Iceland Dramatic North Bike Tour
Seven nights; seven days. A challenging bicycle tour on paved and gravel roads, with options to hike and ride horses. In June the sun stays up all night.
“I had a fantastic, once in a lifetime, just overall great trip. I had no “extra” days in Iceland and I really appreciate Marie helping me book an evening horseback ride while I was on the trip.” – Tracy H.
Start: Reykjavik, BSI Bus Terminal, noon, day one. Please contact us to arrange pickup from your inn in Reykjavik.
Finish: Reykjavik, 16:00, day eight. ~$100 flights to Reykjavik from Akureyri as alternative to complimentary van transfer. Please contact us to arrange alternate plans.
Noon pickup in Reykjavik at the BSI Bus Terminal or your inn for the 3.5 hours drive to Sauðárkrókur. Along the way you will visit still-active Vidimyri church, a stunning example of 17th century Icelandic architecture, and the Glaumbear Farmstead, whose dwarf sod houses were the eventual home of Snorri Thorfinnson – the first Viking born in North America at Newfoundland’s L’Anse aux Meadows. In Sauðárkrókur, you can test your bikes, visit the nearby geothermal heated swimming pool, or stretch your legs on the back of an Icelandic horse before dinner. Optional flights are available from Reykjavik to Sauðárkrókur through Air Iceland D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts only)
Hotel Tindastoll, Sauðárkrókur; or
Hótel Varmahlíð, Varmahlíð
From Sauðárkrókur, ride through a river valley known for its horses and ethereal blue light. Picnic in the mountain-nestled village of Holar, seat of the bishop from 1106-1801 and the last stronghold of the Catholic Church during the Reformation. You can visit the cathedral, restored to its original state. Afternoon ride along the coast of Skagafjordur to Hofsos, where you can visit the Icelandic American Heritage museum. Transfer back to Hotel Tindastoll at day’s end. BLD
Follow the coast around the Tröllaskagi Peninsula – Peninsula of Trolls – to lunch in Siglufjörður, a small fishing town once known as the herring centre of Iceland. A visit to the Herring Era Museum will give insight into the boom that hit this region during the 20th century. Later, views of Grimsey Island increase the beauty of the ride. BLD
Sigló Hótel, Siglufjörður; or
Brimnes Hotel & Cabins, Ólafsfjörður
An easier ride along the coast toward Akureyri, acknowledged as the home of some of the world’s most beautiful people, and known by golfers for the Arctic Open Championship. Visit the botanical gardens, old houses, and relative abundance of restaurants and bars, where the fun is heightened by the location near the Arctic Circle. B
Hotel Kea, or
Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, Akureyri
Follow the Eyjafjörður coast from Akureyri toward Laufas, where a well-preserved farm buildings and the oldest thatched houses in Iceland add to the gorgeous charm of an already scenic valley. Lunch at Storutjarnir, or Iceland’s most spectacular waterfall, Gođafoss – Falls of the Gods. Follow the salmon-rich river valley to the coast at Husavik – locally proclaimed the whale-watching capital of Europe, and home of an interesting whale information centre. BLD
Fosshotel Husavik, or
Cape Hotel, Husavik
Today’s ride takes you past a small geyser, large greenhouses, and along a lava river valley with pseudocraters – formed by cooling lava bubbles instead of by extraterrestrial impact - toward Lake Myvatn, where the best summer weather in Iceland helps one appreciate its myriad islands, ducks, and pretty vistas. BLD
Hotel Reynihlid, or
Hotel Gigur, Myvatn
37km/23 miles - morning ride around Lake Myvatn, and afternoon van ride to the Jokulsargljufur Canyon National Park.
Today is a day to enjoy the unique Myvatn surroundings. After a morning circumnavigation of the lake on your bike, the afternoon can be spent visiting outlying attractions with your guide, or taking an optional sightseeing flight over Iceland’s dramatic interior, including Askja – the world’s biggest caldera – where US astronauts trained for moon landings. BLD
Transfer to Reykjavik
This is an approximate six-hour drive. Optional flights from Akureyri are available to Reykjavik through Air Iceland. B
Note about the route:
35-95km/day on mainly paved with occasional gravel roads, some climbs and descents, and more hills than in South Iceland.
Iceland was chosen as one of the world's top ten destinations by National Geographic and Lonely Planet. Before your trip, meet Karl, our Icelandic guide, here.
The long fjords and river valleys flanked by alpine mountains make this a collection of outstanding rides for bicycle touring. The midnight sun, drier climate, and greater shelter from prevailing winds produce more fertility than expected; the vegetation includes flourishing botanical gardens in Akureyri and trees like nowhere else in Iceland. Akureyri – the gem of the north at the end of Eyjafjordur is also known for the blonde beauty of its people. On the way from Akureyri to Lake Myvatn, you will stop in the European whale watching capital at Husavik, for a special night, with views of snow-capped mountains across the fjord. The approach to the lake takes you through marshland peppered with small lakes and ponds, which attract more birds than anywhere else in Iceland, and can make the approach to Myvatn very memorable. Cycling around the lake itself is particularly interesting because of the many green pseudocraters and islands. On day seven, you can visit Jokulsar Canyon National Park and Dettifoss – the biggest waterfall in Europe. The complimentary transfer back to Reykjavik may take you across Iceland’s interior – a mountain and desert road between huge glaciers – a fitting end to this fantastic adventure.
Maps & Elevations
There is no shortage of adventure awaiting you in Iceland. Call us to discuss options best suited to you.
Some extend their trip by a day to include hiking the glacier at Snæfellsnes, others just add a night or two for exploring Reykjavik.
Fill a day with a visit to nearby Inside the Volcano.
Go to the Volcanoe House down by the docks to see the volcano documentary.
Iceland Air links North America, Iceland, and Europe, making it easy to add a visit to over 20 destinations in Europe, before or after your adventure.
BSI Bus Terminal, noon, day one, for 3.5 hr transfer to Sauðárkrókur (or contact us to arrange pickup from your inn in Reykjavik). Optional flights to Sauðárkrókur from Reykjavik are available.
Reykjavik, 16:00 day eight. Optional ~$100 flights to Reykjavik from Akureyri as alternative to complimentary van transfer
US 3895 C 4595(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, van support, full-time guide, maps and route notes, taxes)
US 3555 C 4195(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, taxes)
US 845 C 995
Hybrid: US 175 C 225
All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.
Custom or Private Tours
Want to go but on different dates?
Want to make a change to the itinerary?
We can adapt for you!
Here are some terms:
Bring your friends. We will run most of these trips for you whenever you want, at the advertised price for a group of four or more on a guided trip, or two if it's self-guided! We reserve the right to make changes if the original inns, etc. are already booked.
If you cannot find others, let us advertise the trip for you! Give us a commitment as far in advance as you can. As long as we have the minimum number of guests at the start, the price will be as advertised. The catch is that if it is just two of you and you want a guided trip, you must be willing to pay a 20% premium in the event that others do not join you. The bright side is that, once reserved, you can count on the trip, whether it remains private or becomes a larger group.
Ask for changes to the itinerary.
We are very flexible, and given enough time, can create a new itinerary to match your desires.