Golden Circle Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Horseback riding through the wilds of Iceland. Volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs. Imagine the wonders. Think of all the stories you’ll tell.

Every place you’ll explore in the ‘Golden Circle’ of Southern Iceland has a story. Blame it on the wild and romantic landscape as Iceland is famous for its spectacular natural features. What more could you want? Giant gorges, volcanoes, valleys, lava fields, sandy ocean beaches, sea-side cliffs, and idyllic meadows – and you riding through them all on horseback.

And oh, the horses. They have a story, too.  The Icelandic horse was brought here more than 1,000 years ago by Vikings. Herds of Icelandic horses still roam the valleys – you’ll see them and might even get up close to them but don’t worry, Icelandic horses are famous for their affectionate natures.

The Icelandic horses you’ll be riding are known for their affection, too, as well as their sure-footedness and smooth gait. This trip is suitable for women with novice skills who are ready to learn, as well as more experienced riders, as we ride much of the trip in trot and tolt. After long days of horseback riding through the wilds of Iceland, you’ll spend your nights at comfortable guesthouses and peaceful mountain huts.

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Golden Circle Riding Adventure

About the Experience

Horseback riding through the wilds of Iceland. Volcanoes, waterfalls, hot springs. Imagine the wonders. Think of all the stories you’ll tell.

Every place you’ll explore in the ‘Golden Circle’ of Southern Iceland has a story. Blame it on the wild and romantic landscape as Iceland is famous for its spectacular natural features. What more could you want? Giant gorges, volcanoes, valleys, lava fields, sandy ocean beaches, sea-side cliffs, and idyllic meadows – and you riding through them all on horseback.

And oh, the horses. They have a story, too.  The Icelandic horse was brought here more than 1,000 years ago by Vikings. Herds of Icelandic horses still roam the valleys – you’ll see them and might even get up close to them but don’t worry, Icelandic horses are famous for their affectionate natures.

The Icelandic horses you’ll be riding are known for their affection, too, as well as their sure-footedness and smooth gait. This trip is suitable for women with novice skills who are ready to learn, as well as more experienced riders, as we ride much of the trip in trot and tolt. After long days of horseback riding through the wilds of Iceland, you’ll spend your nights at comfortable guesthouses and peaceful mountain huts.

Day One: Arrival

Your Iceland adventure starts in the evening. Your WWE guide will greet you at the BSI bus station in Reykjavic or, if you’ve arrived a day early, at your Reykjavik accommodation between 5:30-6pm and you will be driven out to Farm Vellir near Hveragerði. Here you will be lodged in the guesthouse. You will get to know your fellow wild women during a delicious dinner at Hotel Eldhestar. The day will end with an orientation, followed by time for you to soak in the hot tubs. 

 

Day Two: Riding Lessons & River Banks Trail Ride

Rise and shine to a hearty breakfast in Hotel Eldhestar. Today you are outfitted with rain gear, helmets, and saddles and paired up with your first horse. You begin with a live demonstration of tacking, mounting, and maneuvering through the various gaits of the Icelandic horse. The rest of the morning is spent in the paddock, practicing mounting, maneuvering, walking, tolting, and trotting.

After lunch, you will head out on riding trails perfect for the special gait of the Icelandic horse, the tölt. The tour starts on soft trails along the meadows around our farm Vellir. You then follow the river Gljúfurá and continue on an old route towards Ingólfsfjall Mountain, named after the first Norwegian Viking who settled in Iceland.

You will ride along the slopes of the mountain Reykjafjall with heart-stopping views of the landscape between the ocean and volcanic mountains. Afterwards, you’ll return to the farm, untack your horse and store saddles and rain gear together, ready for the ride tomorrow. Dinner tonight is at Hotel Eldhestar. 

 

Day Three: Valley of Horses

After another early and hearty breakfast, both riders and horses are shuttled to Kolvidarholl from which you head north below the Húsmúli and Hengill mountains. As you ride along, you will dismount and lead the horses through a narrow canyon and into Marardalur. Here you untack and enjoy a picnic lunch. 

You’ll continue to ride through Dyrfjöll, and when you reach the mountaintop, you will have a view over Lake Thingvallavatn. The lake is by the cleft where Icelanders had their democratic meetings called Althing for hundreds of years. The track continues down Jórukeif, close to Hestvík, where the riding tour ends. There are some dismounts throughout the day where you will need to lead your horse down rocky or steep sections of the trail. After that, you will be met with the sights at the old Icelandic Parliament. From here, it is not far to Skógarhólar Mountain Hut, where you spend the night. The chef will have an amazing meal prepared. 

  • Riding Distance: 25 km
  • Riding Time: 4 – 6 hours

 

Day Four: Thingvellir National Park Ride

Today you ride across Thingvellir National Park. From Gjábakki you have an exceptional view over the park and Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. This is also the area where the North American and European crustal plates meet. The plates are drifting apart about 2 cm per year on average, which has created a beautiful valley. You cross half of the Lyngdalsheidi Moor before finishing the day’s ride at the cottage Kringlumýri, where you enjoy another amazing, home cooked meal.

  • Riding Distance: ~22 km
  • Riding Time: 4.5 – 5.5 hours

 

Day Five: Moor Loop – Geysir & Gullfoss

This morning, you will ride a loop through the Lyngdalsheidi Moor, with a stop at the Laugardalshellir caves. These caves were inhabited up until the late 1940’s, but are now the home of sheep.

You continue the day’s ride along the mountains until stopping outside the village of Laugarvatn, named after a nearby lake heated by underwater hot springs. After returning to the Kringlumýri cottage with all the horses, you will be driven to Gullfoss where you will learn how the first Icelandic female conservationist, saved this Golden Waterfall from being dammed.

Next, you head over to the Haukadular hot springs, Geysir and Strokkur, the hot spring that erupts every 7-8 minutes. Here, you will revel in the power of geothermal energy before returning to Kringlumýri cottage for another delicious meal and a well-deserved sleep.

  • Riding Distance: ~ 15 km
  • Riding Time: 3-4 hrs

 

Day Six: Riding the Drift

From Kringlumýri you travel along soft riding paths called Drift. You will get another excellent view over Lake Thingvallavatn, then ride past Ljósafossvirkjun, one of the first water power stations in Iceland. The ride continues along the south side of the lake to the farm Villingarvatn, where you will leave the horses for the night and continue by bus to farm Vellir. 

  • Riding Distance: ~ 15km
  • Riding Time: 3-4 hrs

 

Day Seven:  Reykjadalur Hot Springs

Today’s ride takes you into the mountains on the east side of the Hengill volcano and along a mountain called Súlufell that lends to a beautiful view over Lake Thingvallavatn. After riding along side Kattatjarnahryggir, you will come to two crater lakes. You will climb up a hill and reach first the lake Álftavatn and then the green land of Ökuelduháls in all of its hot springs glory.

After a while you will see Klambragíl, the steep lava path leading you down into Reykjadalur. Take time here to relax in this hot river before making your way towards Hveragerði. Before riding down the mountain, you will have a magnificent view over the sea and Westman Islands. The tour ends on the new riding path between Hveragerði and Reykjafjall that leads back to farm Vellir.

  • Riding Distance: 19km
  • Riding Time: 5-6 hours

 

Day Eight: Black Beach Ride

You will ride at the black beach next to the small fishing town Thorlákshöfn. You will follow the beach, riding on soft black lava sand to the picturesque area where the mighty river Ölfusá meets the sea. You continue the tour through shallow water at the edge of the river delta and ride on the soft, green river banks back to farm Vellir.

On your way, be prepared for spectacular views and the possibility of a variety of bird sightings. You will return to farm Vellir to relax, take a last soak in the hot tub and enjoy a farewell dinner.  

  • Riding Distance: 23 km
  • Riding Time: 5 – 6 hours

 

Day Nine: Departure

After breakfast, you will travel back to Reykjavik. You can be dropped off at the BSI Terminal or your Reykjavik accommodations if you’re continuing to travel in Iceland.

Note: A day visit to the Blue Lagoon where you can relax in the unique and soothing geothermal waters can easily be added before you fly home. From the Blue Lagoon, it is easy to either catch a transfer to Keflavik Airport or a transfer back to Reykjavik.

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