Moderate
Difficulty level
Cycling
Activity (Bike)

Iceland: Dramatic North Bike

Seven nights; seven days. A challenging bicycle tour on paved and gravel roads along Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way, with options to hike and ride horses. In June the sun stays up all night.


“Iceland is the lead character in this movie.. a troubled hero, at times uncooperative, but with such natural generosity and overpowering beauty, you can’t look away.” – Erik N.


WHY THIS TRIP?

  • The less-travelled part of Iceland.
  • Easy access from Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital city.
  • Other-worldly landscapes and national parks.
  • Natural beauty in every direction – snow-capped mountains, gorgeous valleys, striking coastlines.
  • Midnight sun.
  • Icelandic horses.
  • Akureyri, “the jewel of the north”.
  • Dettifoss – the biggest waterfall in Europe.

 

ROUTE EXPECTATIONS:

Requiring moderate fitness levels, these cover terrain with hills and valleys, and tend to include distances of 50-80km (30-50mi.)/day cycling, or 3-6 hours of walking per day. Most Freewheeling Adventures fall into this category, and are suitable for most ability levels.


35-95km/day on mainly paved with occasional gravel roads, some climbs and descents, and more hills than in South Iceland. Iceland was recently chosen as one of the world’s top ten destinations by National Geographic and Lonely Planet.


Daily Distance:

  • DAY 1: Introductions
  • DAY 2: ~57 km
  • DAY 3: ~60 km
  • DAY 4: ~60 km
  • DAY 5: Up to ~112 km
  • DAY 6: ~54 km
  • DAY 7: ~36 km
  • DAY 8: Transfer & Farewells

Iceland: Dramatic North Bike – Elevation Profile

(Click image to enlarge)

 

Not sure about difficulties, and support level? Check out our What to Expect page!

 

Start: Reykjavik, BSI Bus Terminal, 10:00, day one.

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, if necessary.

1

Introductions

Pickup in Reykjavik at the BSI Bus Terminal for the 3 ½ hour 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 N. 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 Icelandair. D (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfast only)

Hotel Tindastoll, Sauðárkrókur; or, Hotel Varmahlíð, Varmahlíð

2

Ride into Hofsos ~57km

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

Same lodging

3

The Tröllaskagi Peninsula ~60km

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

4

Into Akureyri ~60km

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

Icelandair Hotel Akureyri, or, Hotel Kea, Akureyri

5

Husavik, whales, and waterfalls Up to ~112km

Follow the Eyjafjörður coast from Akureyri toward Laufas, where 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

6

~54km

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, with its myriad islands, ducks, and pretty vistas. Approximately ten kilometres of the route (close to Myvatn) is unpaved. BLD

Fosshotel Myvatn, or, Icelandair Hotel Myvatn, Myvatn

7

Around Lake Myvatn, and afternoon van ride to the Jokulsargljufur Canyon National Park.~36km

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 the natural mineral baths (the “Blue Lagoon of the North”) and outlying attractions with your guide, including an optional sightseeing flight over Askja – the world’s biggest caldera – where US astronauts trained for moon landings. BLD

Same lodging

8

Transfer to Reykjavik

This is an approximate 6-hour drive. Optional flights from Akureyri are available to Reykjavik through Icelandair. B

All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


SCHEDULED DATES

2023 Guided:

  • Jun 26-Jul 3
  • Jul 31-Aug 7

2024 Guided:

  • Jun 24-Jul 1
  • Jul 29-Aug 5

Self-Guided available any dates, except for those listed above. New dates are also welcomed for guided or private departures.



PRICING

Guided: C 6295 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners, support vehicle, full-time guide(s), maps, route instructions, taxes

Small groups or private tours, fully supported with drivers/guides and vehicles, all lodging and most meals included. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Self-Guided: C 5195 (per person, double occupancy)

Includes 8 days, 7 nights, 7 breakfasts, inn to inn luggage transfers, maps and route instructions, taxes

Semi-supported, independent tours including welcome briefing, lodging, luggage transfers and necessary vehicle transfers. Choose from existing dates or request new departures. Read more on our “What to Expect” page.


Single Occupancy: 1295


Bike Rentals:

Hybrid-Fitness: 255


All details and pricing are subject to change without notice.


Please see above for accurate pricing and inclusions, unless we have proposed a customized trip for you and those details are provided in your custom proposal.

1. Choose an advertised date to join a small group, or see our Join a Group page to see where groups are already forming.

2. Pick your own dates. We will confirm quickly, and are happy to talk with you as you make your choice. If you would like a private guided date, price remains the same as advertised if you have at least six. If you prefer self-guided, we usually only require two participants to initiate a new date at the advertised price, and can sometimes reduce prices for you if you have four or more.

 
PLEASE NOTE: Trip Cancellation Insurance is highly recommended. If this is not provided by your credit card or elsewhere, please let us know and we can provide recommendations.

More Reading:


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.