The stunning natural wonders of Iceland invite to embark on an unforgettable horseback ride through lush greenery. Experience the thrill of riding along dramatic landscapes such as black sand beaches. Soak in all the sights and sounds of Iceland as you travel in style across the incredible landscapes of this unique country.
Horse riding is a popular activity in Iceland for both visitors and locals alike. You can take a range of guided horse riding tours across Iceland in diverse locations, from the beach to the mountains, or even next to a mighty glacier!
There are Iceland horseback riding experiences for everyone and every ability level. Easier routes will take you across even and level terrain. Whereas, more challenging routes for advanced riders can wind through mountainous and uneven ground.
An experienced guide will come along and assist you on your Iceland horseback riding tour. You can choose from either a short day trip lasting from one to several hours. Or You can choose an extended Iceland horseback riding vacation, usually lasting from a few days to a week.
Did you know that Iceland has its own special breed of horse? The Icelandic horse is a unique breed of small horse that was first brought to Iceland by the Vikings as far back as 900 AD.
The Icelandic horse is a result of centuries of selective breeding and strict import bans. It stands as one of the purest horse breeds globally, akin to the Icelandic sheep. Icelandic horses adapted to their chilly environment by growing thick winter coats, which they shed when the sun comes out in spring.
The Icelandic horse has a special gait called a tölt, which is a smooth, four-beat gait. This is very comfortable for riders, as you hardly move at all, while the horse’s legs move quickly.
Some may think the Icelandic horse is a pony due to its relatively small size. If you’re looking for Iceland pony rides, you can take a look at our selection of recommended Icelandic horse riding experiences below. Be aware, though, that Icelanders are actually very proud of their horses, so we advise you not to call them ponies to avoid offending the locals!
Heading to Iceland and planning to enjoy a horse riding tour while you’re there? Let’s take a look at what you can expect from your horse riding experience in Iceland at different times of the year. We'll include the best time for horseback riding in Iceland.
Due to the warmer weather and greater accessibility, summer is the best time for horseback riding in Iceland. From around April to September, you’ll find more horseback riding Iceland tours on offer and many more locations across the country to choose from.
Some more remote areas of Iceland are only accessible during summer, such as the incredibly beautiful Central Highlands. You’ll also be able to enjoy extended daylight hours during the summertime, so you’ll have more chance to explore the beauty of Iceland atop a majestic horse!
Warm and mild weather in summer will make your horse riding experience in Iceland more enjoyable. You might even be able to ride a horse in Iceland during the famous Midnight Sun, where the sun is still shining at midnight during the peak of summer – magical!
Taking a horseback ride during winter is an amazing way to experience the winter wonderland that is Iceland from around October to March. While some areas and roads may be inaccessible during winter due to severe weather, shorter horseback riding tours near Reykjavik and select areas are still available.
The best thing about Iceland horseback riding in winter is that you might even be lucky enough to experience the Northern Lights while riding a horse across the beautiful Icelandic landscapes. Witnessing the magical spectacle of this awesome light show while out and about in nature is sure to be an experience you won’t soon forget!
Peak Northern Lights viewing times are from December to February. Definitely wrap up warm if you plan to take a horseback ride during these months – you’ll need layers and a thick, padded coat.
In Iceland, you have an amazing selection of places to enjoy horseback riding. There are so many guided Icelandic horse tours to choose from, depending on your experience level, where you’d like to go and what’s accessible at the time.
Let’s take a look through some of the best places for horseback riding in Iceland and top Iceland horseback riding vacations to give you an idea!
Close to Reykjavik, you’ll find lots of amazing natural landscapes to explore on your horseback riding tour. The capital is the perfect base from which to enjoy a horseback riding tour, before heading back to the city for the evening. Here are some of our favorite Reykjavik horseback riding experiences:
If you’d love to traverse a black sand beach by horse, then we recommend horseback riding in Vik, Iceland. The incredible and otherworldly Reynsfjara black sand beach is located here next to the picturesque village of Vik on the southern coast of the country. It is one of the most popular places in Iceland for horseback riding.
The incredible Snæfellsnes Peninsula is one of the most picturesque locations for horseback riding in Iceland. Less than 2 hours away from Reykjavik by car, a trip to admire the untouched natural scenery of this stunning peninsula is definitely one for your Iceland bucket list!
Iceland’s famous Golden Circle is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with many natural wonders located along this easy-to-drive route. You can combine your Iceland horse riding experience with a trip to the Golden Circle to tick two must-do activities off your itinerary in one go!
Iceland’s fifth-largest city, Akureyri, is a fantastic location for horseback riding in Northern Iceland. With stunning fjords, lush countryside and towering mountains, the area around Akureyri is breathtaking to explore atop an Icelandic horse.
While you’re up in North Iceland, we recommend taking a trip to the fishing town of Husavik for a spectacular horseback riding experience.
If you’re looking for a more extended horsebacking riding experience, check out these fantastic Iceland horseback riding vacations:
Get set for your Iceland horseback riding vacation with our top tips to make the most of your experience!
Excited to enjoy your very own Iceland horseback riding adventure? Get started making your dream Iceland horse riding vacation a reality by planning your itinerary, finding accommodation and reserving your rental vehicle.
Enjoy the ultimate freedom to travel to the very best Iceland horseback riding locations by reserving a car in Iceland ready for your trip. Why not pick up an affordable car rental in Reykjavik at the very start of your visit? That way, you’ll be able to explore Iceland to your heart’s content. Our beautiful Icelandic horses are waiting for you!