Iceland – the island that is made of fire and ice features some of the most stunning landscapes I have ever seen. Water all around – the surrounding ocean, the drizzling rain, the rivers and countless waterfalls and the frozen water of the glaciers.
When I saw in a magazine a photo of a mountain biker on a perfect singletrack trail that circled behind a huge waterfall I was thrilled to fly up there for my own MTB-adventures. The trail in the magazine, however, turned out to be only a couple of meters long and crowded by thousands of tourists that were brought there in a vast number of buses. The Seljalandsfoss Waterfall is located directly on Iceland’s main road and the MTB-action shot in the bike magazine was pure posing. Yet, there are as well real trails well suited for real mountain biking. And if you’re up to do a couple of rides you better bring your own bike, because there are barely any opportunities to rent a decent bike.
Hveragerdi in the south-western part of Iceland is a great MTB-spot not too far from the capitol Reykjavik as it encompasses all the peculiar characteristics of Iceland. The ride starts from the town Hveragerdi and the first part is the climb back up on (or parallel to) the ring road. We kept on climbing a gravel road that continuously got steeper and rougher until we reached the intersection with the trail to finally start the descent through the drizzling rain. At the beginning the trail was slippery from the rain and mildly exposed, but flowy and fun. The clouds disappeared and opened up stunning views into a valley with a meandering creek. Approaching the creek we recognized that the creek was steaming and sweating and that there were people bathing in it despite the wet and cold air of about 12° Celsius. We took off the shoes to cross it and almost burned our feet in the steaming hot water. What a great place to pause and warm up!