6 days (5 riding days)
Intermediate and advanced riders
- Jul 03 - Jul 08 2017
- Jul 10 - Jul 15 2017
- Jul 24 - Jul 29 2017
- Aug 14 - Aug 19 2017
Tour operatorBjarni Páll and Elsa
The Diamond Circle
The North of Iceland is best known for it's great natural sights and beautiful landscape. Our tour leaves from Saltvík Farm near Húsavík and leads to the Lake Mývatn area, known for it's volcanic features and countless numbers of wild breeding ducks. An optional whale watching tour concludes the circle of natural highlights on and off shore.
A visit to the picturesque and mighty waterfalls Goðafoss and Dettifoss will be something to remember. We ride along soft riding tracks, ideal for riding “tölt”, the unique gait of the Icelandic horse. From fertile farm land we turn towards the Gæsafjöll Mountains and spend a night in the mountaincabin at Theistareykir, a place with bubbling hot water and white clouds rising to the sky from the steam vents. Through an area covered with cracks and fissures from countless earthquakes and volcanic activity, the route leads towards 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". The next riding days will take us from the black sand deserts of Hólasandur to the forested hillsides in Laxárdalur. On our last riding day we cross the river Laxá before riding over Hvammsheiði Heath and towards the shore, offering a terrific view over Skjálfandi Bay before we head home to Saltvík Farm.
The accomodations on this tour are in 2-4 pers. rooms with made up beds at Saltvík holidayfarm and one night in a cozy mountain hut at Þeistareykir (sleeping bags). At Saltvík farm our guests have access to hot pools every evening to relax after long days in the saddle! Free wifi connection is also offered at Saltvík farm.
THIS tour was nominated as one of the 10 best trails in the world by the Sunday Times (2000)!
Day by day
Day 1: Reykjavík – Saltvík – Saltvík
In the morning you leave your guesthouse to go to Eagle Air airport for a direct flight to Húsavík. Saltvík is only a 5 min. drive from the airport. At Saltvik, we start our ride after a short introduction to the Icelandic horse and it's special gaits. We 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 Saltvik farm is well deserved after this first day of our journey!
Optional in the afternoon (60 euros which includes transport from/to Saltvík): A whale watching tour starting from the harbour in Húsavík can be offered. Húsavík and the bay of Skjálfandi is 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!
Day 2: Saltvík - Aðalból
We ride across Hvammsheiði heathlands following excellent soft "tolttrails" and riverbanks of Mýrarhvísl river towards the big Laxá river which we cross at a passing were the river spreads out over 100 m wide riverpath! During the ride we enjoy great view over the green valleys of the north, Aðaldalur and Reykjadalur.
Day 3: Aðalból – Mývatn
Today we ride from the farmlands of Aðaldalur towards the deserted vasteland of Hólasandur before arriving to the nature paradise "lake Mývatn " This is a day of many contrast, from green valley´s to black desert on our way to the lavafields and green birchforests of the Mývatn area. A magnificent view over the Lake Mývatn area that is surrounded by mighty volcanoes awaits us when we come closer to the lake. Before dinner we relax and enjoy a nice hot bath in Jarðböð, an outdoor lagoon with geothermal water overlooking the lake.
Distance: 40 km
Day 4: Mývatn – Þeistareykir
We 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 we get closer to the geothermal area of Þeistareykir we start noticing huge crack´s and fissures which are remarks of the enourmous powers of nature hidden under the roots of Iceland:) We practicly ride across the boundaries which connect the tactonic plates of north America and europe and the power of creation becomes real when we arrive to the destination of Þeistareykir with bubbling crators and mudpools all around the hut were we spend the night !
Day 5: Þeistareykir – Saltvík farm
The last day of our journey we ride home to Saltvík farm crossing the lavafields of Bóndhólshraun. an then following nice riding trails through the valley Geldingadalur and along Skarðaháls With great view over the bay of Skjálfandi north of Iceland. The last track leads across Reykjaheiði and back home to our farm Saltvík where we celebrate our adventures in the evening with a cheerful farewell party!
Day 6: Saltvík – Reykjavík
After a hearty breakfast, it´s time to fly back to Reykjavík and enjoy a day in the capital. An overnight-stay at a guesthouse in Reykjavík can be arranged if help is needed.
View Diamond Circle in a larger map
Saltvík team !
Since 2009 I have been doing 4 fantastic long riding Tours with the great Saltvik Team.
We have been riding in the beautiful nature in the North of Iceland
We have seen breathtaking mountains and valleys,uniqe lava fields, crossed many many different rivers and creaks,and have had so many different fantastic experiences, that it is impossible to name them all.
Everything is so well organized.
Bjarni always finds the perfect horse for any rider for every stage, so you are always feeling so comfortable and safe on your horse.
Elsa and the staff provide you with fantastic food and everything else you want.
The herd of approx. 100 wonderful and clever horses follow you all the way.
On all Tours you meet a lot of different riding friends from all over the world, who are coming back again and again.
If you have been riding with the Saltvik Team once, you always want to come back for another tour.
The best riding team in the world.!
Anne Marie Jørgensen
Ride with Saltvík Team
Thank you so much for an amazing experience! i expected great things, but you guys and the horses, company, food, everything completely blew me away! FANTASTIC:) - KELLY from California
Thank you Bjarni, Elsa and the whole crew and family for forfilling my dream ..Icelandic nature, beautiful horses and great time! - Linda thank you for the best riding tour ever and we have never been so happy - Sami og Heidi
Many thanks for beautiful and powerfull horse...i'm gonna miss them - Tina
The best and most luxurious riding week in my life - hot pools, good food, wonderful landscape and very nice staff... - Thula
thanks for a fantastic five days and for a wonderful first experience of Icelandic horses - paul and gloria
There's only one thing left to say, THANK YOU - Sara L
Thank you the team for looking after us and thanks Elsa for the nice food. I will sure be back..- Anna
Riding in the north
Spectacular landscape, brave wonderful horse, friendly comfiest staff..it was a great experience 1001 thanks - Ute Germany
Keep doing what you do because you dot it very good...we will not say good bye but see you - Helle DK