Our top 10 horse riding vacations

Most horse riding vacations do assume you have at least some experience on horseback already, but not all. If you’re new to horse riding, want to introduce the kids to the sport, or have not been in the saddle for some time, then you may want to look at Europe. Regions such as Catalonia and Tuscany are ideal for easygoing trots and canters across idyllic terrain. More experienced riders might want to look further afield to places such as Mongolia, Jordan or India, where confidence, physical fitness and a readiness to endure sometimes quite basic conditions reward you with vast expanses of spectacular horse country to explore.

1. Mongolia

Genghis Khan conquered an entire empire from horseback, yet despite that Mongolia’s unadulterated wilderness and pure beauty – illustrated by endless skies and rolling steppe against a collision of mountains and sand dunes – simply screams freedom. If you love riding in the great outdoors, this is a chance to truly immerse yourself in nature at its most liberating. You’ll be led by herders that spend their lives on horseback, and have many opportunities to engage with local communities as you travel.

When to depart: June to September
Our top selling trip: Mongolia horse riding vacation, Zavkhan Classic
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Mongolia travel guide

2. Wales

Embark on a fantastic horseback expedition from the England / Wales border all the way to the coast, at the Dovey Estuary, on one of our most popular Wales horse riding vacations. Small group tours are led by guides familiar with the unmarked trails that lead you through wild hills and valleys, overnighting in small inns and hotels over the course of a week. You’ll be responsible for feeding, grooming and tacking your own steed throughout, so expect to become very attached.

When to depart: May to September
Our top selling trip: Border to coast horse riding vacation in the UK
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Wales travel guide

3. Catalonia

The Pyrenean foothills outside Girona are sublime territory for horse riding, offering a good mix of terrain for experienced riders as well as those new to life in the saddle. Expert instructors teach a variety of styles, then lead you on scenic rides around volcanic countryside, lakes, rivers and trails once used by highwaymen. It’s a great option for families with younger children, with gentle ponies available and an ample range of other activities nearby.

When to depart: All year-round
Our top selling trip: Catalan horse riding vacation in Spain
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Catalonia travel guide

4. France

The Poitou-Charentes region is a rural pocket of western France, where the hospitality and general bonhomie of shared accommodation is just as enticing as the countryside. Leisurely rides in the surrounding areas can be combined with lessons, or if you’re already a confident rider then you can take a tour of a local vineyard, explore nearby medieval villages, or take a picnic out to enjoy in a lush green valleys.

When to depart: May to September
Our top selling trip: Horse riding vacation in France
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: France travel guide

5. Iceland

In the summer, the sun barely sets in the Land of Ice and Fire, perfect for long days on horseback. Tough Icelandic horses carry you at the tölt, a pace between a trot and canter, through a wildlife-rich river delta, geothermal valley and flowery meadows, over black sand beaches, on small group rides led by local guides.

When to depart: May to September
Our top selling trip: Horse riding vacation in Iceland
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Iceland travel guide

6. Poland

If you’re looking for a unique destination in which to saddle up, consider Poland’s Bieszczady mountain range. Here you’ll ride through unspoiled wilderness of fields, rivers, woods and hills, either staying at local guesthouses, or camping outdoors. Guides fill you in on the region’s tumultuous history around the fire in the evenings, with all routes and distances tailored to the average member of the group.

When to depart: All year round
Our top selling trip: Poland horse riding vacation
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Poland travel guide

7. Ecuador

Embark on a week-long small group ride from the foothills outside Quito into Ecuador’s magnificent High Andes. Follow ancient Incan trails, admire snow-capped volcanoes and Andean condors, stay at luxurious and historic haciendas, and enjoy the immersion into indigenous culture that comes naturally when traveling through rural areas at a slower pace. While designed for intermediate riders this trip can also accommodate beginners, with lessons available, and you will also appreciate a few days acclimatising before set-off, as you’ll be riding at altitude.

When to depart: February to December
Our top selling trip: Horse riding in Ecuador
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Ecuador travel guide

8. Argentina

Trek alongside gaucho guides through remote mountain landscapes and camping at family-owned fincas, or for the more intrepid, follow in the (hoof)prints of San Martin on the legendary Crossing of the Andes from Chile to Argentina. Horses are used to sometimes rough terrain, and these tailormade tours are an ideal way to experience Argentina's famous gaucho culture.

When to depart: All year round
Our top selling trip: Horse riding and trekking in Argentina
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Argentina travel guide

9. Romania

The foothills of the Transylvanian Carpathians make a superb base for year round horse riding vacations. That’s right, you can canter through the snow here, a magical experience. You will be provided with a horse suited to your size and ability, with a range of breeds available including Lipizzaner and Arabs, and then ride out to explore medieval villages that seem frozen in time, unfenced pastures and meadows, and ancient forest.

When to depart: All year-round
Our top selling trip: Horse riding vacation in Romania
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: Romania travel guide

10. South Africa

South Africa is a fantastic destination for family horse riding vacations. Beyond the riding you've got culture, history, the opportunity for games such as polocrosse, wine tasting and, of course, your horse riding can also be combined with big game safaris in some of the world's greatest national parks suchas Kruger.

When to depart: All year round
Our top selling trip: Family horse riding vacation in South Africa
See all our trips: Horse riding vacations
Read more: South Africa travel guide

Our top Horse riding Vacation

Catalan horse riding vacation in Spain

Catalan horse riding vacation in Spain

Horse riding in the beautiful Catalan countryside.

From 734 to1165 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Horse riding or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Di Jones] [Mongolia: Jeanne Menjoulet] [France: jill111] [Ecuador: Julia Rubinic]
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