Cycling in Iceland

Experience Iceland on Two Wheels

Travelling around Iceland on two wheels is both challenging and rewarding. There is no better way to experience the beauty of Iceland than from the saddle of your bicycle. But the weather is unpredictable and the distances you'll need to cover can be long. Many bike enthusiasts come to Iceland to enjoy the Ring Road, the well-known highway number 1, that runs around the country. Others choose more difficult paths into the highlands, such as the beautiful trail across Kjölur. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Outside of urban areas, bike paths are uncommon, and cyclists will usually have to share the road with motor driven vehicles. You should expect hilly terrain and more than a few blind rises along Icelandic roads. The distances between urban areas are often considerable, so make sure you bring appropriate equipment for basic repairs as well as extra tubes and tires. Maps, GPS and communication equipment is also important.

Bring good protective clothing. You should anticipate both rain and wind during your trip, so make sure that the clothing is both warm and water resistant. Gloves are indispensable, as temperature can drop suddenly, particularly in higher altitudes.

If you intend to travel into the highlands, be prepared to face gravel roads, as most of the roads in the Icelandic highlands are not paved. You should not travel alone in the Icelandic interior. In some cases, you can expect unbridged rivers. Do not attempt to cross them without taking proper safety measures. Fully equipped bikes with shock absorbers are probably a good idea as well.

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Make sure someone has your travel plans in case of emergency. Writing your name in a guestbook is not just courtesy, it can be an important safety measure as well.

In addition, keep in mind that Icelandic nature is very delicate. Bikes can easily cause damage to the environment. Stay on path and if you need to cross a sensitive area, simply pick up the bike and carry it. Also, make sure someone has your travel plans in case of emergency. Writing your name in a guestbook is not just courtesy, it can be an important safety measure as well.

Cycling tours and rentals in Iceland

Other Activities

Hiking

Iceland is the hiker's paradise. More than half of the country lies above 400 meters (1300 feet) and the landscape is extraordinarily diverse, with large areas covered with colorful mountains, lava fields, glaciers, hot springs, lakes and black sands. The rugged nature has been shaped by the elements to form a majestic scenery unlike any other place in the world.  

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Birdwatching

Iceland is known as one of the best places in the world for birdwatching. A large number of birds make their home along Iceland's coast, including some of the largest colonies in the world for certain types of sea fowl. Iceland's wetlands are also a conducive habitat for many species of birds. 

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Caving

Due to its position on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Its unique geological conditions make for some awe-inspiring rock formations, both beneath the surface as well as above it. Various tube caves—formed by magma flowing underneath the earth's surface after lava has solidified overhead—can safely be explored through guided excursions year-round.

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