Friðheimar Tomato Farm

Dine inside a greenhouse restaurant and meet Icelandic horses

By Michael Chapman

Friðheimar Tomato Farm

By Michael Chapman

Dine inside a greenhouse restaurant and meet Icelandic horses

Tomatoes are the name of the game at Friðheimar, an organic farm, horse ranch and restaurant located by the Golden Circle sightseeing route in South Iceland.

While Iceland might be most famous for its raw and ethereal nature, its cultural hubs—be they orientated towards art, history or food—have come on leaps and bounds over the last ten or so years.

Friðheimar tomato farm is one example of a family-run business that continues moving from strength to strength, cementing it as a firm favourite among the many thousands of visitors who arrive in Iceland each year. Let us look further at what makes this fascinating stop so worthy of your time. 

History of Friðheimar

Greenhouses in Iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Sebastian Herrman)

Geothermal energy was first used at Friðheimar as early as 1946, but it was not until a local couple, Knútur and Helena, purchased the property in 1995 that things started to heat up. After finishing construction on new greenhouses, a souvenir’s emporium and an equestrian centre (complete with an outdoor arena and 20-horse stable,) Friðheimar was finally able to declare itself a mainstay of the area; no less, a thoroughbred Icelandic institution.

Today, Friðheimar grows four different strains of tomato. This productivity is despite the long and hard winters in Iceland and is mostly down to climate control computers and how their artificial lighting simulates daytime. These methods were inspired by Knútur and Helena’s frequent trips to Finland, where the local people are highly experienced in growing produce in less-than-optimum conditions.

Tomatoes in the hand
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Jametlene Resk)

Combining their shared passions for horticulture and horses, Friðheimar was envisioned to be an ambitious, environmentally-conscious operation. In this bright and secluded oasis, guests discover fresh ingredients, chow down on delicious meals and appreciate both the wildlife and serene loveliness of their surroundings. Greenhouse tours provide insight into how the farm is run and provides a deeper understanding of the unique challenges of growing tomatoes and other produce in Iceland. 

It is not only horses and tomatoes on which Friðheimar focuses their many talents. Cucumbers have also become something of a speciality, served both in-house and prepared and pickled as souvenirs for customers. Make sure to pick up yourself some jarred treats at the small yet delightful ‘Little Tomato Shop’ the next time you swing by. 

Friðheimar makes a fantastic lunch stop while exploring the Golden Circle route and is best visited after a morning spent at Þingvellir National Park.


Travelling to Iceland?

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Friðheimar Restaurant

Tomato dishes in Iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Jakub Kapusnak)

When it’s time to eat, guests are served their food amid the growing plants, making for what feels like a fresh and authentic dining experience. Whilst primarily tomato-based, the menu is as eclectic as it is alluring, with a range of courses to suit even the pickiest eaters in the family.   

Famished travellers will find themselves spoilt for choice. Surrounded by lush green vines, ripe with produce, a decision will have to eventually be made between the freshly cooked mussels in tomato sauce or the stone-baked tortilla with basil and mozzarella filling. Then again, traditional tomato soups and home-baked ravioli sound equally tempting. 

After your meal, when your belt threatens to buckle, you’ll be offered irresistible desserts like tomato and apple pie, cinnamon cheesecake or even tomato ice cream! If you have the room for it, such sweet treats prove to be the perfect fuel for an afternoon spent sightseeing.

Hot coffee is served!
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Nathan Dumlao)

There is also a healthy selection of tomato-based drinks on offer, ranging from three-types of Bloody Mary, tomato schnapps and even tomato beer! If none of these tantalise your pallet, there are regular coffees and teas available too. It would be remiss of us not to recommend you sample the tomato-espresso, however. Where else will you have the opportunity?

Everything that leaves the kitchen is personally overseen by master chef, K.B. Sigfússon, who has experience serving heads of state around the world despite being local to the area. Before tucking in, proud foodies will no doubt revel in the exquisite presentation of every dish served and will rest easy knowing a real culinary expert prepared it.

Friðheimar Restaurant is open throughout the year from noon until 4 PM. Thanks to its popularity among locals and visitors alike, it is always advised to book a table before your arrival.

Friðheimar Horse Show

Horses in Iceland
(Photo Credit: Kevin Bridges)

When summer rolls around, Friðheimar puts on its very own horse show, which takes place in their impressive 120-seat outdoor arena. Here, riders display their skill on the saddle while simultaneously showcasing the many merits of Iceland’s unique horse breed.

Known for their intelligence and personable nature, as well as pony-like size and five gaits (or trotting styles if you’d rather), it is impossible not to fall in love with these creatures. Soon enough, you’ll share that same passion for equestrianism that bore Friðheimar into existence in the first place.

A man greets a horse in Iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Ethan Hu)

As the show is known, a Meeting with the Icelandic Horse is available in 14 languages. It comes complete with music, hot drinks, and plenty of opportunities to take photos and greet the horses themselves. Travelling groups will be able to watch this delightful event between May and September each year.

Horse breeding is also big business at Friðheimar, with over forty horses now under their ownership. The farm regularly does well at breeding evaluations, with three of their stallions having won first prize at competitions over previous years. Friðheimar breeders hope to draw out the best traits in their horses, namely animals with a good disposition, attractive appearance and ability to trot in five ways.

How to get to Friðheimar

An aerial shot of road in Iceland
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: Josh Withers)

Friðheimar is officially a part of Reykholt village in the Bláskógabyggð municipality of South Iceland. As we mentioned above, this puts it within easy reach of anyone driving between the three sites that have made the Golden Circle so famous: Þingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal valley and Gullfoss waterfall. You can find the exact distances below:

Friðheimar to Þingvellir – 50 minutes (59.1 kilometres)
Friðheimar to Geysir – 16 minutes (19.1 kilometres)
Friðheimar to Gullfoss – 25 minutes (28.7 kilometres)
Friðheimar to Reykjavik – 1 hour 18 minutes (96.6 kilometres)

Icelandic coffee
(Unsplash. Photo Credit: J E S U S R O C H A)

Because of these distances, we advise you to visit Thingvellir in the morning and then take your lunch break at Fridheimar before venturing on towards Geysir and Gullfoss. Doing so is, without doubt, the best way to maximise your time.

Of course, this schedule only applies to guests driving themselves around the Golden Circle. Others would much rather leave the driving to somebody else, relaxing by the passenger window as their tour guide tells stories and facts about the local area. There is no better option for exactly such people than to book one of our fabulous Golden Circle bubble tours


Travelling to Iceland?

Check our overnight tours with a driver guide that includes a one night stay in a bubble.
See Guided Tours

*Starting from ISK 74.900 per person