Listings for riding holidays in Iceland
Iceland is the most northerly country,
apart from Siberia, to have a native breed, the Icelandic
, and riding is an integral part of the island's culture. The
locals are proud of their horses and their part in the development of
the country. Once the sole form of transportation, horses are
now used for leisure purposes. However, they still contribute to traditional
island life in the Autumn round up of sheep from the mountains.
In a country where so many areas are inaccessible by car, a riding holiday gives a unique view of Iceland’s untouched beauty.
Iceland is nature at it’s youngest and most extravagant. Known as ‘the land of fire and ice’ it is a land of extremes. Of mountains and desert plains, of glacial icecaps and boiling geysers, of ski-fields and thermal springs.
More than half of the 288,000 population live in the areas surrounding the capital, Reykjavik, and it is here and the central region, that you will find most of the riding options. Riding is possible year-round and although summer is the most popular time to go, the magical quality of riding across a snow-covered landscape attracts riders in winter too.
When to go: Although advertised as a year-round destination, the most popular months are June to August and many popular attractions may be closed or inaccessible due to snow by the end of September. Daylight hours are scarce in winter (the sun rises around noon and sets again by 2pm). But uncrowded attractions, off-season rates and Christmas and New year celebrations are attracting winter visitors.
Weather: The warm Gulf Stream gives Iceland a temperate ocean climate: cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. However, on-and-off rain is more or less the year-round norm in the capital, Reykjavik but further north and east, finer weather is more frequent. This is a land where you must be ready for anything - including summer blizzards.
Language: Native language is Icelandic but most people speak English
Time: Greenwich Mean Time all year round. Unlike other areas of Europe, Iceland does not observe daylight saving in the summertime so the clocks stay the same all year round.
Health care: Citizens of the UK, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden are entitled to free health care.
Border control: For most nationalities a passport with three months remaining beyond intented stay is required. Foreign riding clothing or equipment must be disinfected before being brought into the country.
Riding Holidays in Iceland
Iceland Tourist Board
Icelandic breed profile
Review of a riding holiday in Iceland