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 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.
|REYKJAVÍK ECO CAMPSITE
|AKRANES CAMPING SITE
|BORGARNES CAMPING GROUND
|Hotel Edda Laugar Saelingsdal
|Blönduós Camping Grounds, Gladheimar
|CAMPING SITE HAMRAR
|BREIÐDALSVÍK CAMPING GROUND
|DJÚPIVOGUR CAMPING GROUND
|Hofn Camping and Cottages
|N/A – Tjaldsvæðið í Svínafelli
|Camping Site and Cottages Kirkjubær II
|GRINDAVÍK CAMPING SITE
|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.
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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.
I could hear the raindrops hitting the tent walls. I turned on the other side and hid my face in the sleeping bag. Everything was hurting and the day before drained all my energy. There was no energy left to motivate myself to get out in the rain, pack all the gear and cycle all day through the mountains.
I had a quick morning looking forward to the day of cycling ahead. I already skipped one of my rest days (a buffer I left for myself not knowing how my body will take the cycling). I didn’t want to take the next rest day either so that I have both of them for later if I needed time or had problems.
It was a beautiful sunny day. In fact it was so hot I could feel how I will get sunburned but it was totally enjoyable. One of those days that fills you with warmth and makes you happy.
I knew it will be a long day ahead, some cream was applied to the sore knee, vitamins, earplugs (a must at campsites) and I relaxed into a good night’s sleep.
I know there haven’t been much articles posted in the last 5 weeks, but that’s because I went to cycle around Iceland. This is the first of a series of articles that will describe the trip but also help me reflect on it. I will be posting the days one at a time more as a personal diary and a future reference, but also for anyone who is interested to follow.