Iceland MTB/Gravel Adventure
AUGUST 12-17, 2018
Spots are limited on this departure to 20 people.
This is one of the most incredible cycling experiences on the planet. On Climate Ride Iceland we’ll travel to this magnificent island nation to explore the Southern Highlands where active volcanoes, sparkling glaciers, hot springs, and rustic mountain huts combine to create an unparalleled connection to nature.
This event is our premier mountain bike-only Climate Ride, and all of the pedaling takes place on gravel roads. Local Icelandic guides and you Climate Ride team will take care of all the details, allowing us to ride, connect, and see how the changing climate is affecting the Land of Fire and Ice. On this trip, we travel where few tourists go. We stay in rustic mountain huts (there is no hotel option). Expect close quarters (if you crave more privacy, we suggest you bring a high-quality tent so you can stay in the campground). This trip is well-suited to experienced road cyclists who can get comfortable on a mountain or hybrid bike. Weather can vary and you must be prepared for cold, rain, and river crossings. You should train to ride 50km (31 miles) per day on gravel roads. There are shorter options each day (if you ride in the support van). If you are vegan or vegetarian, please talk to us about making your food options better. Bring a big smile and your sense of adventure for this once in a lifetime trip!
Climate Rides bring together bright minds, breathtaking routes for all cycling abilities, and the unforgettable combination of passion and purpose. On this trip, we’ll get a first-hand look at the environmental issues affecting Iceland including glacial melting, flooding, overfishing, and land rise, while learning about Iceland’s nearly 100% reliance on geothermal and hydropower energy sources.
This is a special Climate Ride Funders Trip and the proceeds directly support Climate Ride's work. Your fundraising on Climate Ride Iceland MTB Gravel Grinder 2018 will benefit the programs and efforts of Climate Ride, helping us grow the organization to become an advocacy powerhouse that engages people in the world of active environmental philanthropy and sustainable solutions. All donations are tax-deductible.
|Trip Dates:||August 12-17, 2018|
|Start Location:||Reykjavik, Iceland|
|End Location:||Reykjavik, Iceland|
|Trip Length:||6 days|
|Activity:||6 days riding|
|Total Mileage:||12-31 miles per day, with daily mileage options|
|Average Daily Mileage:||21|
|Accommodations:||Rustic Mountain Huts (hot showers all nights except one)|
|Maximum Group Size:||20|
|Other Trip Notes:||Mountain bike or study hybrid recommended. Mountain bike rental available (additional cost).|
|$500 deadline:||June 22, 2018|
|$2000 deadline:||July 13, 2018|
|$4000 deadline||August 3, 2018|
|Transfer Deadline||No transfers are available for this ride. Because of the preparation that is undertaken to create this trip, if you cancel for any reason, your fundraising cannot be transferred to another event, but will go directly to support Climate Ride's work.|
Day 1 – Dómadalur – 22 miles
We depart early this morning from Reykjavik hotels for a 3-hour, scenic drive to Iceland’s spectacular volcanic mountains. At the foot of Hekla, the country’s most active and famous volcano, we’ll jump on our bikes for the first ride of the week – a stunning route across strange lava fields and stunning black desert sands before entering the amazing Dómadalur region, flanked by smooth grassy mountains on one side and colourful rhyolite peaks on the other. Our first night is spent in a remote cabin in the heart of these spectacular highlands.
Day 2 – Landmannalaugar – 16 miles
We head out early from our mountain hut at Landmannahellir to Frostastadavatn Lake (Icelandic for ‘Lake of the Frosty Place’). Our track takes us to the famed natural hot springs at Landmannalaugar. Here we have an opportunity for a hike and a regenerating, well-deserved soak in the steaming natural pools. In the afternoon, enjoy an optional 9 km single-track route to Ljótapollur. Our accommodations for the night are at a mountain hut near Landmannalaugar.
Day 3 – Eldgjá – 25 miles
On our third day of riding, we head eastward, biking on the Fjallabak Nature Preserve’s north route. The Fjallabak region, one of the largest geothermal areas in Iceland, takes its name from the numerous wild and rugged mountains with deeply incised valleys that are found here. The Nature Preserve, where more than 150 types of flowering plants, ferns and allies have been identified, was established in 1979 to protect the area’s natural features so that future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy them as we do today. Tonight, our day ends at a comfortable mountain hut, where we’ll spend two nights.
Day 4 - Sveinstindur – 19 miles
Today starts with a shuttle from Hólaskjól to Langisjór. Once at Langisjór we’ll gear up and cycle along the Skaftá River – a picturesque glacier-fed river. We continue along the rushing waters through the Eldgjá volcanic canyon, an enormous 5-mile fissure in the Earth and testament that this island straddles two continental plates. After an amazing day on the trail, we eventually return to our mountain hut for a hearty meal before turning in for the night.
Day 5 – Emstrur – 28 miles
Day 5 begins on a black sandy highland road through pasture land used for sheep grazing. The route today affords a magnificent view of the Mýrdalsjökull Glacier – with its ice cap topping the Katla volcano, made famous during the 2010 eruption of nearby Eyjafjallajökull. After a tasty lunch, we continue toward the south coast and cross the famous Laugavegur trekking route – noted for its wide variety of otherworldly landscapes. At our final mountain hut for the week, we’ll enjoy a farewell dinner and celebrate our last evening together.
Day 6 – Fljótshlíð – 16 miles
Today’s ride starts off from Emstrur, passing the impressive Markafljót Canyon. From there we pedal along the mountains with several challenging sections to the great canyons of the Markarfljót River. After lunch, we make our way on a remote and beautiful mountain road that leads to an idyllic valley under the Tindfjallajökull Glacier, where we’ll finish the week’s riding. After packing up our gear, we’ll drive back to hotels in Reykjavik for an afternoon arrival in the busy city.
Climate Ride Iceland MTB is a 5-night, 6-day cycling trip that showcases the best of Iceland’s southern highlands. Each evening, we’ll be staying at remote, authentic mountain huts that are well-equipped for high country adventuring. Rooms at the lodges vary from smaller six-person rooms to rooms that will accommodate the whole group. You should bring your sleeping bag. You are also welcome to bring a tent to set up outside the huts (weather permitting).
The mountain huts are generally well-kept, clean and heated; some even have electricity and hot water, but they are still mountain huts offering no luxury and little privacy. But in this wild natural environment, the huts will seem like 4-star hotels! Please know that these huts are rustic but charming. More information will be available in the Travel Planner after you register.
Breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks are handled by our expert local guides. Dietary restrictions will be accommodated, but we recommend bringing special snacks and electrolyte supplements if you need them to power your ride.
The trip begins in the vibrant city of Reykjavik on Sunday, August 12, 2018. Pick-ups will take place at designated hotels in the city between 8 am and 9 am. If you’re traveling from the US, you’ll definitely want to arrive at least one day before and stay in the city the night of August 11. We’ll enjoy a pre-ride gathering that evening at a fun local bar before meeting up for the shuttle the morning of the ride start.
The trip will end with a final shuttle back to Reykjavik on the afternoon of Friday, August 17, 2018. Options include extending your stay in the city, traveling on to Europe, or flying home directly after the ride. Please make airline reservations no earlier than 7 pm.
Travelers to Iceland must be in possession of a passport, valid at least for 90 days beyond their intended stay. Visas are not required for US citizens; however citizens of other countries may be required to obtain a visa prior to entry. For more information about visas for Iceland, visit here.
More detailed travel information is available in the Travel Planner which you’ll receive after registering.