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Travel bucket list idea:

Ride Icelandic horses

  • Iceland

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 23 April, 2024

Icelandic horses – smaller, shaggy-coated and with a distinctive gait known as the tolt – have been specially bred here since Viking times. Found nowhere else, these hardy beasts hold a special place in Icelandic life and culture.

Tour operators offer whole-day and half-day riding tours from stables close to Reykjavik, as well as longer excursions. If you like horses – and even if you don’t – it’s a worthy excursion.

Logistics

Price from: £50
Minimum age: 6
Age suitable: 6+
When: All year around
Duration: 1+ hours

Getting there & doing it

Tours start from stables located 10- to 30-minutes’ drive from Reykjavik, with transfers included in the tour price. All equipment, including rainwear, is included.

Short rides are offered daily, all year round. Multi-day tours generally run from mid-May to mid-September. Start times vary by operator.

Ishestar is the closest stables to Reykjavik and runs day rides, plus longer Northern Lights, highland and countryside tours to Gullfoss and Geysir. All abilities are welcome.

Eldhestar is one of Iceland’s oldest established stables. They run half-day and whole-day trips. Day trips take in volcanic beaches, mountains and hot springs.

Islenski Hesturinn is another good option for small group tours, and they also offer personalized options for more experienced riders.

Last, but not least, the excellent Skalakot Manor Hotel has its own stable and runs horse treks from its own grounds into the surrounding wilderness.

When to do it

Horse riding is only practical in Iceland when weather permits i.e. when there’s no snow on the ground. That makes summer and autumn the best times to do it: most providers will offer rides from around April until October, but it does depend on conditions. If it’s very wet, tours may be cancelled at short notice for safety reasons.

Who to go with: organised tours

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