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. Ireland

Stay on a working horse farm in Tipperary, near the attractive town of Thurles, with daily riding excursions and the option of training sessions in the arena. Cross country hacks are interspersed with downtime to relax in the glorious Irish scenery hereabouts, visits to local pubs to sample the craic or a day at the races (in season). Spring is a very popular time to visit, when the mares are in foal and you might even get to witness a birth.

When to depart: All year-round
Our top selling trip: Tipperary horse riding holiday in Ireland
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Ireland travel guide

6. Jordan

You’ll need to be at least an intermediate rider for a horse riding holiday in Jordan, and an adventurous streak doesn’t hurt either. Expect long days in the saddle over terrain that ranges from mountains to sand dunes and mud flats, and point-to-point treks that involve sleeping under the stars Bedouin-style. Arabian horses are legendary for their elegance, speed and warmth towards humans, and are the perfect way to explore sites such as Petra and Wadi Rum.

When to depart: October, November
Our top selling trip: Jordan horse riding holiday, Petra to Wadi Rum
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Read more: Jordan travel guide

7. Montenegro

Montenegro’s northern lake district, and the stunning Lovćen National Park, form a picture-perfect destination for a horse riding holiday. You’ll be trekking over undulating hillsides and wild plateaus, through dense forest and alpine pastures, with mountain or ocean views around every bend. This is one of the best places in Europe to get away from it all, and to do so on horseback lends a real pioneering element.

When to depart: September
Our top selling trip: Montenegro horse riding holiday
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: Montenegro travel guide

8. Rajasthan

Horse riding is part of Rajasthan’s heritage, with the famous Marwari having been bred here for over nine centuries. So, not only will you get a chance to gallop across the Thar Desert or go trekking through the Aravalli Hills, you will do so on an exquisite equine. Horse riding has long been a prestigious pastime of Rajasthani royals, in particular Pratap Singh, son of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Yes, of the trouser (and city) fame.

When to depart: All year round
Our top selling trip: Horse riding tours in Rajasthan, India
See all our trips: Horse riding holidays
Read more: India 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

Catalan horse riding holiday in Spain

Catalan horse riding holiday in Spain

Horse riding in the beautiful Catalan countryside.

From €700 to €1150 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Horse riding or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Di Jones] [Mongolia: Jeanne Menjoulet] [France: jill111] [Montenegro: Mario Micklisch]
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