Cycling The Iceland Divide
Cycling The Iceland Divide
550 Km From Akureyri to Vik
Bicycle Touring with Edoardo Bernascone
If you like desert, harsh and dramatic landscapes and you like to challenge yourself with tough weather and bad roads than you are in the right place.
Cycling through Iceland is not a joke and you have to be well organize in terms of food and gears, but once you are ready is totally rewarding and you will be cycling in unique and incredible wilderness.
Warm sleeping bag
A tough tent
At least two lighters
Pitching the tent under the rain Headwind
Iceland is creazy expensive. I carried all my food from Italy. 20 portions of dry risotto with different taste, 30 bars and 1 kg of oats.
During all the trail there are no points of resupply, so you have to carry all the food since the beginning. There are 3 refuges where you can have a very expensive meal but no way to resupply (Nyidalur camping, a restaurant before entering in Landmannalaugar area and the Alftvan hut).
Consider also to carry gas or fuel for at least 10 days. I was carrying two gas canister. Easy to find and buy in Iceland.
Water is drinkable and easy to find almost everywhere, just make sure to be far enough from farms, especially in the beginning of the trail. Few times i was using a MSR water filter when the water was a little sandy.
I did wild camping most of the time. Inner Iceland is like a huge campground, just make sure to find a spot safe from the wind.
In the first part of the trail there are also some mountain hut where you can sleep and take a rest from the wind, some of them are really nice and comfortable (Two of these huts are not for free and you should leave the money in a small box inside). Outside the trail i slept in some campsite, price is between 15 – 20 Euro.
Be sure to be you and your bike enough good in shape. I have been cycling alone most of the time with anyone around especially in the first part till I reach the road F26.
There are no easy detour and if you brake or damage something, in your bike or your body, you have to get out with your own energies.
In few sections you don’t have good phone signal but in general it was better than expected considering the remotness. I would suggest strong rims for the bike (I broke 2 spokes) and big tires, at least 2.40.
I was using 2.10 and I had to walk most of the sandy sections. I download this track from Bikepacking.com and I followed the route completely. You can find useful informations also there
I’m not encouraging breaking the law, but bear in mind that this sort of trip where you spend most of your time by yourself or in the nature is much safer than staying in a city, no matter how anti-social you might consider yourself.
THINGS TO SEE ALONG THE ROUTE
Iceland is not famous for historical sites or cultural stuff but nature is unique and great. You will see: The untouched wilderness Endless lava fields The biggest glacier of Europe and the fourth of the world, The Vatnajokull.
Mountains entirely covered by moss in the area of Landmannalaugar The puffin bird once you arrive in the city of Vik by the coast
It was my first time in Iceland. I was very skeptic at the beginning as it was looking to me very touristic especially in the summer months.
I was happy to realize that I was wrong, most of the tourist stuck on the coast and on the ring road (the only tarmac road) and few of them take the offroad to reach the earth of Iceland.
Even if it was only few days I had the feeling to be really far away like the Pamirs in Tajikistan or Ladakh in India. This was Iceland to me: the closest place to feel far