Icelandic horses


Welcome to the land of fire and ice – Iceland! In this blog post, we will delve into the enchanting world of Icelandic horses. These magnificent creatures are not only a symbol of Iceland but also an integral part of its culture and history. Join us as we explore what makes Icelandic horses so unique and why they should be on every traveler’s must-see list.

The Icelandic Horse: A Breed Apart

When it comes to horses, Icelandic horses are in a league of their own. These sturdy and resilient animals have been bred in isolation for over a thousand years, resulting in a breed that is well-adapted to the harsh Icelandic climate and terrain. With their distinct appearance and charming personalities, Icelandic horses are truly a breed apart.

Distinctive Features

One of the most notable features of the Icelandic horse is its compact size. Standing at an average height of 13 to 14 hands, these horses may be small in stature, but they make up for it with their strength and agility. Their thick double coat, which comes in a variety of colors, helps protect them from the harsh Icelandic weather.

Icelandic horses are also known for their unique gaits, or “tölt” and “flying pace.” The tölt is a smooth four-beat gait that allows riders to cover long distances comfortably. On the other hand, the flying pace is a faster two-beat gait that can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour!

A Part of Icelandic Culture

Icelandic horses have played an integral role in the history and culture of Iceland. They were brought to the island by the Vikings in the 9th and 10th centuries, and since then, they have become deeply intertwined with Icelandic life. These horses have been used for transportation, farming, and even as a means of survival in the harsh Icelandic landscape.

Today, Icelandic horses are not just working animals but also beloved companions and a source of national pride. They are celebrated in various events and festivals, such as the annual “Landsmót” – a grand gathering of Icelandic horses and their enthusiasts from all over the country.

Experiencing Icelandic Horses

If you’re a horse lover or simply curious about these magnificent creatures, Iceland offers plenty of opportunities to experience Icelandic horses up close. Here are some ways you can connect with these beautiful animals during your visit:

Horseback Riding Tours

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the world of Icelandic horses is by taking a horseback riding tour. Whether you’re a novice rider or an experienced equestrian, there are tours available for all skill levels. Ride through stunning landscapes, such as lava fields, black sand beaches, and moss-covered mountains, while enjoying the company of these gentle creatures.

Visiting Horse Farms

Another option is to visit one of the many horse farms scattered across Iceland. These farms offer guided tours where you can learn about the history and breeding of Icelandic horses. Get up close and personal with the horses, interact with them, and even have the chance to take a ride. It’s a fantastic opportunity to deepen your understanding of these remarkable animals.

Attending Equestrian Shows

If you prefer a more passive experience, attending an equestrian show is a great way to witness the beauty and grace of Icelandic horses. These shows often include demonstrations of the horses’ unique gaits and other impressive skills. Sit back, relax, and be mesmerized by the power and elegance of these magnificent creatures.

Practical Tips for Visiting Iceland

Now that you’re excited to embark on your Icelandic horse adventure, here are some practical tips to make your trip a smooth and enjoyable one:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Iceland and experience Icelandic horses is during the summer months, from June to August. The weather is milder, and the days are longer, allowing for more time to explore. Additionally, many farms and tour operators are more active during this period, offering a wider range of activities and tours.

Getting to Iceland

Iceland is easily accessible by air with direct flights from major cities around the world. The main international airport, Keflavík International Airport, is located about 40 minutes from the capital city, Reykjavik. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle bus to your destination.

Local Transportation

Once you’re in Iceland, renting a car is the most convenient way to get around and explore the country at your own pace. The road network is well-maintained, and driving allows you to access remote areas where Icelandic horses are often found. Alternatively, you can also join organized tours that include transportation.

Summary of Facts

  • Icelandic horses are a unique breed known for their compact size, thick double coat, and distinctive gaits.
  • They have been bred in isolation for over a thousand years, making them well-adapted to the Icelandic climate and terrain.
  • Icelandic horses have played an integral role in Icelandic culture and are celebrated in various events and festivals.
  • You can experience Icelandic horses through horseback riding tours, visiting horse farms, and attending equestrian shows.
  • The best time to visit Iceland and experience Icelandic horses is during the summer months.
  • Iceland is easily accessible by air, with direct flights to Keflavík International Airport.
  • Renting a car is the most convenient way to get around Iceland, but organized tours with transportation are also available.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure with Icelandic horses in the stunning landscapes of Iceland. These remarkable creatures are sure to leave a lasting impression and create memories that will stay with you forever.

Posted by

Vincent Scheidecker

I am Vincent Scheidecker, born in 1972 in Nice, France, and the founder of, established in 2002. Our platform connects over a million members for language learning and cultural exchange. In 2022, we launched to merge travel with language learning, offering rich experiences at great prices. We invite language and travel enthusiasts to join us in exploring the world! 😊

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