Home   The Trip   The Plan   The Route   The Reasons   Links



Iceland is pretty big – somewhere between the size of Ireland and Great Britain – but with only around 320,000 inhabitants compared to the UK’s 65 million, and with two thirds of those living in the southwest, around the capital Reykjavik.

The rest of Iceland’s population live largely in settlements spread widely around the main ring road which circles Iceland, though the Central Highlands (a vast area of the interior) are uninhabited, and towns, villages and individual homes round the ring road can have huge distances of a day’s cycling between them – in good weather! The ring road is around 1350km (830 miles) round, though I explored many of the more distant and scenic areas in the north and northwest, increasing the distance to just under 3000km (1900 miles) – I had comfortably exceeded 3000km by the time I left Iceland.

I finished the trip on Monday 26 September, having cycled for seven weeks. It was not an easy ride by any means, though anyone used to touring the highlands of Scotland or the wilder parts of Wales or Ireland should not find it beyond their capabilities – as long as their bike can cope with the occasional rough track and a few potholes! I was ambitious and wanted to explore the more distant and scenic parts of Iceland, but the vast majority of my trip was on-road and it would be quite possible to do any number of trips that didn’t leave tarmac – though I’d recommend being able to do so, not just so your bike is tough enough to handle the odd stretch of hardpack, but to have the chance to see the best of Iceland from further afield than the comfort of the main routes.

For accommodation I camped, stayed in youth hostels and guesthouses, but also stayed with friends, and friends of friends, along the route to make my trip affordable. The language barrier was not a problem as so many people spoke somewhere between competent and excellent English, and only once did I ask to camp somewhere other than a campsite (in someone’s back garden beside the road in Snćfellsnes) – for the rest of the trip accommodation was within a day’s ride or less each night.

Many people of course helped me with accommodation, food, publicity, advice or support in any number of other ways – where I can I’ve mentioned all the businesses and groups in my Links page, as they’re all good at what they do as well as being wonderful, helpful and friendly folk, and deserve a plug for their businesses as well as my thanks! – but to all those individuals who helped me with a bed for the night, a big big thank you for having the faith, trust and warmth of heart to invite me into your homes for a good cause. I stayed with the following people on my trip:

Gunnhildur Gisladóttir and Sigurđur Karlsson, Kópavogur; Gróa María and Ingólfur in Skorradalur; Guffy and Karvel in Stykkishólmur; Friđrun and Mummi in Reykhólar; Sigga and Bubbi at Hvítanes, Súđavíkurhreppur; Helga Svandís Helgadóttir and Finnbogi Bjarnason in Bolungarvík; Gróa María Bođvarsdóttir and Dúi in Ísafjörđur; Matti Pállsson and Ann Hadje in Blönduós; Pálina Sif in Hofsós; Dísa and Fjóla Björk in Akureyri; Auđur Jónasdóttir and Óskar Ţór Vilhjálmsson, also in Akureyri; Pétur Ingólfsson and Járnbrá Björg Jónsdóttir in Laugar; Sibba Sigurbjörnsdóttir in Egilsstađir; Helena Lind Birgisdóttir in Seyđisfjörđur; Anna Stína in Hallormsstađur; María and Ţór in Neskaupstađur; Ţórgunnur Torfadóttir and family in Reydará (Lón); Gummi and Vignir in Klaustur; Sigga Tryggvadóttir and Héđinn Sveinbjörnsson in Vík; and Sarah Hamilton in Heimćy. And of course, the whole of the Háskóla Kórinn at their weekend retreat at Hliđardalsskóli, near Ţórlakshöfn – thank you Magnus Sveinn Ingimundarson! Thank you also to all of Kvennakór Kópavogs for tirelessly chasing down their friends and relations around the country to find me places to stay, and for their excellent taste in finding such wonderful people to stay with.

To read about my trip in more detail you can go to my blog at http://cycleseven.org/category/dans-sing-around-iceland-cycle-tour by clicking on the button below (last update Wed 02 November, but plenty more still to come!)

If you would like to help, please go to my justgiving page and you can donate there. Thank you!