Rugged, isolated and deeply intriguing, Iceland is one of Hidden Trails most fascinating horse riding holiday destinations. Characterized by its stark volcanic landscapes, geysers, glaciers, waterfalls and deep fjords, Icelandic horse trekking is a unique and exhilarating experience. Hidden Trails has a range of Icelandic horse riding vacations on offer – ranging from horse and sheep roundups to rugged mountain treks. Many of our horse riders are inspired to visit Iceland time and time again, drawn to this unique island for its unparalleled landscape, friendly people, and excellent horse riding opportunities.
Horse Riding in Iceland:
This large island, floating on the edge of the Arctic Circle in the North Atlantic, is a captivating and often exhilarating horse riding location. Characterized by its volcanic landscape and untouched fjords, the terrain is often rugged and unrelenting. Most Icelandic equestrian rides take twice or triple the usual number of horses along to prevent exhaustion in the rough terrain.
A very special experience seldom to be experienced anywhere else but in Iceland - except maybe on some of our horse drives. On most rides you will be riding with a free running herd of horses. You may switch horses from time to time.
The only horse breed found in Iceland is the sturdy Icelandic Horse. These strong, sure footed horses were first introduced to Iceland by the Vikings in the 9th century. Because of their Scandinavian heritage, they are often referred to as “Viking Horses”. Uniquely, Icelandic Horses have 5 gaits: the fetgangur (walk or step), the brokk (trot), the tölt (fast walk), the skeið (pace) and the stökk (gallop).
Icelandic Horses are well-suited to Iceland’s rough, unyielding environment and, at only 13 or 14 hands high, these little pocket-sized troopers are impressively strong.
Most of our Icelandic horse riding holidays take place in the back country – where you will find lodgings can be quite basic – typically dorm room type buildings with outhouse facilities. Be prepared to share rooms and sleep in bunk beds or sleeping bags.
The most rustic accommodations are on our Egilstadir, Kjoelur and Northern Exposure rides, but they also provide some of the most unique atmosphere and camaraderie.
Other horse riding tours offer accommodations in made up beds and double rooms along with 3 to 4 bed rooms with hot showers or hot tubs on most nights. Along with
Volcanoes, Geysers & Waterfalls - Southern Delight, the Golden Circle (or the shorter version the Geyser Gulfoss)
is one of the more "luxurious" rides in Iceland - providing actual beds and
linen at your accommodations.
Iceland Geography and Climate:
Characterized by mountains, volcanoes, fjords and glaciers, Iceland’s geography is often referred to as unyielding and rugged – yet at the same time very beautiful.
Horse trekking in Iceland can be a rewarding experience, due to the magnitude of the landscape. You may trek past glaciers, or around the shores of fjords, and Iceland’s active geothermal activity means there are often ample opportunities to relax in natural thermal pools.
Winter is Iceland is relatively mild considering its latitude. The southerly lowlands average around 0ºC in the winter, while the highlands tend to average around -10 ºC, though it has been known to drop to as low as -30 ºC on occasion.
Summer in Iceland is characterized by warm days (reaching 20-25 ºC), and can occasionally reach 30 ºC.
From the end of May to the end of August it is the time of the “midnight sun”, when the night is never dark.
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