The Top 5 Areas in Iceland to Horseback Ride

Iceland is full of stunning landscapes that are accessible by horseback. Here are the best places to ride horses in Iceland:

1.      Northern Iceland

The northern part of the island is home to some of the best horse riding in Iceland.

You can explore the highlands on the Legends of the Highlands tour. This trip follows ancient paths that have been around since the early settlement of the island. Ride alongside a free-roaming herd of horses and through lush pastures filled with sheep. Riding your Icelandic horse you’ll experience the tölt, the breed’s four-beat smooth gait. Enjoy the beauty and peace of the Icelandic highlands.

Or you can take the trails of the Vikings on the Fascinating North Iceland tour. On this eight-day/seven-night trip, you’ll ride two or three horses each day, sleep in sleeping bags in farmhouses and guesthouses, and see stunning scenery from mountains to meadows. You’ll pass beautiful waterfalls and vast lava fields and cross the Laxá River, known for the salmon that swim in its waters.

There’s also the Autumn Colors and Northern Lights tour. As the name suggests, this tour will show you beautiful Northern Iceland in the fall. The shorter days bring brilliant autumn colors to the landscape—vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. But those aren’t the only colors on display. The Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis, are more common in fall and winter, so you may just have a chance to spot this phenomenon in the night sky. You’ll also have the chance to see picturesque valleys, migrating geese, roaming sheep, and whales as you ride along Iceland’s longest fjord.

Horse riders in Iceland

2.      Snæfellsnes Peninsula

On the west side of Iceland lies the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, home to dramatic landscapes and the Snæfellsjökull Volcano.

In this part of Iceland, you can enjoy the Exploring Snæfellsnes Peninsula: Beach and Mountain Trail. This tour descends to the shore along the peninsula, where, when the tide recedes, a vast beach sprawls. Tölt on the sand of Löngufjörur beach with the waves as your companion. You’ll also see big lava fields, craters, and the remnants of ancient volcanic activity. The Eldborg crater stands tall against the terrain with its light and dark sand and drops 164 feet (50 m) deep at its lowest point. Nearby you can swim in a warm natural pool called Rauðamelslaug.

Or try the Snæfellsnes Peninsula tour, one of the best places to see Icelandic horses in their natural habitat. Visit one of the longest beaches in Iceland where the wild horses love to roam. You’ll be stunned by the gorgeous views, the enormous ocean on one side and soaring mountains on the other. You’ll also see the 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano Snæfellsjökull Glacier. This landmark was featured in Jules Verne’s popular novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Traverse verdant valleys, cross ebony lava fields, trace the azure coast, and venture along the golden sandy shore.

Horseback riders on the beach of Iceland

3.      Southern Iceland

Southern Iceland has so much to offer—one of the best places to horseback ride in Iceland.

On the Geysir Gullfoss Waterfall Trail, you’ll visit classic attractions like Geysir, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Thingvellir (Þingvellir) National Park in the Golden Circle (a common tourist route). Geysir, sometimes known as the Great Geysir, is a geyser believed to have formed around 1150. It hasn’t erupted for several years, but it’s not the only geyser in the area. Nearby is Gullfoss Waterfall, which translates to “Golden Falls”—one of Iceland’s most well-known waterfalls. Thingvellir National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (a mountain range that separates the North American Tectonic Plate, the Eurasian Plate, and the African Plate) passes right through the park.

If you want to see the longest river in Iceland, you may opt for the Riding Between Rivers Holiday in Southern Iceland. On this tour, you’ll follow a beautiful path along the Thjórsá River, and later on, you’ll ride beside the Hvítá River. Throughout, you’ll have incredible views of Mount Hekla, the most active volcano in Iceland. Enjoy tranquility as you pass grassy farmland and listen to the rivers flowing.

If you really want to see Mount Hekla’s influence, you may consider the Volcano Hekla tour. This tour explores the landscape between Hekla and the Tindfjallajökull glacier, which has also had a hand in shaping the terrain. Ride on black sandy ground covered with lava fields and green grass. You’ll be surrounded by volcanic formations created by the volcano over many centuries. Take the ancient path that the famous Viking Gunnar of Hlíðarendi took during his battles. On these paths, you’ll feel the mystery of the old Sagas—stories and histories composed in Iceland.

A herd of horses in Southern Iceland

4.      Northwest Iceland

In Northwest Iceland, you’ll find a gentler but still beautiful landscape.

On the Trail of Hope tour, you’ll be able to experience diverse scenery: rivers, fields, black sandy beaches, and the impressive Lake Hóp. Witness a colony of seals on the North-Atlantic coast and see Hvitserkur, a rock formation that juts out of the water. Legend says the formation is a petrified troll, but some believe it looks more like a rhino. As you explore the area, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Icelandic history through various stories from the Saga ages.

Have you ever wanted to see the midnight sun? The Chasing the Midnight Sun in Northwestern Iceland tour is the perfect chance for you to see it. The midnight sun occurs in parts of the world north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle when the sun is still visible at midnight. Ride during the summer solstice to witness this phenomenon. On this tour, you’ll also see Arctic Henge, ride along the beach, explore the Melrakkaslétta Peninsula, a birdwatcher’s paradise, and visit Ásbyrgi Canyon, a horseshoe-shaped depression said to have been created by Odin’s horse.

A couple on horseback galloping along a black sandy beach

5.      West Iceland

West Iceland has some of the best Iceland horse riding tours.

The Black Beach & Green Hills tour features 5 days of exhilarating rides along the Borgarfjörður fjord. With the stunning waters of the fjord on one side and the lovely Hafnarfjall and Skarðsheiði mountains on the other, you can’t go wrong on this tour. You’ll spend two days riding along the beach and three days in the green valleys, along a riverbank, and over the heathland. After a rewarding day of riding, you can relax in an outside hot tub with mountain views or a local geothermal pool.

Or you can Tölt With a Glacier View, a tour that’s great for couples, families, and small groups. On it, you’ll ride through some of the most beautiful trails in West Iceland, exploring everything the country has to offer. Here you’ll find volcanoes, glaciers, hot springs, historic Saga sites, and geothermal pools. Explore the massive Víðgelmir, the largest lava tube in Iceland and one of the largest in the world. You’ll have the option to take a tour of the huge Langjökull Glacier, the second-largest glacier in Iceland.

On the Royal Ride, you can explore Iceland’s Western Highlands. Starting in the scenic Vatnsdalur (“Lake Valley”), the trail passes through Arnarvatnheiði Heath, a place full of lakes and legends. From there, you can see the magnificent Langjökull and Eiríksjökull glaciers. Travel with a herd of 60-90 free-running Icelandic horses and visit a geothermal area with a gorgeous forest. Your guide will take you to wonderful natural and historical sites and adapt the route to take advantage of the weather.

Horseback riders on the green valleys


We hope you found this equine guide to Iceland helpful. These are the best locations in Iceland for horse riding. On the back of the beautiful Icelandic horse, you’ll explore the best spots in the country, seeing glaciers, volcanoes, beaches, hot springs, lava fields, and more.

You can find all these locations and more with Horse Tours Club. Browse our catalog of Icelandic tours here. With our global presence and expertise in equine tours, Horse Tours Club can help you find the perfect tour for your vacation.