Are you searching for the ultimate adventure that combines cycling, nature, and breathtaking landscapes? Look no further than Iceland. Bikepacking in Iceland offers an experience like no other, where you can explore some of the most remote and untouched areas of the country while pushing your physical and mental limits.

Bikepacking Iceland refers to the activity of exploring the stunning natural beauty of Iceland on a bicycle whilst carrying all necessary camping gear and equipment. This allows individuals to experience the awe-inspiring landscapes of Iceland, including glaciers, fjords, waterfalls, and volcanoes, at a leisurely pace, often over several days or weeks. Bikepacking is becoming an increasingly popular outdoor activity for those seeking a unique and challenging adventure, and Iceland is a perfect destination for this activity due to its rugged terrain and picturesque vistas.

The Essentials of Bikepacking in Iceland

Before embarking on your Icelandic adventure, it’s essential to understand the basics of bikepacking. Bikepacking is a combination of cycling and backpacking, where cyclists carry all their gear and supplies on their bikes. In Iceland, bikepacking routes can range from a few days to several weeks, depending on the difficulty level and distance.

Choosing the Right Bike

Choosing the right bike for bikepacking is crucial to the success of your trip. You need a bike that can handle rough terrain, steep hills, and long distances. A mountain bike or gravel bike with a sturdy frame and off-road tires is ideal for Icelandic conditions.

Planning Your Route

Iceland is a vast country with a diverse landscape. Planning your bikepacking route is essential to ensure you get the most out of your trip. You can choose between several pre-planned routes, or you can create your own. Make sure to research the weather conditions, terrain, and potential hazards before setting off.

Packing Your Gear

Packing your gear for a bikepacking trip requires careful planning and consideration. You need to pack light while ensuring you have all the essentials for your trip. Your pack should include a tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, water, and clothing suitable for Icelandic weather conditions.

Exploring Iceland by Bike

Once you’ve prepared your bike and packed your gear, it’s time to explore Iceland’s beautiful scenery. From glaciers and volcanoes to hot springs and waterfalls, Iceland has it all. Here are some of the most popular bikepacking routes in Iceland.

Key Takeaway: Bikepacking in Iceland offers a unique and challenging experience that allows you to explore the country’s stunning landscapes while pushing your limits. However, it’s important to choose the right bike, plan your route, and pack carefully. You should also be prepared for Iceland’s unpredictable weather, challenging terrain, and isolation on some routes. Overall, bikepacking in Iceland can be an unforgettable adventure for those who are up for the challenge.

Once you’ve prepared your bike and packed your gear, it’s time to explore Iceland’s beautiful scenery. From glaciers and volcanoes to hot springs and waterfalls, Iceland has it all. Here are some of the most popular bikepacking routes in Iceland.

The Ring Road

The Ring Road is a popular bikepacking route that circles the entire island, covering approximately 1,300 kilometers. The route takes you through some of Iceland’s most stunning landscapes, including the Golden Circle, Vatnajökull Glacier, and the Westfjords.

The Kjölur Route

The Kjölur Route is a challenging bikepacking route that takes you through the heart of Iceland’s highlands. The route is approximately 200 kilometers long and takes you through the Kjölur plateau, surrounded by glaciers and hot springs.

The Sprengisandur Route

The Sprengisandur Route is a remote and challenging bikepacking route that takes you through the barren and rugged interior of Iceland. The route is approximately 200 kilometers long and takes you through some of Iceland’s most isolated areas.

Challenges of Bikepacking in Iceland

While bikepacking in Iceland can be an unforgettable experience, it’s not without its challenges. Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable, and you may face strong winds, rain, and snow. Additionally, some of the routes can be physically challenging, requiring a high level of fitness and endurance.

Weather Conditions

Iceland’s weather can be unpredictable and severe, even during the summer months. It’s essential to check the weather forecast before setting off and prepare for all eventualities. Make sure to pack waterproof clothing and gear, as well as warm layers for colder temperatures.


Iceland’s terrain can be challenging, with steep hills, rough terrain, and rocky surfaces. It’s essential to have a bike that can handle these conditions and to be prepared for long days of cycling.


Some of Iceland’s bikepacking routes can be remote and isolated, with few amenities and services along the way. It’s essential to carry enough food, water, and supplies to last you for several days.

FAQs for Bikepacking Iceland

What is bikepacking?

Bikepacking is a form of backpacking or camping that involves using a bicycle instead of walking or hiking to carry your gear. Bikepacking is an adventure-filled way of traveling where you can explore remote areas and enjoy the scenic beauty of nature on your bike. It often involves camping, cooking and carrying the essentials on a bicycle.

Can I bikepack in Iceland?

Yes, you can bikepack in Iceland. Iceland offers some of the most remarkable and stunning landscapes in the world. The country offers a perfect opportunity for bike packers to explore its incredibly diverse terrain on two wheels. However, due to the unforgiving nature of the Icelandic terrain, bikepacking in Iceland can be challenging and requires a certain level of specialized riding skills and experience.

What are the best times to go bikepacking in Iceland?

The best time to go bikepacking in Iceland is during the summer months, from June till September. During this period the weather is relatively good, the roads are clear, there is twenty-four hours of daylight, and the temperature is comfortable, averaging around 12-14°C. However, it is still important to be prepared for the unpredictable Icelandic weather, as temperature and weather conditions can change quickly.

What type of bike is suitable for bikepacking in Iceland?

When choosing a bike for bikepacking in Iceland, you need to consider the terrain and the type of trails you will be riding on. A suitable bike for bikepacking in Iceland should be durable, strong, reliable and capable of handling the diverse terrain and rock-filled trails. A hardtail or full suspension mountain bike with wider tires, sturdy components, and a comfortable saddle is recommended for bikepacking in Iceland.

What essential gear do I need for bikepacking in Iceland?

When bikepacking in Iceland, you will need essential gear like lightweight tent and sleeping bag, a stove and fuel, warm clothes, food, a repair kit, tools, maps, first aid kit, and plenty of water. You will need to ensure all your gear is well-secured on your bike to prevent it from bouncing around on the rough terrain. Also, make sure to equip yourself with appropriate clothing for the variable Icelandic weather.

Do I need to be physically fit for bikepacking in Iceland?

Bikepacking in Iceland can be challenging, so it is essential to have a certain level of fitness and biking experience. Biking through the rugged Icelandic terrain can be strenuous, so you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the ride ahead. It is always a good idea to train beforehand, both in terms of endurance and strength, to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip.


By Frank

Frank Thompson, a seasoned cyclist and bike aficionado, has been passionate about all things bicycle-related since his childhood. Born and raised in the beautiful Seattle, Frank has spent countless hours exploring the winding trails, scenic roads, and vibrant urban landscapes on two wheels. With over 20 years of experience in the cycling world, Frank has garnered an extensive knowledge of bicycle mechanics, maintenance, and customization. After completing his degree in Mechanical Engineering, Frank pursued a career in the bicycle industry, working with renowned bike manufacturers and local bike shops. His expertise led him to become a sought-after consultant for professional cyclists, weekend warriors, and bike enthusiasts alike. Throughout the years, he has also volunteered with various cycling advocacy groups, promoting safe and accessible cycling infrastructure in the community. Frank's passion for cycling extends beyond his professional life, as he has participated in numerous local and international bike races and charity events. His love for adventure has taken him on several memorable cycling expeditions, from the breathtaking mountain trails of the Rockies to the picturesque coastal roads of the Mediterranean. As a valued contributor to West Seattle Cyclery, Frank shares his wealth of knowledge and experience with our readers through informative articles, how-to guides, and gear reviews. Always eager to help fellow cyclists, Frank is dedicated to making the world of cycling more approachable and enjoyable for everyone. When he's not busy tinkering with bikes or writing for the blog, you can find him exploring new routes, coaching beginner cyclists, or spending quality time with his family and their beloved golden retriever, Buddy.