Author Topic: Cycling in Iceland  (Read 3751 times)

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Offline Jambi

Cycling in Iceland
« on: December 17, 2016, 06:26:10 am »
Hi Guys,

I'm cycling the ringroad in Iceland next Summer.

Anyone done this tip before and got any tips?

I'm doing self supported and will be on a bit of tight schedule (can't really afford any excursions to the interior) but could deffinately stop for some hald days.

Would be great to hear other people's experiences.



Offline obct_2000

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 07:36:31 pm »
Perhaps refer to Bicycling article in March 2015 issue entitled "Iceland...Seriously?

Offline DaveB

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 08:37:03 pm »
I believe a biking trip around Iceland was written up in a past issue of Adventure Cycling also.  Try a search of the archives.

Offline zzzz

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2017, 11:43:46 am »
If you are already familiar w the web site Crazy Guy on a Bike you can disregard this post.

CGOAB is a web site that has made it relatively easy to post journals for touring cyclists. Below is a link to the 2 journals on there that are specific to the ring road.

In addition there are about 8 more journals about Iceland tours. There is a guest book attached to the journals where you can either offer thanks, or praise, or ask a question from the author. It seems most people are happy to respond to questions.

I looked into this ride very seriously and did a lot of research on it but in the end I will be putting it off to 2018. The pictures I've seen of Iceland are just fantastic and I'm really looking forward to my trip. What I have read from multiple sources was that the ring road is pretty narrow and twisty and the Icelanders are pretty zippy drivers and it's frequently foggy. So my take away was to get pretty serious about visibility. Also you would hear again and again that some of the pitches on the road were really steep (like 20%) so you want to make sure your bike has the gearing for it.

Have a great trip.

Offline ian123running

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2017, 03:55:59 pm »
Hardly qualified as I've not cycled there so take this as very much unqualified opinion...  Having driven some of the ring road and had a couple of trips there I would say:
a)  It's largely a 2-lane highway without shoulders except nr Reykjavik (4 lanes)
b)  Traffic (at least within 100mile of Reykjavik) is moderate but all sorts including buses, trucks, cars  - speeds are not especially fast (the lanes are narrow with no shoulders so driver tend to be .. cautious...)  but there is no provision for overtaking.
b)  Iceland can be very windy - we saw cycle tourists at riding in crosswinds leaning very much
c)  It's a big island, huge landscape and the ring road has very long straights.
d)  Iceland is STUNNINGLY beautiful and I think by cycling you'd absolutely fall in love...  with provisos above
e)  Check out roads off the main ring road - these are quieter and access some of the most beautiful areas
f)  Major Tunnel north of Reykjavik (Hvalfjordur) - I think you'd have to go around or hitch a ride.  The detour is LONG (we drove it) but absolutely stunning.
g)  Facilities are sparse
h)  Last time we went was in July - glorious long evenings but very cold and windy for camping - maybe we were unlucky.
i)  Hot pools are a way of life and a wonderful way to meet the locals, and even small villages have hot pools open till late.
j)  Beer is expensive once you leave the duty free at the airport
k)  We decided not to cycle there - we are pretty bomb-proof and regular cycle tourists but the ring road did not entice us.
l)  I don't do any off-road cycling but seems that Iceland may be suited for that mode for the adventurous:  there is a huge network of dirt roads in the interior - of course connecting with the ring road at various points.
m)  It's a really friendly country - we found, especially in the mid summer, loads of Icelanders take holidays and are out to enjoy the long days and beautiful environment.

Good luck  - you're in for an adventure!


Offline Comlite31

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2017, 04:08:25 am »
I am planning to have a trip. return man 3 unblocked
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 01:34:26 am by Comlite31 »


  • Guest
Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 07:41:54 am »
Join and start a thread in the Touring forum. At least one pretty active member recently toured there. Other have as well.

Offline SaemiVald

Re: Cycling in Iceland
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2017, 09:33:27 am »
As an Icelander I have some experience on the matter. I have ridden quite a bit around Reykjavik. I once did the ring road in a 10 man team in a relay race so I actually rode approx 250 km out of the total 1400 km. Here are a few observations from me:

  • The roads in Iceland are worse than what one would expect. Rough asphalt. I have ridden in other countries and there the roads are much smoother.
  • Expect for near Reykjavik the roads are mostly 2 lanes, 1 for each direction and limited or mostly no shoulder for riding. During the summer there is heavy traffic because of tourists so there is limited room for overtaking.
  • Weather can change on a moments notice. Sunny one moment and raining the next. Make sure to bring appropriate and warm clothing.
  • There are many hills and steep climbs on the ring road.
  • There are some very long stretches on the ring road where there is no food or other service to be had. Make sure to know in advance where you can pit-stop.
  • Right now it seems Iceland is a very popular tourist location so accomodation is extremely hard to find. Either book well in advance or sleep in a tent.
  • The scenery can be very beautiful so when fighting the headwind remember to enjoy the view :)
  • During july there is daylight 24 hours which means you can ride in the night (although I recommend lights). Some people find it hard to sleep in semi-daylight during the nights so you may want to bring something to cover your eyes.

Finally three useful websites which you might refer to:

Hope it helps.