Laxnes Horse Farm is a farm just outside of Mosfellsbær on Route 36 heading towards Þingvellir. They offer a variety of horse tours, including multi-day riding tours, but we did the Laxnes Special, about a 2-hour scenic ride along the Kaldakvísl river towards Mosfellsbær and back. They picked us up at our hotel and shuttled us to the farm, where we got helmets and the staff gauged our riding experience. My wife had ridden when she was younger and was a little adventurous, but I've only done it once and was a little nervous, so they gave me a gentler horse named Binko. Our group was about 20 people and they split us into a fast group and a slow group. Needless to say, I stayed with the slow group, but it was a fun and exciting ride nonetheless. Binko liked to stop and munch on some grass along the way, but didn't like other horses to get in front of her, so after she had a bite or two, she'd take off and get back to her place in line. She also seemed quite offended when the horse in front of her had gas - she waved her head in disgust and raced around the offending horse to get in front. When we got to the turnaround point, we dismounted and let the horses graze for a bit before heading back. Overall, we had a great time, although I was a bit scared a few times when Binko would take off. And the staff at the farm seemed to genuinely care about the horses. We would definitely visit again the next time we're in Iceland.
Mosfellsbær is a great little town for hiking with many miles of paved greenways, bridle and hiking trails with easy access to the beach and mountains, all within a few kilometers. Heading towards the coast, there is a paved trail that leads past several horse pastures to a small peninsula jutting out into the cove where the Leirvogsá, Kaldakvísl, and Varmá Rivers flow into the sea. Its a great spot to watch for shore birds. A trail following the Kaldakvísl River upstream passes Waterfall Tungufoss, a very nice waterfall just downstream from the bridge where Route 1 crosses the river. Past the waterfall, bridge, and a few more cascades, there is a trail that crosses the street and leads up Mount Helgafell at 216 meters. Although not very high, a short portion of the trail goes directly up the mountain without switchbacks and is quite steep. But the views from Mount Helgafell are very nice - downtown Reykjavík can be seen on a clear day. Following the paved trail in the opposite direction on Route 1 (towards Reykjavík), there is another trail heading up Úlfarsfell. Another very steep, but short hike up with great views from the top. There is even a park bench along the trail.
After a busy day of sightseeing, a couple on the tour bus suggested we try the coffeehouse in Álafoss. We had snacked on the bus and weren't super hungry so we both had a bowl of the traditional meat soup (lamb). We sat out on the deck and enjoyed having a blanket to warm up with while we ate. The meat soup was really good and the beautiful setting was a great spot for dinner. We also got a discount as customers of Hotel Laxnes. I would definitely come back here if I was in Mosfellsbær again.
Favorite Dish: Traditional meat soup, lamb with vegetables, was very good.