The idea was to get an early start, but we just couldn’t get ourselves out of bed. We had a deal with the host to come and pick up the keys at 9:30am which then dragged to just before 10am 🙂 Eventually we showered, packed up and were ready to go. The host gave us a few ideas and critically made our minds up on which route to take to Ohrid. There are two options, the main road South or the one going through the North through Mavrovo national park and lake areas. The host was adamant that the latter is much more scenic and we decided to follow his advice.
Most of the plane journey I spent dosing off and listening to an audiobook. I didn’t want to build up expectations or imagine things that would happen. This was a trip that was agreed a year in advance, but in reality we had no plan. In fact, we chose Macedonia over Turkey just the week before.
Tools, pedals, saddle, toothbrush, lights, helmet… I was starring into the darkness, my mind was rushing. It was 6:30am and a week before I had quit my current job to start a new one. I was still due to go to work that day, but my mind was racing, trying to grasp the sequence of events and the list of stuff I had to make sure I had packed for the trip ahead.
For me this is the day where I gained a friend on the road and it was all decided by a simple gesture.
I have been travelling quite a few times with a bike recently and had to go through a research process to find the best way of preparing it and the panniers / luggage for flying. This includes packaging, security, etc.
I have read a lot before starting my trip in Iceland, but I struggled to find useful information about a reasonable daily itinerary to go around the island at a reasonable pace.
There are many ways to cycle in Iceland, but yet not as many as in other countries. The roads are few and the good tarmac ones are even less (yet still better from what I read than 5 years ago). The reality is that if you want to cycle around the whole island there are (with few exceptions) only two options. To cycle on road #1 clockwise or counterclockwise. You can extend or shorten the trip by avoiding or adding to your journey the:
- Snaefellsjoekull National Park peninsula
- North-Western fjords
- Coastal line in the North-East (from what I’ve read the roads are poor in the very North-East tip of the island)
Here is my initial plan for going around the island in 18 days. You can shorten the trip by linking the shorter days into single days. I think it will be harder to extend the 18 days to more unless you wild-camp as there is little in between the locations mentioned.
|Day 1||~50||REYKJAVÍK ECO CAMPSITE|
|Day 2||???||AKRANES CAMPING SITE|
|Day 2||112||BORGARNES CAMPING GROUND|
|Day 3||78||Hotel Edda Laugar Saelingsdal|
|Day 4||128||Blönduós Camping Grounds, Gladheimar|
|Day 5||143||CAMPING SITE HAMRAR|
|Day 6||93.6||Husavik Campground|
|Day 7||54.5||Bjarg campsite|
|Day 8||166||Egilsstaðir Campsite|
|Day 9||92.3||BREIÐDALSVÍK CAMPING GROUND|
|Day 10||64.2||DJÚPIVOGUR CAMPING GROUND|
|Day 11||104||Hofn Camping and Cottages|
|Day 12||~130||N/A – Tjaldsvæðið í Svínafelli|
|Day 13||~75.8||Camping Site and Cottages Kirkjubær II|
|Day 15||110||Tjaldsvæði Campground|
|Day 16||111||SOUTHCENTRAL MOTEL|
|Day 17||90.1||GRINDAVÍK CAMPING SITE|
|Day 18||47.1||N/A – Keflavik International Airport|
For the sake of presentation I’ve reduced the information in the table, but if you want to see the original table with contact information, notes, etc., please follow the link below.
Please note that I didn’t actually follow this plan to the note (as you can see by the posts I’ve been doing on the trip), however it was a very good baseline for me. I am sharing it in the hopes that it will be of use to others as well.
Subscribe to receive the next post in your mailbox
I have been travelling enough in the last few years to have realised that currency exchanges are not that easy or user-friendly. You either need to get the currency you need before you arrive in the country – but how do you know how much you will need – or you end up having left-over currency that’s not enough to exchange back.
I woke up, got out of bed and went to the showers. It turn out to be a queue for both showers and toilets.
It was a beautiful, warm morning. Refreshed after the great day before, the food, the additional rest and Elad’s company I was ready to head to Akureyri.
I felt much more rested, but I could hear the rain slightly tapping the tent. I had to go, a whole day of rest was more than enough, waiting for the rain to pass was an endless endeavour. In my mind I forced the view that there’s no other way for things to be and I got out of the sleeping bag.