Iceland has so much to offer but that doesn’t mean you can’t pack a lot in to a short trip. With lots of tours companies offering half day excursions I opted to book with Iceland Grayline and combing two must do Icelandic activities. With a morning of Icelandic horse riding, followed by the famous Golden Circle Tour it was set to be an action packed day.
As well as looking very beautiful against epic Icelandic scenery Icelandic horses have some unique draws for anyone who is an active equestrian. Horses in Iceland have five gaits which is different to a normal horses’ four which turns out make the entire task of horse riding quite different. On arriving at the horse farm, which is set in the middle of Thingvellir National Park, the first thing you notice is how little these horses are. I’m given a horse with an almost pronounceable name but which apparently meant nibble footed and told he is ‘speedy’ and yes he was.
Icelandic riding proved quite different to what I’m used too but I think I might actually prefer it. The views were beautiful and the ride went through various ups and downs and even through a river or two but on the homeward leg I got to see how fast “nibble foot” could go. Icelandic horse riding and indeed racing can now be ticked of the Iceland must do list.
After spending lunch at the horse farm I got picked up to join a coach tour of the Golden Circle. Coach tours arent really my thing but this seems the only way to get there without hiring a car. Turned out this was your typical American large coach tour bus with stereotypical tour guide commentary. Not really a fan but I got to see the sights even if it was as a 50 person crowd from our bus plus about 10 other tour buses on the same route.
Never the least first stop was to see some of the tectonic activity and a spot where the plates are pulling apart and causing great fissures in the rock. Gullfoss was the next scheduelled stop and the waterfall was much.bigger than I expected. Definately a site to see that I feel the photos likely wont do justice to. From here we head to the geysir Stokkur which goes off ever 8 minutes compared to old faithful in Yellow thats once an hour. I find this really quite cool and actually literally as well contary to my expectstion on the area being warm with all the stream it was just as cold as everywhere else. A quick stop at a ‘little’ waterfall and then home. Its a long day.