With over 80,000 horses in Iceland, there is one for every four inhabitants. Icelandic horses are slightly smaller than their European counterparts. Accustomed to the island’s varied landscapes, these horses can easily navigate the fords that cross the rivers and steep uneven slopes. They’ve even developed a gait, or tölt, which is somewhere between a trot and a gallop.
Western Iceland is an excellent location for equestrian aficionados. Start with horseback riding in the Snæfellsnes Peninsula for a variety of landscapes. Here is where you can see everything from sandy beaches and waterfalls, to lava fields and wild plains. You can also spot the Snæfellsjökull glacier-volcano, Iceland's equivalent of Mount Fuji, and the entrance to the "center of the Earth" in Jules Verne's novel of the same name.
If you opt for horseback riding in the Heydalur Valley, spend the day admiring the fjords from your saddle. Unbeknownst to most travelers, this plain in the northeast of Iceland is the ideal spot to get away from the hustle and bustle, all while relaxing in hot springs.