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