Reccomended routes in Iceland?
I am planning a ride in Iceland late next summer - with a friend, or my wife, or solo... depends on who wants to commit.
Anyways, I would really welcome any suggestions for itineraries and routes for a trip of a week or so. Where to ride, where not to ride, what to see, what not to see, where to stay, what to eat, and so forth. But most importantly, route alternatives.
I allways like to plan for a route with a plan "B" a bit into the trip, to either extend or shorten the distance - i.e. if I am behind or ahead of schedule. For instance planning a long trip, but have a short cut back to Reykjavik, or plan for a shorter trip but nearer the end of the trip, have a detour that I can take if I am far ahead.
If I travel Solo I can do long hours every day. But, riding with others, I would plan for shorter days.
I will be riding a f650gs Dakar and would like to do a klot of it off pavement.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated
It's for me two years ago now that I've been there, but believe me you don't need a plan in Iceland at all. You can do bush camping where ever you want as long you dan't stay on someones property or within 150 meters of it, and off course leave it the way you found it. The people over there are extremely friendly and the population is very low.
Let the people tell you where to go, because where ever you go in Iceland it's worth to go. The ring or the interior it's beautiful in any way.
Enjoy your trip !!!
If you are in the north, the only short cut back to Rekjavik would be to take route 1. Riding through the interior is an adventure but not a quick way to get anywhere. As said above, just arrive, buy some maps and most importantly ask for advice. I navigate by weather report, and that has worked well in Iceland. Yes the weather changes every 5 minutes, but knowing when and where the North Atlantic gale is blowing in is important.
I went to Iceland last August and spent seven days touring the country. It was absolutely fantastic trip and mind blowing landscape. There are a lot of really interesting routes in Iceland. There is no reason to go off-road plus it's illegal. It's taken extremely seriously if people are caught doing any off-roading in the fragile landscape. The mountain roads, so called F-Roads, are fantastic. They consist of everything; old tarmac roads, gravel roads, sand roads, fine rocks, big boulders, mud, dried up riverbeds, lava, fine lava sand, roads which are also rivers and everything in between. Sometimes you would be driving a road that starts as 'normal' gravel road, which has sections of fine lava sand and big boulders, crossing rivers, very rocky surface all on the same road. Plus there are a lot of river crossings in some parts of the country, small and enormous rivers. At one occasion we had to turn back from a planned route as one of the rivers had grown so much in the last 24 hours it was impassable, from being only few inches deep few days before into four to five foot deep. Upon going back we returned to one of the rivers we had crossed an hour before and it was impassable as well, plus it had one of these highland buses with massive tyres stuck in middle of the river waiting for the rescue team. It wasn't that we had bad weather but the thing was that it was sunny, warm and very windy so the glaciers melted very very quickly and added enormous amount of water into the rivers. On another occasion there was so much sandstorm and the sand was so fine on the road it took us about five hours to travel measly seventy-five kilometers. So things can change very quickly in the highlands, there is an Icelandic saying if you don't like the weather wait five minutes and you will have another season upon you. It’s not advisable to be on your own if you are going into the interior in Iceland. Sometimes we would be driving for several hours or half a day without seeing anyone on the roads. So therefore if something happens it might be quite sometime before anyone shows up. But it was magical and fantastic trip.
Also it depends when you are going in the summer if the highlands are open as I think this summer most of the routes didn’t open until mid or late July, ansd some didn’t open at all. But you do get the twenty-four hour daylight in July. You can check the conditions of the roads on The Icelandic Road Administration website:
Road conditions and weather | English | Vegagerðin
Here is also a website for travellers:
If you want to get more info or see some pictures you can PM me. Good luck with the planning and you will enjoy it greatly, I really did.
I would recommend F88 :-) Very nice route with some rivercrossings.
I would definitely avoid the Ring Road: it's tarmac practically all the way now. Go to the highlands in the interior. It's breathtakingly beautiful, desolate (if that's your thing, but that's Iceland), and moonlike (NASA used it to practice for the Apollo moon project..).
I cycled the two major pistes North-South, The Kjolur and the Springisandur.
See Cycling the Kjolur and Sprengisandur in Icelands interior - YouTube for an impression.
So many beautiful paths to take. Infrastructure maintenance roads often twist through mindblowing landscape as if nothing were more natural. I'm new to offroad motorcycle travel so I can't give specific information other than what has been presented - but I can tell you to be mindful of the weather. It changes very quickly - totally different weather in an hour and again the next hour. Be prepared, know another way down, check weather reports, check in with someone from time to time. There is surprisingly good sms connectivity in the otherwise barren highlands (but don't count on it of course).
It's all worth it, but you have to do it right.
Some underestimate how quickly the weather can change; To try to paint a picture, being used to the weather as something ever changing, when travelling abroad I always feel strange and almost uncomfortable when the weather just doesn't change for say three days in a row. Feels like the clock has stopped. In the highlands, a day of crisp cool sunshine can turn very cold very quickly, even in summer.
But it's all worth it!
Icelands all good even the ringroad and anywhere you turn off it onto minor roads will be gravel anyway!
Must have been round Route 1 at least four times now and in both directions. Part in a Landrover, Jeep, GSx2, hirecarx2, quadbike and even by bicycle.........!
Snaefellsnes was an eye opener for me on my trip there in May..........I'd never been around the penninsula before at it was amazing with it's mini icecap at the end. I also spent a lot of time with friends in the Eastfjords looking after Icelandic horses and also visited my friends farm near Skogar who has the Eyjafjallajokull 'Iceland Erupts' visitor centre.
I also used Icelandic hostels for the first time aswell and ended up staying at them most nights although they're not the best way to meet Icelanders as they are mostly run by 'utlandingurs'!
Heimaey(The Westmann Islands) is good too and i've been there three times by bicycle, GS and on foot and the shorter ferry crossing is much quicker and calmer now!
If you can... try road F862. That one is a great twisty ride from Dettifoss (waterfall) to Ásbyrgi. Ásbyrgi is well worth the time to look at.
Then there is road F867. That road has been closed due to a new all year paved road but it is well worth it to take that trip. The road gets no service anymore since it was discontinued some years back and is marked with signs as closed. If you are willing to try you will get 34km´s of pure pleasure.
If you go to the Westfjords there are at least 3 roads that are a "must"
F612 to latrabjarg and off that there is F614 to Raudasandur.
The third one is F622. That is an insanely beautiful route to take with the road carved into and under cliffs and great mountain view all the way.
Not many people go this road and you should ask in the gas station at Þingeyri if the road is open. It closes every Winter due to landslides and falling rocks.
Here are some pictures I have taken on one of my motorcycle trips to the Westfords https://picasaweb.google.com/drullum...MFIFerInni2009
And on this collection you can see more pictures from F622. The cliffs ,waterfall and the lighthouse are on that road https://picasaweb.google.com/drullum...DMFIIngeyriJoi :funmeteryes:
Here is a video i put onYoutube from road F622
Velkomin á heimasíðu DMFI
last summer the f88 was closed, 3 months of no rain made it really really hard to ride the fine dust.
I liked the f35 a lot and drove back over the f26 (big rocks, steep slopes, i found it challenging)
I would recommend the area around Askja.
Askja top view (a hot spring in the bottom of a vulcano):
If you go two up you can still reach Askja from the north (a few rivercrossings), but if you are alone on the bike you can go the old and new F910. They are really nice!
Good god I want to go to Iceland after reading all this!
Will be heading there tomorrow so will try some of your recommendations, thanks!
Have a great time Asho - Be sure to let us know what it's like when you get back.
Have fun, and keep breathing. Iceland just takes your breath away!
piste near Landmannalaugar
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