Vík Horse Adventure

Easy-going and slow riding tours in South Iceland
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About us

Welcome to Vík Horse Adventure

We offer scenic riding tours on the beautiful black sand beach of Vík, South Iceland. Our Black Beach Riding Tour is approximately one-hour duration and we welcome riders of all abilities who are looking for a gentle ride in our stunning surroundings!

The tours are mostly walking speed with the opportunity to try some tölt, the special gait of the Icelandic horse. We will be happy to welcome you to our stable and give you an opportunity to meet the Icelandic horse!

Our Riding tours

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Our Tours

Black Beach Riding Tour

An easygoing one-hour ride, suitable for beginners and people that don’t go riding often, from ten years and up. This is a scenic ride in the beautiful environment of Vík and the famous black sand beach Víkurfjara.

Our Tours

Black Beach Family Tour

A gentle 30-minute ride, suitable for families with children from the age of six. Children are on lead reins, and the guides can give extra support for anyone particularly nervous. Keep your eyes open for trolls and birds!

Small groups - Max 12 riders per group

An international team of knowledgeable guides

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The chance to experience the black sand beach from horseback

Horses that are well taken care of

Not coming to Iceland but know someone who is?

Vík Horse Adventure

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer gift vouchers?
Do I need to wear a helmet?

We take safety very seriously and therefore require everyone to wear a helmet for the entire duration of the tour.

Do I need to make a booking, or can I just show up?

It’s always best to book if you are planning to ride with us. We get busy in the summer season so there may not be spots for walk-ins. Even in the quieter times of the year, it is better to have a booking because then we can have suitable horses ready for you – we might otherwise be out training horses for example.

If you want to keep your plans flexible and just drop in when you’re passing, it’s best if come at least 1 hour before a scheduled ride is due to depart. This means that if there is space for you to join the ride, we have time to prepare a horse for you.

Do you offer pick up?

Unfortunately, we do not offer a pick-up service. We are around 3 hours drive from Reykjavík, most people come in a rental car.

What time do we need to be at the stable?

Please be at the stable, dressed and ready to ride, 15 minutes before your departure time (e.g. 08:45 for the 09:00 ride). This allows time for you to be signed in, get a helmet fitted, and a run-through of a quick demo/safety briefing so that everyone is on the horses and ready to leave on time. Please be aware that if you come late (e.g. 09:00 for the 09:00 am ride), we may not be able to hold the group for you.

If you want to keep your plans flexible and just drop in when you’re passing, it’s best if come at least 1 hour before a scheduled ride is due to depart. This means that if there is space for you to join the ride, we have time to prepare a horse for you.

We’re running late - can we still join the tour we booked?

We aim to be on the horses and heading out the door at the time of your tour. Therefore, if you come at 9.00 for the 9.00 tour, it’s unfortunately not possible to hold the tour for you. Before you get on the horse, we have to sign you in and fit a helmet, and run through a 5-minute safety/instructional demo - so if the rest of the group is mounted and ready to go, it’s not fair to make them wait.

We have a busy daily schedule with several tours departing, as well as stable chores, feeding, and breaks for our horses and staff - so to keep things running smoothly, we ask that you are at the stable and dressed ready to ride 15 minutes before departure.

The weather is bad! Is the tour still running?

Icelandic horses are used to rain and wind, so unless the conditions are very stormy and unsafe, we normally do still operate tours in the rain. Please come dressed appropriately!

If you are unsure whether the tour is still running because of bad weather, please get in touch with us via phone or e-mail. The weather can change very quickly, so sometimes it’s not possible to say whether the tour will run or not until very close to the departure time. If you are making a special trip just to visit us (e.g. from Reykjavík) then please get in touch in good time to see what your options are. It is also a good idea to check safetravel.is and road.is before you start a journey in Iceland.

What should I wear?

Practical clothing similar to what you might wear on a hike, according to the weather on the day. Hiking boots or trainers are ideal footwear. You can wear a hat or headband under the helmet if it is cold, but bulky hats with big bobbles or pompoms may not fit (a tube scarf/neckwarmer like a Buff is ideal).
It rains a lot in Iceland so it is good to be prepared with raingear, but please avoid ponchos or big, flappy coats that may scare the horses!

Is there a weight limit?

With the welfare and longevity of our horses in mind, we have a weight limit of 100 kg (220 lbs). This is the absolute limit for our largest and strongest horses; the majority of our horses can comfortably carry 70-90kg. There is only one breed of horse in Iceland and they are a bit smaller than other horses, so unfortunately we cannot accommodate riders larger than this.

Am I physically capable of joining the tours?

Our tour is an easygoing one-hour ride, but we require all participants to be physically fit enough to mount independently, sit up and balance while riding along, hold the reins, and follow the guides’ instructions to control their horses. We get on the horses from the ground as this is how they are trained in Iceland (not to stand with a stool/mounting block).

Horseback riding mainly causes pressure on hips and knees. If you have medical conditions in these areas, or for example have had a recent knee/hip replacement, mounting will be difficult and riding may feel uncomfortable. If you need special assistance such as somebody leading you on your horse, please get in touch before booking. On our 30-minute family tour we are able to provide extra assistance more easily.

Please note that horseback riding during pregnancy is very risky and that we, therefore, reserve the right to exclude riders from our tours in case of pregnancy or severe physical impairment.

Is the Family Tour also on the beach or just round the stable?

This tour also goes to the black sand beach; our stable is only 100m from the beach so even on the shorter tour we can still go there! It is just a shorter route, and children are on lead reins so that guides can give extra support. Of course, just like with our 1-hour tour there is sometimes a chance with weather/tides we cannot get on the beach, but we will be in touch with anyone who has pre-booked about this if necessary. 

What is your policy for rescheduling bookings?

We are happy to try and reschedule you until 48 hours before your original departure time, subject to availability and to our Terms and Conditions.

Can I choose which horse I ride?

Just like people, all horses are different. We know our horses well and whether they are suitable for beginner or experienced riders, so it is best for the guides to choose a horse for you. It’s great if when booking you can let us know the experience levels of everyone in your group so that we can prepare suitable horses.

Can I bring my Backpack / GoPro / Drone / Camera on the ride?

We advise against bringing too much with you on the ride. Backpacks can get uncomfortable or affect your balance, as can large DSLR-type cameras. It´s fine to bring a GoPro if you have a suitable mount (helmet or chest) but as you need both hands on the reins, we advise against the stick type mounts. Drones are also not allowed, as they can scare the horses, and also you need full attention on your horse rather than flying your drone!


It's a good idea though to bring a small camera or phone in a zipped pocket, as we make sure to stop on the beach for the guides to take some photos of you.
We have some lockers at the stable where you can leave your bags and cameras if you do not have a car to lock them in.

My child is under your age limit. Can they still join the tour?

Please be aware that we never let children/babies ride on the same horse as an adult.

We may sometimes allow 9-year-olds to join the 1-hour tour if they have a good level of riding experience (e.g. regular riding lessons, not just a few trail rides) and are confident riding in a group. Please email us before booking to discuss this.

From experience, we find that children under 10 can be a bit more easily distracted or less focused, and more easily overwhelmed by a new activity. Even for children who have a lot of riding experience, being on a new horse in a new environment - and with instructions in a language they maybe do not understand - can be a lot of pressure. 

For the 1 hour Black Beach Riding Tour, we ride in groups of up to 10 people and everyone is in control of their own horse (no lead reins and guides are also mounted). We ride on an open public beach and need to ensure the safety and enjoyment of the group as a whole. For groups with children younger than 10 years, in the summer months, we offer a 30-minute Family Tour daily at 16:00 - on this ride, guides are walking with the children on a lead rein to be able to provide closer assistance for our youngest guests. 

Do you do tours for longer than one hour?

At the moment, we only offer the regular 50-60 minute tour and the 30-minute family tour.

Can you take bigger groups?

If you have a larger group and the booking calendar does not have enough spaces, please get in touch with your requirements and we will try to accommodate you. It is best if you can let us know well in advance so that we can make sure we have enough horses and guides ready for you.

Can we do a private tour?

Yes! Private tours enable you to have a tour tailored to your wishes and abilities and are ideal for more experienced riders. We will ride according to the abilities of the least experienced rider of the private group. Please note though that even if riders are experienced we can't guarantee canter/gallop on the beach, as the beach conditions change daily, and it is often too soft or too rocky to go fast. We do have a slightly different route to the normal tour that we can possibly use to try more tölt, it is still 1 hour long though. Please get in touch with the weight/riding experience of everyone in your group to arrange a time for a private tour and find out prices.

I am an experienced rider. Will I get to go fast?

Experienced riders are very welcome to join our tours. However, please note that our groups are normally mixed ability and we adjust to the speed of the least experienced rider for safety reasons - this means the speed is normally walking for the majority of the tour. We always do our best to make sure that everyone can try some tölt on the tour and to accommodate more experienced riders, but this will be at the discretion of your guides on the day. Please note that the 30-minute family tour is only ever walking.

I would like to gallop on the beach! Can I do this on your tour?

It is very unlikely that you will be able to gallop on a tour with us. The beach conditions change with the tides and storms, but it is normally very rocky and soft so unsuitable for going fast. Our guides are experienced at assessing riding ability and the potential risks of speeding up. They are best qualified to make this decision on our tours, with the safety and enjoyment of the group as a whole and the welfare of our horses in mind. Please respect our guides’ instructions during the tour and accept that it is unlikely they will offer you a chance to go faster than trot/tölt.

Can we visit the plane wreck?

The plane wreck on Sólheimasandur is around 30 km away on a different beach, so we do not visit it on our tours. It is around a 30-minute drive from Vik, and then a 4 km walk each way from the car park.

Can we see the basalt columns and the Hálsanefshellir cave on Reynisfjara?

We operate our tours from Víkurfjara, the black sand beach located directly in Vík. Reynisfjara, the basalt columns and Hálsanefshellir cave are on the other side of Mt. Reynisfjall, so we cannot reach them on the tour. Reynisfjara is just a 10 minutes’ drive from Vík, which makes it the perfect destination to visit before or after your ride.

Can children/minors join a ride without an adult?

Children or teenagers are welcome to join the rides without an adult (subject to our minimum age restrictions) as long as they are confident controlling a horse independently and are able to understand our instructions in English. Our guides speak a variety of languages but we cannot guarantee which guides are working on which tour.

Vík Horse Adventure

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Reviews

Perfect activity for the beach in Vík

Great experience! The day I went happened to be a very windy and rainy day. No one’s fault, that’s Iceland for you. The guide said that the horses were used to it as Vík can be more rainy than other places, but that we would also be the last tour that day given the weather was so poor. However, decked out in my raincoat and expecting to be soaked by the end, I still had an awesome time. My horse was very sweet and we had a great ride along the beach. The guides stopped us to take photos with the famous rock formations in the background, and because it was so dreary and foggy, the photos actually looked pretty cool and ominous! My black horse against the black and hazy beach. Those who wanted, got to jog on the way back, and it was long enough to really get a feel for it. Prepare for any weather and this experience will be a great one!

Review of Black Sand Beach Horse Riding Tour from Vik – review from Tripadvisor (September 2023)

Unforgettable Experience in Iceland

This was definitely one of the more memorable experiences my wife and I had in Iceland. It was a very small group and the tour guides Hilary and Filip were very interactive and made sure everyone was safe and having a great time. We don’t have much experience riding, but our horses were very calm took care of us. Would definitely do again!

Amazing Horse Riding Experience on Black Sand Beach!

Amazing experience with my fiancee as we get an hour ride along the beautiful coast and through a stream as well. The Horses are cute and generally great to ride. 

A big shootout to Filip who is a wonderful instructor. We learnt to ride essentials fast. Highly recommend this to anyone visiting Vik!

Amazing way to spend some time

My family of four had a great time horseback riding on the black sand beach. The staff were friendly and accommodating – we had Diedre and Filip. The horses were gentle and well behaved. We were mostly beginner riders and it was great. We lucked out with a sunny day. We had two guides and we rode down the beach and back for roughly an hour. I would highly recommend this activity. It was really amazing.

Favorite activity in Iceland

I would highly recommend this for all ages. The horses are very gentle and well behaved. We rode with 2 guides down the beach and back. If you are up for going a little faster they are just ok with that and will guide you through it.

Beautiful Horses and Landscape of the Beach

Hilary was our guide and very nice. Everyone liked their horses, I should have booked for a longer ride. You go out on the black sand beach, we had great conversations about life in Vik summer vs winter, evacuations in regards to living with volcanoes. The horses were well cared for and we enjoyed our visit.

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Location

How to get there

The meeting point is directly at our stable on Smiðjuvegur 6 in Vík. Please be careful with SatNavs! The location of our stable on Google Maps is in the correct place (Vík Horse Adventure, 63.416699, -18.996465), but some SatNavs try to lead you down a steep gravel bank from the nearby roundabout where you will get stuck. Access is through the Orkan petrol station, opposite Hotel Kría - turn into the petrol station and then turn right and you will find us.

info@vikhorseadventure.is

+354 787 9605

Smiðjuvegur 6, Vík 870

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Please take a moment to see if your question is answered in our FAQ - otherwise, feel free to ask us!