Iceland:

Fertile South Bike Tour


Seven nights; eight days. A bike tour on paved and smooth gravel or lava roads in South Iceland, with options to hike, ride horses and visit the beautiful Westman Islands. In June and July the sun never sets and hotpot soaks are nightly rituals.

“Day 6, almost all off road and through the river, is a dream ride and is the reason I returned to Iceland” - Janice K










Itinerary


Start: Reykjavik, BSI Bus Terminal, 13:00, day one.


Finish: Reykjavik, 17:00, day eight.


Day 1:

Introductions

Early afternoon pickup in Reykjavik for transfer to your guesthouse in Hveragerdi. Outdoors, you will enjoy numerous hiking trails along geothermal hillsides, the hot swimming pool and “hotpot” beside the river. Indoors, you will enjoy a geothermal sauna. You will test your bikes, and depart early for dinner in a nearby coastal village, after exploring the greenhouse community, where tropical plants grow at the Arctic Circle, thanks to the unlimited hot water just beneath the earth’s surface here. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)
Frost & Fire, Hveragerði

Day 2:

43km/27 miles

Today you are on your way to Nesbud, located on the shores of Lake Þingvallavatn. You will cycle alongside the lake toward the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, one of the most geologically active areas in Iceland. The roads become quieter as the day progresses and there are a series of hills to climb as you ascend above the headland to the edge of the lake. Once you arrive at your inn, you can spend the afternoon exploring the hiking trails around the geothermal hot water plant or tackling a steep 17% climb to a stunning viewpoint. BLD
Ion Hotel, Nesjavollum

Day 3:

77km/47 miles

Ride on a quiet paved road around the shore of Þingvallvatn, to the site of the worlds oldest surviving parliament at Þingvellir. There you can stand on the edge of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, and enjoy gazing into the depths of the clear glacial water of the lake, at the divergence zone of tectonic plates. From here, you’ll bike to the namesake of all geysers, at Geysir. Stop for lunch options overlooking Laugarvatn, then ride the rolling road along its shore toward Geysir. You will spend the night in private cottages near the geyser, which will allow you to visit it after the crowds from Reykjavik have left for the day. Watch the late-night sunset as you sit beside this magnificent natural wonder. BD
Hotel Geysir, Geysir; or Hotel Gulfoss, Brattholt

Day 4:

Geysir to Fludir 50km/31 miles or Brjánstaðir 70km/44 miles, via Gullfoss

Visit the magnificent waterfall of Gullfoss, then enjoy a downstream ride along the banks of the Hvita River. Afternoon optional stop at Skalholt, a modern church with stained glass mosaics on the ancient site of the first Christian bishopric in Iceland. This spiritual centre has been a theological powerhouse since 1000A.D. In 1953 foundations were laid for the new church. During excavation, the remains of a 1309 cathedral were found, including the carved coffin of Pall Jonsson, a hard-as-nails bishop whose death in 1211, according to Pals Saga, was greeted with an earth tremor and deluge. When excavators opened the coffin in ’53, there was a downpour again – the biggest in many years. BD
Icelandair Hotel Fludir, Fludir; or Hotel Hekla, Brjánstaðir

Day 5:

Fludir to Leirubakki 71km/42.6 miles with afternoon hiking option

Today’s long ride takes you up the banks of the Pjorsa River, by the newly constructed hydroelectric facility at Stöng, and downstream to a uniquely Scandinavian retreat in the middle of the volcano Mt. Hekla’s lava fields. Along the way, you will visit the reconstruction of traditional Icelandic homestead which was abandoned in 1104, during an eruption of Hekla. You may even be able to take a short hike to a beautiful waterfall nearby. The most intrepid cyclists can ride the rest of the way to the hotel, across a hydroelectric dam and endless fields of lava and pumice. The hotpot at your hotel will be a welcome site if you decide to do this afternoon ride! BLD
Leirubakki Guest House, Landsveit

Day 6:

54km/34 miles

Start the day biking on quiet roads through farmlands and around the volcano range of Hraun, near the valley of Þórsmörk. Stop on the way to visit Keldur, a prime example of later homesteading featured in Njal’s Sagas. When you arrive at your hotel you may have time before dinner to ride to nearby village of Hvollsvöllur, where you can visit the Njal’s Saga museum for enlightenment about this integral part of Icelandic culture.
Hotel Ranga, Sudurlandsvegur

Day 7:

65km/40 miles

Follow the coast under the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier. The wind blows here, and we adjust the day's plan to take advantage of a tailwind. The ride is flat except for a couple of good climbs near Vik. You will gather for a picnic lunch beneath the waterfall Skogafoss, where distractions include a very interesting folk museum. Additional options include visiting the glacier and seeing the puffin colony at Dyrholaey. BLD
Same lodging

Day 8:

Westman Islands or Thorsmork

A short ferry between cliff-dwelling seabird colonies will take you today to the Westman Islands, where a recent eruption created Surtsey – one of the world’s newest islands. It also forced a night-time evacuation of 5300 residents, and buried 400 homes under a new 600ft mountain of fresh lava. You can climb this still-warm lava mountain. The story is fascinating and the location provides a particularly beautiful setting for the last day of this adventure. Return to Reykjavik by 17:00. BL

 

"...a highly rewarding experience." - Chuck B.



Description




Note about the route:

35-100km/day (22-62mi.) on mainly paved roads with occasional gravel surface. Some rolling hills and lots of level riding. The riding ease is often wind-dependent, but we endeavour to ride downwind in most cases. Come prepared to enjoy anything.

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.






Iceland is awe-inspiring. The landscape, so newly formed, refreshingly pristine, and geologically active, defies portrayal with words and pictures, although it will inspire you to try! Steam rises from hot pools on volcanic mountainsides, and glacier-fed waterfalls tumble down to the lush lands below. We have combined the best scenery with the least used roads, and the most comfortable hotels, to create a bicycle tour you'll never forget. We provide abundant vehicle support, while you ride the wide open spaces, breathing clear air warmed by the Gulf Stream, and bathing in water heated by the earth. When the road beckons in front of you, and the sun illuminates the rivers, pastures, and icecaps all around, you will be moved by the sheer magnificence of your surroundings. You may ponder, as you gaze into the Mid-Atlantic Rift, or soak in your hotpot beneath the midnight sun, the humbling power of the dynamic earth.


The cycling begins in Hveragerði, not far from Reykjavik. You will ride your bike around the lake of Þingvallvatn to the ancient parliament at Þingvellir, then to Geysir and the impressive waterfall at Gullfoss. Skirting the mountains on fairly level roads at their base, you will cross the fertile Biskupstungur (“Fields between Rivers”) to the lava fields below Mount Hekla, and riding under the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier between Hvollsvollur and Vik before taking a ferry to the spectacular Westman Islands for a final afternoon of exploration on foot. You will rest in a charming combination of small inns, Scandinavian-style guesthouses, and comfortable hotels. You will be able to bicycle until your heart’s content.


Bring your sense of wonder and adventure!





Maps & Elevations






Learn more

There is no shortage of adventure awaiting you in Iceland. Call us to discuss options best suited to you.

Join our Dramatic North Bike tour or West Iceland Walking Adventure for a well rounded active Iceland holiday.

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.





Costs

Guided

US 4265 C 4895

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners, van and guide support, maps and route notes, taxes)

Self-Guided

US 3825 C 4395

(per person, includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, luggage transfers, maps and route notes, taxes)

Single Occupancy

US 1125 C 1295

Bicycle Rental

Hybrid: US 195 C 225

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.

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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.