night and it’s an unforgettable experience to watch the colorful and quiet contrasts of light and water when the blood-red sun hovers over the glittering ocean in the night.
Our ride takes us along the coastline of north Iceland. We ride past isolated farms and along the huge Jökulsá river coming all the way from Vatnajökull glacier. Our trails also take us through the highland plateaus of Melrakkaslétta and Reykjaheiði where the view is breathtaking and our only company are a few happy birds and sheep wandering around in the heathlands. We will visit Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe and the National Park of Jökulsárgljúfur, with Ásbyrgi the hoof-shaped canyon as a highlight. In the sagas it´is said to be the footstep of Sleipnir, the eight-legged stallion of Óðinn, King of Valhalla (Norse mythology).
Accommodations are at nice holiday farms in double or triple rooms.
Upon arrival at Keflavík airport it is easy to use the Flybus service to a hotel or guesthouse of your own choice in Reykjavík for the first night. If needed, we can help with booking a room before and/or after the tour.
In the morning meeting at the Eagle Air airport in Reykjavík for a direct flight to Húsavík (Flight Reykjavik – Húsavík is included in tourprice).
Saltvík farm where we start the ride is located only a 5 minutes drive from the Húsavík airport and someone from the farm will be at the airport to pick up the group.
After an introduction to the staff and horses there is a short briefing about riding the Icelandic horses on trails before we head up to the highlands. We ride over the Reykjaheiði heath and through ancient lavafields and moorlands until we arrive at our destination Sæluhúsmúli. Our final destination of the day is located right at the center of the Atlantic ridge going through Iceland which is stretched and pulled by the two continental plates of Europe and Asia. Cracks and fissures in the lava fields make the surroundings spectacular and mystic and are a good example of the powers of nature working constantly on this little volcanic island.
On the second day we ride from the heathlands all the way down to the shores of Öxarfjörður. We follow great riding trails through the heathlands of Bláskógar ( blueforests) and down to the farmlands in the north east following the mighty Jökulsá river to our destination at Meiðavellir farm just aside the canyons of Ásbyrgi. We drive back to Saltvík farm for overnight stay where it will be well deserved to enjoy the hot pools after a great riding day!
We ride into the national park of Ásbyrgi Canyons the hoof-shaped canyons told to be a footstep of Sleipnir the eight-legged horse of Odinn highest in rank of the old nordic gods! We cross the mighty Jökulsá river on a bridge and enter the highly vegetated area of Öxarfjörður with birch forests and green fields of one of the best sheep farming territories in Iceland. We end the day and stay the next night at the farm Klifshagi where we have a fantastic view out to the arctic bay of Öxarfjörður and hopefully enjoy a clear sky in the evening for living the nights of the midnight sun to the limits.
Öxarfjörður is one of the best kept nature secrets in Iceland. Rich vegetation, mighty volcanoes and Iceland’s biggest river Jökulsá á Fjöllum make the scenery breathtaking. We ride up in the heathlands, down along the river and follow nice riding trails across woodlands and along riverbanks while enjoying the fantastic view over the Arctic sea north of Iceland. We ride along the riverbanks of Jökulsá towards the village of Kópasker which is a small fishing village located at the edge of the peninsula where we have a totally undisturbed view towards the arctic circle, the true home of the midnight sun! Overnight at a nice guesthouse in the village.
We ride from Kópasker up to the highlands of the peninsula experiencing the true wilderness of the area. Great soft riding trails around the mountains Valþjófsstaðafjall takes us to the farm Valþjófsstaðir where we leave the horses and drive back to our guesthouse at Kópasker.
We ride back along the river and then turn up to the hillsides enjoying a fantastic view over the countryside of Öxarfjörður. Green hillsides and birchforests are trademarks are dominating factors on our ride this day. We leave the horses at Ásbyrgi and drive back home to Saltvík farm where we celebrate our journey sharing memories during our farewell dinner the last night.
In the morning bus tour back to Reykjavík after saying goodbye to staff and horses at Saltvík farm. Estimated arrival in Reykjavík at 15.00 pm.