The Icelandic horse is exceptionally sure-footed, capable of carrying riders safely through lava fields or over rocky mountain paths. Indeed, there is perhaps no better way of exploring the Icelandic landscape than from the back of an Icelandic horse. Whether you’re an experienced rider or have you never been on a horse before (but want to get to know the unique Icelandic horse), there are plenty of different horse riding tours offered in Iceland.
Below, you will find information on the best horse riding tours in Iceland. No matter your experience, you should always be able to find a tour that suits you.
The Lava Tour – The ideal tour for everybody
The Lava Tour is an excellent tour for everybody – beginners and more experienced riders alike. Before departing, riders are split into two groups: those who would like to go faster and try out the tölt (the distinctive gait of the Icelandic horse) and those who prefer going slowly.
The Lava tour is also great because its point of departure is a mere 15-minute drive from Reykjavík. If you don’t have a rental car, the operator offers a pick-up service from any hotel or bus stop within the city, as well.
You will get to ride through a dramatic landscape with endless lava fields and a fantastic view of Mount Helgafell (formed in the late ice age when a volcano erupted under a glacier). The Icelandic horse, lava fields, a volcanic mountain – that’s a real Icelandic experience.
Book the Lava Tour here!
(Riding time is about 1.5 to 2 hours.)
Soft River Banks – for experienced riders
The Soft River Banks tour is better suited to experienced riders. The groups are small, to ensure a safe and fun experience for everyone, and participants will enjoy plenty of tölt on pleasant trails along the river banks of the mighty glacial river Ölvusá. On a clear day, riders will be able to see the volcanos Hekla and Eyjafjallajökull in the distance. The tour takes place on a farm in Southwest Iceland, about a 35-minute drive from Reykjavík. If you don’t have a rental car, they offer a free pick-up service from Reykjavík.
If you are an advanced rider looking for a unique riding experience in Iceland, you should not miss out on this tour.
Book this tour here!
(Riding time is about 2,5 to 3 hours.)
Family Adventure – Bring the kids along!
Ideal for those travellers staying in Reykjavík who don’t want to drive too far (or require a pick-up), the Family Adventure tour is an excellent experience for the whole family. Operated by the same farm that offers the Lava Tour, the Family Adventure tour is suitable for horse lovers of all ages. Children from the age of six are allowed to participate, riding on the farm’s safest and calmest horses (kids under the age of six can ride in a paddock on a lead line).
All the necessary gear – helmets, rubber boots, rain gear, or warm overalls – are included.
Book your family adventure here!
(The tour lasts ca. thirty minutes.)
Beach ride – For beginners and experienced riders
Imagine riding an Icelandic horse on a beautiful black sand beach with waves rolling onto the shore beside you. Sounds like a dream or something straight out of a movie? Well, in Iceland, this dream can come true. Two different tours offer a horse riding on a black sand beach:
For fit riders:
Riding on the beach is not necessarily for experienced riders only, but you have to be able to ride for about five to six hours with breaks (the tour is managed by the same farm that offers the Soft River Banks tour). The trip begins on a black sand beach on the south shore. You’ll ride along the riverbank of the Ölvusá river and through the shallow water of the river delta (before reaching the farm). As the horses must be hauled to the beach for this tour, it is only offered during summer (May 15 – September 15).
The tour includes free pick-up service from Reykjavík along with a light lunch. Book it here!
The black beach riding tour takes place on the famous black sand beach on the south coast. The tour starts in the picturesque town of Vík, which means that you’ll need a rental car (approximately 2.5 hours from Reykjavík). It is a one-hour ride along the black sand beach, which suits both beginners as well as experienced riders. The landscape is impressive, as you will see colossal bird cliffs as well as the two famous black basalt rocks called Reynisdrangar in the ocean, which makes this ride a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Book this horse riding tour here!
If you want to learn more about the Icelandic horse, here is an article about nine things you didn’t know about the Icelandic horse. We hope you have found your perfect horse riding tour in Iceland by now. If you have any further questions or want more tour options, feel free to contact us.
Please note: It is illegal to import used riding gear - saddles, bridles, and other leather products - to Iceland. Furthermore, all other riding gear, like clothes, have to be cleaned and disinfected professionally before arrival.