2006 - West Iceland

Introduction

Cycling route map

This year my friend and I cycled through Iceland again;

2006 Cycling trip logo
The Iceland Adventure

Yes, we've already visited Iceland two times before in 1999 and 2000. But we like the island very much and we still wanted to visit the west fjords of north-west of Iceland. Also last year (2005) we made a very long trip through North America and for this year we thought to make just a "little" cycling trip of three weeks through Iceland.

Though next year (2007) we're planning to make a big trip again; we'll be cycling through Australia then.

Keflavík - Reykjanes: 33.75 km.

After a flight of 3 hours, we arrive in Keflavik. From here we cycle south along Hafnir to Reykjanes. Hereby passing the "bridge between continents". We pitch our tent along a gravel road near Sýrfell mountain.

bridge between continents

Reykjanes - Gata: 76.78 km.

In the morning we cycle on a very bad gravel road towards the Blue Lagoon. After this we do some grocery shopping in Grindavík. Then we continue our trip on road 427. At Gata (near Strandakirkja) we pitch our tent.

Road towards Blue Lagoon

Gata - Hvolsvöllur: 101.38 km.

In the morning we start our trip on a bad gravel road and a good climb. In Eyrarbakki we take lunch with sunny weather. Via Selfoss we cycle to Hella. Here we buy a little gas burner, because we could no find any white gas fuel for our own burner. We cycle on to Hvolsvöllur were we stay for the night.
Then next morning we decide to stay another day in Hvolsvöllur, because of a big storm (with the wind blowing from the wrong direction).

On the road

Hvolsvöllur - Hrifunes: 137.29 km.

In the morning we have a nice strong wind in the back and can cycle with great speed. We visit the Seljalandfoss waterfall and the even more famous Skogafoss waterfall. At ±14.00 hour we're already in Vík (just before Vík there is a very steep climb). We decide to cycle on to the next campsite, 45 km ahead. First it's ok, but the last ±15 km a strong glacier wind (from the Mýrdals-Jökull) makes cycling very hard. When we reach Hrifunes, we do not see any camping. But we get to hear that the camping lies just over the next hill.

Towards Skagafoss waterfall

Hrifunes - Landmannalaugar: 76.79 km.

Today it's very nice weather. Across a beautiful road (F208) we cycle towards Landmannalaugar. At Hólaskjól we take a break for lunch. Then we continue on a road through a lava field with many small, but powerful, waterfalls along the road. There are some very steep ascents (at one ascent it seems that we're climbing towards the top of a vulcano).

Today we had 21 river crossing (giving us wet and cold feet). We met some other cyclists on the road today.

Pose on mountain top
River crossing Jan Dirk
River crossing Fred

Landmannalaugar - Háifoss: 70.55 km.

Last night a big storm passes. During this storm the front of the tent gets loose and needed to be re-fastened. A bit late in the morning we leave in the direction of Hrauneyjar (the end of the F208). We cycle through a kind of desert with a lot of lava sand. At many place the road is very bad and rough. At Hrauneyjar we take lunch. Then we cycle to the Háifoss waterfall whereby we take a gravel-road that takes us into the clouds. Next to the waterfall we pitch out tent for the night.

Bike parking

Háifoss - Helgaskáli: 21.31 km.

In the morning the clouds are gone and we have a very beautiful view of the Háifoss waterfall. In the early morning the weather is ok, but soon there is a big storm, which goes on for the whole day. It's raining heavily all day. We make slow progress because of this. Also we make 4, very cold, river crossings. Wet and cold we reach the Helgaskáli cabin. We decide to stop here. We make some warm tea to warm ourselves.
After lunch a big group of 16 Icelandic people on horses also stop at the Helgaskáli cabin.

Háifoss waterfall
Rainy river crossing

Helgaskáli - near Tangaver (F35): 82.80 km.

In the morning the storm is gone and we depart early after saying goodbye to the Icelandic group. We have some difficult river crossings (a total of 6 river crossings today), but we still arrive quickly at the end of the gravel road. We visit one side of the Gullfoss waterfall. We cycle on to Geysir, where we take lunch. Then we cycle on to visit the other side of the Gullfoss waterfall. After this we continue our trip on the Kjölur route (F35) towards the north. With a big climb we cycle along the top of the Bláfell mountain (BláfellsHnjúkur). After a short descent we camp near the mountain with a view on the Langjökull glacier. After dinner Fred tries to remove a wobble in his rear wheel. Also does he repair a broken spoke in his rear wheel.

Gullfoss waterfall
Horses passing our campsite

Tangaver - Áfangi: 92.25 km.

Today it's very nice weather and we can keep a good speed all day, even on the sometimes very bad gravel road. After a long climb we reach the highest point of the Kjölur route, where we find a monument. We have a very beautiful panoramic view of the glaciers around us. After this we cycle on towards Áfangi.

On the Kjölur route

Áfangi - Stóra-Giljá: 91.75 km.

The gravel road is much better this morning and we quickly reach the end of the F35. Then we're back on road 1, where we have a strong headwind, while we're cycling towards Blönduós. Here we take a big lunch. Then we drive on to Stóra-Giljá (a farmhouse), where we pitch our tent.

Leaving Áfangi

Stóra-Giljá - Börðeyri: 89.26 km.

Today we cycle through a very hilly landscape with many farms along the way. At Laugarbakki we take lunch. Because of the wind in our backs we can make good time (only the last 12 km we have a strong headwind). So we're in early in Börðeyri, where do some shopping and take a nice shower after pitching our tent.

View on fjord

Börðeyri - Hólmavík: 107.28 km.

What an incredible trip today! We cycle through the West-Fjords of Iceland today. We've a strong headwind today, but we still manage to cycle a average speed of 16 km/h. On the way we enjoy the beautiful fjords where we cycle through. Also we have two big climbs of minimal 12%. The second climb even takes us completely through the clouds. Even people in cars stop to take pictures of us while making this big ascent (with views of the fjords in the background).

Jan Dirk climbing
Fred climbing (2x)

Hólmavík - Fjarðarhorn: 88.35 km.

In the morning we first climb to the Steingrímsjfarðarheiði; a long ascent. Then we descent towards Ísafjördur where we reach the most northern point of our trip. Then quickly we turn onto a small 4x4-road (F66). Here we have a long and steep climb (with many beautiful views). During the descent ... BANG!!! Fred's rear tire has exploded with a loud bang. The outer tire is sewed (because we don't have a spare outer tire with us) and with a new (spare) inner tire we continue the cycling trip. At the end of the F66 we pitch our tent. Here Fred also makes a more extensive repair of the blown tire.

Long and steep climb
Blown tire Sewed tired
Fred crossing a small river

Fjarðarhorn - Stykkishólmur: 73.90 km.

We start in the morning with a big climb (with hairpin bends) along a steep cliff. Followed by a cooling descent. The road takes us through fjords, along many waterfalls, and with many beautiful views. Near Brjánslækur there is a gas station where we take a nice cold cola. After this we cycle the last 6 km to Brjánslækur, where we buy a ticket for the ferry that will take us to Stykkishólmur.

Cloudy morning

Stykkishólmur - Borganes: 103.96 km.

In the morning we climb across the Vatnaheiði. We follow road 54 towards Borganes. We have some nice views on the Eldborg, Snæfellsjökull and the other mountains around us. Because we don't have any big climbs today and we're constantly driving on a sealed road, we make good progress. In Borganes we pitch our tent and Fred repairs another broken spoke.

Mid-summer-night-sun

Borganes - þingvellir: 103.96 km.

Across the bridge at Borganes, we turn left towards the east. We take the F508 along lake Skorradalsvatn. We even cycle partly through a forest here! At the end of the lake we needed to cross a steep pass with many loose rocks. We ride into þingvellir, where we eat dinner at the hotel and then have a look at the dividing line of the tectonic plates. At the campsite, Fred finds out that he has a puncture in his rear tire.

Bad road sign

þingvellir - Hafnarfjörður: 59.78 km.

It's a rainy day today. We first cycle to a viewpoint above þingvellir. After this we cycle on road 36 towards Reykjavík. At Mosfellsbær we reach road 1, where there's very heavy traffic. On a three lanes road we cycle through Reykjavík. Road 40 gets us to Hafnarfjörður, where we camp inside a sculpture park. After a very nice shower, we walk towards the centre. We visit the bonsai's in the Hellisgerði park. In the Tilveran restaurant we eat dinner.

Leaving þingvellir

Hafnarfjörður - Grindavík: 52.05 km.

Through the harbour of Hafnarfjörður we leave the city and drive on road 42 right into a big lava field. Along the beautiful lake Kleifarvatn we cycle towards Krýsuvík, where we visit the warm water springs. After this we cycle again along Krýsuvíkkirkja and follow road 427 to Grindavík.

Krýsuvík

Grindavík - Keflavík: 30.13 km.

We slowly start our day slowly, because we don't need to get far today. We first cycle to the Blue Lagoon (Bláa lonið), where we take a nice swim. After this we cycle on road 43 and road 41 back to Keflavík, where we camp not far from the airport.

Blue Lagoon

Epilogue

Next morning (at 4.00 hour the alarm clock goes) we pack our stuff for the last time and then cycle the last 3.27 km to the airport. It's very busy at the airport and we need to wait 45 minutes in the queue before we can check our luggage and our bikes in. After three hours flight we've returned home with some very nice memories and pictures again. It's been a SUPER cycling trip!

Current weather

Current Reykjavik weather