PÓLAR HESTAR, our family business in Northern Iceland, has been existing for 35 years now. Our company was established by Stefán Kristjánsson in 1985. He dreamt of sharing the experience of riding through the breath-taking and unique nature of his home country with people from all over the world. His dream became true and until today riding tours into the enchanting surroundings of our farm delight our guests.
Our farm Grýtubakki is the heart of our company. We own about 150 well trained, sure footed, robust and cuddly horses. Furthermore, the farm is home to about 270 sheep, the dogs Lóa and Smári, several cats, rabbits and a few cackling chickens.
This page provides information about our farm and its inhabitants, about our surroundings and where to find us. Additionally, you can find important annotations concerning our riding tours and learn how to become a part of our team. Last but not least our online shop invites you to browse through.
Good to know
Prices are per person and include the outlined program. Discounts are given for children up to 12 years of age.
Individual travel insurance is not included in the tour prices. We encourage clients to obtain relevant travel insurance before visiting Iceland. All tours are undertaken at the participants own risk.
At Grýtubakki we insist that all our guests use riding helmets. We provide helmets, riding gloves, rain clothes as well as buffs. Prepare for all kind of weather when traveling to Iceland. Bring warm and weatherproof clothes, good shoes, gloves and hat/headband.
Booking of Short Riding Tours
Short riding tours (1, 2, 3 and 4 hours) can be booked by contacting us directly via email (email@example.com) or phone (+354 896 1879 or +354 893 1879). Please book the tours in advance. If you have booked the riding tour a long time ago please confirm the ride one day prior to the arranged date. This may be done via email, SMS or phone.
Since we are often busy outside, taking care of our horses and guests, we are very thankful if you could let us know about last-minute bookings or changes via phone and not via email.
More info here
Our farm Grýtubakki is located about 35 km (22 mi) away from Akureyri on the east side of Eyafjörður at road 83 in direction Grenivík. From Akureyri, it takes you about 35 minutes by car to reach our place. Both the town Húsavík and the lake Mývatn are situated about 90 km (56 mi) away from our farm. The driving time is one hour and 15 minutes. The waterfall Goðafoss is only a 45 minutes’ drive or 50 km (31 mi) away from Grýtubakki.
Coming from Akureyri: Please follow the Ring Road in direction Egilsstaðir until reaching the roundabout in front of the tunnel Vaðlaheiðargöng. Do NOT drive through the tunnel! Instead, take the second exit in direction Grenivík (road 83). Follow this road until arriving at our farm. Do a left-hand turn when reaching the junction to Víkurskarð. After driving by the turf houses called Láufas and over the bridge across the river Fnjóská turn left. Our farm is located about 4 km (2,5 mi) further away on the right-hand side of the road and is marked by two big signs (“Pólar Hestar” and “Riding Tours”).
Coming from the east: Driving on the Ring Road in direction Akureyri, there are three possibilities to reach our farm – through the valley Fnjóskádalur, via the pass Víkurskarð or through the tunnel Vaðlaheiðargöng. The gravel road 835 through the valley Fnjóskádalur forks off the Ring Road to the right just before reaching a bridge across the river Fnjóská. Please follow the road for 22 km (14 mi). The road ends in road 83 in direction Grenivík. Drive on for about 4 km (2,5 mi) to arrive at our farm (see above). The road 84 via the pass Víkurskarð forks off the Ring Road, too. In good weather it provides a fantastic view over the fjord Eyafjörður. Please turn to the right into road 83 in direction Grenivík at the end of the pass. Follow this road as stated above. We advise you not to drive through the tunnel unless both other possibilities are impassable, as doing so extents your driving time and distance. Take the first exit in the roundabout right after the tunnel in direction Grenivík (road 83) and follow the directions as if coming from Akureyri.
Please note: You have to pay a fee for using the tunnel. For information about pricing and payment visit: http://www.veggjald.is/en.
The main building is the heart of our farm Grýtubakki. There, our guests are welcome to have breakfast, some refreshments in the afternoon and dinner. Overnight, our guests are staying in one of three cozy cottages, located slightly away from the main building. Each cottage contains a shared-bathroom including a shower as well as two to four homely rooms offering space for up to 26 guests. In addition to multiple four-bedrooms there are five twin bedrooms available.
Whether our guests spend their whole riding-holiday living in the guest-houses on our farm depends on the sort of riding tour they booked. If the riding tour is not confined to the surroundings of the farm, the guests will spend the night at other farms, guest-houses, mountain huts, community halls or schools. Often, schools in Iceland are repurposed for sleeping accommoda-tions during the summer months. While the different guest-houses offer more comfort, mountain huts are often located within breath-taking lonely landscapes which allow our guests to experience the Icelandic wilderness in its original purity.
From mid-June to the end of September our guest-houses are for our riding tour guests, only. It is possible to book a Bed & Breakfast stay without joining one of our riding tours off-season. If you are interested, please contact us via e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Our farm Grýtubakki is located below impressive mountains on the east side of Eyjafjörður, one of the longest fjords in Iceland, and about 35 km away from Akureyri, the capital of the North. The surrounding landscape is characterised by the coastline of the fjord, high mountains, whooshing rivers and gurgling streams, wet meadows littered with cotton gras and lush green valleys. This enormous diversity of the environment invites you to discover and enjoy the Icelandic nature on horseback by joining one of our various riding tours. However, there is a lot more to do and see in our region which is situated on the route of the Artic coast way which was officially opened in June 2019. Via its coastal roads it connects remote places, exciting activities, accommodations, gastronomy and wonderful nature in Northern Iceland (https://www.arcticcoastway.is/
The little fishing town Grenivík is located only a few kilometres north of Grýtubakki. The village is home to about 250 inhabitants and has plenty to offer to visitors, too. In the grocery store Jónsabúð you can get everything required for the daily needs. The swimming pool invites you to relax in the hot water and enjoy the fantastic view over the fjord. Furthermore, the fishing museum provides an interesting insight into the Icelandic fishery. It is situated by the water next to the pier, which is one of the beautiful spots in and around Grenivík to enjoy the panorama of the fjord and the mountains, look at the midnight sun or maybe even get to see some whales playing in the clear seawater.
Grenivík is located at the foot of the 1,173 m high mountain Kaldbakur. In good weather, climbing its summit promises a breathtaking view over Eyjafjörður and the surrounding mountains. For hiking enthusiasts there is a lot to discover in the vicinity of our farm Grýtubakki. Ascending the 260 m high Þengilhöfði which is situated south of Grenivík is suitable for almost everyone and provides a stunning panorama view over the surrounding area. For those who want to face a really challenging climb mountains such as Blámannshattur and Laufáshnjúkur are worth consideration. Likewise, the ancient sites of Fjörður, which was inhabited until the middle of last century, and the coast Látraströnd north of Grenivík are a paradise for hikers.
And one more pearl! The little restaurant: Mathús- milli fjöru og fjalla! Just check it out!
Just a few kilometeres south of our farm, there is an old farmhouse made of turf, named Láufas. The current buildings date back to the middle of the 19th century and tell about the life of people in ancient times. The heritage site has been the home of priests for nearly 1000 years with the present priest still living on the premises. The existing church was built in 1865. At the visitor centre you can find further information about nature and history of the countryside as well as handcrafts and souvenirs.