Anyone with a bike can have an adventure, according to globe-trotting adventurer Alastair Humphreys. For a particularly memorable experience, he recommends pedaling the 832-mile Ring Road around Iceland in the summer, when temperatures are the warmest (around 55 degrees). “Iceland is one of the most weird, beautiful, friendly places I’ve ever been, plus you get to say you biked around an entire country,” Humphreys says.
Sheer ecological and geological variety make it hard to beat biking around the island of fire and ice. On a two-week cycling trip, you’ll encounter lush green valleys with winding rivers, massive waterfalls, geysers that go off every five minutes, glaciers, volcanoes, fjords, and icebergs. Plan for some side trips into the highlands, Iceland’s eerie, uninhabitable interior, with a lunarlike landscape of lava fields, sand, and mountains.
The areas along the paved Ring Road are sparsely populated, with more sheep than people. But Humphreys says well-stocked gas stations keep you fed en route. Just watch out for Hákarl—pungent shark meat. “They take a dead shark and bury it in the beach for a few months until it’s rotted to the texture of cream cheese, and then they dry it out and eat it,” warns Humphreys.
British adventurer Alastair Humphreys has ridden his bike 46,000 miles around the world, rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in 45 days, and crossed Iceland's rugged glacial highlands on foot. But he’s made the biggest impact advocating for micro-adventure—short trips near home that prove adventure isn’t dependent on size or distance. Read his Adventurers of the Year profile.
Alastair Humphreys' Gear Pick: Therm-a-Rest
“When I first started camping I couldn’t believe someone would spend the money for a Therm-a-Rest, but as soon as I tried it, I became a convert," says Humphreys. "I take it on any trip, big or small. It’s money well spent.”