Mountain Biking in Iceland
Iceland’s epic landscape draws visitors from across the globe. Young in geological terms, it’s characterized by vast expanses of cooled lava and occasionally active eruptions. Columnar basalt abounds, framing some of its towering waterfalls beautifully.
Glaciers that shroud volcanoes calve into iceberg-strewn lagoons. Geothermal activity abounds, creating geysers and hot springs that send telltale plumes of smoke into the air. Throw in wild, unspoiled beaches and moss-covered canyons, and it’s not hard to see why people come to this extraordinary place for the great outdoors.
It’s scenery like this which makes Iceland such an exciting destination for mountain biking. Much of the country’s paths are singletrack: narrow trails just wide enough for two bikes to pass. These marked trails cut through unspoiled countryside, promising remarkable rides and striking views. Currently, Amazing Tours offers two mountain bike options:
- Golden Circle
- Reykjanes Volcano
1. The Golden Circle
Depart from Amazing Tours Basecamp midway between Geysir and Gullfoss for this exhilarating mountain bike ride within Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. The first part of the tour eases you gently as you pedal leisurely fashion to Geysir. Of course, this is the geyser field where you’ll find Strokkur, the country’s tallest and most impressive gusher.
Hang around for only a few minutes, and a spectacular jet of water will erupt from the ground, sending boiling water and steam high into the air. The next part of the tour leads alongside the Tungufljót River.
After that, the e-bikes make light work of the elevation gain so you can concentrate on a stellar view of Langjökull Glacier, the country’s second-largest, and Skjaldbreið Volcano. The trail back to base camp cuts through the beautiful Haukadalsskógur forest. Today’s visitors are often surprised to learn that the island was heavily forested in Viking times; this woodland is one of the largest and a result of afforestation efforts.
2. Reykjanes volcano
This thrilling mountain bike tour to Iceland’s newest volcanic eruption site begins in Reykjavik, but your focus is a landscape that’s about as different as it could get from Iceland’s capital city. You’ll ride a challenging but remarkable trail to Litli Hrútur, the focus of the latest phase of the volcanic eruption that kicked off in Reykjanes in 2021.
This adventurous ride takes you across rugged lava fields, though the use of e-bikes makes crossing the raw and rough terrain much easier than it would be on a regular bike. The goal is the recent lava flows; your experienced guide will explain how the landscape has been altered by this intermittent eruption and explain the processes that have taken place.
You’ll see the crater from a safe distance; the exact itinerary varies according to what the volcano’s doing, as noxious gases and lava emissions are not to be underestimated, and safety is always a priority.
The benefits of e-bikes
Amazing Tours uses e-bikes for its tours, and for good reason. Often, trails are challenging, whether in length or as a consequence of the uneven, rugged terrain. Having that extra boost of power opens up the activity to those who would otherwise be unwilling to consider it.
In addition, the bikes used by Amazing Tours have all the important features to cope with whatever the landscape throws at them: rear shock, suspension fork, stable frame, and hard-grip tires. Even Iceland’s notoriously fickle weather can’t stop them; slick after rain or slippery because of ice, these bikes can deal with it.
Why opt for a mountain bike tour?
Much of the Icelandic countryside is fragile. If you were unsure of where to cycle and not clear whether you were sticking closely to marked trails, it would be easy to unwittingly cause long-lasting damage to some of this precious environment.
One of the greatest advantages of taking a mountain biking tour with a reputable operator such as Amazing Tours is that you are safe in the knowledge that your guide won’t allow that to happen. Routes have been carefully considered to make sure your wheels aren’t having a negative impact on the landscape you have chosen to explore.
Another advantage is that you will have a far greater appreciation for the environment through which you cycle. Nature is a marvelous thing, but that awe and wonder we experience increases when we learn about the processes that have happened and the time it has taken to shape the landscape. Your guide will explain what you’re seeing, helping you to understand what you’re looking at.
Finally, thanks to a comprehensive safety briefing before the tour sets off and well-maintained equipment, you know you are in safe hands. You can concentrate on the view and on enjoying yourself, confident in the knowledge that you aren’t taking unexpected risks. In a place like Iceland, where dynamic conditions caused by changeable weather or volcanic processes are almost the norm, this is vitally important.
Which Amazing Tours bike adventure will you book first? Take a look and reserve your place for this exhilarating outdoor activity.