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World's Top Destinations for Horse Riding along the Beach

by Lystia Putranto

The go-to resource for planning your horse riding holidays. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and take your riding skills to new heights.
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Imagine listening to the soothing sounds of crashing waves and feeling the wind in your face as you canter and gallop across a breathtaking beach.

Seeing the water from a whole new perspective inevitably leaves you mesmerized and your heart pounding what seemed to be a million miles per hour.

One of the most exciting yet most relaxing activities that you can ever experience, riding a horse along the beach is certainly unlike riding elsewhere.

With the summer in full swing, there’s no better time to go beach horseback riding. That said, you may that finding a beach that allows horses may be a bit of a challenge.

Fret not –  This is why we’ve put together our picks of top destinations (in no particular order) where you can soak up the sun, take in plenty of fresh air, dip your toes in the salty water and spend some quality time bonding with our favorite four-legged friends.

The great news is that while some will only allow you to ride during certain times of the year, the rest enables you to ride all year round. Regardless of which of these gems you prefer, one thing’s for sure, you’ll have a horse riding holiday that you won’t soon forget. Enjoy!

Spain

beach horse riding Spain

Famed for its Flamenco music & dance, gorgeous weather, as well as its scrumptious cuisine, Spain happens to also offer plenty of fantastic beaches ideal for horseriding – most of which are open year round.

Though the beaches of Andalusia may be a crowd favorite, when it comes to beach horse riding, other destinations such as Mallorca can give it a serious run for its money.

Andalusia

One cannot think of horse riding and Andalusia without immediately think of the Spanish Andalusian horses. They are thought to be the world oldest horse breed for riding and experts claim that they did not ‘derive’ a single one of their features from any other horse breed. In other words, the Spanish Andalusian horse is thought to be 100% purebred.

Known for their calm temperament and empathy, the people of Spain deeply embrace their horse (and its history) and as a result, the breed can not only be found in Andalusia but all across Spain. So, no matter where you choose to go horse riding in Spain, chances are, you’ll be riding on a Spanish Andalusian.

Been dreaming of soaking up the sun on an Andalusian beach holiday? Costa del Sol, Malaga’s stunning coastline comes highly recommended.

While the ‘Coast of the Sun’ boasts one of the world’s most famous stretches of sea & sand, keep in mind that though you are allowed to ride horses in many of the beaches, some do not allow it as they tend to be overcrowded with sunbathers and swimmers.

The beach of Estepona, a favorite among locals, is an ideal pick when it comes to horse riding along the beach. As it’s located next to the popular Marbella, it often gets overshadowed and rarely gets packed. Thanks to its tranquility, you’ll be able to ride your more horse freely as you discover Costa del Sol’s beautiful sceneries on horseback.

Located in Costa de la Luz (the coast of light), facing Morocco, Tarifa also offers picture-perfect beaches made for horse riding. A small city in the province of Cádiz, Tarifa has an extensive chain of well-connected sandy beaches which includes Playa de Los Lances and Playa Chica that allow riders to cover its vast coastlines without restrictions.

Unlike Costa del Sol, much of Tarifa is left untouched, wild, and underdeveloped. If you are looking for a more natural and pristine stretch of Spanish beaches to explore, a visit to Tarifa may be your best bet.

That said, it’s best to steer clear of Playa de Valdevaqueros where surfers from around the globe come to catch some waves. Additionally, note that though most of Playa de Los Lances’ 10 KM coastline is open to horses, the southern section of the beach (Playa de Los Lances Sur) is strictly for sunbathers.

 

Mallorca

Mallorca beach horse riding

 

Gain a newfound sense of freedom as you ride your horse along a beach of golden sand. The largest island in the Balearic Islands, Mallorca, is home to ravishing beaches that are best to be explored on horseback.

This Spanish island is an excellent choice for those who are on the hunt for a destination that offers laid back horse riding excursions by the beach as well as trail riding in remote mountains.

When it comes to horse riding along beaches, Mallorca has an abundance of options to choose from. Sant Salvador, Consolació, Montisión, Es Trenc, and Son Serra de Marina beach are just some that you ought to consider. But why just opt for one or two when you can enjoy all of them? Luckily, some excursions offered in Mallorca will allow you to do just that! 

Morocco

Morocco beach riding

A year-round exotic destination, Morocco makes a wonderful choice if you’re looking to go horse riding along vast desserts and stunning beaches. If you have seen the iconic film, “Lawrence of Arabia” and have been dreaming of seeing the mesmerizing landscapes in person, you’ll be pleased to know that they were shot in Morocco!

Moreover, it is home to some of the world’s finest Arabian and Barb horses – the same breed ridden by the Moor Cavalry. Though they have a gentle temperament, rides on these horses tend to be quite fast-paced as they are trained to cover a lot of ground. Hence, some rides in this part of the world may be more suitable for those who have ample riding experience under their belt.

Top horse riding destinations in Morocco include Essaouira and Taghazout.

Essaouira

Famed for its scenic countryside, you can find magnificent and deserted beaches perfect for horse riding excursion. Essaouira Beach is a popular choice as rides in this region combine riding at the beach, the dunes, and the forest. 

Diabat beach is also a favorite among riding enthusiasts. Though it’s known as the quintessential hippy hangout, it tends to be more tranquil, making it a great place to gallop by the beach. Be sure to linger in your saddle in the evening and watch a breathtaking view of the sunset.

Taghazout

Similar to Essaouira, Taghazout is considered one of Morocco’s up and coming surf destination. You won’t only find surfers here though. Since Taghazout has some of the most beautiful Moroccan beaches (Tazghazout beach and La Source are examples of this), it attracts all types of travelers – families included.

The good news is that Taghazout and Essaouira shares some of these beaches along the coasts of Agadir in the Northside. Even in the high season, the beaches here don’t get too packed, making it ideal for horse riding excursions.

United Kingdom

UK beach riding

Surprised to see the UK on the list? Though the United Kingdom may not be the first place that pops to mind when it comes to beach horse riding, you’d be pleased to know that they offer ample choices of great beaches where you can enjoy a long gallop along the coastline. Some of its beaches even allow rides across all four seasons!

Interested in having it a go? You can experience top-notch rejuvenating horse riding holiday by the beach in Cornwall, Pembrokeshire, and Devon.

Cornwall

 

Cornwall beach horse riding

While you can find many horse riding trails in Cornwall, if you’re looking to ride along the coastline and/or swimming with horses at the beach, Gwithian beach and Godrevy beach are where you should be heading. 

Gwithian beach is also home to the UK’s friendliest spot for surf beginners – the “Sheep Dips”. Formed between two big sets of rocks, this large “rock pool” is often far warmer than the Atlantic and the waves are more forgiving than those found at Godrevy’s.

This, along with its long stretches of golden sand that makes it ideal for horse riding are just a few of the reasons why Gwithian is a favorite all year round vacation spot for locals and travelers alike. 

Blessed with high cliffs and dramatic coves, the neighboring Godrevy beach is also well worth a visit. At lower tides, the sandy beach of Gwithian beach is connected to Godrevy’s creating an even more impressive stretch of sand to discover on horseback.

Do keep in mind that at high tide, the majority of Godrevy gets covered by the sea so do check in advance for the time of high water to avoid being caught out.

Due to its stronger waves, it is a popular choice among more experienced surfers. And if you are a nature lover, Godrevy offers an abundance of wildlife from birds to a colony of seals that live on a secluded part of the beach.

Pembrokeshire

Located on the West Coast of Wales, you will find a diverse landscape suitable for horse riding holidays. From its rural lanes network that is excellent for hacking to the Preseli Mountains with its old drover tracks –  provides a challenge for the more experienced riders. 

Beginners need not worry though, there are paths along relaxing woodlands to explore and more importantly, there are plenty of beaches at Pembrokeshire which caters to all levels.

Surrounded by 180 miles of coastline, Pembroke’s whopping 50 beaches are protected by National Park status. This is why you’ll find that they have some of the bluest water and cleanest sand you’ll ever encounter. In fact, Pembrokeshire’s beaches have won awards for being some of the best in Wales!

With so many beaches to choose from, you’re probably wondering which you ought to visit. Barafundle Bay, Freshwater West Beach, and Manorbier Beach are some of the top beaches to enjoy an exhilarating ride during low tides as they don’t get overcrowded with visitors.

Devon

Devon beach horse riding

Are you a confident canterer? Putsborough Sands beach in North Devon is where you need to be.

Consisting of three miles stretch of sand, it stretches north towards Woolacombe and Morte Point and south towards Baggy points, you will find lots of experienced riders galloping, hacking, and cantering happily across the beach. 

If you prefer heading to South Devon, be sure to stop by one of its many stables and equestrian centers where you will be able to sign up for a guided horse riding tour along the area which includes rides along the countryside as well as its beautiful beaches. 

Blessed with outstanding beauty, Woolacombe beach comes highly recommended if you’re on the hunt for a thoroughly satisfying experience cantering through the surf.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica beach riding

This South American country is known for its white sand beaches, palm tree forests, and clear waters. As it is a tropical country, there’s no shortage of excellent destinations for a beach horse riding vacation in Costa Rica. That said, some destinations are a cut above the rest – below are our picks:

Guanacaste

Home to Playa Barrigona, Playa Buena Vista and Playa Carillo, horse riding enthusiasts from all over the globe flock to this part of the country to experience a soothing yet exciting riding session at the beach. 

They are cleaner than many Costa Rican beaches and are less-developed. There are few buildings in the area and instead of shops and hotels, the coastline is lined with palm trees and other lush vegetation, offering picture-perfect sceneries against the white sand and blue waters. 

Pavones

Playa Claro Rio beach riding

A small surf town located along Costa Rica’s southern Pacific Coast, this region is home to some of the best, longest waves in the world. When there’s a good swell, you can find experienced surfers from all over the globe in the water to take advantage of the waves. 

Pavones is also home to Playa Pavones, a beach ideal for long rides by the beach at low tide. If you are looking for an alternative, Playa Rio Claro is a great choice to consider. Situated near the Panamanian border, it is not only perfect for scenic horse riding but also excellent for watching surfers glide across its gnarly waves too!

Australia

Australia beach horse riding

Welcome to the land down under, a continent blessed with vast land and varied landscapes, making it a perfect fit for beach horse riding holidays. Here, you can reward yourself with an equine experience like no other. 

Without leaving the saddle, you can ride out with an Aboriginal cowboy, gaze upon Australia’s most impressive peaks, and point your steed into the surf. As there are so many great beaches to choose from, it feels almost impossible to narrow down.

That said, we believe that if an unforgettable horse riding along the beach is what you seek, Tasmania and Queensland should top your list.

Tasmania

An island located about 240 KM to the south of the Australian Mainland, Tasmania is the sixth largest in the world.

Affectionately referred by Australians as ‘Tassie’, it is considered one of the world’s last accessible wilderness frontiers. If you love nature as much as you love horse riding, you may consider it a slice of heaven on Earth.

Here, you can enjoy a spectacular ride up Hobart’s Seven Mile Beach with the Tasman Peninsula as your stunning backdrop. Throughout your ride, you’re bound to encounter many local species of birds, and if you’re lucky, some sightings of dolphins!

Queensland

Planning to head to Queensland soon? Be sure to spend a day or two at Rainbow Beach. An adventure playground with striking natural beauty, it boasts perfect weather all year round.

Only a three-hour drive from Brisbane, this stunning stretch of coastline is surrounded by a national park. Here, you can ‘horse around’ on the sand and in the surf while catching a glimpse of dolphins and breaching whales (only from July to October).

Note that since Rainbow beach is highly protected, there’s only one operator (Rainbow Beach Horse Rides) allowed to offer horse riding excursions here. This means that, unfortunately, you won’t able to bring your own horse.


Looking to go on a horse riding holiday as a family? Why not book a horse riding vacation popular for families?

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