Join one of our horse riding tours to experience Iceland in a truly unique way. The Icelandic horse is one of the cutest animals you’ll see in the country! You’ll likely see many of these adorable creatures on your visit to Iceland because there are around 80,000 horses and just 370,000 inhabitants (that’s 1 horse for every 4.63 people)! Short, but sturdy and intelligent, these animals make charming companions on your intrepid exploration of Icelandic nature in true Viking fashion.
The horse was brought to Iceland when the country was settled in the 9th century and it was the only means of transportation across the rugged Icelandic landscape. Today people ride the Icelandic horse for pleasure, traveling, and competition, and there is a high demand for these friendly and strong horses all over the world.
A horseback riding tour is the best way to experience the Icelandic horse. You’ll meet the other visitors in your small tour group on location and be given the right equipment for the activity. Then you’ll be matched to your horse for the remainder of the day, selected to match your height so that you can ride comfortably. Naturally, novices may be given easier horses to ride, and more confident equestrians paired with horses with more personality or strength.
After you’ve been shown how to correctly mount and control the Icelandic horse under you, it’s time to ride! The group may be split into groups depending on the confidence of the riders, with a slower walk-only group or a more exhilarating chance to try out the unique 5 gates of the horses. Then the ride begins, and you can relax and enjoy the rolling landscape before you! If you’re ever struggling to control the horse’s direction or speed, you’ll have plenty of friendly guides around you to ask or help out.
You’ll usually get a break after a stretch of the ride (mainly for the horses, not the humans). This is ideal for taking pictures, both of the scenery and of you on the majestic horses, while they have a snack. Our guides are happy to get shots of all the tour groups while visitors can say hello to the other Icelandic horses in the group.
If you aren’t an avid equestrian, you might be unsure of what to wear on your Icelandic horseback riding tour. First and foremost, wear comfortable clothes. While you won’t exert yourself too much, you will be out on the horses for over an hour, so it’s important to be comfy.
Long pants will save your legs from chafing against the saddle. The clothes should be quite close to your skin so they won’t get tangled in the equipment. Try to avoid long scarves for the same reason. The weather in Iceland is very unpredictable, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers. If it gets too cold or too hot, you can easily adjust your outfit just by adding or removing a layer or two.
Warm, waterproof, closed-toe shoes with a small heel will keep your feet comfortable and in the stirrups.
We offer a range of horse riding tours where you’ll not only get to meet these charming, four-legged Icelanders but also explore unique Icelandic landscapes! All of our horseback riding tours are in small groups and led by experienced tour guides. Choose from a horse riding day tour or combine your riding experience with another adventure such as snorkeling, rafting, or a hike to hot spring pools. We offer tours from Reykjavík and from other locations, so pick a spot most convenient for you and join us for your ultimate horseback riding tour in Iceland!
Ride through the rolling Icelandic countryside on a Viking steed just outside Reykjavík! This tour is perfect for you if you’re looking for a relaxing ride. Spend an hour gently trotting on a trail between the Bláfjöll Mountains on one side and moss-covered lava fields on the other.
For a longer ride, choose our 5-hour horse riding lava tour from Reykjavík. This tour will take you through lava fields and across beautiful hillsides with the peaks of the Bláfjöll Mountains on the horizon.
Explore the South Coast on horseback on our black beach tour. Ride through dramatic, volcanically scarred scenery and explore the black sand at Víkurfjara Beach. We offer a family tour option on this trip so everyone can enjoy remarkable Icelandic horse riding!
Travel in true Icelandic spirit through wild meadows and rough lava fields in south Iceland. This tour will take you past several farms and the guide will tell you about the development of agriculture in the country. To wrap up the heritage tour, you are warmly invited for a traditional home-baked treat and a hot drink.
If you’re looking for an add-on to your horse riding afternoon, combine your excursion with other activities.
Explore lava fields from above and below, on our combo horse riding and lava cave tour! Walk, climb, and crawl inside the Leiðarendi Cave to discover the marvels that volcanoes created more than 2,000 years ago. Once you’re above the ground, jump on your steed and immerse yourself in a horseback riding adventure through stunning Icelandic nature.
If you have a need for speed, mix your horseback tour with an off-road ATV mountain ride. This adrenaline rush is available just outside of Reykjavík, all year round. Ride an Icelandic horse and then compare one horsepower to that of our Can-Am Outlander Max Quad bikes!
Ice adventure seekers will love the combination of horse riding and a glacier hike. Use ice crampons and an ice axe to walk on the ice and hike on top of Sólheimajökull Glacier. The icecap is carved with dramatic ice formations including rugged ridges, crevasses, and sinkholes. Once you descend, make your way to the village of Vik, where you’ll find the horses waiting to take you through the unique Víkurfjara black sand beach.
Visit one of the Golden Circle highlights, Thingvellir National Park, on a horseback riding and snorkeling tour. Take the plunge into the underwater world in Silfra Fissure, which is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling and diving. Crystal-clear water reveals exceptional sights of plants and fish swimming in between two tectonic plates. There’s no rightful word to describe the true beauty of this place — you’ll just have to ride here and see for yourselves.
Watersports enthusiasts will be excited to learn that we also offer river rafting and horse riding combo tours! These are available from May to September so don’t miss a chance to spend an adventure-packed day in nature, riding sturdy Icelandic horses and paddling down the mighty Hvitá River.
No, you don’t need to have any experience with horses of any kind. Our tours are designed to cater to people of all abilities, which means those with more experience will find it just as enjoyable as novice equestrians. Our friendly guides will teach you all you need to know about the equipment and riding the horses themselves.
It’s actually possible year-round to ride Icelandic horses in Iceland. However, the summer months when the weather is fairest make for the best time to embark on one of our incredible horse riding tours.
The duration of your tour will depend on the type of tour you choose. However, horseback riding tours in Iceland typically last between 1 and 2 hours, so that you can enjoy the experience without over-working these gentle creatures.
The answer to this is a resounding ‘yes’. Icelandic horses are well-known for their intelligence and gentle nature. They are also very obedient, and will typically follow the other horses in the group. It’s always important to pay attention to safety and behavior instructions from your guides so that the tour can be as comfortable as possible for you and the animals.
While riding your Icelandic horse, you may want to capture the experience with a photograph. It’s important to keep a tight hold of your phone while moving so it doesn't get lost or trampled, but you are otherwise welcome to take pictures. The tour will usually make a halfway stop, where your guides will be more than happy to take some pictures on your devices of you and these magnificent creatures.
Bad weather in Iceland can roll in quickly, meaning that even some days in the summer months experience poor conditions. Unfortunately, if your guides deem it unsafe to continue with the tour, the tour may be rescheduled during your time in Iceland. While the animals are adapted for Iceland’s weather conditions with a thick coat, we want to make sure you have the best experience possible.