View Full Version : Iceland

12-11-09, 17:42
Iceland – the land of the sagas – is definitely a land for off-road adventure! Friendly people, magnificent scenery – and plenty of gravel roads, trails, and open wilderness. Add some decent camping gear, riding equipment, and a few secret dreams – and get moving…

For bikers starting from Europe, Norröna, the Smyril line ferry from Denmark http://www.smyrilline.com/ is a good starting point. For others, renting a bike is probably the way to go, or a guided tour from a company like bikingviking (http://www.bikingviking.is/).

The season is basically summer (June-August). And you find a lot of updated information of Road conditions and weather at http://www.vegagerdin.is/english/road-conditions-and-weather Information on road conditions is entered from 7:00 - 22:00 and are displayed almost immediately. Outside these hours, information remains unchanged and is erased at some point after midnight. Weather information comes from automatic weather stations and is therefore updated on a 24-hour basis.

The best routable Garmin map is: GPS Kort Iceland 2009 NT (V4.0) http://www.nordicstore.net/gps_map_of_iceland_2492_prd1.htm Plenty of free non-routable gps-maps around, but if you can afford to go, you will probably want this map… (Please note
City Navigator Europe NT 2010.1 does not cover Iceland sufficiently at present).

A good starting point is the Icelandic F-roads. These mountain roads are mainly single track 4x4 roads. The road surface may span from gravel to loose (volcanic) sand and rocks – and most are not bridged – so be prepared to ford some rivers and do some vading.

12-11-09, 17:45
F985 is a nice slightly technical steep single track gravel and rocky road, (at places in the range of 30%). It will take you from sea level and the ring road up to Jöklasel at 15,2 km, 800 m amsl, and the edge of Vatnajökull, (the part called Skálafellsjökull). If the weather is nice you will have a splendid view from the top and on your way down.

20090716 - 32 km total up and back down – just over one hour of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80.

You may read others opinion on LookingForAdventure’s post #22 http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=485324&page=2

12-11-09, 17:49
F208 is a beautiful 87 km drive through Fjallabak National Park between Vatna- and Myrdalsjökull.

Lonely planet Iceland recommends it with a small warning: ”The road deteriorates into a valley route along a riverbed and effectively becomes a 10 km-long ford interspersed with jaunts across the odd sandbar or late snowfield”. When I made the trip in mid season (mid July) I counted 13 wadings (marked with waypoints) and several minor splashes. The first one (coming from the coast) being the most difficult with some current, leg deep and withh rocks and boulders. The others mainly with sandy bottom. Going solo with a heavy bike I chose to dogpaddle the first, and ride the rest after walking them first to find the best path to cross.

About 10 km aftert the last wading (WP13) you can take left at F224 for a short km to Landmannalaugar. (This spot is very popular with hot pools, and can be easily reached from the Northwest with out wading).

Along F208 (after the F208 F224 intersection) you will find some areas of loose volcanic sand, but nothing really technical – even with a big bike.

20090717 - 100 km total from the ring road to 26 – just short of five hours of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80 aired down to F 1,8 and R 2,1 Bar.

I recommend to read Kim and Mike's “Most Excellent Adventure” RR, (F208 at post #136-138 and post #160-161), with stunning pictures http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=443916&page=10

And at Zwerver’s RR, (post #6 Day 11, to Landmannalaugar)

12-11-09, 17:51
The Kjölur highlandroute (F)35 between Lang- and Hofsjökull starts just north of Gullfoss, (which is one of the most popular tourist waterfalls on Iceland), and ends about 150 km north close to Eiðsstaðir. The road cuts through the interior and connects the Southwest to the Northwest. It is an easy, but fairly long drive.

Along (F)35 you will find some rocky portions and a little sand, but nothing close to technical – even with a big bike. All river crossings are bridged, only one minor splash remains.

20090718 - 136 km (of the 150 odd km before I turned off at a local track) – just over three hours of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80.

I recommend having a look at Zwerver’s RR, (F35 at post #7 “Part 3 - Day 15, over the Kjölur to Hveravellir...) http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=269604

PS Previous F35 is no just called 35

12-11-09, 17:52
F690 is basically a mountain route along a valley from jct 690 and 602 to 61. You will find some rocky portions, but most is smooth hard packed sand/gravel. Nothing close to technical – even with a big bike. Only one minor wade (or splash when I rode it) remains.

20090720 - 17 km, just about half an hour of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80.

12-11-09, 17:54
F862 runs 52 km north from the ring road #1, just East of Myvatn and Krafla, to #85 through Dettifoss National Park. About midway you may take F886 for about 3 km to the parking for Dettifoss and Selfoss – two of the best of Icelands very scenic waterfalls.

The ride is pleasant only a few odd rocks and potholes to look out for and some portions with a shallow layer of sand. Nothing really technical – even with a big bike - only a couple of splashes when I rode it, (but this may be different early in the season).

I recommend having a look at post #77 of Kim and Mike's Most Excellent 2009 Icelandic Adventure RR : http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=443916&page=6

20090722 - 58 km, with the short detour down F886 to Dettifoss. Riding time, just about one and a half hour of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80 aired down.

12-11-09, 17:56
This local 4x4 route from the northern part of F35 to 722, also called Svinadalur-Vatnsdalur route is about 26 km. The road cuts NW from F35 to 722 and then the ring road. It is less travelled and a nice escape from the touristy F35.

Along the route you will find some rutted and sandy portions, which depending on wx might starts to get a little technical – with a big bike. The descend down to Vatnsdalur is steep and with a few rocks thrown in.

20090718 - 26 km – just short of one hour of riding – Solo w/camping gear – ‘08 GSA w/TKC 80.

12-11-09, 17:57
Fat fingered the name of this thread, if you could fix it I sure would be happy:comfort

Done. Thanks for the postings.