On the way from there to Lake Myvatn we stop in the European whale watching capital, Husavik, for an night in guesthouses just outside town, with views of snow-capped mountains across the fjord. The approach to the lake takes you through marshland peppered with small lakes and ponds, which attract more birds than anywhere else in Iceland, and can make the approach to Myvatn very memorable. The ride around the lake itself is particularly interesting because of the many green pseudo craters and islands. On day seven, you can visit Jokulsar Canyon National Park and Dettifoss – the biggest waterfall in Europe. The route back to Reykjavik will take you across Iceland’s interior – a mountain and desert road between huge glaciers – a fitting end to this fantastic adventure.
Day 1: Noon pickup in Reykjavik at the BSI Bus Terminal or your inn for the 3.5 hours drive to Sauðárkrókur. Along the way you will visit still-active Vidimyri church, a stunning example of 17th century Icelandic architecture, and the Glaumbear Farmstead, dwarf sod houses, eventual home of Snorri Thorfinnson – the first Viking born in North America at Newfoundland’s L’Anse aux Meadows. In Sauðárkrókur, you can test your bikes, visit the nearby geothermal heated swimming pool, or stretch your legs on the back of an Icelandic horse before dinner. Optional flights are available from Reykjavik to Sauðárkrókur through Air Iceland. Includes: (D). (Meal inclusions provided for guided trips. Self-guided trips include breakfasts only)
Hotel Tindastoll, Sauðárkrókur or Hótel Varmahlíð, Varmahlíð
Day 2: 57km/35 miles
From Sauðárkrókur, ride through a river valley known for its horses and ethereal blue light. Picnic in the mountain-nestled village of Holar, seat of the bishop from 1106-1801 and the last stronghold of the Catholic Church during the Reformation. You can visit the cathedral, restored to its original state. Afternoon ride along the coast of Skagafjordur to Hofsos, where you can visit the Icelandic American Heritage museum. Transfer back to Hotel Tindastoll at day’s end. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 3: 69km/42 miles
Follow the coast around the Tröllaskagi Peninsula – Peninsula of Trolls – to lunch in Siglufjörður, a small fishing town once known as the herring centre of Iceland. A visit to the Herring Era Museum will give insight into the boom that hit this region during the 20th century. Later, views of Grimsey Island increase the beauty of the ride. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Brimnes Hotel & Cabins, Ólafsfjörður
Day 4: 60km/37miles
An easier ride along the coast toward Akureyri, acknowledged as the home of some of the world’s most beautiful people, and known by golfers for the Arctic Open Championship. Visit the botanical gardens, old houses, and relative abundance of restaurants and bars, where the fun is heightened by the location near the Arctic Circle. Includes: (B).
Hotel Kea, Akureyri
Day 5: 108km/67 miles
Follow the Eyjafjörður coast from Akureyri toward Laufas, where a well-preserved farm buildings and the oldest thatched houses in Iceland add to the gorgeous charm of an already scenic valley. Lunch at Storutjarnir, or Iceland’s most spectacular waterfall, Gođafoss – Falls of the Gods. Follow the salmon-rich river valley to the coast at Husavik – locally proclaimed the whale-watching capital of Europe, and home of an interesting whale information centre. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Cape Hotel, Husavik
Day 6: 50km/31 miles
Today’s ride takes you past a small geyser, large greenhouses, and along a lava river valley with pseudocraters – formed by cooling lava bubbles instead of by extraterrestrial impact - toward Lake Myvatn, where the best summer weather in Iceland helps one appreciate its myriad islands, ducks, and pretty vistas. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Hotel Reynihlid or Hotel Gigur, Myvatn
Day 7: 37km/23 miles - morning ride around Lake Myvatn, and afternoon van ride to the Jokulsargljufur Canyon National Park.
Today is a day to enjoy the unique Myvatn surroundings. After a morning circumnavigation of the lake on your bike, the afternoon can be spent visiting outlying attractions with your guide, or taking an optional sightseeing flight to oversee Iceland’s dramatic interior, including Askja – the world’s biggest caldera – where US astronauts trained for moon landings. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Transfer to Reykjavik
This is an approximate six-hour drive. Optional flights from Akureyri are available to Reykjavik through Air Iceland. Includes: (B).
Inn Notes: We have selected inns of the highest possible standards, and endeavour to secure rooms with private bathrooms for all guests. On this adventure, there are no inns with private washrooms on 2 nights, in which case you may have to share a bathroom with other Freewheeling guests. If you are uncomfortable with this, we will try to make alternative arrangements for you. Please discuss this with us when booking.
"What a fascinating country. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of our trip. The north is beautiful and much greener than I have expected. Even the weather turned out to be better, cool but not too cold. The scenery made up for it big time. There were many highlights - watching the midnight sun, standing on the continental rift, biking through the candera area, pseudo craters, waterfalls, geysers and hot springs and driving through the interior, finding a little oasis in the middle of nowhere. Thanks to all of you for making this happen. It is a great tour and amazing country with lots to offer." - Trudene & Derrick, ON.
2015 Dates: Jun 19-26; Jul 6-13; Aug 3-10 (self-guided).
2016 Dates: Jul 4-11; Aug 1-8. Add your own dates.
Start: BSI Bus Terminal or your inn in Reykjavik, noon day one for 3.5 hr transfer to Sauðárkrókur. Optional flights to Sauðárkrókur from Reykjavik are available
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