Our top 10 horse riding holidays

Most horse riding holidays 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 holiday, Zavkhan Classic
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Mongolia travel guide

2. Tuscany

Ideal for families, foodies and culture vultures alike, the Tuscan landscape has inspired countless artists, poets and musicians, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in it than on horseback. Spend your days riding along wooded ridges, through picturesque hamlets, woods and olive groves, pausing for picnics, and then cantering back to your farmhouse accommodation. You can easily arrange a trip into Florence or Siena too (not on four legs though!) to lose yourself in their fabulous museums and galleries.

When to depart: April to June, September to October
Our top selling trip: Short break riding holiday in Tuscany
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Tuscany 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 holiday in Spain
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
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 holiday in France
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
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 holiday in Iceland
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Iceland travel guide

6. Kyrgyzstan

Follow in the trails of Silk road nomads, traders and warriors as you ride from Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, up into the Mountains of Heaven and over the border into China. Local guides accompany you throughout as you explore a remote and beautiful region, full of cultural discovery. You’ll stay with local families, wild camp by lakesides, or ancient caravanserai on a stunning, unforgettable horse riding expedition.

When to depart: August
Our top selling trip: Riding holiday in Kyrgyzstan
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Kyrgyzstan 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 travelling 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 holidays
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 holidays
Read more: Argentina travel guide

9. Romania

The foothills of the Transylvanian Carpathians make a superb base for year round horse riding holidays. 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 holiday in Romania
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Romania travel guide

10. South Africa

South Africa is a fantastic destination for family horse riding holidays. 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 holiday in South Africa
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: South Africa travel guide

Our top Horse riding Holiday

Border to coast horseriding holiday in Wales

Border to coast horseriding holiday in Wales

This is a real trail riding expedition, covering 100 miles

From £1800 6 days ex flights
Small group travel:
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Horse riding or need help finding a holiday 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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