The Icelandic Horse Riding Experience
When in Iceland... you ride Icelandic horses.
So... is it worth it?
I went on the Saga Travels Skjaldarvík tour in Akuryeri. The company provides van ride from Akuryeri to the ranch and let you borrow a riding helmet. The owners of the ranch have 2 dogs that love being cuddled. They come along for the tour, making it (literally) a dog and pony show.
For those of you that could care less about horseback riding, I'll indulge you with photos.
Why horseback riding... in Iceland?
- Icelandic ponies are shorter, sturdier, and adorable
- Iceland is a beautiful country- why not explore it on horseback? In between your long hours of road trip-ing, you have to stop for an excursion.
- Icelandic horses are quite calm and gentle. Since they have to threat of predators, they don't have as much of a fight or flight response. This makes them good for children and people who are a little bit scared of large animals (me).
Things to Wear/Bring
- Light pair of gloves
- A water/windproof jacket.
- Tennis shoes
- A hair tie
- A camera with a neck strap.
- Sunglasses (on a sunny day)
- Comfortable pants
If you do your tour in Akuryeri, grab brunch at Cafe Ilmur. It is in a little house on top of a small hill on the main street of the town. Their breakfast is great, and their lunch buffet is awesome! For brunch, order a scramble or a waffle.
The guides were knowledgeable and willing to talk about their experience in Iceland. A lot of them weren't native to the country, but rather came from elsewhere for school or work.
The riding tour is gets quite chilly. I went on a overcast day and there was a light drizzle. Just layer up, so you can stay warm.
After the tour, Saga Travels provide coffee and cookies, which is SO refreshing after being out in the cold. This is obviously the number one reason to go on this tour.
Was it worth it?
At first, I wasn't totally jazzed to go horseback riding. Why do something I can do back home? After I saw countryside from this different perspective, I changed my mind.
If you're looking for something to do that won't break the bank and want to spend leisurely time outside, then yes! Go horseback riding!
Another way to get some face time with horses is through your AirBnB hosts. A lot of them own land with horses. If you just ask, maybe they'll let you play with them, and tell you some Icelandic horse trivia.
I'm not joking.