About Towards the Midnight Sun
Bright summer nights at the edge of the Arctic.
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 colourful 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´s said to be the footstep of Sleipnir, the eight-legged stallion of Óðinn, King of Valhalla (Norse mythology).
Accomodations are at nice holdayfarms (Saltvík and Klifshagi) in 2-4 bed bedrooms, and at the “River” guesthouse in double 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 - Reykjavík 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 wich is stretched and pulled by the two continental plates of europe and asia. Cracks and fissures in the lavafields 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 Þórseyri farm which is located only a few kilometers from the coast of the arctic sea north of Iceland. We drive back to Saltvík farm for overnight stay where it will be well deserved to enjoy the hot pools after two days in the highlands!
We ride the sandy river banks of the Jökulsá river up to the national park of Ásbyrgi Canions; 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 river via a bridge and enter the highly vegetated area of Öxarfjörður with birchforests and green fields of one of the best sheep farming territories in Iceland. We end the day and stay the next 2 nights at the farm Klifshagi where we have a fantastic view out to the arctic bay of Öxarfjörður. Hopefully we can enjoy a clear sky in the evening, to live 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 scenary 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 come back to our base at Klifshagi farm in the evening for another night at the edge of the arctic.
Today is an easy ride when we head back home towards Saltvík farm. We ride to the Canions of Ásbyrgi where we leave the horses and enjoy a sightseeing bustour in to the national park of Jökulsárgljúfur with the highlight of visiting Dettifoss (the most powerful Waterfall in Europe). We spend the night at a nearby guesthouse called “River” guesthouse located at the banks of Litla á (little river). For brave riders a cold bath in the river is a traditional way to end the day!
Our last day is as well the longest day of the ride. We follow the ancient trail of Bláskógar used through the centuries by lonely travellers on foot or riding. We cross the boundaries of the tectonic plates of America and Eurasia which glue Iceland together from the southwest coast to the northeast coast. Huge driftwalls of lava show the enormous powers of creations when the plates slowly pull each other apart. As the day proceeds, the tempo of the ride rises as our horses get the “smell of home“ when getting closer to Saltvík farm. The last hour of the ride is offering a magnificent view over the bay of Skjálfandi and the high mountains across the sea. In the evening we have our farewell dinner at Saltvík farm celebrating the journey with hopefully some good stories from the adventures of the past week!
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.
Duration 6 days
Departure dates Jun 15 2020 Jun 22 2020
Tour operator Bjarni Páll and Elsa
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