Exploring Iceland on Horseback
Let me begin by saying that if you’ve never been exploring on horseback, Iceland is the perfect place to start! With its beautiful landscape, cooler temperatures and one-of-a-kind Icelandic horses, this is an adventure your family won’t want to miss. Now, saddle-up because I’m about to share all the details of a wonderful riding adventure.
An Adventure Horseback Riding in Iceland
Why In Iceland
Exploring Iceland on horseback with its natural, breathtaking environment is something you should definitely try at least once in a lifetime. In addition to being a beautifully encompassing experience, it is also the most authentic form of regional travel that you will ever find.
The Icelandic horse was one of the first inhabitants of this volcanic island. It has developed unique abilities to ride softly across every terrain, including rocky and uneven landscapes, glacial rivers and even the sinking sands of Iceland’s black and white sand beaches. While this breed is much smaller than an average horse, its strong physique, capacity to carry heavy loads across multiple types of terrain, and ability to withstand cold temperatures because of its heavy and coarse double coat are just a few of the reasons why this is the only type of horse you will ever find in Iceland.
This horse is also known for its spirited temperament and large personality, making it a fun and easy-going experience for both horse and rider. Bottom line, it is a somewhat small and unusually friendly animal that is perfectly sized for kids yet strong enough to carry even the heaviest adult.
The Who, What And Where
Whenever I look for family adventures, I always scour multiple internet sites to see who has the best reviews and recommendations. There was one horseback riding company in Iceland, called Íshestar, that stood out above the rest for having earned extremely positive feedback throughout its 32 years in business, so that’s who I decided to booked with. In addition to offering both long and short trips, Íshestar also provides transfer service to and from the hotels as well as all the necessary and required riding gear.
My family and I decided to take the Lava Tour which was suggested to be ideal for families with children. After getting suited up and hearing the instructions, we set out from the Íshestar Riding Centre in Hafnarfjörður and traveled through massive lava fields and along the beautiful green hillsides of Iceland. In addition to enjoying the wonderful scenery, which included incredible rock formations in the lava, we also loved the very fun ride on a friendly little horse.
While our guides gave each of us an opportunity to take our Icelandic horse into a full-blown trot, they also offered the option to break off into a separate group, for those more adventurous and skilled riders who wanted to take to the terrain at a consistently faster pace. In my opinion, this made the tour ideal for both beginners and more experienced riders.
Giddy Up, Guys and Gals
While this wasn’t my family’s first experience on horseback, I think we all agreed that it was one of our very favorites. Maybe it was the crisp, cool air, the beautiful scenery or even the friendly guides, but perhaps it was those magical Icelandic horses that made this one extra special. Whatever the reason, I can say with certainty that if you’re heading to Iceland, you ought to let ’em ride partner. It’s a memorable trip!
You may also enjoy:
- Tips for Visiting Iceland With Kids
- Tour the Golden Circle of Iceland
- Adventures in South Iceland with Kids
- The Very Best Tips for Visiting Iceland’s Blue Lagoon
- Wondering where to stay in Reykjavik? Consider Hilton Reykjavik Nordica or Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre.
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Belonging to the rare breed known as native Floridian, Mary Ellen is a wife, mother and freelance writer, currently living in Sarasota, on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast….