The Golden Circle and horse-riding day tour | Classic Icelandic experiences
Mount up to experience the joy of riding the adorable Icelandic horse before you will board a bus and be off to the famous Golden Circle! This tour combines two of the most popular activities in Iceland for maximum enjoyment of nature: horseback riding in the morning and sightseeing on the Golden Circle in the afternoon.
The Icelandic horse is a favourite breed in Scandinavia due to its hardiness, friendly demeanor and silky smooth gait. These animals are highly protected because they are descended from the first horses brought over from Norway in the 10th century.
You'll start today’s adventure by being picked up at your hotel or guesthouse in Reykjavik, and delivered to a horse farm at Vellir, where you will be matched with the ideal mount for your experience level and ride for 1.5-2 hours on excellent riding trails in the charming countryside, enjoying the view of volcanic mountains and wide meadows. After the riding tour, you'll have lunch at Hotel Eldhestar and then you will be picked up for a spin around the Golden Circle: Geysir geothermal area, Gullfoss waterfall, and Þingvellir National Park.
At Geysir geothermal area, the unbelievable pressure exerted on the earth is visible here in the steamy vents, sulfurous fumaroles, scalding mud pools and, of course, the geysers. Though Geysir is shy these days, nearby Strokkur loves to have an audience for eruptions every 10 minutes.
Next you'll visit the mighty Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, powered by glacial runoff which pours down the river and tumbles over the two-tiered falls. You can view its blistering force from afar, or take the walking path directly down to the falls to feel it rumble beneath your feet.
Þingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is your final stop of the day. This is where the first parliament in the world was founded in the 10th century. You can still see the ruins of old booths and meeting areas built there in past centuries as thousands gathered in the valley to settle disagreements and form alliances.
The site is also a rift valley, a geological feature resulting from the ocean floor spreading, dragging the crust of the earth apart with its devastating force. But don’t worry – it is only drifting at a rate of 2 mm per year. That’s slow enough to take an easy stroll between the two tectonic plates before you explore the rest of the area.
A charming waterfall is found at the end of the path there, stemming from the gently rushing waters of Öxará river that cross the valley. Other places of interest in the park include Silfra, a deep fissure filled with sparkling water that is popular for diving and snorkeling. Just beyond Silfra is Þingvallavatn, the largest natural lake in Iceland.
If you are a nature and animal lover, book this best value tour and make the most out of one day. Check availability by choosing a date.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 9 hours
- Activities: Horse Riding, Sightseeing
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum age: 6 years.
Pickup time : 08:00
Guided riding tour (1.5-2 hours)
Riding equipment (helmet)
Pick-up and drop-off from your accommodation in Reykjavík (Pick-up is operated by Eldhestar)
What to bring:
Warm clothing and outerwear suitable for rainy or chilly weather
Proper riding shoes (not high heels, as they may get stuck in the stirrup)
Good to know:
It is always a good idea to bring a sweater or wear layers which you can remove if you get too warm. Pick up is operated by Eldhestar between 08:00 and 08:30.