Horse Riding and Golden Circle Day Tour | Two Essential Icelandic Experiences

Iceland has many seething geothermal areas, but Geysir is the most popular.
The crystal clear waters of the ravines in Þingvellir originates at Langjökull glacier.
Strokkur geyser caught just as it is starting to erupt.
Icelandic horses have strong individual personalities.
An Icelandic horse before a craggy, dramatic Icelandic landscape.
Öxaráfoss in Þingvellir completely frozen over.
Based on 27 traveller reviews

Combine two essential Icelandic experiences in one on this awesome combo tour: ride the beautiful native horse, and see the famous sites of the Golden Circle. This tour should appeal to anyone seeking to fit as much into a single day as possible.

You will be picked up in the morning and driven to the outskirts of Reykjavík, to Laxnes Horse Farm. This area is stunning, with a trickling river, bold mountains, and verdant fields. It also has a fascinating history, as this area was home to Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner, writer Halldór Laxness. 

There, you will be introduced to your guides, equipment and, of course, your steed. Icelandic horses are incredible creatures; though smaller than regular horses, they are renowned for being more intelligent, curious and sociable than other breeds, perfect for both beginner riders and experts. 

You'll ride the horses for over an hour through the stunning area. At the farm afterwards, you will have some time to eat before jumping aboard the bus heading to the Golden Circle.

The first stop on this classic tourist trail is Þingvellir National Park. This area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it was here that the world’s oldest parliament was founded, back in 930 AD. It is also surrounded by fascinating geology, being directly between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, both of which are clearly visible on opposite sides of the park.

Following your walk here, you will head into the Haukadalur valley, home to the Geysir Geothermal Area. As the name suggests, this area is home to geysers, but the one that gave all others their name, Geysir itself, has been inactive for the past few years. Luckily, however, Strokkur erupts every five to ten minutes to impressive heights, so you will have a chance to see it go off several times. 

Just a few minute’s drive from Geysir is Gullfoss waterfall, the third and final stop of this popular trail. This is Iceland’s most well-known falls, and when you admire it, you will be left in little doubt as to why. It is enormous, powerful, and it plunges into a beautiful, ancient valley. There are many viewing platforms from which you can observe it, including one right at the water’s edge. 

After this jam-packed day, you will take the bus back to Reykjavík, with enough time to enjoy your evening in the capital.

So jump aboard this tour, and roll two incredible experiences in one. Mount and ride an Icelandic horse, and marvel over three of Iceland’s most popular sites. Check availability by choosing a date.

Quick facts

Tour information:
  • Available: Mar. - Dec.
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Activities: Horse Riding, Sightseeing
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Minimum age: 8 years.
  • Languages: English
  • Highlights: Golden Circle, South Iceland, Geysir, Gullfoss, Þingvellir, Strokkur, Laxnes, Haukadalur
Pickup information:
  • Pickup time : 09:00

Please be at your pickup location in time for your departure. Should your pickup location be at a bus stop and you need assistance finding it, seek guidance in your Hotel's reception or contact your tour provider directly.

  • Pickup from Reykjavík

  • All equipment

  • Guided sightseeing tour of the Golden Circle

  • Meals

What to bring:
  • Warm clothes


Average rating 4.8 / Number of reviews 27

The horseback riding was absolutely amazing, it was a good experience to get close with the horses. The Laxnes Horse Farm and their staff was so great and friendly. The guide managed the group and horses pretty well. It was another way too see Iceland's natural scenario in the countryside- A Miracle Of Nature. I learned so much from our guide on the tour of the golden circle. The golden circle and the waterfalls was truly amazing. LOVE IT!!!!

I'd rate the tour a 4.5. The Laxnes Horse Farm was truly amazing -- a 5+ all the way! The horses were social and easy to ride for both experienced and novice riders. The owners/staff were extremely helpful and friendly. The soup and homemade bread were delicious, hearty and the perfect way to cap a morning in the countryside. The afternoon tour was a great way to see some of Iceland's natural highlights in a short period of time. The bus size (43 on the tour) was a bit larger than I would have liked, but overall a solid 4/5. The guide was nice and managed the group pretty well. A smaller tour group would allow for more personalization from the guide, but if you like some historical highlights with time to explore on your own, this tour fits the bill. Thank you, Grayline!

Love the Laxnes Horse Farm; such an amazing experience. Even my husband, who has ridden twice in his life and isn't a big fan of the sport, LOVE the ride. Like other reviewers said, the Laxnes Horse Farm team was easy going - not too strict - which made the ride more enjoyable.

This was definitely the best tour I've been on. Our guide, Darren, was AWESOME! He was so informative on the tour of the Golden Circle. I learned so much about Iceland and it's background and culture from him. The horseback riding was amazing too. The Laxnes Horse Farm and their staff was so great. I loved that they were pretty lenient on the actual horseback riding. I'm an experienced rider and have been on so many trail rides that are so strict and not that much fun, but this was nothing like that. I would DEFINITELY recommend this tour to anyone who wants to see the beautiful countryside on horseback and also check out the landmarks of Iceland.

The horse farm was amazing and Golden Circle was so beautiful. Definitely recommend as 2 must dos while in Iceland and great to combine them into one day.

It was such a great experience to be close to Icelandic horses. These horses are so adorable and calm to ride on. Also, we have warm and kind hosts to teach us how to be with them. I have to say, if you want to visit Iceland soon, don't hesitate to book this must-do trip.

It's my first time to ride a horse in my lifetime. Guide in the horse farm is so caring for different levels of horse riders. If you are the beginner of horse riding, I'm pretty sure you will have a great horse riding experience with Icelandic horse [not ponies :-)]

A must-do experience while in Iceland! The kindness and warmth of the guides was eclipsed only by the gentle nature of the Icelandic horse. I have only rode a horse once before and was shocked at how calm the trots were. The weather will change every five minutes; on the ride back we were smacked with a heavy mist--but it only enriched the experience. Bring a camera, as you will be treated to a nice surprise at the break point! There are no words to describe the raw beauty of Thingvellir, Gulfoss or the hot springs at Geysir. My jaw is still on the floor! Tips: wear the rubber boots and mud pants at the horse farm as you may get a tad muddy. It is critical that you wear waterproof jacket for the rest of the tour, as you will get damp at the very least. We can't wait to go back again and again!


the horse riding should teach us more before we began.Too difficult and scary for a beginner.

It was so good tour! I could see the beatiful view of Iceland and had a good time with my horse. Horses were not wild at all, they were so cute. Thanks!

Riding an Icelandic horse was an unforgettable experience. I felt so embraced in the Norse tradition especially after knowing that my horse's name was Thor! The ride was magnificent with the views of the valleys, hills, and little streams. The staff were so genuinely friendly and hospitable. The fact that the size of the group was small, we were well taken cared of and we made friends with other people quite easily. The soup was so good we forgot about eating our own sandwiches. Golden Circle would have been thrilling if the weather was clearer. In all, this tour is highly recommended.

The tour was very nice! The horse owners were nice and welcoming, the ride was fun and relaxing, and the views were beautiful! then we had a really nice time at the farm waiting for the bus - they gave us soup and bread and coffee or tea - which was particularly awesome since it was a cold day :) then we headed for the golden circle - which is a beautiful trip and a great way to start knowing the amazing landscape of Iceland!

Cool. Everything is perfect

The owners of the horses were very nice persons. We had a great time riding the horses and after, in the farm. The afternoon in the golden circle was nice too, espacially the geyser part. I recommand it

Do check the weather before booking this trip... It was raining and super windy when we rode the horses, which made it a unique experience I'll never forget... Raincoats and rain boots were provided but we still got wet... The horse owner was very friendly and lent us dry cloths and boots after the horseback riding. The golden circle part was with the grey line big bus - a pretty standard half day tour I guess.

It was amazing! One of the most beautiful horse rides I've ever done. The driver for the tour to Golden Circle told us all sorts of interesting facts of Iceland as he was driving us around. Highly recommened!

It was amazing of traveling in the snow with the handsome horses, it makes me feel like a member of adventure team, exacting, and relaxing.

Great experience. I loved the geyser area and to see it sprout tens of meters high up in the sky was amazing. Make sure not to miss this and the cute Icelandic horse.

The golden circle is an amazing route. My horse was a little wild but soon he calmed down and the ride was very enjoyable. 5 stars for this trip.

We like the Golden circle so much that we went there again, this time we went horse riding too. Being used to horses in my country I can say that the Icelandic horse is one of the kindest creatures I have been near too. If you like horses you should combine this tour with your journey to the golden circle. You won´t regret it.

I did this tour in September 2012. I was the only experienced rider among 12 total beginners. I got a nice fiercy but easy going horse called Stjarne. He made this ride for me very enjoyable, a two hour ride across rivers, uphill, tolting and having a break on top of a hill overlooking what I think is Mossfellbaer. This was really a best value tour for those who not have much time. The Golden circle was amazing too!

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Guide to Iceland does not add any fees, and as such, can not be liable for any accidents, losses, injuries, damages, delays, expenses due to any action or inaction on the part of the operator, guide or his/her services. As the terms and conditions of each tour operator may vary, please read the terms and conditions of each operator you purchase a tour from.

Iceland excursions terms and conditions
Complimentary pick up service
We offer complimentary pick up service for our passengers 30 to 60 min prior to tour departure at any hotel/guesthouse in Reykjavik (please see individual tour descriptions for more details). We reserve the right to alter or change the itinerary according to weather and road conditions.

Change of reservation
It is possible to change a reservation up to 2 hours prior to tour departure free of charge.

Cancellations of tours must go through our office and should be sent at least 24 hours prior tour departure to or fax +354 540 1310. Confirmations of cancellations will be sent back within 24 hours during weekdays. 

Tour departure / Complimentary pick up service / Drop off service
All day tours booked start from our office at Hafnarstræti 20, 101 Reykjavík (Lækjartorg) at the departure time given on your voucher. It is the passengers responsibility to arrive at our tour office in time to check in for their tour and to board the tour bus at the tour departure time written on their voucher. 
We offer a complimentary pick up service for all our day tours. Passengers wanting to take advantage of the complimentary pick up service are requested to wait outside their hotel 30 to 60 minutes prior to tour departure (please see individual tour descriptions for more information) in order to board the pick up bus.
Missing the pick up bus does not entitle to a refund of the price paid for the tour. 

Drop off after day tours may sometimes not be right in front of your hotel/guesthouse due to narrow streets and actual coach size used during the tour.

Passengers with special needs
If you have any special needs or requests you should notify the Iceland Excursions sales department as soon as possible. We always try to fulfill our customers wishes at all times.

It is permitted to have foldable wheelchairs in our coaches without charge. Passengers that are unable to sit in a standard coach seat must advise the company´s office prior to tour departure.

Our fleet at Iceland Excursions – Gray Line Iceland includes coaches of all types and sizes, which are all equipped with safety belts. We have a limited number of Children's Safety Car Seats available. These can be provided on request, free of charge. The safety and comfort of our customers is one of our main goals.

Iceland Excursions – Gray Line Iceland reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or timetables should the necessity arise, including irregularities due to adverse weather or road conditions. No responsibility is taken for losses or expenses due to delay or changes of flights, injury, damaged, negligence, weather, war or other unforeseeable causes. Seats cannot be guaranteed unless booked at least two hours in advance. The estimated duration of tours as indicated on our website are standard times and can vary according to road or weather conditions. Punctuality is a key objective in Iceland Excursions – Gray Line Iceland operation. However, delays may occur for unforeseen reasons. The company cannot be made responsible for losses that a passenger may face due to delay, regardless whether the loss is direct or indirect.

Guide to Iceland cancellation policy:

Guide to Iceland charges a flat fee of 5000 ISK of each customer for online cancellations. 

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Horse Riding and Golden Circle Day Tour | Two Essential Icelandic Experiences

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