Southern Iceland Riding Skills Adventure

About the Experience

Come to Iceland. Learn to ride Icelandic as you travel through the wilds of this northern island. Defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, you will get to ride through them all on horseback.

Every place you’ll explore in the ‘Golden Circle’ of Southern Iceland has a story. Volcanoes have names and personalities. Rocks are actually Trolls, frozen by the sun. Iceland is famous for its spectacular natural features as well as its history. And oh, the horses. They have a story, too.  The Icelandic horse was brought here more than 1,000 years ago by the Norse.

The Icelandic horses you’ll be riding are known for their affection as well as their sure-footedness and smooth gait. This trip is suitable for women with novice skills who are ready to learn a new style of riding. You will learn the tölt and be encouraged to trust your horse as you travel together along various types of terrain.

*This is a shortened version of our popular Golden Circle Riding Adventure and is a great option if you are a Novice rider (you ride infrequently but know the basics and are very comfortable at a walk and trot).

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Southern Iceland Riding Skills Adventure

About the Experience

Come to Iceland. Learn to ride Icelandic as you travel through the wilds of this northern island. Defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, you will get to ride through them all on horseback.

Every place you’ll explore in the ‘Golden Circle’ of Southern Iceland has a story. Volcanoes have names and personalities. Rocks are actually Trolls, frozen by the sun. Iceland is famous for its spectacular natural features as well as its history. And oh, the horses. They have a story, too.  The Icelandic horse was brought here more than 1,000 years ago by the Norse.

The Icelandic horses you’ll be riding are known for their affection as well as their sure-footedness and smooth gait. This trip is suitable for women with novice skills who are ready to learn a new style of riding. You will learn the tölt and be encouraged to trust your horse as you travel together along various types of terrain.

*This is a shortened version of our popular Golden Circle Riding Adventure and is a great option if you are a Novice rider (you ride infrequently but know the basics and are very comfortable at a walk and trot).


DAY ONE: ARRIVAL

Your Icelandic riding adventure starts in the evening. You will be picked up at theBSÍ – Reykjavik Excursions Bus Terminal between 17:30- 18:30 (5:30-6: 30 pm) and driven to farm Vellir, near Hveragerði. Upon arrival, meet your Wild Women guides and settle into the guesthouse. We will get to know each other during dinner at nearby Hotel Eldhestar. The day will end with our Wild Women orientation and a detailed description of the tour.


DAY TWO: RIDING LESSONS, MEADOWS & MOUNTAINS TRAIL RIDE

Rise and shine to a hearty breakfast in Hotel Eldhestar. This morning, your guides provide detailed information about the Icelandic horse and techniques for Icelandic riding. We begin with a live demonstration of tacking, mounting, and maneuvering through the various gaits of the Icelandic horse. We then get outfitted with our rain gear, helmets, and saddles and paired up with our first horse. The rest of the morning is spent in the outdoor paddock learning to ride the Icelandic way; mounting form the ground, maneuvering and stopping, walking, tölting and trotting on an Icelandic horse are all slightly different than what you are used to. You will need to be able to do all of this comfortably throughout the trip.

After lunch, we head out for a 2.5 – 3-hour ride on some smooth riding trails along meadows which are perfect for trying the special gait of the Icelandic horse, the tölt. The ride starts on soft riding trails along the green fields of farm Vellir. We then follow an old route towards Ingolfsfjall Mountain, riding along the slopes of the mountain with nice views of the lowlands, Olfusa river and Atlantic ocean before we return to the farm. We untack our horses and store our saddles and raingear together, ready for our ride tomorrow. Dinner tonight is at Hotel Eldhestar. We will review the next day’s itinerary, pack for our next two nights at the huts and enjoy the hot tubs!

  • Riding Distance: ~15 km
  • Riding Time: 2.5 – 3 Hrs


DAY THREE: MOUNTAIN RIDING TO THINGVELLIR NATIONAL PARK

After another early but hearty breakfast, both riders and horses are shuttled (about a 20-minute drive) to Kolvidarholl (the site of a geothermal power plant). Be prepared to ride for 4.5-6 hours today, over rough, mountain terrain. There are about 4 dismounts throughout the day where we will need to lead our horses down steep rocky sections. We head north below the volcano Hengill and as we ride along, we dismount and lead the horses through the narrow canyon into Marardalur (the Valley of Horses). Today we enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. From here we ride along the mountainside to the next road, where we meet the trailers for our shuttle to Thingvellir.

Thingvellir National Park is special because it is where Icelanders had their democratic meetings, called Althing, for hundreds of years. It is also the site of the rift valley where the North American plate and the Eurasian plate are drifting apart along the mid-Atlantic Ridge. From here, it is just 10 minutes to our mountain hut, Skógarhólar, where we spend the night. The chef will meet us at the hut, with our luggage and have an amazing meal prepared. Tonight we relax and reflect on our second day of riding.

  • Riding Distance: 25 km
  • Riding Time: 4,5 – 5,5 Hrs


DAY FOUR: RIDING THINGVELLIR

Today we ride for another 4.5-6 hours across Thingvellir National Park. We can see Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. We ride up and over the hills, through the moss covered lava fields, to Kringlumýri, another mountain hut.  We arrive to another delicious meal and a well-deserved sleep.

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


DAY FIVE: VISITING GEYSIR & GULLFOSS

In the morning, we will be driven to Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) where we will learn about how the first Icelandic female conservationist, saved Gullfoss from being dammed. Next, we head over to the Haukadular hot springs, Geysir and Strokkur. Strokkur is the hot spring that erupts every 7-8 minutes, and we will take time to revel in the power of geothermal energy.After lunch, we ride about 3-4 hours along soft riding paths. We get another excellent view over Lake Thingvallavatn, then we ride around lake Úlfljótsvatn until we will meet the trailers for our shuttle back to farm Vellir.

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


DAY SIX: BLACK BEACH RIDE

Today’s ride takes us along a soft black lava sand to the picturesque area where the mighty river Ölfusá meets the sea. We continue our tour through shallow water at the edge of the river delta and ride on the soft, green river banks back to farm Vellir. On our way we enjoy spectacular views, weather permitting, and have good chances to see birds of various kinds. (The tour may start at the farm and end at the beach, depending on tides). Back at the farm, say “until next time” to your favourite horses and enjoy another dip in the hot pots before dinner.

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


DAY SEVEN: DEPARTURE

You did it! You just spent 5 days riding Icelandic with the sweetest horses and a bunch of new wild women friends! This morning, sleep in, enjoy your coffee, say your last good bye’s to the horses and take a mid-day transfer back to Reykjavik. Drop off will be at about 2 pm at the BSÍ – Reykjavik Excursions Bus Terminal.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!