Northern Exposure

Wonders of Lake Mývatn. This tour was nominated by the Sunday times as one of the 10 best trails in the world. Explore the wonders of lake Mývatn and Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifoss!

10th Best riding trails in the World

This tour was nominated by the Sunday Times as one of the 10th best trails in the world.

The North of Iceland is known for its spectacular natural sights and diverse landscape. Our tour goes from Bjarnastaðir Farm near Húsavík to the Lake Mývatn area, famous for its volcanic features and rich birdlife. Ásbyrgi Canyon, Dettifoss, Europe’s largest waterfall, and the strange rock formations at Hljóðaklettar are just some of the gems of nature we´ll be seeing on this amazing tour.

An optional whale watching tour concludes the selection of natural attractions on and off shore.

We ride along soft riding tracks ideal for “tölting”, the unique extra gait of the Icelandic Horse. The first day we spend in Jökulsárgljúfur National Park and visit both Dettifoss Waterfall and Ásbyrgi Canyon.
From rich green pastureland, we head towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and spend a night in a mountain cabin at Theistareykir. Through an area scarred with cracks and fissures from earthquakes and volcanic activity, the route takes us to Lake Mývatn where bubbling mud pools and eerie lava formations are a reminder of the powerful energy right beneath our feet. We have the opportunity to bathe in the warm geothermal water of the outdoor pool at the Mývatn Nature Baths.

The next two days take us through Laxárdalur Valley to Heiðabær for an overnight stay and relaxation in the swimming pool on site. From there we continue across Reykjaheiði heath towards the coast and back to Bjarnastaðir Farm.
After this amazing tour in an ever-changing landscape, we can soak away our cares in the hot tub at Lundur Swimming Pool before sitting down to a hearty farewell dinner at the farm.

Our farmers Halldór and Elín offer our guests this extraordinary tour.

2019 Departures are ready!

  • Duration

    5 nights - 5 riding days
  • Riding skills

    Advanced riders
  • Departures

    Dates 2019: June 24 – 29 • July: 1 – 6 • 8 – 13 • 15 – 20 • Aug: 5 – 10 • 12 – 17 • 26 – Aug 31
  • Accommodation

    Sleeping bag accommodation in shared rooms during the ride. Accommodation after the ride are to be arranged individually.
  • Note

    Please bring your own sleeping bag
  • Reservation code

What is included

  • Flight from Reykjavík to Húsavík and bus drive 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.
  • Rain wear, water bottle, saddle bag, riding helmet.


  • Please bring your own sleeping bag with you on the tour
  • 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 hard cover suitcases
  • Pack light because transport space is limited.

  • Day by day itinerary
  • Useful information
  • Accommodation

Monday: Reykjavík – Húsavík – Ásbyrgi – Dettifoss – Bjarnastaðir

Departure from pick up points in Reykjavik 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. At Bjarnastaðir, we have lunch and start our ride with a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and its special gaits.

This is truly a day to remember when we ride on the east side of the National Park Jökulsárgljúfur and visit places like Gloppa, Hallhöfðastígur overlooking Hljóðaklettar and many more. After riding we have a sightseeing tour by bus to Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifoss and the famous Ásbyrgi Canyon, one of the wonders of nature, a wide, horseshoe-shaped canyon with sheer cliff faces up to 100 m high. (Approx. 20 km

Tuesday: Bjarnastaðir – Theistareykir Mountain Cabin
We ride across the mighty glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum (on a bridge) and into the mountains to the geothermal area of Theistareykir. At one point we will practically cross over from one continental plate to another as we ride over the Mid-Atlantic ridge! It is a fascinating area with deep earthquake fissures, multi-colored mountains and geothermal energy. With all this volcanic activity going on here, it is easy to understand that Iceland is still under “natural construction” (Approx. 35 km)

Wednesday:  Theistareykir – Laxárdalur
Enjoy today’s ride from the Theistareykir area to Halldorstaðir in Laxárdal.  We then drive to Bjarnastaðir farm, where we stay the remaining nights on the tour with a hot tub on the premises. (Approx. 35 km)

Thursday: Laxárdalur
We start the day with an exciting sightseeing tour by bus. We begin with a nice hot bath in Jarðböð, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water. We saddle up again and head of through a black sand desert along the colorful Laxárdalur valley with the glittering Salmon River Laxá in the middle. A true day of contrasts in the ever-changing Icelandic nature. We stop at the very special Hraunsrétt – made of lava. We ride to Skógarhlíð, where we leave the horses tonight. (Approx. 30 km)

Friday: Geldingadalur – Reykjaheiði
Today we set out through Geldingadalur Valley and Reykjaheiði into Öxarfjörður Fjord to Bjarnastaðir Farm, where the hot outdoor tub is waiting. (Approx. 40 km)

Saturday:  Bjarnastaðir – Húsavík (optional: whale watching) – Reykjavík
In the morning return to Húsavík by bus and a whale watching cruise for those interested. (Price per person EUR 80). Others can enjoy the town‘s swimming pool with it‘s hot tubs or just go for a stroll in this beautiful town. Afternoon flight back to Reykjavík Domestic Airport and a transfer to your accommodation.

– We reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary –

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:
Íshestar 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.

͍shestar 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 ͍shestar. 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

  • Bjarnastaðir farm

    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 over night 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:  18
    • Outdoor jacuzzi:  Yes
    • Number of showers:  2
    • GSM connection:  Yes
    • WiFi: No


  • Þeistareykir Mountain Hut

    Þeistareykir is known as a geothermal area, with colorful mud pits, tabletop mountains, hills and lava fields, you will find the earth constantly at work. The mountain hut stays warm all year round due to the geothermal activity of the area. The area is great for hikers and those who want to enjoy nature in the “raw.”

    • Number of rooms:  1
    • Number of beds:  30
    • Outdoor jacuzzi:  No
    • Number of showers:  0
    • GSM connection:  No
    • WiFi: No
    • Made up beds:  No
    • Number of WC:  1
    • Website with photos: No
  • Heiðarbær

    Heiðarbær is situated in Reykjahverfi in the northeast Iceland close to all the main attraction in the north like Ábyrgi and Mývatn.

    Number of rooms: 1 large sleeping bag area
    Outdoor jacuzzi: Yes and a swimming pool nearby
    GSM connection: Yes
    WiFi: Yes
    Made up beds: Sleeping bag accommodation
    Number of WC: 1

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Testimonials from happy riders

‘time off’ in the best possible way – is to be spent on Icelandic horseback, in tölt on tour, through the most magnificent Icelandic nature, away from the tourist crowd, to enjoy sceneries and culture. Thank you for letting us meet friends and family too 🙂 – the stories, the secrets, the music, singing, and dancing. You managed to adapt the severity of the route to fit the group’s composition, all horses were good tölt horses, a pleasure to ride them. GS, DK