Iceland is a dream destination for many bicycle travelers. Click here to watch my Iceland bike tour video.
This European island is the home to a mere 300,000+ residents and contains some of the most vast and impressive landscapes in the entire world. I’ve been wanting to experience Iceland for myself for several years now… and I’ll be getting that chance this coming May!
On May 4th, I land in Iceland with my friend and college roommate, Brandon Roesler, and together we will cycle approximately 800 miles around Iceland over a period of 24 days.
24 days may seem like a lot of time to see such a small country, but bicycle touring is a slow endeavor and we plan to do more than just rack up the miles while in the country.
Above you will see a map of the approximate route we plan to take around Iceland on our bicycles… and a more in-depth breakdown of this route can be found below.
Fly Into Keflavik International Airport
We fly into Iceland on the morning of May 4th. After we land, we’ll assemble our bicycles and take off toward Reykjavik. It is a short 30 mile ride from the airport to Iceland’s capital, so that’s probably all we’ll do on day number one.
Stock Up In Reykjavik – The Capital
We’ll spend a day or two in Reykjavik – both exploring the city and stocking up on food and supplies for our venture into the wilderness. While in Reykjavik, we’ll also be participating in a short one-day bicycle tour with Reykjavik Bike Tours.
Explore Our Surroundings At Thingvellir National Park
We’ll then cycle north toward Thingvellir National Park. Most of the campgrounds in Iceland don’t open until May 15th or later, so we’ll have to fend for ourselves and camp in the wild without access to toilets, showers, or any modern amenities.
Marvel At The Geyser in Geysir
Then we’ll ride a short distance further north-east to Geysir, the location of Iceland’s most famous hot-water geyser.
Off-Road It To Friðland Að Fjalllabaki
After Geysir we begin a long and beautiful off-road ride toward an incredibly scenic and remote area of Iceland known as Friðland Að Fjalllabaki. We plan to spend several nights camping in this isolated region of the country before continuing south and hitting up with the Ring Road.
Roll Onto the Ring Road At Kirkjubaejarklaustur
The Ring Road is the 832 mile (1,339 km) road that runs around the perimeter of Iceland. We had originally thought of cycling all the way around this road while we were in the country, but decided that doing so would prevent us from seeing some of Iceland’s more isolated regions.
Camp On The Edge Of The Vatnajokull Glacier
Traveling north on the Ring Road, we will cycle our way to the base of the Vatnajokull Glacier and camp out for a day or two in the Skaftafell National Park. During our time here we will explore the nearby glacier and take in the beauty of the sea.
Head West On The Ring Road
Then we’ll jump back on the Ring Road once again and head south, back in the direction we previously came from, and continue past the village of Kirkjubaejarklaustur, back towards Vestmannaeyjabær, Pörsmörk, and Selfoss. We’ll then cycle back through Reykjavik and continue cycling north towards the Snaefellnes Peninsula.
Cycle Along The Snaefellnes Peninsula
It will take us about three days of heavy cycling to reach the peninsula, but once we get there we will be able to take in some of Iceland’s most beautiful beach-side landscapes. I’m hoping to see some puffins and other native wildlife as well!
Soak It All In At Snaefellsjoekull National Park
Then we’ll finish the trip with a quick cycle around the Snaefellsjokull Glacier, before turning around and heading back to Reykjavik and the airport at Keflavik. At this point, Brandon will fly home, back to the United States, and I will continue on the United Kingdom and mainland Europe after that.
Note: This route around Iceland isn’t necessarily set in stone, and I’m sure that our travel plans will change a bit once we land in the country. But hopefully this gives you a general sense of where we plan to go during our 24 days in the country, and the type of scenery we expect to encounter along the way.
What do you think of the route we have planned? Do you have any suggestions on what else we should see and do while we are there? Leave a comment below if you have a question or a comment.
Photos by dumbledad, pocius, axelkr, exfordy, Land Rover Our Planet, giam, o palsson, benfff85, gladas_f, benfff85
19 thoughts on “Iceland Bike Tour Route Planning Details”
We at Reykjavik Bike Tours look forward to meet you. Stefan & Ursula. Travel safely and see you soon!
How’d you transport your bikes to Iceland?
Flew them there with me on the airplane.
What type of bike did you use? I’m planning a tour of iceland, and while at first I intended to use my surly lht, now I’m hearing a mountain bike with knobby tires is preferable.
Cycled/camping two years ago across the interior very different from any tour I have done in the past…In that I got stranded for three days in very heavy wind and rain,but looking back on this tour is one of utter satisfaction and will be back in the very near future….but would recommend not going solo…..also Carrie a few days extra food…you just never know….but enjoy
Darren did your final route end up changing from what was planned? Also, how did you initially develop this route?
Off back to Iceland this July on my second tour (cycle/camping)i won’t be going alone …lessons learned from last tour…not quite sure which route I will be doing yet …and it could possibly change when we get there …the weather is the main factor…last time cycled across the interior route 26. What a slog but so glad I managed to complete the route in less than perfect conditions…just see what it has in store for us this time round…Will write a short article of our tour when I get back 🙂
That’s great Paul! Have a wonderful time. And send me some pictures of you once you get home from your trip. I’d love to see and share your pics.
I am a keen runner and am looking at starting cycling as I feel I am finding the short distances vs time of running to be far less stimulating and exciting as out was initially. I find I’m enjoying trail runs, but would like to shift to cycling as it is kinder on the body. I have no knowledge or experience in regards too knowing which bicycle to purchase. First hand vs second hand. Wheel size? Hydraulic disk brakes? Please could I ask your assistance and advice. I intend to train with Iceland in mind. I stay in south Africa abs think a cycling trip to Lesotho before hand would be a great tester. I have found a 26″ mongolose meteor bike at a decent price. Do I need something better. What do you recommend?
Kind regards from sunny SA
Cindy, please see http://www.touringbicyclebook.com. This will help to answer all your questions. Yes, I think you need something better than a Mongoose bicycle. Not a good bike!
I’m planning a bike tour through Iceland and am wondering how your tour turned out? Did you stick to your original route? What would you change if you were to do it again?
Bicycle touring in Iceland was fantastic. It’s one of the best places I have ever been and I want to go back and do another trip there really soon. My only regret is that the 25 days I spent in the country was not enough. If I could do the trip all over again, I would probably have scheduled at least 2 months there.
Everything I wrote and documented about my bike tour in Iceland can be found here: http://bicycletouringpro.com/?s=Iceland
I am planning a self contained tour of Iceland starting the end of June 2016. I am wondering if going clockwise or counterclockwise is best to deal with the wind? Also, wondering if you stuck to the Ring Road? I am thinking of going clockwise and after leaving the capital Reykjavik cutting through on the road F-35 north and connecting to the Ring Road then continuing on around on the Ring Road the rest of the way. Can you suggest if this sounds good or should I get off the Ring Road more? Are there any MUST see sights that you would suggest too? Thanks for helping and I enjoy following you on your adventures
As far as the wind goes, I went counter-clockwise around the island… and it was a lot of headwind. But you have to remember that Iceland is an island, so no matter which way you go, you’re bound to get side/headwinds at some point. I don’t think it matter much which way you go.
We stuck mostly to the Ring Road, but we also took several days to travel inland… and I’m very glad we did that. My favorite part of cycling in Iceland was the stuff off the Ring Road and away from civilization. I would definitely recommend going inland if you are up for an adventure. Just make sure you go to Iceland at a time of year when the inland roads are open. If you go too early in the year, many of the inland roads will still be closed. Did you watch my Iceland video? http://bicycletouringpro.com/iceland-bike-tour-video/
Tons more info about biking in Iceland here: http://bicycletouringpro.com/?s=Iceland
I want to mountain bike Iceland April 17-24 (the only window I have), and I;m worried about the weather. Is it too early in the season to mountain bike?
It’s going to be cold regardless of when you go to Iceland, but you should know that many of the interior roads in Iceland (where I’m guessing a lot of the best mountain biking would be) are probably going to be closed in April. Do you know which parts of Iceland you want to go mountain biking in? Because once you know that it should be relatively simple to find out if the roads/areas you want to visit are open in April. But it’s hard to say without that information. So that’s where I’d start if I were you. Where exactly do you want to go cycling in Iceland?
Hey Darren, I want to go around Iceland on the ring road in may 2018. I am going to go around the Snæfellsnes peninsula. I am worry about the point of supply around this area. How did you manage to find food around there ? Were you force to stock up on food a lot ?
Sometimes, yes, you have to carry several days of food. You just need to know where you next food source is and the be sure you’re carrying enough food to get there.
Hello I have a question about where to store all the luggage and bike carrier boxes that were used for transporting the bikes to Iceland. Did you store them someplace or take them with you?
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