Iceland – Beyond the Wall

IMG_0571 (Large)Iceland is an otherworldly place of fire and ice, marooned near the top of the globe, where the mighty forces of nature have created a volatile playground, perfect for a unique adventure riding experience.

Glaciers, lava fields, volcanoes, tundra, geysers, hot springs, waterfalls and fjords form the pristine wilderness landscape, as we explore this island on isolated roadways and stunning coastal routes.  This Iceland Motorcycle Tour is primarily paved road only.  For our mixed on road / off road tour, please go to Iceland – The Arctic Desert.

At a glance

12

Duration (days)

1 7 0 0

Miles Covered

Moderate

Riding difficulty

2%

Unpaved Roads

Small

Culture Shock

At a glance

Duration (days): 12
Miles Covered: 1700
Riding difficulty: Moderate
Unpaved Roads: 2%
Culture Shock: Small

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.

Date Rider
Shared Room
Single Supplement Passenger
Shared Room
Bike Rental
Aug 8 – 19, 2017 £3,795 £850 £2,595 Triumph Tiger 800 XC / XR: £1,195
BMW R 1200 GS: £1,395
BMW F 800 GS: £1,195
BMW F 700 GS: £995

Dates & Prices

The Rider Price shown is based on the rider using their own motorcycle. For tours less than four weeks, you will need motorcycle rental if you do not have your own motorcycle available at the start destination of the tour.
Date: Aug 8 – 19, 2017
Rider Shared Room: £3,795
Single Supplement: £850
Passenger Shared Room: £2,595
Bike Rental: Triumph Tiger 800 XC / XR: £1,195
BMW R 1200 GS: £1,395
BMW F 800 GS: £1,195
BMW F 700 GS: £995
    • Iceland’s Capital, Reykjavik – see the settler building architecture and experience the vibrant downtown bars and restaurants.
    • Ride by Iceland’s geothermal pipeline, an amazing achievement with over 85% percent of houses in Iceland being heated with geothermal energy.
    • Ride past the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull, used by Game of Thrones as a “Beyond the Wall” setting!
    • Enjoy the pure bliss of empty, remote roads with hardly any other traffic to interrupt your riding pleasure.
    • Cross the spot where the Eurasian and North American Tectonic plates meet in Iceland, literally tearing the island in half at the rate of one centimeter per year
    • You’ll see some of Europe’s most spectacular waterfalls, including Gollfoss, Dettifoss, Skogafoss and Seljalandsfos and can ride to within 5 minutes walk of the face of Svinafellsjokull Glacier.
    • Westfjords, the most remote and isolated part of Iceland, where we ride deserted and twisty roads along the fjords. Visit the witchcraft museum and learn about some of the magic of the Westfjords
    • Explore Iceland’s medieval past at the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes or at the Snorrastofa Cultural Centre in Reykholt
    • Go native with Icelandic cuisine – if fermented shark sounds too extreme, sample smoked puffin, with a shot of Brennivin, an Icelandic Schnapps!
    • Try a dip in geothermally heated pools, as great way to relax after a days ride!

    ROUTE MAP

    Routes show are illustrative and for guidance only – they do not accurately reflect the whole route.

  • This is a 12 day itinerary, with 11 nights accommodation and 10 riding days.

    8 August 2017. Day 1: Arrive Reykjavik
    We arrange transportation from Keflavik Airport (Reykjavik) to the Fosshotel Lind in Reykjavik.  Please fly in no later than 15:00.  We’ll welcome you to Iceland with a Group Evening Dinner where you can meet the other participants and maybe try some Icelandic delicacies.

    9 August 2017. Day 2: Reykjavik to Gullfoss
    In the morning, we will have our Tour Briefing and aim to leave Reykjavik by midday.  Ride by Iceland’s geothermal pipeline and visit waterfalls, geysers and glaciers along the way.  Pingvellir – see the continental drift and the ancient place where Iceland’s chieftains first met to create what is now the oldest existing parliament.  You will see the original “geysir”, after which all are named and wonder at the mighty Gullfoss Waterfalls.

    10 August 2017.  Day 3: Gullfoss to Kalfafell
    Heading back to the main Ring Road, we see the waterfalls of Seljalandsfoss and Skogafoss.  All spectacular, thundering cascades of water.  You’ll also visit the most southern point of Iceland and the Dyrholaey Reserve.

    11 August 2017. Day 4: Kalfafell to Breiddalsvik
    Amazing views as you ride towards the largest glacier in Europe, Vatnajokull and the Skaftafell National Park.  Get up close to Svinafellsjokull and hear it cracking and grinding as it moves and melts.  Cross vast glacial plains and head to Glacier Lagoon and Iceberg Beach, where chucks of the glacier break off and float down to the ocean.

    12 August 2017. Day 5: Breiddalsvik to Husavik
    Stunning, remote landscapes around the north of the island.  Stop off at Hverir, a geothermal spot with mud pots and fumaroles – smell the sulphur!  We detour to Dettifoss, Europe’s most powerful waterfall and then spend the night in Husavik, famous for its whale museum.

    13 August 2017. Day 6: Husavik to Akureyri
    It is a short riding day to give you the afternoon free to enjoy Iceland’s 2nd city or to take a whale watching tour.  It’s also possible to take a boat trip to Grimsey Island – the only part of Icelandic Territory that is on the Arctic Circle.

    14 August 2017. Day 7: Akureyri to Laugarbakki
    Ride along the Eyjafordur, with great coastal views to Siglufjordur, before reaching a perfectly preserved turf farmhouse, Glaumbaer.  Overnight in Hvammstangi, with the opportunity to visit the Seal Centre.

    15 August 2017. Day 8: Laugarbakki to Heydalur
    Now we head to the Westfjords, the most remote and isolated part of Iceland.  There are some small sections of good graded unpaved road on this section, easily done by a road bike.  In Holmavik, you can visit the small witchcraft & sourcery museum and learn about some of the magic of the Westfjords.  We stay overnight on a traditional farm, that has some wonderful “hotpots” to soak in.  You can try horse riding and kayaking here too.

    16 August 2017. Day 9: Heydalur to Patreksfjordur
    We wind in and out of the fjords and the possibility of spotting whales along the coast.  This is simply stunning coastal riding and we can stop off in Isafjordur for a fish lunch before reaching the tiny town of Pingeyrie, where the paved road stops and there is 60 miles of solid dirt road (achievable by a road sports bike, last year a BMW R1200S rode this route).

    17 August 2017. Day 10: Patreksfjordur to Reykholt
    Stunning coastal riding on the mainly tarmac road on the southern edge of the Westfjords.  You can visit the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes before overnight in Reykholt, where you can visit the Snorrastofa Cultural Centre; most famous for being the home of Iceland’s best-known author Snorri Sturluson, with an ancient geo-thermally-heated pool, Snorralaug, named after him.

    18 August 2017. Day 11: Reykholt  to Reykjavik
    A short ride into Reykjavik with a lunchtime arrival.  Early afternoon, we all drop off the bikes at the depot for return date freight to the UK.  Group Farewell Dinner.

    19 August 2017. Day 12: Depart Reykjavik
    We arrange transportation from Fosshotel Lind in Reykjavik to Keflavik Airport.

    Flights
    For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights.  It is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination.  You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Reykavik to arrive no later than around 3pm on 8 August 2017.  The earliest leave date is any time on 19 August 2017.   However, do not book your flights until the tour is designated as a Guaranteed Departure.

    Should you wish to arrive before the official start date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.

    Please also refer to our terms and conditions.
  • It is important to understand that other than Akureyri (18,000 popn) and Greater Reykjavik (200,000 popn), all other settlements in Iceland are very small. Places marked in large, bold writing may be villages of 200 – 1,500 people. Places marked on a map can look as if they will be towns, but they are only a family homestead or a ranch. Some hotels are on the map in their own right as they consist of a hotel, a restaurant (maybe a petrol pump) and that’s it. Outside the greater Reykjavik area in the South West and Akureryi, everywhere is Iceland is remote and quiet, dominated by farms and fishing activities.

    In Reykjavik, we stay at a good standard 3* hotel with private parking. However, once we leave Reykjavik, the accommodation varies, but we always aim for it to be an equivalent 3* standard. It has been chosen to reflect the area we are in; sometimes it is the only accommodation available in the area that can accommodate a group of our size. On other occasions the location of the accommodation is stunning and the local food served is excellent, whilst the rooms may be more basic, but clean and tidy.  Sometimes rooms do not have televisions and on rare occasions you may have to share a bathroom.  Wifi is available at all hotels, but in remote locations, you need to expect it to be slow and not consistent.

    Just a note about the sleeping arrangements and what is the norm in Iceland. Beds are often single beds which are pushed together (for a double bed) or pulled “apart” (for two single beds), depending on the type of bed you have requested. Two single beds for people who are sharing, can still often be pushed close together. Please feel free to pull the beds away from each other! You should also note that it is normal to have two separate sleeping duvets for a couple using one large bed (one large duvet is just not the way it is done in Iceland).

    We also like to draw to your attention that Iceland uses its geothermic waters for heating and bathing.  In some areas, the hot water in the hotels is incredibly hot immediately and it can often have a sulphuric smell, which people can find a a little “distracting”!

    Rooms will be on a double occupancy shared basis, unless you have booked for a Single Room. Peak season in Iceland means a single room needs to have been requested at the time of making your booking to ensure  availability.

  • You have the benefit of booking with a UK tour operator who has in place Financial Payment Protection Insurance with Towergate Stevens & Chapman, so that your money paid to us in advance is protected in accordance with The Package Travel Regulations 1992.

    Before you go

    • The assurance of booking with a UK tour operator and knowing that your money paid in advance is protected.
    • Access to GlobeBusters Team pre-departure to request individual meeting about preparing for the trip
    • Departure Handbook, with maps, daily route notes and GPS information where available

    En Route

    • Airport Transfers at the start and end of the Tour, if you arrive on the official start date and leave on the official end date.
    • Hotel bed and breakfast accommodation on a shared basis (unless Single Room booked).
    • Standard of accommodation is mainly 3* (or equivalent) and one 4* hotel.  Some accommodation may be in cabins.  Not all locations have rooms with television.  All rooms have private bathrooms.  All hotels have restaurants and bars.
    • 2 evening meals, including your Welcome & Farewell Meal and 1 evening meal in a location which is remote and you have no other choice of restaurants.
    • Local overnight hotel parking charges.
    • Entrances to National Parks are free.

    Support Crew

    • Motorcycle Tour Leader on motorcycle to accompany the group.
    • GlobeBusters Support Vehicle, equipped with satellite phone, spare fuel, water, tools, selected spare parts and emergency first aid kit, acting as a sweeper vehicle
    • Support Driver, with motorcycle mechanical experience and first aid qualifications

    Motorcycle Freight

    • Sea freight of your motorcycle from UK to Iceland return, with all Customs formalities done on your behalf.
    • In transit marine insurance for your motorcycle during freight, subject to £500 excess

    Not Included

    • Return passenger airline flights to get to the start and from the finish point for the tour.
    • Personal travel, accident and medical insurance
    • Entrance fees to sights and parks, optional excursions, meals (all except where stated). Personal spending money, tips, souvenirs or other extras.
    • Personal documentation (eg visas, passport), vaccinations, personal taxes, border crossing fees.
    • Fuel, oil & other motorcycle consumables, toll road fees, traffic fines.
    • Any other item not specifically included in the price.

    Flights
    For clarity, we do not include your passenger flights.  It is your responsibility to organise your own flights to and from the destination.  You need to book an outward flight to our start point, Reykavik to arrive no later than around 3pm on 8 August 2017.  The earliest leave date is any time on 19 August 2017.   However, do not book your flights until the tour is designated as a Guaranteed Departure.

    Should you wish to arrive before the official start date or stay after the official end date, please simply request extra nights at the time of booking and we can make the reservation at our group hotel.

    Please also refer to our terms and conditions.
  • What riding experience do I need?
    This is a paved road tour, with occasional short sections of solid dirt road that in total is no more than 80 miles for the whole trip and has been ridden on previously tours by sports tourer style of bikes.  Traffic levels are extremely low with good driving standards. Iceland can have changeable weather conditions all year; however July and August are the best times for motorcycle touring.  We recommend this Tour for riders who have toured previously in Europe and are confident road riders.

    How does the motorcycle freight work?
    Your tour price includes the freight of your motorcycle from the UK to Reykjavik.  You must bring your bike to our shipping depot (close to Grimsby, UK) for sea freight out to Iceland.  The drop off for you motorcycle is normally around 10-12 days prior to the start date.  Our shipping agent will load the container and once it arrives in Iceland, we do the Customs procedures and take your bike to the hotel so it is waiting for you.  If you arrive early, you can collect your own bike with us.  At the end, on the final day, we all take the bikes back to the shipping depot in Iceland for sea freight back to the UK.

    Can I hire a bike?
    If you are not based in the UK and want to take part in this tour, you can hire a Triumph Tiger 800XCx from our third party provider (BMW GS motorcycles also available).  Just book this option.

    What about flights?
    We do not include flights in your tour price.  Once we tell you that this tour is a Guaranteed Departure, you must book your own passenger flights to arrive / depart Reykjavik.  From the UK, there are direct flights from London, Aberdeen, Belfast, Manchester with a combination of Iceland Air, British Airways, Easyjet, WOW.  Provided you are arriving on the official start date, we will arrange your transfer to the hotel.  We also arrange the transfer back to the airport at the end, provided you are departing on the official end date.  Transfers are done using the FlyBus Plus Service.

    Do I have to ride in a group?
    No!  We do not make you ride in convoy.  We offer you the freedom to decide how you would like to ride.  We give you a road book, GPS co-ordinates and hotel information.  You can use this to self-navigate.  If you prefer to ride with our Motorcycle Leader, then you can do this – just inform the Motorcycle Tour Leader and be ready to ride at the leave time in the morning.

    What is the average group size?
    Our groups are normally 10 – 12 riders (some riders will have passengers).

    Is this ride suitable for a passenger?
    Absolutely.  This is mainly a paved road tour, with a good standard of accommodation.  We have a support vehicle, which can be used by a passenger (but subject to any ongoing emergency, ill or injured party)

    Is there a support vehicle?
    Yes, this tour operates with a GlobeBusters Support Vehicle and Driver.  You can place 1 piece of luggage per person in the Support Vehicle, no more than 60 litres in size.

    What will the weather be like?
    Iceland is a long way north, so it is never going to be hot and weather can be unpredictable, even in peak summer season.  But this time of year will give us the best chance of good weather and if we are lucky we will get clear days with temperatures of 18-20C.  It will rain at some point during the tour, so make sure you have rain gear.  But there is also the possibility of it being quite chilly and sea mists, so you need to make sure you have extra layers with you.  Think of riding in Iceland a bit like, riding in the UK on a day in Spring.

    What documents do I need?
    You will need your original documents as follows:  Passport, Driving Licence, Motorcycle Registration / Title Document (in the UK, V5, log book), Motorcycle Insurance Certificate.  We will need you to upload copies of these documents to our secure website so that we can make the necessary freight arrangements (or if you prefer, you can email these documents).  In addition you must have travel/medical insurance. Visas are not required for UK/EU citizens.  For other nationalities, please check with our preferred visa agency www.thevisamachine.com.