I found some of my maps/guides. Can't find the detail maps that have 'unnoficial routes' on them that I marked myself during the 8 weeks I was there in '87. Will keep looking.
However, I recommend you get the 'Insight' guide book for Iceland.
ISBN is - 981-234-895-6 Insight Guides
When I bought it, it was 16.99 and worth every penny.
First, when I was there in the 80's, the only places that you found any tarmac was in the capital and a couple of the major towns. The island ring road (route 1) was all 'offroad' and had to be graded each spring and not always wide enough to allow the passage of 2 vehicles. This definitely applied to the myriad of small bridges.
However, I am now told route 1 is all tarmac, though I do not know for sure. I sincerely hope that they have NOT laid tarmac into the highlands and into the side roads.
You will need off road tyres in any case.
Get a map before you go, of course, but one of the first things to do when you get off the boat is to go to a tourist office and get an up-to-date 'road book', enquire on highland route conditions, and also to make enquiries about the touring club. If you go via Seydisfjordur, then you will probably find one there (if not on the ferry itself !) or certainly in Egilsstadir... the first 'big' settlement. If memory serves me, this information may be available at a gas station in Egilsstadir....or near the one I used anyway. Sorry, its been too long.
You could explore Laugarfell/Snaefell (east highlands) first, but its probably better to do that at the end of your 2 weeks, time permitting.
, don't remember the date, but I think sometime in August pretty much the whole of Iceland go 'tent-city' over a weekend at the highland campsites and get very very noisy and drunk...no sleeping at all. This weekend, if you are there then, would be a good time to use your hotel budget. I was told once that most Icelanders were born 9 months after this weekend. Possibly a joke.....?
I started to write this and then realised that I was planning out your whole trip for you! That's wrong in so many ways so I deleted much of what I put. This is, however, in some sort of order.
I have grouped some places together and you will see from maps that they need to be done at the same time. I have also given a rough idea of time for these 'groups' and suggestions on where to overnight.
When going into the interior, THERE IS NO FUEL OR SHOPS. Make sure you have your tanks full, with spare(depending on ur bike) and enough food to last you. Water can be drunk unless its directly from a glacier (moving river should be ok). Glacier water can contain microbes so use puritabs, or something like, in this instance. Ask at the Tourist office on this subject.
- 3 days in the North Central Highlands.
These are offroad tracks, much of which is in volcanic 'sand' and across lava fields.
Possibly the best route in is: F907 or F905 to F910 then F903 to F902. Spend night at Kverkfjoll. If you can, spend a whole day here exploring. The hut/camp has wardens who will advise you. There is a hotspring area at the top of the glacier that you should see.....plus the views !!! Walking boots needed at least. Wouldn't hurt to have walking crampons too though maybe overkill. Routes up the glacier change regularly. As stated, talk to the hut wardens. You may be able to piggy back an organised tour.
I spent several weeks in this highland area alone. Its fantastic. Please find out if the geothermal ice cave at the source of the Jokulsalon river has reformed. There was a glacier burst while I was there and it collapsed completely. If it has returned, there is an opportunity (maybe) to take a warm(geothermal) bath UNDER the ice!
Route out to Askja/Herdubreid is F902, F910, F88. Maybe spend night at the hut there. The tabletop volcano can be climbed but is dangerous. Don't miss the 'viti' lake by Askja.
The F910 south from Askja used to involve crossing snow fields and high rivers (no bridges). Treat with care if you opt to go that way onto the Sprengisandur cross country route. I would advise following the F88 north back to route 1. My knowledge is old though so the rivers may have been bridged now but don't see what they can do about the snow fields !
- huge waterfall in the north, between routes 864 and F862. Visiting from one of the routes is better than the other...can't remember which one though. Its possible to get right to the edge of the water and slightly below the lip. The 'F' route is probably not tarmac. Not sure about the 864.
- mentioned already in original post. This place is found at the top of the 2 previous routes and it is possible to camp there. Worth a visit and read up on it in the Insight guide.
(coastal fishing port) - worth a visit if on route.
Reykjahlid (Lake Myvatn)
. This is the geothermal area I mentioned in my original post and it is volcanically active under the Krafla mountain. There is/was a campsite behind the hotel and there is a local store. The hotel has a BAR !!!! Often, during the summer, there is a volcano show in this town too. However, if Willy Knudsen is not there....wait till you get to Reykjavik to see the show and go talk to him.... really good guy and good English. However, its been 20 years so maybe his son has taken over now !?
There is a road (863) that takes you up to the mountain which is NE of the town. Go there as its right by the 10km volcanic crack that runs north-south and that you have to cross getting into the town. Walk over the lava and let me know if its still hot.
btw, they hire bicycles to ride round the lake. You probably won't have time but its a very pleasant way to spend a day.
Sprengisandur Cross Country Route (F26)
. Do it in 1 go or stop half way. You can camp anywhere....but better away from the road as this is a main route across Iceland that is used day/night. The route takes you from Route 1 in the north, between the Vatnajokull and Hofsjokull glaciers. Stunning scenery !
Kjolur Cross Country Route (35)
. Do it in 1 go or stop half way. You can camp anywhere. The route takes you from Route 1 in the north, between the Langjokull and Hofsjokull glaciers. Stunning scenery again...like the other route!
Waterfall at south end of Kjolur route
(the original) also near end Kjolur route and Detifoss. Geysir itself does not erupt anymore (without help) but the smaller Strokur does....about every 10 mins.
area west and north of Myrdalsjokull in the south. F210, F261, F210, F249, F225 etc. Take 2/3 days over this area. camping/huts at both places. No Fuel/food so take with you. However, not as far from the main road as the central north highlands.
: 2 days at least. There is/was a campsite by the swimming pool. Its a bit out of town but I've walked it. Cant remember the Volcano show address but you will find it. Spend a Saturday night here if you can and enjoy the nightlife. In the 80's, it used to be full of people showing off their vehicles on Sat evening...cruising round the centre constantly. If its the same, it worth seeing.
(northeast of Reykjavik. This is the site of the first recorded parliament. The Ping's (pronounced Thing's) were the local 'councils' that used to meet at the 'All Thing' at this place.
The Island of Heimaey
off south coast. Visit if you can....but may take too much time. If funds allow, you can do a flying tour from Reykjavik airport (not Keflavik international airport) in a few hours that takes you over the Island group and you get to see the Island of Surtsey too. I won't explain anymore, but see the Volcano show before you rule this out and do some reading.
. Good riding and plenty of scenery.
- South Central of Vatnajokull Icecap. A lake of icebergs. You can go out on the lake by boat too. Worth the detour.
- SE Vatnajokull. An exciting ride up to the edge of the Glacier. Take care, it can be steep.
I think that lot should take care of your 14 days.....especially if you visit Snaefell and the east central highlands on your way back to Seydisfjordur.
I'll post some photos if I find time to sort them out, I've got nearly 2000 but they were before digital cameras so I would need to scan any I post first. If you feel like popping over to The Hague, you are welcome to see them all.
Please let me know what its like in the country now and post some photos on your return.
. Take swimming trunks and use the outdoor swimming pools to relax and wash. You are expected to wash (soap provided) BEFORE entering the pool. Each pool has 'hot pots' around it...like jacuzi's. You'll find them in many settlements as its a national passtime...even in mid winter !
. A traffic jam in Iceland is more that 4 cars in a row.....even if they are moving, its still considered a jam !
Have a great time.