Sundlaugin á Hofsós
Pólar Hestar , one of the best-known stables in northern Iceland, offers a great introduction to riding for the uninitiated, as well as acclaimed six- to eight-day horse-riding tours (five or six days in the saddle). The farm has over 100 horses and the owners’ little boy has memorised all of their names. Complimentary pastries are served during breaks.
Six kilometres north of the Ring Road, slow-paced Hvammstangi’s biggest (and pretty much only) attraction is the Icelandic Seal Centre , where you can learn about seal conservation, historic seal products used in Iceland, and traditional folk tales involving seals. There’s also a small tourist information point here.
New roads and regular bus service makes it easy to pop up to and the surrounding national park. Super-Jeep tours can be arranged from the Reykjahlíð information centre (Ikr12,000), which take in Krafla, Gjástykki, Hafragilsfoss, Selfoss and Dettifoss on a seven-hour trip.
Hilariously positioned in the middle of nowhere, Vopnafjörður’s swimming pool is located at Selásundlaug, 13km north of town along Rte 85 just south of the river Selá. It’s definitely worth a stop, if only for a quick pop in the natural hot pot.
For information on hiking in the area, contact Ferðafélag Akureyrar and check out the helpful collection of Útivist & afþreying hiking maps (there are seven in the series – #1 and #2 focus on the Eyjafjörður area).
And as scenic as the waterfront area is, we recommend a walk through the gorgeously peaceful town park, to admire the duck-filled stream. Access is via a footbridge on Ásgarðsvegur, or beside Árból guesthouse.
Arctic Travel will take you to the Arctic Circle by boat – they’ll even give you a little certificate. Sea-angling, sightseeing and midnight cruises are also on offer. Call for pricing details.
Serious horse riders should book ahead with Brekkulækur , 9km south from the Hvammstangi turn-off, which offers adventurous and highly acclaimed multiday trips (€1000 to €2500 for eight to 15 days).
Drangeyjarferðir is the only formal tour operator that visits Drangey, offering three-hour trips departing from Reykir (near Grettislaug; left), 16km north of Sauðarkrókur.
Norðanhestar , located just beyond the campsite site at Hamrar, offers scenic riding trips, horse-wagon tours and short sightseeing excursions in Akureyri’s old town district.
Haffari offers sightseeing and sea angling tours (three hours; adult/child Ikr3900/1950), departing from Akureyri’s old port. Trips depart at 3.30pm and 8pm daily.