Horse riding and travelling in Iceland
Iceland is at the top of many riders’ and travellers’ bucket lists. The small island state high in the north captivates with breathtaking, almost extreme landscapes and natural highlights – glaciers, volcanoes, geysers – green meadows, rocks and sea, but also with friendly people, numerous horses and a rich creative cultural scene.
Icelandic horses fascinate with its variety of colours and clear watchful eyes of an almost wild animal. Numerous horses in Iceland live most time of the year like wild roaming horses – undisturbed in nature. Depending on the riding ability, there are lots of offers for tourists dreaming of riding holidays across epic landscapes: guided day rides or longer trail rides, often leading from the closer surroundings of the capital Reykjavík into the wider country. There are trained horses, which make it possible even for non-trained riders and beginners to experience Iceland on horseback. Some tour operators have organised trips to certain events on the schedule, such as the National Horse Show Landsmót or tours with visits to horse breeding farms. Extensive equestrian tours following the trails of traditional riding routes in the Icelandic highlands are ideal for more experienced riders: an adventure of full-speed tölt, fresh mountain air, lonely landscapes and stunning panoramas.
Hot springs, quiet fjords – all this sounds like ‘being able to switch off’ and extensive trail rides let the participants touch their own physical limits. With an area of about 103,000 square kilometres and a population of about 320,000 people, Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe. Most Icelanders live in cities, especially in the lively capital Reykjavík and its immediate surroundings. On the island, more than 50 percent of energy is obtained from geothermal sources.
This island is not only a paradise for horse lovers, riders – also a paradise for photographers, not only to capture the colourful northern lights: from trekking to the glacier Vatnajökull, paddle tours or winter sports. The dreams of every active traveller and nature lover come true. Iceland travellers should, however, be prepared for the fact that the weather can change in a flash at any time, so good travel planning and communication of one’s own travel plans is required.
Iceland is one of the countries in the world with the highest life expectancy of its own inhabitants. This may also be due to a balanced life – clean air and nature, healthy nutrition. The Icelandic lifestyle plays an important role in this respect as well. Iceland, with its cultural heritage of Icelandic horses, should be close on our future itinerary.