One of the most fantastic activities to do while in Iceland is to complete a horse riding tour on the majestic Icelandic Horse.
Driving through the Icelandic countryside you will see pastures full of wild Icelandic horses. Tourists often stop to admire and take pictures of these absolutely beautiful creatures as they drive to see the attractions on the golden circle – Iceland’s #1 self drive tourist route featuring geysers, waterfalls and the most breathtaking natural landscapes. We visited Iceland with the intention of hunting down the northern lights and going on a dog sledding expedition, one of the most popular activities to do on a winter vacation in Iceland. However, to our dismay, these tours were booked out months in advance and we were unable to fulfill our dream of dog sledding.
As we were driving around the golden circle, we stopped to take pictures with Icelandic horses in a paddock nearby. The appearance of the horses fascinated us as they are very unique and totally different to the regular horse. The Icelandic horse, a breed native to Iceland, are only about the size of a pony with noticeably short and strong legs. They are also a particularly friendly breed of horse as, to our surprise, the horses skated over a thin sheet of ice to greet us as we approached the fence. Later that day, we decided to visit our newfound friends again and bring some carrots we had bought at the local supermarket as a gift to which they thoroughly appreciated. This encounter gave us an idea of an activity we might like to pursue – an early morning horse ride through the snow.
As Iceland (like the rest of Scandinavia) is a very expensive country, we scouted the internet for a good value horse riding expedition that provided us with a more personalised service. We heard that many horse rides were very overcrowded with not enough staff for the amount of riders. As beginner horse riders, having enough staff was of particular importance to us. We eventually stumbled across Sólhestar Horse Rental. They boasted fabulous reviews and offered a complimentary pick up and drop of service to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city, 30 minutes away. We booked a 3 hour horseback riding tour for 65 Euros per person. (Check the website for current pricing.)