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Destination » Europe » Iceland Backcountry ADV Motorcycle Tour

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | email:

Iceland Backcountry ADV Motorcycle Tour

A more challenging, rewarding and memorable MotoDiscovery Icelandic adventure riding experience

The Iceland ADV Backcountry Tour is rated as ADVENTURE + and is one of our more intense off-road riding offerings. Participants must be experienced off-road riding enthusiasts with better than average skills, physicality and prior exposure to the multitude of motorcycle riding environments one can encounter in the enduro and ADV touring world. Riders can expect varying degrees of riding challenges from river and stream crossings to rocky terrain accessing some of Icelands most beautiful and less traveled areas of the island. No camping will be a part of this unique motorcycle adventure however in some cases, accommodations will be primitive. Single occupancy accommodations will only occasionally be available therefore expect to share rooms on some occasions.

There will be full support with a vehicle following riders when and where possible and guided by locals along with our Iceland born MotoDiscovery staff team. Motorcycles will be the aggressive KTM 690 Adventure and its cousin, the Husqvarna 701, perfect for those who wish to have a higher level of performance to meet the demands of the road. For those who like an even more aggressive lighter bike we will have KTM 450 dual sport available. If you’ve tackled the roads of Americas Backcountry Discovery Routes, or a veteran Baja rider, you’ll find the Iceland ADV Backcountry Tour to be as exciting a ride as you will find anywhere in the world, accented with stunning scenery, heart pounding challenges and riding thrills. This ride is not for the inexperienced rider. Groups will be limited to 10 participants plus staff. Iceland has a very narrow riding season which means high demand and some urgency in making early reservations to secure your position on the tour.

  • Iceland. It is often referred to as the “land of fire and ice”. With 32 active volcanoes and the biggest glaciers in Europe, this large North Atlantic island rests just south of the Arctic providing the perfect destination for adventure motorcycle touring.
  • Arriving in the capital city of Reykjavik, you’ll have one night to explore the town and get your rhythm after your flight, about 5 1/2 hours out of New York, with numerous non-stop flights from major USA hubs.
  • Time to ride. With transfers arranged, you’ll be geared up for a short drive to our base in the village of Selfoss where your adv motorcycles await.  Into the mountains you’ll ride to the direction of Þórisvatn, Iceland’s largest lake. The scenery begins to fill your view quickly, encountering crashing waterfalls including Háifoss which is the second highest in the country.  Don’t expect luxury this night. The lodging is a simple but comfortable traditional Icelandic highland hut, but the bonding will begin as together we prepare fresh Icelandic fish and steak.
  • From Jökulheimar our ride will start going through Veiðivatnahraun Lava Field and the Central Highlands of Iceland. The Veiðivötn Lakes create a magnificent highland oasis. Some of the very best brown trout and arctic char fishing in Iceland (or anywhere) is found here. Then it’s on to Mt. Hekla, one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes. In the old days, the Vikings, the first settlers called Hekla, “the Gateway to Hell”.
  • The Fjallabak region takes its name from the numerous wild and rugged mountains with deeply incised valleys. Riding there is like being in the Lord of the Rings story. The hot pools at Landmannalaugar, where we will bathe are one of many manifestations of geothermal activity in the area.
  • Vik is the most southern populated point on the island, a village of only 300 on the “Ring Road”, surrounded by stunning scenery and deserving of two nights. Your free day can be spent leisurely exploring on two wheels, or on foot. You’ll appreciate this touch from MotoDiscovery. More than just a ride!
  • The service. It is a MotoDiscovery tradition. This more intensive off road ADV tour will be supported by a follow up vehicle providing riders with elevated confidence and convenience.
  • Group size limited to eight riders plus staff.

Tour Dates

July 08 – 15, 2023

July 31 – August 07, 2023
8 days/7 nights

8 days/7 nights

Tour Registration

By requesting a booking, you'll be able to reserve your spot on this tour. Closer to the tour date you will receive an email with payment information and you will be able to make a deposit or pay the entire balance.

If you would like to customize this itinerary and create a Tailor Made Journey just for you and your companions, click here to inquire, or speak to our travel professionals.

Tour Style

Adventure Plus - Expect off road challenges blended with pavement riding and is intended only for riders with prior off road riding experience. Midsize to smaller motorcycles recommended. No motorcycles over 800cc on this trip.


July 08 – 15, 2023

July 31 – August 07, 2023
Starts at $7895 USD

Starts at $7895 USD


How difficult are the roads?

We categorize this tour as ADVENTURE+, however road conditions are not necessarily challenging for an experienced touring enthusiast with off road experience and acceptable physicality. Expect a mix of paved roads of varying condition with off road segments consisting mostly improved gravel. Unpaved surfaces represent only less than 15% of the entire route. We recommend rider training such as the popular MotoDiscovery Moab Immersion Training Tour.

Is this a good tour for a passenger?

Yes, however this should not be your pillion rider’s first adventure touring experience. The duration of the South American Explorer, for some, can be a test. There is a higher level of unpredictability due to the duration as well as the great distance covered. For the spirited, experienced and willing passenger, this can be a remarkable experience to share with your partner.

Can you arrange for a traveling partner to join me for a portion of the tour?

Yes. We encourage this as we understand that this is a long time to be away. We will consult with you on where and how your partner can join us, seeking a segment of the tour that offers the best flight services and special highlights. Call us! This is a common request and we gladly will facilitate your needs.

Do I use my own motorcycle?

Yes. MotoDiscovery manages the complete process of ocean freighting from start to finish. We can provide a rental as well. Inquire about that option.

What is the best motorcycle for the South America Explorer?

Certainly one that you are comfortable with. Bigger is not necessarily better and you should have the experience, skills and physicality to manage whatever bike you choose. It should be of the “adventure” variety, reliable, expertly prepared with attention to details that we will outline for you in the pre-tour information. Preparing your motorcycle is the “foreplay” of a great adventure. It’s fun. It’s important. Contact us for consultation if you have any questions.

How is the weather?

The South America Explorer runs a longitude beginning roughly at the equator and travels the length of the continent. You’ll be riding through a number of climate zones and seasons. The timing of this tour is designed to minimize exposure to the rain season regions while avoiding dramatic temperature extremes. You’ll be provided greater weather detail in our comprehensive pre-tour information.

How long are the riding days?

A long day would be 300 miles and only in favorable conditions. The itinerary is carefully designed with multiple two day stops. On average, a riding day will be around 200-250 miles per day. Some more. Some less. And before you claim that these are “short” days, keep in mind that conditions in developing countries do not lend to high mileage days.

Is it safe?

The South America Explorer travels through six countries. None of these regions are experiencing any degree of turmoil or unrest that would compromise your safety. Traveling in an unfamiliar area where cultures, customs and societies are different from your own, can be a challenge for some. Risks associated with this kind of travel are to be expected. Motorcycling does have its inherent dangers. We would consider this a safe tour under the circumstances.

What is the meal program?

We will not include every dinner however dining, in general, is of the highest quality. Exceptional dining is an important component of the MotoDiscovery experience. “Open menu” allows you the choice of meal selection. We include an occasional lunch and breakfasts are always included. We do not include alcoholic beverages. You will not be disappointed, we promise!

How are the hotels?

MotoDiscovery is NOT a budget tour operator. Quality lodging is essential, and where available you will find our selections to be superb, seeking style, authenticity, service, security and access to points of interest as our guide to finding a great place to lay your head each night. Be aware that the nature of this event may force us to stay in a place below our usual high standards, however this is rare and to be accepted as part of this unique adventure.

Will there be a support vehicle?

Yes however we will need the minimum participation of eight for this to be included.

Will you carry our luggage?

The expectation is that you will carry your own luggage. We will transport a limited amount of your personal gear, providing you a duffel bag. If it fits in the bag, we’ll carry it. If not you will be responsible for carrying it on your motorcycle.

When should I sign up?

NOW. While this tour is scheduled many months from now, the actual process begins many months earlier. Preparation of your motorcycle is a big part of planning. Your motorcycle has to be at the port from six weeks to two months prior to the actual tour date. For us, securing the best hotels and services and the tremendous logistics is a vital process that can start a year out from the tour. Please talk this up with your friends and make your commitment as soon as possible

I would like to consider a private tour just for me and my friends. Can you do that?

Definitely. Private customized tours are a MotoDiscovery specialty. We craft the tour to meet your scheduling needs, align the style and character with your preferences, and can include special highlights and interests that may be important to you. Contact us for details or go to this Custom Motorcycle Tour Questionnaire and we can begin the journey!