Exodus group in front of Skogafoss waterfall, Iceland

Cycle Southern Iceland

8 days
from
£3,399
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Traveller ratings
4.7 / 5 from 17 reviews >
Trip code: 
MSI
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
7–16

Encounter dramatic volcanic landscapes

Iceland is one of the most geologically active countries on earth. The landscape is defined by vast black lava fields, towering glaciers, thundering waterfalls and erupting geysers. The network of country roads provides an excellent framework for our two-wheeled journey, giving us access to some of the most impressive places in the south of the island including the infamous Eyafjallajokull Volcano, the colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar and the thundering Skogafoss Waterfall. There are also a few welcome stops in thermal baths, a key part of Icelandic tradition. Add to this the changing landscapes and natural phenomena and you have an unforgettable week's ride.

Highlights

A memorable ride in one of the world's most dramatic landscapes

Varied inland and coastal cycling to really explore the island

Experience the glaciers, geysers and waterfalls of southern Iceland

 

Key information

  • 5 nights guesthouse, 1 night farmhouse, 1 night mountain hut 
  • 6 days cycling with full vehicle support
  • Undulating terrain with 90% tarmac, 10% easy gravel roads
  • Route follows mainly country roads, with some climbs and little traffic

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours cycling per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% easy gravel

Day by day breakdown
Day 260.0km/37.0miles
Day 370.0km/43.0miles
Day 470.0km/43.0miles
Day 540.0km/24.0miles
Day 675.0km/46.0miles
Day 760.0km/37.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Reykjavik.

    Iceland’s compact capital city is well worth exploring, and we strongly recommend a couple of extra days before or after your tour. Two of the most striking attractions are the Hallgrímskirkja Church - a fine example of expansionist architecture -  and the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall. The nearby old harbour is a great starting point to explore the narrow streets of the old town. Our trip begins with a briefing in the evening at our hotel at 18:30.

  • Day 2

    Drive from Reykjavik to Krisuvik hot springs, ride the south coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula to Selfoss

    Leaving Reyjkavik we transfer to Krisuvik, an active geothermal area known for its hot springs. Here we saddle up and start to ride the south coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula, on the south west of the island. Our route takes us through ruggedly beautiful landscape, with lava fields dominating the view before giving way to long black beaches of volcanic sand towards the town of Selfoss. We stop at the beach in Eyrarbakki and transfer the short distance to Selfoss where there should be time for a soak in the swimming pool. We then transfer the final 10km to our accommodation just outside the town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Drive to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall at the foothills of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Ride to Skogafoss Waterfall and on Solheimajokull Glacier; overnight at farmhouse.

    Our day begins with a transfer to Seljalandsfoss Waterfall at the foothills of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano. Here we have our first sighting of the volcano that brought the world to a standstill with its infamous ash cloud. With this dramatic backdrop we continue our journey along the coastal road, flanked on one side by the North Atlantic Ocean and on the other by the waterfalls and mountainous landscape of southern Iceland. This road leads us to Skogafoss Waterfall, one of the biggest in Iceland at 25 metres wide and 60 metres high. From here we pedal to the Solheimajokull Glacier, an outlet from the Myrdalskokull ice cap that runs down almost the entire way to the sea. We see this up close as we continue as far as possible to the tongue of the glacier before heading off to our farm accommodation.



    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Ride along south coast to Vik past sandy plains of glacial silt, to the Skafta glacial river; transfer to Fjallabak area and mountain hut.

    Today we make further progress along the dramatic south coast towards the southernmost town in Iceland, Vik. Ahead of us lie the vast sandy plains formed by gravel and silt from glacial rivers over millenia. It is this process that is slowly extending the land out into the sea. We finish our ride at the glacial Skafta River before transferring inland to the Fjallabak area and our mountain hut accommodation.



    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Transfer to Eldgja through the spectacular Fjallabak region; ride down the Thjorsardalur valley, stopping en route at traditional 'sod' farmhouse.

    Iceland holds a host of natural wonders, and our morning drive to Eldja takes us through the some spectacular surroundings, as we wind through mountain passes and through canyons. This is quite a long drive, however we make a number of stops. Our first is at Eldgja, a 40km long eruptive fissure that was created during one of the largest fissural eruptions in history. We pass through the colourful mountains of Landmannalaugar, which owe their bright hues to the metamorphic colours of geothermal alteration. Once out of the Fjallabak region we mount our bikes again and begin down the Thjorsardalur Valley, stopping on the way at Stong and Thjodveldisbaerinn, a replica of a sod farmhouse from the 11th Century. From here we continue along the Thorsa River and down to the small settlement of Laugaras.

    Cycle approx. 40km.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Ride through farmland up to Gullfoss waterfall and on to Geysir and Laugarvatn.

    Farmland stretches before us as we begin our day's ride, leading us all the way to the Gullfoss Waterfall, one of the most popular sites in Iceland. From here we forge ahead to Geysir, an area that needs little introduction. The plumes of hot water are a sight worth seeing, as they can spurt up to 20 metres or more into the air. Our final destination is the village of Laugarvatn, on the lake of the same name. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Drive to Thingvellir N.P.; ride western side of Lake Thingvellir, across Mt Hengill and down to Reykjavik, stopping to visit thermal pools on the way.

    The Thingvellir National Park is one of, if not the most, important sites in Icelandic history. It was here that the first assembly was formed in 930. Today it is a national park, formed to protect the parliament area and the natural wonders around it. It is also lies on the crest of the Mid Atlantic Ridge where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, allowing you literally cross from one continent to another. We cycle along the western side of Lake Thingvellir, the largest natural lake in Iceland and alongside the Mt Hengill Volcano. We wind our way across the mountains before starting our descent towards Reykjavik. We stop on the way at the thermal pools in Laugardalur for a well deserved soak. 

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 8

    End Reykjavik.

    The trip ends in Reykjavik after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners are included.

Breakfasts are mainly continental style, lunches are generally picnics and the main meal of the day is usually local fish or lamb specialties, plus European standards such as pasta, chicken etc. Vegetarians and those with special dietary requirements can be catered for, but may get a little less variety in the meals provided. Please advise us of any special requirements at the time of booking.

Weather

Iceland is on the northern edge of the temperate zone, meaning it has cool summers. Daytime temperatures in the summer months can be anything from 10º to 20ºC, though in 2008 they reached 25ºC and could equally drop close to zero. As we are in a mountain area you must be prepared for some days of poor weather with strong winds and rain, but usually the weather is quite pleasant, though cool. There is constant daylight, but not midnight sun, in May, June and July. Please ensure you read our packing list and are able to adapt to changing conditions.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is classified Moderate/Challenging, Activity level 4. The route follows quiet country roads with little traffic. This trip requires a reasonable level of fitness due to the distances covered each day, however the terrain is not challenging. There is also full vehicle support throughout. 

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Guesthouses, Farmhouse & Mountain Hut

You will spend 5 nights in a guesthouse, 1 night in a farmhouse and 1 night in a mountain hut. Guesthouses are simple but comfortable, some with en suite facilities. The mountain hut is in a spectacular location and has dormitory rooms with shared facilities. Single accommodation is available on request. Please note singles are not available in the farmhouse and mountain hut.

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
+47-22 41 30 30
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Forget feeling lethargic on your travels – cycling is one of the easiest ways to blend cultural and active expl

  • Reviewed July 2017
    Latisha O'Connor

    Amazing Trip

    What an amazing trip! My now husband and I are fans of adventure vacations and Iceland was the best choice for us. He is a much better cyclist than I, but that didn't matter because if I wasn't up for it I was able to rack my bike and hop a ride in the bus to the next site, snack stop, or until the course was more my level. The countryside was gorgeous and the accommodations were great. I can't say enough about the food and purity of the water...so renewing (but I am also American and well, REAL, unadulterated food isn't a strength in our country). Our guides were very patient, knowledgeable, and just all around fun guys. The bonus for my partner and I was getting engaged behind a waterfall. I definitely recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being fully present in nature felt inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was awesome! Highly recommend.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Enjoy every minute!
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Julian Allen

    Southern Iceland by bike

    The best way to see and experience Iceland - made even better by an awesome leader, Kjartan

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the killer hill, cycling in the rain, the headwind on the first day of cycling, seeing the volcanos and the volcanic landscapes, cycling to the tourist hot spots and feeling very smug

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Awesome - a smile for everything and everybody. Told us about where we were going, what to expect, helped the slower riders, mended a puncture, cooked the bbq, answered all our questions and made a great video of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring cycle gear for all weathers. Make sure you know how to draft in a group

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    take a camera with a wide angle and telephoto lenses. Relax in the hot tubs
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Rex Yetton

    Cycling Southern Iceland

    This was a really great trip. I have not stopped smiling since I returned. Some of the cycling was challenging and can be weather dependent. We were lucky with the weather with one day of strong headwind in perfect sunshine and one afternoon of heavy rain. We had the perfect leader and a nice group who all got on well together. The sights of Iceland are amazing and not to be missed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our leader, Kjartan, was the biggest inspiration. Then came the lovely thermal soaks on most days, cycling in the heavy rain and the 'killer hill' on the last day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kjartan was simply the best. He was so inspirational. He was in tune with the strengths and weaknesses of the group. He showed us wonderful sights and told us the history and geology of Iceland over thousands of years. He became a true friend to us all. Thank you Kjartan.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read all the trip notes carefully. Get fit with plenty of cycle rides. Work out and practice with your cycle clothing for different conditions. Have some good wet weather cycling clothes and overshoes. Don't forget your trunks and towel. This is a wonderful trip with sights you will never see again. Go for it, you will have no regrets.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The roads can be busy. The traffic is good and respects cyclists. Have high visibility tops. I had my rear flashing light on most of the time. The communal mountain hut was fun. Go for it and enjoy it.
  • Reviewed August 2016
    Magdalena Pluta

    Cycle Southern Iceland (msi)

    Exelent trip. Beautiful island . Lovely people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Stragling with the wind. Clombing little hillls.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Perfect person in right place. Very profecional, reliable with knowledge , experience and skills. Very friendly , always ready and happy to help. With great managing , cycling and cooking skills. Able to motivate whole group and every single individual. I wish he coud be leader on every trip i go.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    To read notes for trip before trip. I didnt and i didnt take my towel. But again in this situation...kjartan-group lider helped.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Definitly will ho for more cycling holidays in iceland.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Dennis Mah

    Cycling Southern Iceland

    Showcase of natural beauty of all sites around southern Iceland.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    1. Tackling the huge hill on our last riding day by 3/4 of riders. 2. Much needed soak in hot springs, hot tubs, cold plunge, etc. after a day of riding. 3. Amazing gourmet dinners especially the BBQ at the mountain hut. 4. Watching Iceland vs. Portugal Eurocup final in local hotel pub.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Well organized, personable, cheerful, knowledgeable & enthusiastic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Need to clarify with Exodus if sleeping bags will be provided at mountain hut. Exodus most recent trip notes stated not required but group leader had older trip notes that stated it was required. Our group leader made a phone call and had brand new sleeping bags delivered to us on time.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Cycling is a great and more intimate way of exploring Iceland or anywhere else in the world, and healthier too. Totally recommend it.

    Reply from Exodus

    Reply from Exodus

    Regarding the point about sleeping bags, they are not required for the night in the mountin hut. The most up to date trip notes reflect this. Sleeping bags will be provided.

  • Reviewed July 2016
    Shirley Vauvelle

    Cycle Southern Iceland

    This was my first cycling holiday, at first I was not sure what was in store but by the end of the trip I left wanting more. Spectacular scenery, clean,clear air, sparkling rivers and streams, dramatic waterfalls. Miles and miles of un spoilt vistas, sometimes without a sign of mankind in sight apart from us. Dramatic landscape with the most amazing colours.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day was so inspirational for me from the corrugated farm buildings stood isolated in the vast landscape to the beautiful swaths of blue lupins at the roadside. The colours and formations of the glacier were like nothing I have seen before with the blackness from the lava dust. The glacial ice our guide collected for us was a lovely special addition to our gin & tonic back at the hotel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I thought Kjartan was an excellent group leader. He was very supportive of my first day and sorted out a problem with my bike straight away. He was warm and friendly with a good sense of humour. He certainly wanted us to get the most out of the holiday as possible and tried to accommodate everyone.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We were really lucky with the weather, apart from a strong head wind at times. I think this is what possibly makes it a more strenuous ride rather than the roads. So come prepared, the weather can be very changeable. Have a go at all the experiences offered.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Don't worry if you are a beginner , I was in a group of mixed abilities and didn't feel at any time that I was out of my depth. You always have the option to take a bus ride if it all gets a bit too much . We loved our green bus and the hard working driver.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Robert Heaps

    MSI Cycle Southern Iceland

    Fascinating country, scenery of Glaciers, Geysirs, Waterfalls and wonderful sunsets. A bit expensive for accommodation and £8 for a beer!! ( buy some at the airport on arrival). The cycling was relatively easy, only 1 real climb on the final day but the wind made it harder, I personally would have like to have cycled a bit around Fjallabak instead of spending all day in the bus. The weather was great for us, sunny, no rain, a bit windy, quite warm but be prepared for anything!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery, particularly the Geysir as it was the 1st time I have seen anything like that. Having a hot thermal bath at the end of the day.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kjartan was knowledgeable and friendly if a little laid back which was OK by me but may not suit everybody. AND he had spent some time in my home town of Scarborough learning English when he was a teenager!!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Try to stay up late a couple of times after midnight to see the sunset.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Frances Wilson

    Stunning Scenery

    Stunning scenery - glaciers, waterfalls, mountains. Wonderful swimming both in rivers and pools. Good cycling terrain although some roads were very busy. Accommodation was mostly shared facilites but comfortable with very good food

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Swimming in the hot river in the rain

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very well organised particularly with regard to lunches. Coped well with the wide spread of ability in the group

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for very strong winds and cool temperatures even in August. Overshoes will stop your feet getting soaked. Have a large bag on the bus as you need to change clothing and have swimming gear to hand

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Although listed as grade 4 there was only one hill all week
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Daniela Francovicchio

    Cycle Southern Iceland

    It was an amazing trip, it helped me to remember how good life can be.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    cycling in the rain with strong wind - it made me feel alive and the waterfalls.... in particular the most secluded ones

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent! He was very passionate about Iceland, very professional and very motivating!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It rains! Bring a lot of rain protection equipment. Gloves are indispensable.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would be helpful to give more details about the equipment to bring in the trip notes. Gloves should be in, more waterproof clothes. Even if the list in the trip notes already mentioned that waterproof equipment would be advisable it should be a little clearer (waterproof jacket,waterproof gloves, waterproof trousers and maybe also waterproof shoes). In my case, I was lucky that our group leader had some additional clothes to share. And a pillow, for the night spent in the hut.
  • Reviewed February 2015
    Teresa Evans

    Cycle Southern Iceland

    7 Days of great companionship, breath taking views and outstanding hospitality. The landscape is constantly changing, drivers were extremely courteous, giving cyclists a wide berth were ever possible.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Conquering the steep climb approaching Vic! And then of course the fun of the downhill into Vic. That was a beautiful day with the most incredible blue skies, the amazing black volcanic beach and the startling green of the country side.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had a fantastic group leader, he was knowledgeable regarding the geology and history of the areas we cycled through. He really supported a positive group dynamic and made everyone feel comfortable and part of the group. Our shuttle driver was also excellent and we were always happy to see the "green biscuit bus" on the horizon for tea and hobnobs!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for wind and rain. These were only issues on the first day(windy) and the last day(rainy) Every other day was gorgeous, blue sky and warm temps - make sure to bring your swimsuit for the fabulous "Hot Pots"

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Iceland was a terrific experience - the people were wonderful, the country was gorgeous and we felt safe and well looked after.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on +47-22 41 30 30