F235

Day 7 – Langisjór Highlands

Day 7 – Langisjór Highlands

Langisjór, Skælingar track, Blautulón track and Sveinstindur hike. That was our schedule for our last day in the highlands of southern Iceland.

In case of a good weather I had planned to visit either Kerlingarfjöll or Thakgil or Langisjór area. The weather at Kerlingarfjöll was either rainy or foggy the 8th day in a row so this wasn’t an option, and also we’d already been there a year ago. Thus, it became a choice between Langisjór and Thakgil, both of them with a mixed weather forecast, but Langisjór area with one which was slightly less rainy. And I really wanted to drive the Skælingar dirt track to Langisjór 🙂 Thus, we went for Langisjór!

Beware, the Skaelingar and Blautulon tracks we drove are just dirt tracks. Not even F-roads. This means they are even harder to drive than F-roads. Always check with your rental company if it allows for such roads, choose your car wisely and study the roads in advance. Mostly only super jeeps are allowed to drive the dirt tracks.

map of langisjor tracks

Map of our day around Langisjór tracks

Weather was merciful to us and the day actually turned out to be pretty nice along our road, despite the mixed forecast. We didn’t experience any rain and the fog was present only at some spots (like Sveinstindur once again…). This night we were based near Hekla so it didn’t make sense to drive to Langisjór from the south (F208 south) and hence we drove from the north.

F225 and F208

I was sure I don’t want to drive the boring, bumpy and full of tourists road 208 (F208 north). We turned to F225, Landmannaleið, which is an “F-road highway” in my opinion. Very good quality F-road and a bit underrated road in my opinion – at least compared to 208 which is much worse in both the views and the quality – that’s my view. Landmannaleid is also shorter than 208 north, so we soon reached the Landmannalaugar area.

f208 north of landmannalaugar

F208, Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, close to Landmannalaugar

The weather at Landmannalaugar was amazing. It actually seemed like the only place with the clear blue skies and sun shining everywhere. The views from our drive around Landmannalaugar mountains were amazing. And, we faced a though dilemma – whether to go for an unknown (and probably worse) weather at Langisjór or whether to hike again at Landmannalaugar (we’d been there already and done the hikes, though not in such a great weather). Finally, I decided to risk it and go for Langisjór.

The easiest way to get to Langisjór is via pretty harmless F-road of F235, which contains only small to medium sized river crossings and no other real obstacles. I wanted to try a more adventurous track there, though. It is called the Skaelingar track and it’s located north of Holaskjól highlands centre, just next to the river crossing (and the ranger’s hut). Skælingar track is a not much known detour from F208 south that not many travelers pursue, due to it not being well-known. Great highlands destination 🙂

F208 after F235 junction

Road F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

The visibility got much worse 10 minutes south of Landmannalaugar already, much sooner than expected. We drove in a giant fog and couldn’t see more than a few meters ahead of us. However, we knew that all of the river crossings on this route should be harmless – we’d done them a year before in Dacia Duster and this year the water level was even lower. And exactly this was the case – no problems at all with the fords at F208 and really shallow rivers.

Skælingar dirt track

skælingar road to langisjor iceland

Skælingar track before Skælingar hut

After some foggy driving, we firstly arrived at the junction of F208 and F235. We continued driving the F208 and drove by another hidden detour – Faxasund track – which is actually a third track (along F235 and Skaelingar) leading to Langisjór. Faxasund is, however, said to be the most difficult out of these three paths, so this time we chose the second one – Skælingar track. Lastly, we crossed the first river at F208 south, next to the ranger’s hut and north of Holaskjól and finally arrived at the slightly hidden detour towards the Skælingar track.

skaelingar track langisjor

Skaelingar track

There’s a very interesting medium to big river crossing (more medium at the time of our visit) right at the beginning of the track. So, if you don’t feel like doing it, you may turn back right at the beginning. For this kind of river crossings, you should have both the past experience with river crossings and take the proper car, i.e. at least Land Cruiser size or some kind of super jeep. Of course, it may be doable with Dacia Duster if you are lucky, but you may also fly with Dacia Duster if you are lucky – this doesn’t mean it’s recommended, nor responsible!

skælingar track river crossing

Skælingar track river crossing

The first river crossing on Skaelingar track is also the only river crossing. To arrive at the other bank, you have to actually drive tens of meters IN the river bed (similarly to e.g. F210 river crossing or Strútur track river crossing). This is always a very exciting and memorable experience. With our 33” Land Cruiser with snorkel we didn’t have any problems with completing the ford.

Skælingar track iceland

Skælingar track

The Skælingar track then continued in form of the narrow dirt tracks in green surroundings of grass and moss. We passed along the big Mercedes Unimog which was struggling a bit driving these very narrow tracks, but the driver looked to be really enjoying the drive anyway 🙂 He was kind enough to let us overtake him at the earliest convenience.

skælingar hut iceland

Skælingar hut

The landscapes were picturesque almost along the entire road. After some 30 minutes of driving we arrived at the Skaelingar hut situated remotely in beautiful surroundings. It’s possible to take 2 different paths towards Langisjór from here… I already knew I want to take the longer, but much more exciting and picturesque route leading not next to the, but THROUGH Blautulón lake. Yes, through. More about that soon.

Blautulón lake track

blautulon track iceland

Blautulón track shortly before the Blautulón lake

The dirt track towards Blautulón lake led in between little hills and was a track consisting of both the gravel and the volcanic ash without any major obstacles, nor river crossings. It was steeper at times but definitely manageable. The most exciting part of the Blautulón track was about to come. Once you arrive at the lake, the road suddenly disappears. Where it leads, I already knew because I had studied it and was really looking forward to it 🙂

Skælingar blautulon track langisjor iceland

Between Skælingar track and Blautulón track to Langisjór

We were lucky to have an amazingly beautiful weather at Blautulón with partially blue skies, little fog, no wind at all and an occasional sun. We were even able to make a picnic at Blautulón wearing just T-shirts! God bless this kind of Icelandic summer. And all of that in between stunningly beautiful mountains and the blue lake just in front of us. And us being completely alone there. A once in a lifetime moments for us.

blautulón lake drive iceland

Unforgettable drive on the edge of the Blautulón lake.

As I already hinted, after we moved on from the front of the Blautulón lake, the road didn’t just continue in an ordinary way. The Blautulón track leads through the edge of the lake itself. You have to drive inside the lake, at the bank of the lake, for several hundreds of meters. For me as a roads’ enthusiast, this was an amazingly unique drive. After passing Blautulón, the track soon connects to the final part of F235.

Sveinstindur hike

sveinstindur hike iceland

Hiking to Sveinstindur peak next to Langisjór lake

Sveinstindur is the highest accessible peak in the Langisjór area with amazing views around the surrounding landscapes in every direction. When the visibility is good. And this was the catch once again for us. A year ago, I had a plan to propose to my (at that time) girlfriend after climbing up the Sveinstindur. However, the weather had different plans 🙂 There was no visibility at all and it started to rain a lot roughly around a midway towards Sveinstindur. Hence, we decided to turn back. Hence, I proposed (just) on the hiking trail.

sveinstindur hike trail

Sveinstindur hiking trail ridge

A year after, our weather was much better. Blue skies with occasional clouds and even a shining sun. However, the peak of Sveinstindur, as the only one, was covered in a fog for the entire time we drove and hiked around. We gave it a try anyway and climbed a few meters further than last time, but we still arrived at the point where everything above this point was entirely covered in fog. And it wasn’t getting any better. The trail from this point above is also pretty exposed with huge falls at both its sides. Thus, for the second time we gave up on our plans to reach the top.

langisjor lake view from sveinstindur

View over the Langisjór lake from Sveinstindur trail

Nevertheless, the views around the area were still stunningly beautiful. Judge it yourself, here are the pictures 🙂 This time we were lucky enough to see almost the entire Langisjór lake. Langisjór is a giant glacial lake and a hiker’s paradise with numerous trails close to its banks. With its crystal-clear waters, Langisjór is also a fishermen paradise.

langisjór lake iceland

View over the Langisjór lake from Sveinstindur trail

Sitting in the car for almost entire day, we were still hungry for a nice hike. However, the weather at Sveinstindur started to worsen. Fog was falling down and the clouds were coming. We hiked back to our car when it started to rain. We decided to drive back towards Landmannalaugar to see if the situation is still as good there weather-wise as was the case in the morning. On our way there, it started to rain considerably with an entire area covered by fog. Luckily, we had already seen an amazing F235 a year before.

Bláhnúkur hike

landmannalaugar from blahnjuku

One of the best views over Landmannalaugar is from the peak of Bláhnúkúr

The daylight was slowly approaching its final hours when we arrived at Brennisteinsalda campsite in Landmannalaugar. The weather remained wonderful there. Although being already pretty tired, I persuaded my wife to go for a quick Bláhnúkur hike. This meant, we would probably be dead-tired after the hike, but I simply couldn’t resist doing it in such a wonderful weather and close to the sunset.

blahnukur view over landmannalaugar

Another view from Bláhnúkúr over landmannalaugar

The year before we went for an entire Brennistensalda – Bláhnúkur loop, which took us more than 5 hours to complete, including pauses and attempts to find the correct path. This time we just wanted to get directly to Bláhnúkur and back via the same trail (west from the campsite). My wife was skeptical whether we will be able to do the Bláhnúkur round-trip in 2 hours, as I had expected. More specifically, she really doubted, we would get up under 1.5 hour.

best view in landmannalaugar

Looking from the peak of Bláhnúkúr

In reality, we climbed to the peak of Bláhnúkur in 38 minutes 🙂 Yes, we hiked pretty quickly, without pauses. But still – Bláhnúkur maybe looks as a distant peak – but it’s actually pretty close to the Landmannalaugar campsite.

Why we even bothered to climb Bláhnúkur? Because the views from Bláhnjúkur are the best views you can get over an entire fairytale-like Landmannalaugar area in the shortest time possible. And we were not disappointed! Hiking in the T-shirt, we arrived at the peak and admired all the surrounding beauty with the sun shining all over the mountains. Great decision to go. Great views. Great memories.

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A detailed list of F-roads

A detailed list of F-roads

I’ve compiled for you a comprehensive list of the main Icelandic F-roads. It’s based upon both personal experiences with driving the roads and extensive studying of other travellers experience.

Checklist

Read our guide on how to choose the best car rental for Iceland.

Before taking an F-road, remember to ALWAYS check the following:

We wrote a detailed article about Icelandic roads, their types, and passability, which we recommend to read too.

modrudalsleid f905 askja

Crossroads between Möðrudalsleið road and F905

Time estimate to complete F-road?

I will answer this question for all of the roads at once. Google maps are pretty much quite precise in time estimates, even when it comes to F-roads. That means if you are planning your trip, you may more or less rely on Google time estimates. There are a few caveats though.

Google maps estimate is an estimate under standard conditions. This usually assumes, for example, normal weather, crossing the rivers immediately, etc. So what are the other things you need to account for other than standard conditions?

  1. Worse weather. This means anything from heavy rain, through a huge fog, to strong wind. Incorporate these into your estimates.
  2. Proper car. You need to drive a 4×4 car on all F-roads. However, 2 different 4×4 cars may be as different as night and day.
  3. Your driving skills. I’ve seen many much slower drivers when driving in Iceland. But I’ve also seen some much quicker. I would say I’m somewhere in the middle then, and I aligned with Google times quite well.
  4. River crossings. If you don’t know the river you are crossing, or if you are just inexperienced, you should take enough time to examine the river.
  5. Tourists. Yes, in high season there may even be a traffic jam on some F-roads. This may slow you down. Or maybe you will be the cause of the traffic jam? 🙂
  6. Pauses. You’re gonna make MANY of them. To eat, to take a picture, to go use the toilet, etc. Calculate with these as well.

F26 – Sprengisandsleið

F26, Sprengisandur or Sprengisandsleið, these are all names of the same road. F26 is by far the longest Icelandic F-road. It’s one of the only 2 roads which connect the southern and the northern Iceland directly. First one is F35, which is much easier to drive compared to the rougher F26. The road is deserted, without any campsites, guesthouses, supermarkets, nor even gas stations along the road.

You have to drive 250 kilometres with no possibility to refuel, mostly no cell phone coverage, nor any internet network. That being said, driving F26 is a huge adventure, just better be properly prepared for it. Bring enough water, food and warm clothes, in case you needed to stop unexpectedly and wait for someone else to pass by and help you.

Check weather and road conditions thoroughly before departure and follow precautionary safety issues found e.g. here.

f26 sprengisandur iceland

F26 – Sprengisandsleið, or Sprengisandur

Is there a river crossing on F26?

Yes, there’s one main river crossing on F26, roughly in the middle of the road, right next to Nýidalur hut. The river is called Hagakvisla and it’s pretty unpredictable. Usually it’s a medium-sized river crossing, but it can get bigger with strong rain and especially the current can get stronger.

What car do I need for F26?

You have to drive at least a medium-sized 4×4 SUV like Dacia Duster. However, the bigger the car, the better. You will make no mistake when opting for a super-jeep.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car here or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F26 video drive-through

 

F35 – Kjalvegur

F35 has been reclassified to just “35” in recent years, due to road improvements. Still, Google maps mark it as F35. Another name used for Kjalvegur is Kjölur. These are the synonyms. Icelanders use Kjölur more frequently.

F35 is the second-longest Icelandic F-road. It’s one of the only 2 roads which connect the southern and the northern Iceland directly. First one is F26, which is much tougher to drive compared to the easier F35. The road F35 is long and remote, without any campsites, guesthouses, supermarkets, nor even gas stations directly along the road.

BUT. You’re gonna meet many fellow travellers along the road. We met many of them even during Covid times. The reason is, there are two main points of interest near F35 – Kerlingarfjoll and Hveravellir. Both of them provide small guesthouses/hotels and restaurants. Just tank enough fuel to complete this approx. 180km route.

Is there a river crossing on F35?

There are no river crossings on F35. That’s one of the reasons why you will meet a lot more traffic on this road compared to F26. It’s also the reason why this road is much easier to drive than F26 or many other F-roads.

f35 kjalvegur

F35, aka Kjalvegur, near Hveravellir

What car do I need for F35?

You will be fine with any 4wd car. There are many potholes and small ponds with some water, but otherwise, F35 is easy to drive. It’s just long. I would say road 35/F35 is doable also by a 2wd car in good weather conditions. However, we better recommend taking a smaller/cheaper 4wd car.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car here or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F66 – Kollafjarðarheiði

F66 is the only road which leads across the central Westfjords and directly connects the northern part of Westfjords with the southern part.

Is there a river crossing on F66?

Yes, there are some small river crossings (more like streams than rivers). Nothing serious though.

What car do I need for F66?

This depends on weather conditions. In normal weather, you will be fine with any 4wd car, even the small SUV. In rainy and windy weather, however, F66 may get really challenging with muddy ground and wind blowing.

With F66, the main challenge lies not in the river crossings, but in its steepness and terrain. It’s one of the most mountainous roads in Iceland.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F66 video drive-through

F88 – Öskjuleið

F88 is the shortest (and possibly the quickest) road to reach Askja, and also a controversial one 🙂 It connects ring road in the north to F910. Why controversial? Most of the “bloggers” will advise you that F88 is much more dangerous and harder to drive than F905 and F910 combination. But did they actually drive F88? No. Because usually exactly the opposite is true – F88 is easier to drive than F905+F910. 

Is there a river crossing on F88?

Yes, there is one main river crossing, closer to intersection with F910 – the Lindaá river. This river is the source of controversion about F88. Usually this river crossing is medium-sized, but when it rains a lot, it can get bigger. But under normal summer conditions, the crossing is pretty much the same as those on F905 and F910. 

f88 oskjuleid iceland

F88 – Öskjuleið to Askja from north

What car do I need for F88?

You will definitely need at least a medium-sized 4×4 car. If you want to be 100% sure to make it through Lindaá river crossing, then better go for a large 4×4 or a super jeep with big ground clearance and a snorkel. It’s also better to gain experience with river crossings on different, less challenging, F-roads and then come back to drive this one. All river crossing rules apply strictly here.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F88 video drive-through

F206 – Lakavegur

f206 lakavegur iceland

F206 Lakavegur Iceland

F206 is a rough F-road leading to Laki craters. No, you won’t find this road in its full length on Google Maps. You need to look at more local maps. 

Is there a river crossing on F206?

Yes, there are unbridged rivers along F206 and one of them is considered a medium-sized river crossing

f206 laki craters

F206 to Laki craters in rain and fog

What car do I need for F206?

There are medium-sized river crossings on F206, hence you need preferably at least a medium-sized 4wd car. “Can we do it in a Suzuki Jimny?”, yes you can try and you may succeed, but you may also not. Jimny is considered to be a small-sized SUV, which, when driven in the right way and in good weather may be enough. It may also not be enough if the opposite is the case.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F206 video drive-through

F207 – Lakagigavegur

f207 lakagigavegur iceland

F207 Lakagigavegur Iceland

Lakagigavegur is rough and bumpy loop road leading around Laki craters. The road is completely isolated, and you need to drive F206 to get there.

Is there a river crossing on F207?

Yes, there are unbridged rivers along F207 and one of them is considered at least a medium-sized river crossing. There are videos over internet how tourists drown their cars in F207 (luckily without injuries) so take special care please.

f207 river crossing laki

F207 river crossing (road to Laki craters)

What car do I need for F207?

You need preferably at least a medium-sized 4wd car. Road is very bumpy, and moreover, you have to overcome a medium-sized river crossing at F206 if you want to reach F207.

F207 video drive-through

F208 – Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri – north

F208 north has been reclassified to just “208” in recent years, due to road improvements. Still, Google maps mark it as F208.

F208 is a long F-road which connects southern ring road next to Vik with the southern end of F26. I call “north” the part north of Landmannalaugar and “south” the part south of Landmannalaugar. With F208 north vs F208 south, it’s a tale of two roads, which are significantly different from each other. Long story short – F208 north is easier to drive. But, this comes with a cost. Views and landscapes around F208 south are one of the most beautiful sights you may see in Iceland.

F208 is also one of the most sought for F-roads because it leads to the most popular Icelandic highlands area – Landmannalaugar. Most of the guides would tell you to better take F208 north because it’s easier to drive. I will tell you the opposite – take F208 south, because it’s amazing. Or even better – take both the southern and the northern one and admire them. But, choose a proper car and study river crossing guidelines.

Is there a river crossing on F208 north?

There’s no river crossing on F208 north, not even small ponds.

F208 north horses

Horses or “Icelandic ponnies” blocking the F208 road Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri north of Landmannalaugar

What car do I need for F208 north?

F208 north is a gravel road with many potholes and your car will probably shake a bit while you drive on it. Nonetheless, there’s nothing else exciting about F208 north.

Due to the road re-classification F208/208 from the north is now doable also by a better 2wd car. That being said, we better recommend taking any 4wd car, even a small-sized SUV, that would be fine for this part of F208 even in worse weather.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F208 north video drive-through

F208 – Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri – south

F208 is a long F-road which connects southern ring road next to Vik with the southern end of F26. I call “north” the part north of Landmannalaugar and “south” the part south of Landmannalaugar. With F208 north vs F208 south, it’s a tale of two roads, which are significantly different from each other. Long story short – F208 north is easier to drive. But, this comes with a cost. Views and landscapes around F208 south are one of the most beautiful sights you may see in Iceland.

I particularly chose to drive F208 south, because I’d read that it’s a once in a lifetime experience. And I can only confirm that. On top of that, you can make a detour to Langisjor lake from this part of F208 (and you should do that). Just choose a proper car and study river crossing guidelines.

Is there a river crossing on F208 south?

Yes, there are several river crossings from small to medium-sized ones. River crossings on F208 south were among the 3 biggest river crossings we’d encountered during our Icelandic trip (we chose to do medium-sized river crossings at maximum).

River crossings on F208 south are doable, though. Even if you are not highly experienced in driving through water. At least in the summer. The deepest ones had a depth of around 40-60cm during our trip in August. If you are interested in specific details about each river crossing on F208 south, reach out for our Day 3 journey blog post.

F208 after F235 junction

Road F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

What car do I need for F208 south?

You need to have at least a medium-sized 4wd car with decent ground clearance to ford the rivers. We’ve done well with our Dacia Duster. However, I wouldn’t go for a smaller car. See our guide below for more details.

“Can we do it in a Suzuki Jimny?”, yes you can try and you may succeed, but you may also not. Jimny is considered to be a small-sized SUV, which, when driven in the right way and in good weather may be enough. It may also not be enough if the opposite is the case.

Choose your car and insurance wisely when driving F-roads with bigger river crossings. Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F208 south video drive-through

F210 – Fjallabaksleið syðri

This is one of the most moon-like F-roads in Iceland. F210 spans the area between Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar from the west to the east. F210 is only minimally maintained and very remote as only very few cars decide to take the route.

One of the main reasons travellers take the route is the legendary Maelifell mountain along the road. F210 is subject to Icelandic crazy highlands weather (like a total fog or heavy rain out of the blue). Be prepared for that with sufficient equipment, driving skills and proper car.

Fjallabaksleið syðri is pretty long and can be divided into Western and Eastern part (intersected by F261, Emstruleið, in the middle). More about Fjallabaksleið syðri in our detailed article about F210.

Is there a river crossing on F210?

Yes, there are several river crossings, with many of them being small and medium ones and some of them even bigger ones subject to weather conditions. There’s even a part where you’re gonna be driving virtually IN THE RIVER along the river stream. We wrote in detail about driving F210, Fjallabaksleið syðri, in our article about Fjallabak Highlands.

The biggest threats are the rivers Kaldaklofskvísl in the western part of F210 and then river Holmsá in the eastern part of F210. Kaldaklofskvísl has a bit difficult riverbed and Holmsá can sometimes get pretty nasty in terms of depth. Here’s also a short advice from the local:

River by Mælifell has a rocky bottom and a small steep bank right after you cross the river from the east and the sand can be wet and there is a risk of getting stuck also people tend to hurry across the river because of the steep bank not knowing that the riverbed has quite a lot of rocks that could cause you problems…

F210 near alftavatn

F210 – Fjallabaksleið syðri west – near Álftavatn lake

What car do I need for F210?

For F210 you’re gonna need at least a medium-sized 4wd car, preferably a super-jeep with snorkel and good driving skills. Better practice with less difficult F-roads first and then go for F210.

And definitely choose your car wisely when driving F-roads with bigger river crossings. Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F210 video drive-through

F223 – Eldgjárvegur

F223 video drive-through

F224 – Landmannalaugavegur

F224 is a short final detour to reach the main Landmannalaugar area. It’s scenic of course because you’re near Landmannalaugar, which is one of the most picturesque Icelandic places.

F224 is a very bumpy road with some epic potholes. You will also meet MANY fellow travellers at F224 because everybody wants to see Landmannalaugar 🙂

Is there a river crossing on F224?

Yes, there are 2 non-trivial, medium-sized river crossings at the end of F224, right next to the Brennisteinsalda campsite. That’s why many visitors opt for leaving their car at the parking lot just before the river crossings. This is not very convenient though, because you have to walk the distance from car to the campsite (around 10 minutes) each time you need something from your car (and this will happen often, trust me). Also, in case you have a rooftop tent, you will not want to camp that far from the campsite facilities.

We decided to cross the rivers, although these were one of the deepest ones throughout our trip. Feel free to read about our experience with crossing these rivers.

What car do I need for F224?

If you don’t want to do the final 2 river crossings, basically any small 4wd car will serve you well. Just drive slowly.

In case you want to park directly in Brennisteinsalda campsite, i.e. cross the rivers, you will need a medium-sized 4wd SUV. We’ve seen multiple travellers successfully crossing even with small 4wd car, but they were struggling a bit and didn’t look very sure about their crossing.  It’s already an adventure crossing with a medium-sized SUV so to save you some nerves, but go for a bigger car.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F224 video drive-through

F225 – Landmannaleið

F225 is a shortcut from road 26 in the west to Landmannalaugar in the east. Well, at least it’s supposed to be a shortcut 🙂 It’s 20km shorter than driving north via F26 and F208, but for someone, it may be more difficult to drive. It’s definitely a much nicer drive compared to F208/208 from the north, however.

Is there a river crossing on F225?

Yes, there are some small river crossings on F225, Landmannaleið. Under normal weather conditions and if the road is of course open, they should be doable with any 4wd car. That being said, you still have to adhere to river crossing guidelines and better have some experience with river crossings already. That’s why many travelers avoid this shortcut and go for rather boring F208/208 north. If you want to start trying river crossings, though, we recommend starting with Landmannaleid 🙂 

f225 landmannaleid in rain

F225 Landmannaleið in rain

What car do I need for F225?

A medium-sized 4wd SUV should be sufficient for F225. Maybe even a small SUV, according to weather and road conditions.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F225 video drive-through

F228 – Veiðivatnaleið

F228 advice from the local

“Sandy road with two clear water rivers to cross. One of the crossings is in a curve of the river, so can be quite deep. Veiðivotn (fish lakes) is mostly visited by fishermen It is a beautiful area with lots of colorful crater lakes. A great area to do shorter hikes.”

F228 video drive-through

F229 – Jökulheimaleið

f229 Jokulheimaleid iceland

F229 Jökulheimaleið

F229 leads to the Jökulheimar area, just west of Tungnaájökul glacier. There are many connecting tracks to F229 (dirt tracks, not F-roads), which are much more dangerous than F229. In our opinion this road is not particularly interesting. The more interesting are the neighbouring tracks, but they are much more dangerous.

Is there a river crossing on F229?

According to scarce sources, there are no river crossings on the road.

What car do I need for F229?

There are some parts with sand and rough, unmaintained terrain, plus it’s an F-road, so definitely at least a small 4wd car. Other than that, the road should not be any dangerous, it’s just remote and not often driven.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F232 – Öldufellsleið

f232 oldufellsleid

F232 – Öldufellsleið

F232, or Öldufell, or Öldufellsleið is the legendary road depicted in all of these pictures where you see a car driving virtually over the waterfall. This waterfall is called Bláfjallafoss (after Bláfjallakvisl river). F232 is a beautiful road connecting F210 in the north almost with a ring road in the south. On a nice day, views over Öldufellsjökull glacier (eastern part of Mýrdalsjökull) are amazing.

f232 blafjallafoss waterfall

F232 Bláfjallafoss waterfall

Is there a river crossing on F232?

Yes, there are several river crossings. According to my research, they are supposed to be at maximum medium-sized ones. I haven’t driven F232 personally yet, so I’ll write the detailed guide once I do.

What car do I need for F232?

A medium-sized 4wd SUV should do the job in good weather conditions. Don’t forget to consider also connecting roads (F210 requires a big 4×4 car but F233 is even more challenging and a super jeep is recommended).

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F233 – Álftavatnskrókur

F233 is a shortcut from F210 to the northern part of “F208 south” road. Travellers who want to see Maelifell first and then continue towards Landmannalaugar usually look at this road. Beware though! F233 has some of the hardest river crossings in Iceland. This means that either better avoid this road, or be very well prepared and gain enough experience with river crossings elsewhere first.

Is there a river crossing on F233?

Yes, there are several river crossings with some of them easily being classified as big river crossings. F233 opens every year among the last F-roads and that happens for a reason. Rivers with some powerful streams cross the road, which means it’s passable only for a limited time of a year.

What car do I need for F233?

With some luck, you may be able to pass with a medium-sized 4wd SUV. In case you don’t want to rely on luck, better go for a super-jeep option. Even with super-jeep, it’s very important to not do something stupid and strictly adhere to river crossing guidelines. Check the road conditions beforehand. Wander the river on foot.

Choose your car and insurance wisely when driving F-roads with bigger river crossings. Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F235 – Langisjór

F235 is a one-way detour from F208 south towards out-of-this-world Langisjor lake and Sveinstindur mountain. I highly recommend you to take F235 if you want to gain experience in driving Icelandic F-roads and enjoy the moon-like landscapes. It’s once in a lifetime experience.

Is there a river crossing on F235?

Yes, there are several river crossings. None of them was dangerous at the time of our journey, though. They are mostly small to medium-sized river crossings doable even if you are not highly experienced. You still have to adhere to river crossing rules of course.

If you are interested in specific details about river crossings on F235, feel free to read about them in detail here.

F235 towards Langisjór

Surreal landscapes on road F235 towards Langisjór lake

What car do I need for F235?

You should do well with any 4wd SUV. The medium-sized 4wd car would be the safest, though, as some of the rivers may gain volume when it rains a lot. More importantly, to reach F235, you will have to cross several medium-sized rivers on F208 and for that, you definitely need a medium-sized 4wd SUV.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F235 video drive-through

F249 – Þórsmerkurvegur

F249 is probably the most notoriously known for tourists getting their rental cars drowned here. Except for that, it’s a beautiful moon-like road and one of the only 2 roads that will get you to Thorsmork, which is a beautiful mountainous area. We wrote a detailed guide on getting to Thórsmörk.

The road is better to be avoided if you don’t have all it takes – a proper car, enough experience and perfect knowledge of river crossing rules. If you don’t gave a big car and enough experience, we suggest taking a guided tour to Thórsmörk.

Is there a river crossing on F249?

Sure, there are many river crossings on F249. They start as small ponds, soon evolve into small rivers, medium-sized rivers and end with big ones. The final river crossing (Krossá river) is probably the biggest river crossing you may encounter on marked F-roads in Iceland.

We drove to Thorsmork in a smaller super jeep. This is what I suggest to everyone to stay safe. We also drove only up to Krossá river – you don’t want to cross this one, trust me. Read more details about our trip to Thorsmork here.

thorsmork valahnjukur top view

A spectacular view from the top of Valahnjukur

What car do I need for F249?

Without any doubts, you’re gonna need a super-jeep. And the bigger the better. Last river crossing is one of the most treacherous and challenging moments you will encounter on Icelandic roads. Even with a super-jeep, it’s not guaranteed you’re gonna pass. You have to ford a river precisely in the way it needs to be forded, to not drown your car.

Choose your car and insurance wisely when driving F-roads with bigger river crossings. Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F249 video drive-through

F261 – Emstruleið

F261 leads along the northern side of Thorsmork valley and connects it with the eastern part of F210.

Is there a river crossing on F261?

Yes, there is one main river crossing, through the Bláfjallakvisl river. It’s considered at least a medium-sized river crossing and can become a bigger one when it rains a lot. There are no other notable river crossings. We crossed Blafjallakvisl on F261 several times in August in dry weather. The crossing was OK at that time and generally should be easier than Kaldaklofskvisl on F210. We wrote in detail about our F261 driving experience here.

f261 Emstruleið iceland

F261 Emstruleið

What car do I need for F261?

A medium-sized 4wd SUV should do the job in good (dry) weather conditions. Don’t forget to consider also connecting roads (F210 should be similar but F233 is one of the most challenging F-roads in Iceland when it comes to river crossings). A large 4wd SUV always makes it safer to drive F261, however.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F261 video drive-through

F333 – Haukadalsvegur

F333 – advice from the local

“The track starts next to Geysir thermal area. It first goes through an Icelandic wood, then through fields of lupines, and ends at the F338. There is one small river crossing, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Another: “F333 is an unpaved and rough road. It doesn’t have any unbridged rivers, but the section beginning from the F338 route is very bumpy, filled with potholes and big rocks on the road. After that section, the F333 becomes a forest road, which is a pretty unusual experience in Iceland due to the lack of trees. 🙂 “

F333 video drive-through

F335 – Hagavatnsvegur

F335 advice from the local

“Track that goes to the glacier lake Hagavatn. The first part is easy, with only one tiny stream to cross. Nice views at lake Sandvatn. Near the end is a small cabin from Ferðafélag Íslands. In 2015, staying there one night cost ISK 4000. Very short bunk beds, and no drinking water near the cabin. After the cabin, the track continues for another kilometer to Hagavatn. But you have to cross a glacial river, about 4m wide. At the end of the road lake, Hagavatn overflows into a river with a 30-meter (my guess) high waterfall named Leynifoss. According to a message in the cabins gestabók (guest book), it should be possible to hike from there to the nearby glacier, but I haven’t tried that.”

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F337 – Hlöðuvallavegur

F337 advice from the local

“Starting from F338, going south, you first get a decent track around mount Hlödufell. There are actually tracks on both sides of the mountain, I took the right branch. The area is flat but scattered with huge boulders which probably fell from the mountain. There is a cabin on the south side of the mountain, often used by horse groups. One km after the cabin there is an unnumbered sidetrack on your right, that goes to Thingvellir. I think its name is Eyvindarleið…

…The F337 continues in sand and lava to a mountain range. Just before reaching it, there is a sign pointing back to the north to an unnumbered track that goes around this mountain range. Close nearby the river Brúará runs in a small but pretty canyon Bruarárskörð, worth a visit. The same river later forms a few km downstream of the Brúarfoss waterfall. After the mentioned sign, the road goes steep up the mountain. The track is mostly fair, but there is one section where it crosses a dry riverbed with big round stones for a few hundred meters. At the top of the mountain, you have a great view of lake Apavatn (weather permitting, I only saw mist and rain), before descending on a steep and curvy road. There are no rivers to cross on F337.”

F338 – Skjaldbreiðarvegur

F338 advice from the local

One: “This is a Linuvegir, a track along powerlines. It runs on the slopes of the shield volcano Skjaldbreiður. Starting from the west the track first crosses a small stream. The track is mostly fine with only a few sandy stretches. But it runs in a lava field, with lots of short curves and bends. And several stretches where you drive under the powerlines. Nice views on the Thórisjökull and Langjökull glacier. A few km before the track ends near Gullfoss, there is a river crossing. I don’t know how difficult this one is (I took the turn to F333), but you cross the same river on a bridge near Geysir, and it looks doable there.”

F338 Skjaldbreidarvegur iceland

F338 Skjaldbreidarvegur

Another:  “The river crossings on this road are very wide (3:55) and rather wide (7:00) (the only optimal place for a crossing is where the river turns wide and hopefully shallow). One needs to plan the crossing correctly because one is able to find submerged and surfaced boulders to place the car on top of, and also deep vistas within the crossing. This crossing changes every single year so any route or tracks may lead one astray and the route shown in the video is *not* to be taken for granted.”

F338 video drive-through

F347 – Kerlingafjallavegur

F347 is the only road leading directly to the picturesque Kerlingarfjoll area. It’s a detour from F35 and it’s definitely worth taking. In terms of difficulty, I would divide F347 into two parts – up to a Kerlingarfjoll mountain resort and afterwards, towards Hveradalir.

Up to the Kerlingarfjoll mountain resort, F347 is just a gravel road with potholes doable even by a 2wd car. To Hveradalir, however, it becomes more challenging. This time the challenge exceptionally doesn’t lie in river crossings (as there are no unbridged ones) but in steepness and rugged terrain of the final section.

Is there a river crossing on F347?

Contrary to wrong statements of some other guides – there is NO unbridged river crossing on F347. This means you may get to Kerlingarfjoll without fording any river.

f347 near hveradalir

F347 road next to Hveradalir hot spring area in Kerlingarfjoll

What car do I need for F347?

For the part up to Kerlingarfjoll mountain resort, any 4wd car would be sufficient. For the final part leading to Hveradalir, I recommend at least a medium-sized SUV with enough ground clearance. Dacia Duster is a minimum. We’ve done it in it and it was a bit scary.

“Can we do it in a Suzuki Jimny?”, yes you can try and you may succeed, but you may also not. Jimny is considered to be a small-sized SUV, which, when driven in the right way and in good weather may be enough. It may also not be enough if the opposite is the case.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F349 – Kerlingarfjöll old

f349 old Kerlingarfjoll

F349 – old Kerlingarfjöll track

F349 leading is an old, remote and really long F-road serving as an alternative road to Kerlingarfjöll. F349 is not well-known, nor often driven. You will hardly meet here anyone, which is also both the biggest danger and biggest beauty of the road – its remoteness. Rough highlands and wild landscapes will be surrounding you on every kilometer of this track.

Is there a river crossing on F349?

According to very scarce resources there are some small to medium-sized river crossings on F349. Rivers are not the main obstacle on this road.

What car do I need for F349?

As already mentioned, the main danger of this road are not river crossings, but rather its remoteness and some really rough sections. This means narrow roads and steep ascents and descents. It’s safer and easier to drive the road from south to north, not the opposite, because this way the steepest parts will be descents and not ascents.

Theoretically, under good weather conditions, a medium 4wd SUV should be able to drive through F349. However, bear in mind the road is really remote, with steep and rough sections. To be on a safe side I would definitely recommend at least a large 4×4 car and ideally a super jeep

F508 – Skorradalsvegur

F508 advice from the local

“I’ve driven F508 Skorradalsvegur in a 4×4 truck. It’s bumpy and rocky. There is only one really steep hill to climb if one drives east (descend if one drives west). No rivers to cross that I can recall, but as mentioned – this follows the power lines like F338, not as much “under” the lines but they’re always nearby. Very little to see apart from one small waterfall next to the steep section mentioned – a second one isn’t far away but to see it one needs to hike to it. Both are pictured here and are about 12-14 meters high each (39-46 ft): https://gonguleidir.is/listing/eiriksfell-i-skorradal/ Those who visit these waterfalls tend to drive back out of Skorradalur rather than heading onwards.”

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F570 – Jökulshálsvegur

F570 has been reclassified to just “570” in recent years, due to road improvements. Still, Google maps mark it as F570. 

F570 is an old mountain road connecting Ólafsvik with Arnastapi. The road is steep and at several spots. It is also the closest road to Snæfellsjökull glacier. Super jeep tours use it for reaching the glacier and also for bringing the snowmobiles up towards glacier. 

We plan to drive F570 soon and write a detailed info on it. 

Is there a river crossing on F570?

According to our knowledge, there’s no river crossing on F570 – Jökulshálsvegur. Also the road being reclassified to non-F-road indicates there definitely shouldn’t be a river crossing. We will confirm this after driving the road.

What car do I need for F570?

Although, technically a 2wd car is allowed, we definitely do recommend driving Jökulshálsvegur with a 4×4 car. The road gets steep from time to time and you may get stuck with a small car. A small 4wd car is a must and should be enough under good weather conditions. We would better take there at least a medium-sized 4×4, though, as we all know, weather can change quickly in Iceland, not to mention the wind.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F575 – Eysteinsdalsleið

f575 Eysteinsdalsleið iceland

F575, Eysteinsdalsleið

F575 is the only F-road that has remained in place in Snæfellsnes. It connects a western part of road 547 (near Saxhóll crater) to the middle part of road 570 (former F570). It’s steep, narrow, with a very rough terrain and rocks. Only drivers experienced in 4×4 driving with proper cars should drive Eysteinsdalsleið.

We plan to drive F575 soon and write a detailed info on it (also with decisive info on river crossings).

Is there a river crossing on F575?

According to our knowledge, there’s no river crossing on F575 – Eysteinsdalsleið. We will confirm this after driving the road.

What car do I need for F575?

F575 is rougher, steeper and more dangerous than F570. We would drive the road only in a large 4×4 car or ideally in a super jeep

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F578 – Arnarvatnsvegur

F578 advice from the local

One: “Starting in Húsafell the first part is a bumpy ride in an old lava field. After about 6 km there are signs to two lava caves, Súrtshellir and Íshellir. The track continues bumpy and bendy, but with a good view on Langjökull and EiríksJökull, until the river Nórðingafljót. This is a clear water river but can be a major obstacle. Wide, fast streaming, and big rocks on the river bed. Not an easy crossing…

…The F578 continues as a fair track to a mountain cabin Alftakrókurskáli and onwards. After a (signposted) turn to the left the track goes along Arnarvatn stóra and to the fishing lodges at the north side. The Landscape is mostly lakes and small hills covered with stones. From Arnarvatn the road is going north as a straight black line in flat green moorland back to inhabited areas. But the “F” is then already dropped from the road number. There are quite a few unnumbered tracks in the area, and I was surprised to see how well signposted and marked they were, like this one, south of Arnarvatn.”

Another: “F578 from the south is quite rough. So rough that anglers going to the lodges generally drive the RR1 to the north and then take the F578 from there. I have twice had to help wrecked vehicles out of the river (Norðlingafljót). It’s a road I wouldn’t do except on a good truck.”

F586 – Haukadalsskarðsvegur

F586 advice from the local

“A normal track going over a hill. Steep on both sides. On the east side, you have to cross the same river two or three times, but this shouldn’t be a problem. More upstream the river runs in a nice but not too impressive canyon. Near the top of the hill, the river is dammed, creating a small reservoir. On the west side of the hill, you only have to cross one small river. There’s is an impressive rock face near the end of F586. The biggest attraction of Haukadalur is Eiriksstaðir, a replica of a Viking house, where a guy in a Viking costume will show you around.”

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F586 video drive-through

 

F649 – Ófeigsfjarðarvegur

f649 Ofeigsfjardarvegur Iceland

F649 Ófeigsfjarðarvegur Iceland

F649 advice from the local

“649 starts from Strandavegur (643) and goes over a mountain towards a fjord named Ingólfsfjörður. After descending the mountain, the road passes through Eyri, a small village that has a huge deserted herring factory and some houses used as summer homes. It’s after the factory when 649 becomes into F649 and the road conditions get much more rougher and bumpier. Driving along the coastline we passed through a farm and eventually arrived next to Húsá river. It’s worth mentioning that it is possible to ford Húsá river and carry on for a few more km and end up at Hvalárfoss waterfall, which marks the end of F649. But since we had problems with our car’s 4WD system, I decided not to risk it this time with the river crossing. So, we just turned around and drove all the way back to Strandavegur.

I’d say F649 is a very special road, since it’s so isolated and far away from everything. As mentioned earlier, it creates a feeling that you are driving towards some kind of an end. And in a way you also experience a sense of ending when you pass the abandoned factory, that has been like that since 1952. That being said, there was actually surprisingly much traffic on that day. :)”

F649 video drive-through

F734 – Svörtutungur / old Kjölur

f734 iceland

F734 Iceland

F734 is a dangerous alternative to normal Kjölur (road 35). An area around F734 is completely uninhabitated and the road is a very scarcely driven one. That means rough and unmaintained.

Is there a river crossing on F734?

There are two big river crossings – rivers of Svartakvisl and Blandá. We are talking about 80cm and more in terms of the depth of the ford. Can be easily more than 1 meter. On top of that – strong current and big rocks. Don’t go alone! And very carefully check the conditions!

What car do I need for F734?

Only and only a super jeep can survive here.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F735 – Þjófadalavegur

F735 advice from the local

“This is the road to Hveravellir, which is a must-go when you travel the Kjölur route. The track continues to the cabin at þjófadalir. I did this track but returned halfway because the scenery was not interesting enough. There is a track going up the mountain on the right (Oddnýjarhnúkur) which may give a good view of the Langjökull glacier which is behind it. No streams to cross on this track.”

F752 – Skagafjarðarleið

F752 advice from the local

“One of the three roads from the north to the Sprengisandur. And IMO the second most interesting after the F881 (from Akureyri) but before the F26. It has one major obstacle, near Laugafell you have to cross a big glacial river, the Hnjúkskvísl. There are also several freshwater rivers to cross, but these should be minor problems. Not many highlights on this road. Of course, Laugafell has an excellent thermal pool. The east part of F752 is rather desolate but with sometimes a good view of the Hofsjökull glacier. After a steep descent with sharp curves, you are in a green river valley between mountains, where it continues as road 752.”

F752 Skagafjardarleid iceland

F752 Skagafjardarleid south of Laugafell

Another: “As usual, it’s a lonely unpaved road, offering beautiful views and lunar landscapes. It also has some streams and two pretty wide unbridged rivers, that need fording. They weren’t too deep when were crossing them, but they can be depending on the weather conditions.”

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F752 video drive-through

F821 – Eyjafjarðarleið

F821 is another spectacular Icelandic F-road located in north of Iceland. It starts from Hólsgerði farm and heads south until it reaches Laugafell mountain hut. It’s a pretty rough going, having big potholes and rocks on the road.

F821 advice from the local

“It doesn’t have any huge unbridged rivers, just a couple of streams. F821 runs through a valley and then climbs from sea level up to 926 meters (3037 ft). The twisty and narrow section climbing up was very exciting and memorable. The trail ends with Laugafell mountain hut, that has a natural geothermal hot spring.

F821 Eyjafjardarleid iceland

F821 Eyjafjardarleid

We took this road on the 5th of September 2020 and a day before that there had been an unexpected spontaneous snow storm in that area, specially more in the center part of Iceland. Luckily, the following day was clear and warm and the sun had been melting a lot of snow by the time we got there. That’s the reason why the trail was quite wet in the beginning and after the elevation there was quite a bit of snow still on the road. A good example of how Icelandic weather can be unpredictable and change the conditions very quickly.”

F821 video drive-through

F839 – Leirdalsheiðarvegur

F839, in Icelandic Leirdalsheiðarvegur, is one of the two roads in the Northern Highlands leading to the sea, next to Flatey island and close to Akureyri’s fjord – Eyjafjörður. It’s a beautiful valley drive with the sea views in the distance. We wrote in detail about driving F839 (Leirdalsheiðarvegur) in our article.

Is there a river crossing on F839?

Yes, there are some small to medium-sized river crossings on F839, Leirdalsheiðarvegur. No serious or big river crossing, though.

What car do I need for F839?

We recommend taking at least a medium-sized 4wd/SUV. There are river crossings on the road that require some ground clearance. If weather conditions are really good, also small 4wd car should be sufficient. To be sure, we would use a bigger one though. We drove the road in Land Cruiser.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

f839 Leirdalsheiðarvegur iceland

F839 – Leirdalsheiðarvegur

F839 advice from the local

“F839 is interesting… It often doesn’t open until late July or early August. It’s only about a 45-minute drive to the sea where you have an exceptional view and a legal but extremely primitive camping site. Great fishing at the mouth of the lake for a reasonable fee (ISK 6000). This road can be done in any reasonable SUV with +20cm clearance loaded.”

Another: “F839 is a bit shorter than F899, being 27 km (16,7 miles) long (while as the F899 is 34 km / 21 miles long). It has a few unbridged rivers (or streams) that need crossing, but for me the highlight of F839 is in the middle where there is a steep decent following a tight bridge and then ascent back up. Maybe it’s also worth mentioning that near the end of the road we encountered some trail damage, driving through that small section needed more caution. We did this trail in the end of September, so we were rewarded with beautiful autumn coloured scenery. “

F839 video drive-through

F843 – Dyngjufjöll

f843 dyngjufjoll iceland

F843 – Dyngjufjöll

F843 is a totally deserted, rough and unmaintained F-road. You won’t even find it in many maps. F843 leads west of the Dyngjufjöll mountains, hence its name. F843 is an old road connecting Mývatn area in the north with the Askja area and with F910 in the central highlands of Iceland. The terrain is rocky and full of lava formations. The main challenge of F843 is rough terrain and some steep sections, but mostly its remoteness.

Is there a river crossing on F843?

According to very scarce resources there are some small to medium-sized river crossings. Rivers are not the main obstacle on this road.

What car do I need for F843?

Theoretically, under good weather conditions, a medium 4wd SUV should be able to drive through the road. However, bear in mind the road connects to the central F910 which is even harder to drive on. For central F910 you definitely need a large 4×4 car and ideally a super jeep. Anything else is theoretically possible, but simply irresponsible and you may end up getting yourself killed. 

We collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F881 – Dragaleið

F881 is a road in Icelandic Highlands connecting F26 and F821, located in the very heart of Iceland. It’s 18 km / 11 miles long and driving it offers a true sense of wilderness. At times it almost really feels as if you are on another planet.

F881 video drive-through

F894 – Öskjuvatnsvegur

F894 is a climax of all moon-like roads leading to the amazing Askja area. It is the final section (after F905 and F910) which ends closest to the famous Viti crater. F894 is a very rough unpaved road that will shake the hell out of you but otherwise isn’t dangerous at all.

Some travelers decide to leave their car at Dreki huts and hike towards Askja afterward. Feel free to read about the details here. If you are interested in how we’ve done it, we wrote a blog about it here.

Is there a river crossing on F894?

There is no river crossing on F894. There are 2 medium-sized ones on F910 preceding it, though, and several bigger ones also on the alternative route of F88.

vikraborgir parking askja

Vikraborgir car park, the closest point available on your route towards Askja/Víti crater

What car do I need for F894?

You need an SUV with sufficient ground clearance because the road is very bumpy with many big boulders being part of the terrain. By sufficient I mean at least that of a medium-sized SUV like Dacia Duster. Alternatively, you may just drive very slowly to take care and not to damage the undercarriage of your car.

Don’t forget to consider connecting roads. There are 2 medium-sized river crossings on F910 and even bigger river crossings on F88. Plan for that carefully.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F894 video drive-through

F899 – Flateyjardalsvegur

F899 or Flateyjardalsvegur, is one of the two roads in the Northern Highlands leading to the sea, next to Flatey island and close to Akureyri’s fjord – Eyjafjörður. It’s a beautiful valley drive with the sea views in the distance. We wrote in detail about driving F899 (Flateyjardalsvegur) in our article.

Is there a river crossing on F899?

Yes, you have to cross several unbridged streams of small to medium sizes. There’s also one bigger river towards the end of the road, near sea, that can be considered at minimum a medium-sized river crossing. It can sometimes get bigger when it rains a lot. 

What car do I need for F899?

We recommend taking a large 4wd/SUV, like Land Cruiser. There are river crossings on the road that require some ground clearance, especially the last one. If weather conditions are really good, also a medium-sized 4wd car should be sufficient. To be sure, we would use a bigger one though. We drove the road in Land Cruiser.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F899 advice from the local

“You would say this track would be comaparable with F839. But there is no steep climb in the beginning, and no summer houses, and it looked more deserted. But like F839 it is a rivervalley between beautiful mountains. Along the track where several signs pointing to deserted or disappeared farms. Halfway the track is a mountain cabin, and near the end another was under construction. Near the beach there was a toilet house. There are numerous rivers to cross, but I don’t remember any that would be a problem with a decent SUV.”

Another: “F899 isn’t as rugged as some other F-roads, however it still has numerous streams and unbridged rivers that need to be crossed, even though none of the rivers were super deep when we did this trip. The nature was very beautiful and green, offering stunning views. At the end of a trail there is a sandy beach section that might be problematic for some vehicles. A small island, called Flatey, is also seen from the end of the trail. There is also a campsite (just before the sandy part) that has a flush toilet and running fresh water.”

F899 video drive-through

F902 – Kverkfjallaleið

F902 advice from the local

“Did this with a tour group, and only remember that the track was quite sandy. Kverkfjöll is an impressive hot spring area on top of the glacier. But very difficult to reach, because it requires a few hundered meters steep climbing on the glacier. A hike from the cabin at the foot of the glacier to the spring area and back will take a full day. There are guided tours that start at the cabin.”

F902 video drive-through

F903 – Hvannalindavegur

f903 Hvannalindavegur Iceland

F903 Hvannalindavegur Iceland

No, you won’t find this road in its full length on Google Maps. You need to look at more local maps. 

F903 advice from the local

“Compared to some other Icelandic Highland roads, F903 is pretty sandy. I personally loved the rocky section of the trail, that is just before first river crossing. F903 has two unbridged river crossings, both are over Lindaá river. In the middle of the trail after the second river crossing is a small oasis, called Hvannalindir.”

F903 video drive-through

F905 – Arnardalsleið

F905 is the first in the series of F-roads leading to amazing Askja area. Compared to the main alternative – F88 – the road F905 (and F910) to Askja is longer, more versatile and I would say more beautiful. F905 stretches through the most beautiful and out-of-this-world Icelandic landscapes and I more than just recommend you taking it. It’s once in a lifetime experience. The terrain is rough (see more below), but it’s worth the drive.

Gravel, clay, rocks, sand, sulphur – anything you can imagine, all of this surrounded by unforgettable views of the volcanic hills around. This is F905.

Should you take F88 from the north or F905 from the east to reach Askja? Long story short, if you want to take the quicker route, then F88 and if you want to take the more scenic route, then F905. You need a proper car for both alternatives, though. We wrote in details here about our experience with driving on the moon-like F-roads leading to Askja.

Is there a river crossing on F905?

There are no major river crossings on F905, only ponds and small rivers. There are 2 significant medium-sized river crossings on the following F910, though. Follow the river crossing principles to succeed.

F905 Askja Iceland

F905 coming from Möðrudalsleið, towards Askja

What car do I need for F905?

Specifically for F905, you would be fine with any 4wd car. BUT, don’t forget about the connecting roads, especially F910. As I mentioned, it contains medium-sized river crossings which require you to drive at least a medium-sized SUV to be more sure to cross.

F905 is a versatile F-road with all kinds of terrain you can imagine. It’s also bumpy and possesses many potholes so take care when driving it.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F905 video drive-through

F907

F907 has been reclassified to just “907” in recent years, due to road improvements. Still, Google maps mark it as F907.

F907 connects Modrudalsleid in the north with Austurleid and Jokuldalsvegur in the south. We used F907 to traverse from Askja towards Studlagil canyon.

Is there a river crossing on F907?

We drove only a short section of F907 from the crossroads with Austurleid in the west to Jokuldalsvegur in the south. This section had only some small ponds to cross. I’ll write a detailed guide once I drive the entire F907.

What car do I need for F907?

For the short section we drove, any 4wd car would be sufficient. Bear in mind though, you’re gonna be probably continuing on the more difficult roads like F910 where medium-sized river crossings are present. For those, you need a medium-sized SUV.

F909 – Snæfellsleið

F909 advice from the local

“Coming from the north you first get three smaller glacial rivers. Before you get to the mountain cabin, there is another, much wider one. The road itself was easy to ride, at least on my bike. From the cabin, I did a day hike following the valley west and later south of mount Snæfell, and was rewarded with a great view on the valley east of the mountain. Another popular hike is to go to the top of Snæfell. You can ask the warden at the cabin for directions. After the cabin, the road continues as a bumpy track to the Brúarjökull glacier. At that point, the glacier is not very steep, and you can easily set some foot on it.”

F909 video drive-through

F910 – Austurleið

F910 is the road you cannot avoid when visiting Askja. F910 connects both F905 and F88 with the main Askja area. It’s a breath-taking F-road with magnificent landscapes along the road. Driving on F910 is an integral part of entire Askja adventure.

One important fact – 99% of visitors drive only a small part of Austurleið – the part leading to Askja. However, F910 also continues a long way through central highlands all the way to F26 in the west:

f910 austurleid full length

F910 Austurleið full length

This is a very deserted part of Iceland, we will cover in our future article. In this text, we cover only the part of F910 leading to Askja from the east.

So – if heading to Askja – be prepared for your Askja venture responsibly. It’s neither an easy drive nor the short one. Bring enough food and water, tank enough fuel and plan your journey in advance. Study guidelines for driving F-roads and crossing rivers carefully.

F910 askja

F910 towards Askja

Is there a river crossing on F910?

Yes, there are 2 major medium-sized river crossings on F910. They are manageable, just check weather and road conditions thoroughly before departure and follow precautionary safety guidelines found e.g. here.

We’ve also put together a detailed guide on how to succeed with river crossings on your own.

If you are interested in specific details about river crossings to be found on F910, we wrote about them in detail here.

What car do I need for F910?

There are medium-sized river crossings on F910, hence you need preferably at least a medium-sized 4wd car. “Can we do it in a Suzuki Jimny?”, yes you can try and you may succeed, but you may also not. Jimny is considered to be a small-sized SUV, which, when driven in the right way and in good weather may be enough. It may also not be enough if the opposite is the case.

If you want to be sure, better opt for a larger car. Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F910 video drive-through

F923 – Jökuldalsvegur

f923 Jokuldalsvegur iceland

F923 Jokuldalsvegur Iceland

No, you won’t find this road in its full length on Google Maps. You need to look at more local maps. 

F923 advice from the local

“It turns into an F-road after the last farm and straight away there is quite a wide unbridged river that needs to be forded in order to carry on. There is a second river crossing also, but that once is located a little bit before the end of the road. Eventually, F923 ends with merging into road 910. We did this trip at the end of September and some parts of the road were already covered by quite a bit of snow.”

F923 video drive-through

F936 – Þórdalsheiðarvegur

f936 Þórdalsheiðarvegur iceland map

936/F936 Þórdalsheiðarvegur map

Road F936 (in some maps already marked as only 936), Þórdalsheiðarvegur, is an F-road leading along the power lines through green and stony mountainous valley. Technically, F936 is kind of a “shortcut” from Fjarðabyggð in the east to road 95 in the west. F936 is pretty rough, however, so it’s doubtful whether it’s really a shortcut. For F-road lovers, Þórdalsheiðarvegur is a nice route to take, though.

We wrote in detail about our drive via F936 in our article about southeastern Icelandic Highlands.

Fun fact from our reader: “all those power lines go from Kárahnjúkar dam to Alcoa Fjardáal aluminium smelting company that consumes five time more power per day than capital city Reykjavik. And this road is basically just a service road for them”.

f936 thordalsheidarvegur iceland

F936 (or 936 already) – Thordalsheidarvegur

Is there a river crossing on road F936?

There’s no river crossing on F936. However, be prepared for a steep, rough and narrow roads leading through a mountainous area.

What car do I need for road F936?

Although it’s possible to drive F936 in good weather in any 4×4 vehicle, we do recommend taking at least a medium 4×4 car. There are some really steep parts at F936. In case you meet a vehicle going in the other direction, or if you meet mr. snow on the road, it’s much safer to have a bigger car.

We drove F936 in a super jeep and utilized our discounts for Icelandic super jeeps and large 4×4 cars.

F936 video drive-through

F946 – Loðmundarfjarðarvegur

F946, or Loðmundarfjarðarvegur, is one of the most remote roads in Eastfjord of Iceland. It leads via mountainous terrain to the hut in Loðmundarfjörður which is inhabitated only seldom. The road has picturesque surroundings and is definitely worth a drive in nice weather and proper car.

The map above depicts both road 946 and F946 from Borgarfjordur Eystri up to Loðmundarfjörður hut. F946 starts roughly in the half.

Is there a river crossing on road F946?

There’s no river crossing on F946. However, be prepared for a steep, rough and narrow roads leading through a highly mountainous area.

F946 Loðmundarfjarðarvegur Borgarfjörður Eystri

F946 Loðmundarfjarðarvegur Borgarfjörður Eystri

What car do I need for road F946?

Although it’s possible to drive the road in good weather in a medium-sized 4×4 vehicle, we do recommend taking a large 4×4 car. There are some really steep parts at F946. In case you meet a vehicle going in the other direction, or if you meet mr. snow on the road, it’s much safer to have a bigger car.

We drove F946 in a super jeep and utilized our discounts for Icelandic super jeeps and large 4×4 cars.

F946 video drive-through

F980 – Kollumúlavegur

F980 Kollumúlavegur iceland

F980 Kollumúlavegur

F980 is called Kollumúlavegur because it leads to Kollumúli mountain cabin in Lónsöræfi highlands. F980 is beautiful and so are the surrounding landscapes. But the road is really dangerous due to its river crossing of Skyndidalsá river. You may try to drive up to the river and then turn back. Never drive alone through the river. You may end up like this.

Is there a river crossing on road F980?

Yes, there are some medium-sized river crossings at all parts of F980. The major river crossing is located roughly in the middle – this is the Skyndidalsá river. This river crossing is one of the biggest in Iceland, together with Krossá on F249. Never go alone, never attempt in anything else than a super jeep and better go with a guide.

f980 Kollumulavegur lonsoraefi iceland

F980 Kollúmulavegur to Lónsöræfi

What car do I need for road F980?

Up to the Skyndidalsá river (roughly in the middle of F980) you should be fine with a large 4×4. If you want to cross the river, your option is only and only a super jeep + someone else crossing with you. 

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

F980 video drive-through

F985 – Jökulvegur

Jökulvegur is an F-road leading to Skálafellsjökull glacier, branch of the biggest Icelandic glacier – Vatnajökull. F985 mostly serves as an access road to the glacier. Tour companies take their jeeps with snowmobiles and transport tourists together with snowmobiles directly to the glacier via this road.

F985 has probably the biggest number of zig-zag bends out of all roads I’ve driven in Iceland. Jökulvegur will lead you to a pretty high altitude through steep gravel road. F985 seems to be short on the map, but in reality, it felt to be quite a long drive. And the drive is not for those afraid of heights 🙂 Several parts of the road will test your guts.

We wrote in detail about our drive of F985 in our article about South-Eastern Highlands.

Is there a river crossing on road F985?

No, there are no river crossings on F985. But – the road is steep, narrow, with some pretty dangerous parts. Thus, the main threat of this road is mountain passes, not rivers.

What car do I need for road F985?

I drove F985 in our modified Land Cruiser and had no problems at all. It may be dangerous to drive all these steep ascents and rough gravel with Dacia Duster or anything smaller. Yes, it may be possible, but irresponsible. I better recommend taking a Land Cruiser or anything bigger, no shame for a super jeep.

F985 advice from the local

“We just went up F985 a couple of weeks ago on a super jeep tour. The road takes you all the way up to the station for snowmobile tours on Vatnajökull, where it ends. I saw smaller vehicles driving on the road, so it would appear that you can drive it under ‘normal’ conditions in summer, but be advised that it is narrow and windy and there is always the possibility of a HUGE truck coming around the corner at you. 

The views are amazing on this road, especially as you get further up. Our super jeep guide kept going even when the road didn’t, bringing us through the snow and up onto the glacier for views across the top of Iceland. “

F985 video drive-through

558 – Berserkjahraunsvegur

558 advice from the local

“Berserkjahraun is located on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Western Iceland. It’s a 4000-year old lava field and twisty unpaved road going through it is called Berserkjahraunsvegur (558). It’s only 10.6 kilometers (6,5 miles) long, but offers breathtakingly beautiful views and landscape. 558 is doable with a passenger car, even though there are some bumpy sections. “

558 video drive-through

612 – Örlygshafnarvegur

Road 612 is the scenic road which leads to the westernmost part of entire Iceland – Látrabjarg cliffs. Road 612 is one of the most interesting roads around Iceland, find out why here, where we write about Latrabjarg.

Is there a river crossing on road 612?

Since road 612 is officially not an F-road, it also doesn’t contain any river crossings. Other challenges are present, though.

breidavik beach

Breiðavík beach next to the road 612

What car do I need for road 612?

Officially, 612 is accessible by any 2wd car. I do recommend a 4wd though, at least a smaller one. The road eventually gets rough and you may damage the undercarriage of your car if its ground clearance isn’t big enough.

Read about our detailed experience with 612 here and here.

The last part of Örlygshafnarvegur is a rough, narrow gravel road with many potholes, leading across the mountainous area and sometimes even next to the coastal edge simultaneously. It’s definitely doable by any 4wd (not sure how it looks in rough weather, though). We also met several 2wd cars, but they were struggling at least. Sure, in good weather you can make the last part even with 2wd, it will just take you much longer than in 4wd and you will be probably blocking many 4wds waiting behind you.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

622 – Svalvogavegur

622 definitely is one of the most thrilling driving experiences that Iceland has to offer. Shelf roads through cliffs, beautiful views and then of course the bit below the sea level. A smaller 4×4 will NOT be a good option here

622 advice from the local

“First bit of 622 is paved and in good shape, it is after a “4×4 vehicles only” warning sign when things start to get interesting. The road gets super tight and narrow, as it’s carved inside a cliff. Drive this part slowly and carefully, as it’s wide enough only for one car – having a cliff on the left and a steep drop down on the right. There is also a danger of falling rocks.

And now to the exciting part or the main attraction of the road – the sketchy bit down at the sea level. First, there is a quite steep descent and the road starts to go between the sea and the cliffs. But soon it gets very narrow and sometimes we were basically kind of driving beneath the cliff, exposed to the waves crashing against the road. With a high tide this part of the road can easily be under water.

So, it is super important to be informed about the weather conditions while being on that road, as there is no help near and mobile connection is very limited. During our drive the weather wasn’t the calmest and there were waves partly crashing onto the road, but we got through there in one piece. Also, this section is super rocky and bumpy and needs to be driven with extra care.”

622 video drive-through

624 – Ingjaldssandsvegur

624 advice from the local

“624 (Ingjaldssandsvegur) is a mountain road located in northwestern part of Westfjords region in Iceland. It starts from highway 60 (Vestfjarðavegur), runs over a mountain and ends up at Ingjaldssandur valley. The highest elevation of the road is 508 meters (1667 feet) and it’s passable only during the summer months.

The mountain pass is quite steep at some places, but the road is generally in good condition and shouldn’t be a problem for a simple crossover for example.”

624 video drive-through

630 – Skálavíkurvegur

630 advice from the local

“There is no winter service for 630, so the road is accessible only during the summer months. But despite being unpaved and opened only for some time during the year, the road itself is in good condition and easily accessible for simple passenger vehicles without 4WD.

A really exciting place near this route is Bolafjall mountain, which is 635 meters (2086 ft) high. But it’s worth mentioning that weather can often be very foggy and cloudy up there and we were waiting three days for our shot, always rescheduling and aiming for the sunshine and clear sky. It’s definitely not pointless to go there when cloudy, you can still check out the Latrar Air Station and experience the tight mountain road (in that case with very poor visibility). But I’d say the views over the area are at least 60% of the experience being up there. “

630 video drive-through

635 – Snæfjallastrandarvegur 

635 advice from the local

“635 is unpaved, but it’s easily passable for a simple passenger vehicle (at least during the summer months!). I highly recommend stopping for a coffee break or lunch at Steinshús if you happen to be on this road. However, it’s worth mentioning that the cafe it’s not open all year round.

A track going towards Drangjökull glacier is also located in the middle of 635. You can drive on the trail until a parking spot and from there on it’s possible to hike all the way to the glacier.

A tiny cute church called Udalaskirkja is at the very end of the road. In my opinion, 635 isn’t as exciting driving experience as road 643 for exaple, but it’s still a nice drive if you have some spare time to spend in Westfjords.

635 video drive-through

643 – Strandavegur

Road 643 or Strandavegur is the only road leading to legendary Krossneslaug hot spring. It is the terminal road of the area.

643 is a very scenic coastal drive and not an easy one. I highly recommend taking it, though because it’s a great experience. Feel free to read about our detailed experience with 643 here and in our journey diary.

Is there a river crossing on road 643?

Since road 643 is officially not an F-road, it also doesn’t contain any river crossings. Other challenges are present, though.

road 643 near Arneshreppur

Overview of Strandavegur, a.k.a. road 643

What car do I need for road 643?

Road 643 heading towards Krossneslaug is definitely doable by any SUV in summer and definitely was doable by our Dacia Duster. Officially, you’re allowed to drive the road even with a normal 2wd car. However, this is one of the very few “normal” roads in Iceland, where I don’t recommend using a 2wd car. There are just too many potholes for it. Yes, you can do it also with 2wd, but take a lot of additional time. We’ve done it in about 2 hours (one way) and I would say with 2wd it’s additional 1-2 hours.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

832 – Vaðlaheiðarvegur

832 advice from the local

“Vaðlaheiðarvegur is an old mountain pass over Vaðlaheiði mountain in North Iceland. There are three ways to get from Akureyri to North-East Iceland. The first one is a paid tunnel on the ring road, the second one is a combination of roads 84 and 83 and the third one is road 832.

Road 832 goes on top of the tunnel. It’s quite a fun alternative to the other options and shouldn’t be a problem to get through during summer months. If you are afraid of mountain driving, don’t recommend it, though 🙂 It even has a small unbridged stream.”

832 video drive-through

939 – Öxi

oxi 939 map

Road 939 is a shortcut from Djupivogur towards Egilsstaðir and it’s passable only in summer.

Öxi is a quite steep mountain road with lots of turns, potholes and beautiful scenery alongside it. Feel free to read about our detailed experience with 939 here and in our journey diary.

Is there a river crossing on road 939?

Since road 939 is officially not an F-road, it also doesn’t contain any river crossings. Other challenges are present, though.

Oxi pass

Source: https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/iceland/6361-%C3%B6xi-pass.html

What car do I need for road 939?

In summer, road 939 is accessible by any 2wd car. For the more comforting feeling, I would drive it with at least a small 4wd SUV, though. The road is mountainous, steep and the weather may get ugly around the area.

Not sure what type of car to choose? Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

939 video drive-through

Austurleið next to Þríhyrningsvatn

Austurleid is also the name of an entire F910 road. Here, however, I talk about the 20km long section between roads F905 and F907. We used Austurleid to traverse from Askja towards Studlagil canyon.

Is there a river crossing on Austurleið?

Austurleið by the lake Þríhyrningsvatn didn’t contain any serious river crossings, just small rivers and small ponds of depth 20-30cm at max.

What car do I need for Austurleið?

Austurleid is a secluded F-road with all of the characteristics of any other general F-road – not well paved, not well maintained, potholes, gravel, but no serious river crossings. This makes Austurleid easy to pass.

Basically, any 4wd is sufficient for Austurleid. Just consider the connecting roads. If you are e.g. planning to visit Askja before or after, you will need at least a medium-sized SUV.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Bjólfur track

bjólfur track seydisfjordur map iceland

Map of the Bjólfur mountain track leading to the viewpoint and avalanche barriers

Bjólfur mountain track is a road leading close to the peak of the Bjólfur mountain with amazingly beautiful views over Seydisfjordur. The spot where Bjólfur track leads is marked on Google Maps as “Bjólfur avalanche barriers”, surprisingly, because there are avalanche barriers.

Bjólfur road is very steep and open strictly only when all the snow has melted. Bjólfur track is nothing for those with fear of heights or small cars.

Is there a river crossing on Bjólfur track?

There’s no river crossing on Bjólfur road. However, be prepared for a steep, rough and narrow road leading virtually directly to the top of a mountain.

bjolfur barriers track seydisfjordur

Bjolfur mountain road

What car do I need for Bjólfur track?

Although it’s possible to drive Bjólfur track in good weather in a medium-sized 4×4 car, we do recommend taking at least a large 4×4 car. There are some really steep parts at Bjólfur track. In case you meet a vehicle going in the other direction, or if you meet mr. snow on the road, it’s much safer to have a bigger car.

We drove the track leading to Bjólfur avalanche barriers viewpoint in a super jeep and utilized our discounts for Icelandic super jeeps and large 4×4 cars.

A warning – Bjólfur track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Bjólfur track video drive

Emstrur track

emstrur track iceland map

Emstrur track leads to one of the popular huts along the Laugavegur trail called Emstrur-Botnár hut (or Emstruskáli in Icelandic). Emstrur track also leads to the best (eastern) viewpoint of an amazingly beautiful Markarfljótsgljúfur Canyon. There are three branches of the track – eastern one, northern one and western one. 

Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Emstrur track. We drove the northern branch on our way there and a western branch on our way back. The western branch was a nightmare 🙂

Is there a river crossing on Emstrur track?

There is no river crossing on Emstrur track. There are several other challenges, though. See below.

What car do I need for Emstrur track?

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high clearance. Although Emstrur track doesn’t have any river crossings, it is steep and very uneven, with big sharp boulders every now and then. There are also pretty big holes in the road, even our modified Land Cruiser struggled at times when we drove the road.

A big warning – Emstrur track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Emstrur track video drive

Gígjökull track

gigjokull track map iceland

Gígjökull track is a detour from the road F249 (Þórsmerkurvegur) leading to Thórsmörk. Gígjökull track will (as it name suggests) take you to one of the glacier tongues – Gígjökull glacier tongue. Many guided tours make a stop here. Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Gígjökull track.

Is there a river crossing on Gígjökull track?

Yes, there are 1-3 fast flowing medium-sized rivers (depends on whether you go from the west or from the east, there are 2 branches of the Gigjokull track). 

What car do I need for Gígjökull track?

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high clearance.

thorsmork gigjokull glacier

Gígjökull glacier and river crossings

A big warning – Gígjökull track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Gígjökull track video drive

Hekla track

hekla track iceland map

Hekla track is a detour south from F225 (Landmannaleið), directly towards legendary Hekla volcano. Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Hekla track.

Is there a river crossing on Hekla track?

There is no river crossing on Hekla track. There are several other challenges, though. See below.

What car do I need for Hekla track?

Although there are no river crossings, expect very steep and uneven terrain to drive on. The most difficult part is the last kilometer, which makes for a very steep final ascent towards Hekla volcano. This part of the Hekla track is one of the steepest roads you can find in Iceland. It can be very dangerous when driven improperly. 

hekla volcano hike iceland

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high ground clearance for the whole area. Is it possible to drive the Hekla F-road in Dacia Duster? Well, everything is possible – at least once. But it is simply irresponsible, because there’s a high chance you’re gonna damage the car and nobody could come to rescue you.

A big warning – Hekla track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Hekla track video drive

Hungurfit track

hungurfit track iceland full map

Hungurfit track is probably the most amazing, remote, versatile and challenging track (yes all four at the same time) we’ve driven in Iceland. It is a “shortcut” from F261 to F210 through inner Fjallabak highlands and there’s a Hungurfit hut and Króksskáli hut on the way. 

Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Hungurfit track.

Is there a river crossing on Hungurfit track?

Yes, there are many small to medium sized river streams on along Hungurfit track. There’s also one pretty fast flowing medium to big sized river in the second half, closer to Hungurfit hut. This river crossing scared us a bit, but under good conditions, with proper experience and big enough car, it’s doable. 

What car do I need for Hungurfit track?

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high ground clearance.

Hungurfit road is versatile and challenging with probably all the challenges you can expect. There are steep parts, narrow parts, big potholes, river crossings, sharp boulders and the road is totally remote and not serviced. 

A big warning – Hungurfit track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Hungurfit track video drive

Hvannagil track

hvannagil road map iceland

Hvannagil valley road map

Hvannagil track is a more or less average gravel road leading along Hvannagil valley, close to Lónsöræfi area and along the huge and picturesque riverbed of river Jökulsá í Lóni. Most visitors use the Hvannagil road to get to hiking trails in beautiful Hvannagil golden valley.

We wrote in detail about our drive via Hvannagil track in our article about southeastern Icelandic Highlands.

Is there a river crossing on Hvannagil track?

There is no river crossing on Hvannagil track, at least not in the first two thirds we drove.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

hvannagil track iceland

Hvannagil dirt track

What car do I need for Hvannagil track?

You may get to the first half of the Hvannagil road – start of the Hvannagil hike trail – by any car in summer. The road leading to Hvannagil valley is semi-paved and narrow but without any river crossings. There’s no designated car park, but you can safely park your car at the huge pebbles area located here. This is a good starting point for the hikes in the area.

After reaching Hvannagil valley car park, it’s possible to continue further following the dirt road, or better said a dirt track, along the river, deeper into highlands. We drove the track for a few more kilometers with our Land Cruiser and you definitely need a 4wd car for this first part of the track. Maybe even a super jeep for latter parts (which we haven’t driven yet).

A warning – Hvannagil track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Hvannagil track video drive

Jökuldalsvegur

Jokuldalsvegur connects road 923 with F907 and stretches along the entire length of Studlagil canyon. It’s a semi-paved non-F-road, so you may basically treat it as a normal, but old road of worse quality.

Is there a river crossing on Jökuldalsvegur?

Since Jokuldalsvegur is not an F-road, it also doesn’t contain any river crossings. Other challenges are present, though.

What car do I need for Jökuldalsvegur?

If you aim only for Jokuldalsvegur (e.g. you want to visit Studlagil canyon), any car would be fine. Jokuldalsvegur is a bit rough compared to normal roads, but definitely doable also with a 2wd car.

If you, however, aim to combine your trip with visiting Askja, go for at least a medium-sized 4wd car.

Feel also free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Krakatindur track

krakatindur track iceland map

Krakatindur track is a rough dirt track which leads through the inner highlands of northern Fjallabak reserve, inbetween Hekla and Rauðufossar waterfall. Krakatindur track leads to the dark and remote mountain called Krakatindur (that’s why its name is surprisingly the same).

Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Krakatindur track.

Is there a river crossing on Krakatindur track?

There is no river crossing on Krakatindur track. There are several other challenges, though. See below.

krakatindur track near hekla

Krakatindur track near Hekla. Watch out for your car’s ground clearance!

What car do I need for Krakatindur track?

Although there is no river crossing on Krakatindur track, it is very rough, uneven, with huge potholes, narrow passages, no road service at all and totally remote. Even our modified Land Cruiser was struggling at times with some parts of the road, so please don’t go in here with cars like Subaru Forester or Suzuki Jimny…

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high ground clearance for the whole area. Is it possible to drive the road in Dacia Duster? Well, everything is possible – at least once. But it is simply irresponsible, because there’s a high chance you’re gonna damage the car and nobody could come to rescue you.

A big warning – Krakatindur track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Krakatindur track video drive

Möðrudalsleið

Modrudalsleid is a rough, semi-paved road which serves as a gate towards F-roads to Askja – F905 and F907.

We found out the more the name of the road resembles some killing machine the rougher the actual road is, but that’s just what we’d observed. Möðrudalsleið is a quite good gravel road (compared to many other F-roads) so it’s possible to drive really fast.

Is there a river crossing on Möðrudalsleið?

Since Möðrudalsleið is officially not an F-road, it also doesn’t contain any river crossings. Other challenges are present, though.

modrudalsleid

Möðrudalsleið road, the first gravel road you’re gonna encounter when coming from Egilsstaðir direction

What car do I need for Möðrudalsleið?

You may drive Modrudalsleid with basically any car. There are only small potholes, so even a 2wd car would be suitable. You will just have to drive slower because gravel may damage your car more easily if it has a very low ground clearance.

If you are planning to continue towards Askja, you will need a medium-sized 4wd car, though. Read more about that in the section where I write about F905 and F910.

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Skælingar Blautulón track

skaelingar blautulon track iceland map

Skaelingar track is an amazing alternative to road F235 leading to Langisjór lake. The track firstly takes you to the Skælingar hut (Skælingaskáli). Then the track turns into the Blautulón track, that leads along the edge of the picturesque lake Blautulón and then connects to the official Langisjór F-road F235.

Is there a river crossing on Skælingar Blautulón track?

Yes, there is one medium to big river crossing, right in the beginning when you turn from F208 south (Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri), close to Eldgjá, to Skaelingar track. You will be driving a few tens of meters through the actual riverbed. Since the crossing is right in the beginning, you may just look at the crossing and if feeling unsure, better turn back and drive the regular F235 to Langisjór.

Except this river crossing there is also a legendary lake crossing! Yes, you hear it well, a lake crossing. You’re gonna be driving a few hundreds of meters via the edge of the lake Blautulón. You need to be sure to drive not too far from the edge and at the same time not too close to it to damage your car with the nearby cliffs. This can be both fun and dangerous, so be sure to have proper experience and car before trying it.

Skælingar blautulon track langisjor iceland

Between Skælingar track and Blautulón track to Langisjór

What car do I need for Skælingar Blautulón track?

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. To be sure to drive the Skaelingar track even in bad weather, we better recommend driving a super jeep with high ground clearance for the whole area. Is it possible to drive the track in Dacia Duster? Well, everything is possible – at least once. But it is simply irresponsible, because there’s a high chance you’re gonna damage the car and nobody could come to rescue you.

A big warning – Skælingar track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Feel free to read how to choose a proper car or how to pick the best Icelandic car rental insurance. We also collaborate with Icelandic car rental companies to give you a discount and us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Skælingar Blautulón track video drive

Strútur track

strutur track iceland map

Strútur track starts just west of Maelifell, the legendary picturesque mountain. It leads to Strútsskáli hut and also to many amazing hiking trails. There are trails to Rauðibotn crater lake, trail to Hólmsárbotnar or a beautiful trek to a wild hot spring in highlands called Strútslaug.

Here is the article where we write in detail about how we drove the Strútur track.

Is there a river crossing on Strútur track?

Yes, you will have to cross several streams and one medium to big sized calm river. You’re actually gonna drive roughly a hundred of meters in the river itself, not just crossing it. This can be both fun and dangerous, so be sure to have proper experience and car before trying it. And definitely read our river crossing guide.

strutur track to strutslaug

Strutur track to Strutslaug in a foggy weather

What car do I need for Strútur track?

You need a big 4×4 car, such as Land Cruiser, at minimum. We, however, better recommend driving a super jeep with high ground clearance for the whole area. 

A big warning – Strútur track is not even an F-road, it’s just a track! You can read more what “track” means in Iceland. In short, this means the track is even more difficult than F-roads and most of the car insurance packages do not cover it. Always check with your car rental company if it’s covered, otherwise you are going at your own risk! Secondly, drive the track only if you already have experience with F-roads!

Strútur track video drive

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Posted by epiciceland in Guide, Roads, Top Places, 6 comments
Best Icelandic Roads

Best Icelandic Roads

The ultimate guide to the most spectacular Icelandic roads. How to prepare for the roads, choose the proper car, our experience and many tips.

9. BILDUDALSVEGUR 63 TO PATREKSFJORDUR

crossroads bildudalsvegur vestfjardavegur

Crossroads of the roads 60 and 63 or Bíldudalsvegur and Vestfjarðavegur

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably 
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Bildudalsvegur is located in the western part of Westfjords. It’s one of the most scenic roads in Westfjords.

How to drive road 63, Bildudalsvegur

In summer, road 63 is accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Road 63 consists of a combination of normal paved roads and semi-paved gravel roads with some potholes. And of a combination of mountain roads and coastal fjord roads. That means – absolutely OK with any 4wd and also fine with 2wd, you will just need to drive carefully and more slowly compared to Google Maps’ estimates.

road 63 bildudalsvegur

Road 63 Bíldudalsvegur

Our experience with road 63

We were coming from the Dynjandi waterfall direction (road 60) and used the road to get to our final destination for that day – Látrabjarg cliffs

We didn’t have any problems driving the road with our Dacia Duster and made a quick stop at Reykjafjarðarlaug hot spring

Tips about Bildudalsvegur

General advice as for any other semi-paved Icelandic road applies – beware big potholes, beware sheep on the road, drive really carefully if it rains heavily or snows, beware blind corners on the roads and don’t stop in the middle of the road. 

8. F347 TO KERLINGARFJOLL

f347 near kerlingarfjoll mountain resort

F347 near Kerlingarfjöll mountain resort

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes (not pleasant but should be ok to drive) 
Interesting index: 2 – great (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

F347 is the only road leading to magnificent Kerlingarfjoll area. The road itself and the surrounding landscapes are picturesque as well. 

How to drive F347

I do recommend a medium-sized 4wd car to drive F347.

The toughest part of the drive to Kerlingarfjoll is the last ascent of F347 towards the main area of Hveradalir. It’s quite steep and we’d seen several cars turning back, being afraid of making the ascent with their car. If you are interested in details, read our guide on Kerlingarfjoll. To sum up, you definitely need a medium-sized SUV to reach Hveradalir (or some big guts).

Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

f347 near hveradalir

F347 road next to Hveradalir hot spring area in Kerlingarfjoll

Our experience with F347

F347 doesn’t have any river crossings and is mostly pretty similar to F35. The closer you approach Kerlingarfjöll Mountain Resort, the more the road starts getting more mountainous and more interesting.

Once you reach the mountain resort, the entire scenery gets really picturesque. We decided to continue as close as possible to the epicentre of the area – Hveradalir – by car. That meant, to continue driving the steepest part of F347 to the end of the road, or, Hveradalir area.

f347 near kerlingarfjoll

F347 near Kerlingarfjöll mountain resort

Tips about F347

The final part of the F347 road is the most challenging one and probably the steepest we drove on in Iceland. Again, there are no river crossings, just the road is really bumpy and towards the end quite steep. However, in good weather (read – no snow, no heavy rain) it’s definitely doable by any medium-sized SUV and better, like our Dacia Duster. If you feel unsafe, go slowly, turn 4×4 on or watch someone else go first in front of you.

7. VESTFJARDAVEGUR 60 TO DYNJANDI

Vestfjarðavegur near Dynjandi

Road 60, or Vestfjarðavegur in Westfjords near Dynjandi waterfall on a sunny day

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Vestfjardavegur is located in the western part of Westfjords. It’s one of the most scenic roads in Westfjords.

How to drive road 60, Vestfjardavegur

In summer, road 60 is accessible by any 2wd car. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

It’s a kind of semi-paved road with occasional potholes, so definitely not the best, but not an F-road as well. It’s doable by 2wd, you’ll just have to drive carefully and more slowly than Google times suggest.

road 60 between thingeyri and flokalundur

Road 60 (Vestfjarðavegur) between Þingeyri and Flókalundur

Our experience with road 60

We were coming from the Thyngeiri direction and used the road to get to Dynjandi waterfall and then towards our westernmost destination – Látrabjarg cliffs

Road 60 is a beautiful fjord road. It firstly crosses the mountainous landscapes and then leads along the coastline. Views along the road are amazing and unique, though. The road is definitely worth taking.

Dynjandi Vestfjarðavegur road 60

Road 60, or Vestfjarðavegur in Westfjords towards Dynjandi waterfall

Tips about Vestfjardavegur

General advice as for any other semi-paved Icelandic road applies – beware big potholes, beware sheep on the road, drive really carefully if it rains heavily or snows, beware blind corners on the roads and don’t stop in the middle of the road. 

6. ORLYGSHAFNARVEGUR 612 TO LATRABJARG

breidavik beach

Breiðavík beach next to the road 612

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no, probably 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

How to drive road 612, Örlygshafnarvegur

Officially, 612 is accessible by any 2wd car. I do recommend a 4wd though, at least a smaller one. The road eventually gets rough and you may damage the undercarriage of your car if its ground clearance isn’t big enough. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

The last part of Örlygshafnarvegur is a rough, narrow gravel road with many potholes, leading across the mountainous area and sometimes even next to the coastal edge simultaneously. It’s definitely doable by any 4wd (not sure how it looks in rough weather, though). We also met several 2wd cars, but they were struggling at least. Sure, in good weather you can make the last part even with 2wd, it will just take you much longer than in 4wd and you will be probably blocking many 4wds waiting behind you.

Our experience with road 612

The “rough part” of 612 is not very long, so if you are patient enough, feel free to take it even in 2wd. Views along the road are breath-taking. You will pass a shipwreck, a plane wreck, a car scrap yard, some small settlements and, most importantly, the picturesque Breiðavík beach. Is Orlygshafnarvegur dangerous? No, just don’t look down too much when driving near the edge of the mountain 🙂

Tips about Orlygshafnarvegur

We had already realized that the more difficult the name of the road in Iceland is to pronounce, the shittier the actual road will be. Orlygshafnarvegur was in line with this newly found rule of ours. Road 612 starts neatly but gets rougher and rougher with each additional kilometre.

5. OXI 939 TO EGILSSTADIR

Oxi road 939

Icelandic crazy Oxi road 939

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, probably 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Oxi was the most surprising road we had driven. Öxi is a shortcut in the southeastern part of Iceland from Djupivogur towards Egilsstadir. 

How to drive road 939, Oxi

In summer, Oxi is accessible by any 2wd car. For the more comforting feeling, I would drive it with at least a small 4wd SUV, though. The road is mountainous, steep and the weather may get ugly around the area.

Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

Our experience with road 939

We turned to 939, or the so-called “Öxi road”, not knowing at that time why the road has a name. Many other roads in Iceland don’t have any name. Well, we shortly found out why. Öxi road looked like a former F-road, or at least something very similar to the F-road. It was a gravel road with a lot of potholes and right after turning to it, it started to be quite steep.

Oxi pass

Source: https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/iceland/6361-%C3%B6xi-pass.html

This was the time when we finally realized why this road has a name. Öxi was a quite steep mountain road with lots of turns, potholes and beautiful scenery alongside it. I’d never read about it beforehand, but whatever, that’s Iceland, right? Our weather wasn’t ideal at all, with fog getting heavier and rain starting to pour persistently. Hence, the entire Öxi experience had become quite scary at some point, with my girlfriend starting to have a facial expression as if she were in a horror movie. The entire drive took some fair 45 minutes in these weather conditions. 

Tips about Oxi

Soon after driving on Öxi (from the south), we reached a small car park where we saw several people taking pictures. This spot wasn’t marked on the Google maps, nor had I read anything about it. Nevertheless, we parked our car, got out of it and realized why do so many people take pictures.

An amazingly picturesque valley full of waterfalls, fairytale-like green moss and cliffs emerged in front of us. Out of this world experience once again. One of the most beautiful photo spots of our entire trip. It was probably possible even to come closer to the waterfall valley by walking, but we remained satisfied with the look we just saw and continued through Öxi further.

4. STRANDAVEGUR 643 TO KROSSNESLAUG

road 643 near Arneshreppur

Overview of Strandavegur, a.k.a. road 643

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes, hopefully 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Road 643 or Strandavegur is the only road leading to legendary Krossneslaug hot spring. It is the terminal road of the area.

How to drive road 643, Strandavegur

Road 643 heading towards Krossneslaug is definitely doable by any SUV in summer and definitely was doable by our Dacia Duster. Officially, you’re allowed to drive the road even with a normal 2wd car. However, road 643 is of the very few “normal” roads in Iceland, where I don’t recommend using a 2wd car. There are just too many potholes for it. Yes, you can do it also with 2wd, but take a lot of additional time. We’ve done it in about 2 hours (one way) and I would say with 2wd it’s additional 1-2 hours.

Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

road 643 westfjords

Semi-paved road 643 with many potholes

Our experience with road 643

Road 643 belongs to one of the most breath-taking coastal roads I’ve ever driven. So, it’s definitely worth taking. There are numerous spots where you just have an urge to stop, soak up the atmosphere and take photos to remember it. It’s also almost deserted, we met a single-digit number of cars during our drive.

iceland 643 Strandavegur

Beautiful views along Strandavegur, road 643

Strandavegur could easily be classified as an Icelandic F-road. It doesn’t contain any river crossings but it contains almost everything else an F-road may contain. Potholes, gravel, narrow passages, steep parts, driving on the edge of the cliffs, … When I had googled about the road, one review stated that it’s the most dangerous road the guy had ever driven. Well, I don’t agree with that, it’s not necessarily dangerous, but it may be a bit scary at some parts.

seals on 643

Surprise! Our first seals spotted on 643

Tips about Strandavegur

One of the highlights of the road was a moment when my girlfriend spotted a seal sunbathing on the rock in the sea. We stopped the soonest we could, got out of the car and observed a seal family enjoying their day under sunbeams. It was a once in a lifetime experience to spot wild seals out of the blue.

3. F905, F910 AND F894 TO ASKJA

F905 Askja Iceland

F905 coming from Möðrudalsleið, towards Askja

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes (not pleasant but worth the experience) 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

The roads leading to Askja are one of the most out-of-this-world roads, and so are the landscapes surrounding them.

How to drive F905, F910 and F894

Choose your car wisely to get to Askja. There are 2 major medium-sized river crossings along these roads. You’re gonna need at least a small to medium-sized 4wd car to drive them, preferably a medium-sized 4wd. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

We’ve covered all of the river crossings in detail in this post about Askja.

F910 askja

F910 towards Askja

Our experience with F905, F910 and F894

Once we turned to F905, a real adventure began. By “a real adventure” I don’t mean anything dangerous (at least with our dream weather it definitely wasn’t), just endless out of this world landscapes as if you were on another planet. F905 and the ones following were the most beautiful roads we drove and are definitely highlights of our entire Icelandic trip.

Different types of surface alternate between each other, each one the more beautiful than the one before. Gravel, clay, rocks, sand, sulphur – anything you can imagine, all of this surrounded by unforgettable views of the volcanic hills around. I don’t remember any river on F905 (maybe only some small ponds, which shouldn’t cause you any trouble at all).

modrudalsleid

Möðrudalsleið road, the first gravel road you’re gonna encounter when coming from Egilsstaðir direction

After spending some time on F905, the road turns into F910, which is very similar in its character to F905, just, once again a bit different. There are a few parts of the road where you’re going to drive literally on huge volcanic rocks and you have to drive really carefully not to damage your car – this is where a good 4×4 with high ground clearance happens to be useful. The most important part of an Icelandic F-road which you should pay attention to (as I wrote here) is the regular rivers and their existence on your road.

vikraborgir parking askja

Vikraborgir car park, the closest point available on your route towards Askja/Víti crater

Tips about F905, F910 and F894

We’ve covered all of the details about river crossings, roads and Askja in this detailed guide about Askja.

Once you arrive at Dreki huts, you may already leave your car here and go for 8km hike towards Viti and Öskjuvatn and you’d definitely enjoy the beautiful mountain area even more. What we did, was to come as close to the actual geothermal Víti lake as possible and spend most of our time there.

To do that, you have to take the F894 road, i.e. slight turn right coming from F910 direction, standing in Dreki huts spot. The road is really rough and rocky, with volcanic stones and rocks about everywhere. At the end of the road, you will reach the car park with another toilet booth, called the Vikraborgir car park. This is where you have to leave your car.

2. F208 SOUTH TO LANDMANNALAUGAR

F208 after F235 junction

Road F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

The southern part of F208 or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri from Vik towards Landmannalaugar is one of the most beautiful Icelandic roads.

How to drive southern F208 from Vik

The southern part of Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri has everything that an Icelandic F-road may have – serious river crossings, narrow roads, potholes, gravel, sand, remoteness. You need a proper 4wd car, preferably at least a medium-sized SUV. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

There are several river crossings along the road, some of them smaller, some of them bigger. If you are interested in details about each significant river crossing, reach out for the detailed description of our journey.

F208 Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri

F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

Our experience with southern F208

This is a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve never seen such out of this world stunning landscapes as on these roads. Southern F208, for me, was one of the TOP3 experiences in Iceland. Although driving the roads for some 6-7 hours we met just a handful of cars which is also a part of this secluded Icelandic experience. The wi-fi/cell network coverage sometimes works and sometimes not, so be prepared for that.

F208 south near Landmannalaugar

Road F208, south of Landmannalaugar, coming from Vik direction

After the junction of F208 and F235, you will be driving north to reach the Landmannalaugar. Along this part of the road, even more surreal landscapes continued to surround us and the journey was more than just worth it – it was spectacular.

There are several river crossings along the road, some of them smaller, some of them bigger. If you are interested in details about each significant river crossing, reach out for the detailed description of our journey.

F208 south near Landmannalaugar

Road F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, south of Landmannalaugar, coming from Vik direction

Tips about southern Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri

Definitely take your time, start your ride early in the morning and focus on driving for 100% of the time.  All of the rules for F-roads driving and river crossing do apply for southern F208. Once you are prepared and choose your car wisely, don’t be afraid though. The road is doable with the right car even if you are not that much experienced in highlands driving.

I also highly recommend a detour towards Langisjor lake via F235. See below. 

1. F235 TO LANGISJOR

F235 to Langisjor

Out of this world landscapes surrounding F235 road towards Langisjór lake

Summary

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no 
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

F235 towards Langisjor was the most beautiful and out-of-this-world road I’ve ever driven.

How to drive F235

When it comes to difficulties and obstacles, F235 is pretty similar to the southern part of F208. That means you’re gonna encounter rough terrain, river crossings (although a bit smaller compared to serious medium-sized ones at F208), sand and potholes. You need a proper 4wd car, preferably at least a medium-sized SUV. Read about how we chose our car. Or just get free discounts for your Icelandic car rental.

If you are interested in details about each significant river crossing, reach out for the detailed description of our journey.

F235 towards Langisjór

Surreal landscapes on road F235 towards Langisjór lake

Our experience with F235

Landscapes everywhere along the road are out of this world and no words can precisely describe them. We were the only car driving the road. We reached the “Langisjór camping”, or at least that’s what Google maps said, which was just a small cottage with 2 nice modern toilets at the end of the world.

F235 was a great fit for my itinerary – non-touristy, amazing views, not so long, out of this world landscapes everywhere around. Beware of the bad weather though. If it gets too foggy, you won’t see a thing and your experience, although exciting thanks to driving, would deteriorate considerably.

If you are interested in details about specific river crossings, different parts of F208 and how to get to Langisjor and Sveinstindur, reach out for the detailed description of our journey.

F235 to Langisjór

This you should NOT do (stand on the moss). Road F235 after turning right from F208 towards Langisjór lake

Tips about F235

We continued back via the same F235 road to continue our journey to Landmannalaugar. Surely there are other roads to get back, but these are the roads you can’t find on Google maps, so I called them “unmarked roads” like the one towards Blautalón lake described for example here. Should we have a bigger car I would probably use a different way back as I usually try to avoid going on the same road twice.

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Day 3 – to Highlands near Landmannalaugar

Day 3 – to Highlands near Landmannalaugar


We woke up on a cloudy morning without mist and the entire day’s weather forecast was supposed to be the same. This still qualifies to be good weather in Iceland so we decided to continue with our main plan. Nice weather was really important for this and for the following day, as we were planning to drive multiple F-roads with multiple river crossings towards Landmannalaugar. And also, hopefully with a detour to Langisjór lake and maybe even the Sveinstindur mountain peak. As the forecast stated cloudy or partly cloudy weather for both days (without rain or wind), we decided to go on.

F208 towards Landmannalaugar – 1st part

9:30-11:00

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no
Interesting index: 1 – amazing  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

F208 near Vik

Road F208 near Vik towards Landmannalaugar

The table above applies to all F-roads in the area south of Landmannalaugar. F208 south is a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve never seen such out of this world stunning landscapes as on these roads. The southern part of F208, for me, was one of the TOP3 experiences in Iceland. Although driving the roads for some 6-7 hours we met just a handful of cars which is also a part of this secluded Icelandic experience. The wi-fi/cell network coverage sometimes works and sometimes not, so be prepared for that.

The first part of the road bears no river crossings, just rough gravel F-roads with picturesque landscapes. First river crossing comes right after reaching Hólaskjól centre and during the day a ranger “guards” the river giving advice to travellers like us. She gave us a handout explaining how to cross the rivers and how to behave in a national park and asked me whether I have an experience with crossing Icelandic rivers. Well here we are, this is my favourite – how the hell are you supposed to be experienced with river crossing if they require you to be experienced for your first river crossing? I replied: “I studied it a lot” which was true. She gave us that type of smile as if she was saying “I see, tourists, see you when I’ll be getting you out of the river”, and we continued.

As all guides do state, I firstly examined the river by eyes and it looked to be some 40-60centimeters deep at the deepest point. “If you feel unsure about crossing the river, turn back,” everyone says. Well, the hell I was feeling unsure but let’s go. I’ve read what to do a thousand times and the worst case – we still have our car insured even for river crossings thanks to Lotus.

F235 to Langisjór

This you should NOT do (stand on the moss). Road F235 after turning right from F208 towards Langisjór lake

Laura at the front desk of Lotus car rental told us that she recommends going into the rivers on a 2nd gear on Dacia Duster because the 1st gear is usually used only for starting the engine and pulling the car off the ground. So I set the 2nd gear and went into the river really slowly, trying not to splash the water into the engine. Although not very smoothly, the car seemed to move. But, somewhere around in the middle of the river, I could feel the engine was about to die on this 2nd gear, so knowing you shouldn’t do this I switched into the 1st gear not wanting to risk the engine dying completely.

A few centimetres before the end of the river we reached the deepest point where the water felt really deep and the car was slowing considerably but the momentum of the car kept going and we successfully pulled the car out of the river on the other bank. Afterwards, I realized I forgot to turn 4×4 on. Well, first river crossing and first 2 mistakes. Never mind, we made it and now I know that i) I have to go on a 1st gear and ii) I shouldn’t forget to turn 4×4 mode on.

F235 towards Langisjór

11:00-12:00

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no
Interesting index: 1 – amazing  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

We were driving according to our schedule so we continued with our plan to make a detour to the Langisjór lake. Shortly after turning right to F235 towards Langisjór, we encountered our first river crossing on F235. This one looked slightly less deep than the last one (some 30-40cm). I learnt from previous mistakes, so I shifted into 1st gear and turned the 4×4 mode on. Or at least that’s what I wanted to do. I realized I don’t know how to do it. There was a switch for 4×4 near the gear handle, but when I switched it to 4×4 it kept switching itself back to 2wd.

We panicked for a while because we didn’t want to go without 4×4 and we already didn’t have any network or wi-fi coverage on F235. After 30 minutes of studying the manual of the car (which I downloaded beforehand in English, just in case) I realized that it’s OK that the switch keeps coming back to 2wd mode and that 4×4 is already turned on after I just once switch it to 4×4 (regardless of the switch coming back to 2wd). What a relief. We started to laugh and proceeded with our 2nd river crossing. This one seemed easier compared to the first one. Are we now already experienced river crossers? Haha, I guess no.

F235 to Langisjor

Out of this world landscapes surrounding F235 road towards Langisjór lake

Shortly thereafter we arrived at another river crossing, again a bit smaller (some 20-30cm) so now without any hesitation we repeated the steps above – turn 4×4 on, go slowly, don’t stop, don’t switch gears. Piece of cake. Then the next river crossing (as 20cm is not actually a river I guess, pond crossing would be a better phrase to use) came, then the next and next and next. Altogether we crossed some 10 ponds before finally arriving at Langisjór, none of them, however, was that big compared to the first one after Hólaskjól centre.

Langisjór

12:00-12:30

Distance from car park: 2 minutes
Time spent at: 20-45 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: no
Physical condition needed: little
Interesting index: 1 – amazing  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Langisjór campsite

This was supposed to be Langisjór campsite according to maps. It just turned out to be a remote place with nobody being there.

Landscapes everywhere along the road are out of this world and no words can precisely describe them. We were the only car driving the road. We reached the “Langisjór camping”, or at least that’s what Google maps said, which was just a small cottage with 2 nice modern toilets at the end of the world.

Langisjór lake

Langisjór lake next to Langisjór campsite mark on the map

We continued to the point on Google maps named “Langisjór campsite” where the road ended. Wow, another car. One group of French tourists, apparently going fishing there, and us. That’s it for the entire area. Shortly we realized why they went fishing. The water in Langisjór had been crystal clear and the complete silence surrounding the area was both amazing and a bit scary at the same time. First time in my life I experienced what one may call “absolute silence”.

Sveinstindur hike

13:00-15:00

Distance from car park: 0 minutes
Time spent at: 2-3 hours 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: no
Physical condition needed: medium to advanced
Interesting index: 1 – amazing  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

After spending some time admiring the silence and beauty of Langisjór glacial lake we proceeded to our next stop – an attempt to hike the Sveinstindur mountain. Quick advice – definitely go only when the weather is nice! It’s not a very pleasant experience when it’s not. Trust me, we’ve experienced it.

Sveinstindur parking

Sveinstindur parking. This is how a parking lot in highlands looks like.

Sveinstindur seemed to be a great fit for my itinerary – non-touristy, amazing views from the top, not so long hike, out of this world landscapes everywhere around. Unfortunately, the weather started to be much foggier at the time of our visit and it even started to rain. OK, Icelandic weather, I told myself, we shouldn’t get discouraged by this. Well, I changed my mind later. It’s not a very good idea to climb Sveinstindur when it rains and when you don’t see anything because of the fog.

Sveinstindur hiking trail

Sveinstindur hiking trail, somewhere near half of the road towards peak

First of all, finding the start of the hiking trail was not an easy task at all. There are no signs indicating where should you go or park your car if you want to hike Sveinstindur. I just guessed – it’s not along the road we’d already driven (or at least I think so), it’s not near the lake, so let’s take the only road left – the road continuing on an unmarked F-road (described for example here). Shortly after pursuing the road, we found a car park with 2 cars, which I again guessed, is maybe a car park for Sveinstindur? Yes, probably I’m right – I realized shortly after seeing first yellow sticks indicating a hiking trail, though still no signs or names which would say “Sveinstindur”.

Sveinstindur near Langisjor

The upper part of the hike on Sveinstindur near Langisjor lake on a foggy day with slight rain

In the beginning, the hike seemed to be doable – the ground was OK to walk on, the visibility was so-so, the rain was light, so we continued. However, after some 20-30 minutes of hiking, we walked right into the big fog and we could see that everything above this point is covered in fog as well. Together with that, the rain intensified and the path got steeper and slippery. At this point, we decided to turn back, as it was not worth it to continue the climb when we couldn’t see a thing. On our way back, we met a really fast hiker coming back from the top so I asked him whether he’d seen anything from the top. “Not a thing” he replied, which just reassured me to continue on our way back to the car. It’s a pity but what should we do – next time.

Sveinstindur hiking trail beginning

Start of the Sveinstindur hiking trail. View towards improvised car park lot.

We continued back via the same F235 road to continue our journey to Landmannalaugar. Surely there are other roads to get back, but these are the roads you can’t find on Google maps, so I called them “unmarked roads” like the one towards Blautalón lake described for example here. Should we have a bigger car I would probably use a different way back as I usually try to avoid going on the same road twice.

F208 towards Landmannalaugar – 2nd part

16:00-17:30

Worth visiting even with bad weather: no
Interesting index: 1 – amazing  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Once we reached the junction of F208 and F235 again, we continued north in the direction of Landmannalaugar. Even more surreal landscapes continued to surround us and the journey was more than just worth it – it was spectacular. Now having crossed 1-2 medium-sized rivers and many small ponds we already felt like experienced river crossers, right? Bullshit, I knew rivers in Iceland may be much trickier and treacherous, but I chose our roads specifically so that we can make it. At least that’s how I tried to plan the trip. As we were approaching Landmannalaugar, we started to observe more and more cars (compared to low single-digit numbers before, now it was like high single-digit) coming from the opposite direction.

F235 towards Langisjór

Surreal landscapes on road F235 towards Langisjór lake

After another few kilometres, another river crossing appeared. However, now the river was so wide I wasn’t able to see the exact depth of the water after maybe the middle point of the river’s width. Every guide I’d read states that you should carefully inspect the path you want to go through when crossing the river, to be sure that depth of the ford is doable by your car. Or wait for another car to cross it to see how deep the ford actually was. Unfortunately, no car was in our sight at that time, so I had to opt for my backup option – walk the river on foot to see the depth.

I’m a passionate beach volleyball beginner and it’s not very pleasant to play beach volleyball in the winter in Slovakia. That being said, I already had experience with neoprene socks. Hence, I knew, exactly these may be useful in case I needed to ford a river on foot and not soak up my entire feet in. Of course, best would be gaiters/gumboots, but those I couldn’t pack to our small flight suitcase.

So, I put on my neoprene socks and went for the river wandering only to find out that depth of the river is same along entire width and we should be able to cross it safely (some 30-40cm) and so we did. Neoprene socks helped a bit but mostly with me not getting hurt by hard stones at the bottom of the river than keeping the ice-cold water away from my feet. These socks, unfortunately, don’t isolate completely against water leakage so my feet enjoyed some really cold shower anyway.

F208 after F235 junction

Road F208, or Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri, after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

After a short time, another wide river crossing, which I wasn’t able to assess from our side of the bank, emerged. Still feeling my cold feet, I grumbled for a while and repeated the procedure above. This time I had to wander inside the river for a while because the left side I entered seem too deep to me, reaching more than 60cm. I tried the right side and that one seemed a little shallower but still quite deep (around 40-50cm). When I was about to turn back from the middle of the river ford the big modified super-jeep car appeared. The driver watched me going out of the river and she followed by crossing the river without hesitation exactly via the right side which I assessed to be shallower. Then she stopped by our car, opening her window and giving me a wide smile.

She turned out to be a local ranger (that explains her going without hesitation via right side). She appreciated that I first wandered through the river by feet and said that she likes me doing that and that everyone should act like me. On top of that, she confirmed that yes, the right side of the river is the shallowest and she told me that 2 more river crossings are ahead of us before we reach Landmannalaugar area. I asked whether they are deeper, she replied: “yes, deeper”. Great, we told ourselves, there will be even bigger ones than this? Our river crossing courage deteriorated after this. Nevertheless, we continued.

F208 Fjallabaksleið Nyrðri

F208 after crossing with F235 towards Landmannalaugar

Exactly as the ranger advised, shortly we arrived at our 4th medium river crossing. I examined the river by eyes and it looked very similar to the last one in terms of depth. Again right side looked like the shallowest one and this time I’d been already tired of wandering by feet in ice-cold water so we took our chances and attempted to cross the river via right side – luckily successfully. Again the depth seemed somewhere around 40-50cm. One funny moment before our crossing happened when another car coming from the opposite direction stopped just before the ford and they didn’t want to go first. They wanted to wait for someone else to cross first. Since there was no other car than us and I didn’t want to wait anymore, I decided to go for the cross and after us, the car followed the same path.

F208 south near Landmannalaugar

Road F208, just south of Landmannalaugar, coming from Vik direction

5th crossing emerged soon afterwards and the river looked slightly shallower than the last one, so after a short visual examination, we went for the crossing and without any problems. I just wonder whether/how bigger may these rivers get in case of heavier rain or in another season? Breath-taking views of Landmannalaugar surroundings started to emerge in front of us.

F224 to Landmannnalaugar

17:40-18:00

Worth visiting even with bad weather: if next day’s Landmannalaugar weather is good then yes
Interesting index: 3 – nice  (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

After many exciting hours spent admiring moon-like landscapes of F208 and F235, we finally reached a junction for Landmannalaugar and turned left accordingly to F224. Well F224 isn’t much appealing, it’s just a really bumpy gravel road with thousands of potholes. The only exciting thing about it is, that it leads to picturesque Landmannalaugar. And because of that, it’s definitely worth a drive. The road itself isn’t challenging either, just go slowly and focus on avoiding the biggest potholes to spare your car bumpers.

F208 south near Landmannalaugar

Road F208, south of Landmannalaugar, coming from Vik direction

The biggest challenge comes once you reach the end of the road. This is the place you’d probably already read about also elsewhere. There are 2 river crossings just before the camp which are not trivial. That’s why many people choose to park their car in the car park just before the river crossings and walk the remaining 10 minutes to the camp. We’d seen many Dacia Duster cars parking before the river crossings and even some bigger cars opting for that as well. To sum up, again – you may go for 2 medium river crossings to reach the Landmannalaugar camp (official name is Brennisteinsalda camping) by car or you may leave your car just before river crossings.

Since we had a rooftop tent and we needed to use the facilities of the campsite, we didn’t think long about what option to choose and soon I started inspecting the first river crossing. One of the few good things about Landmannalaugar being a touristy place is that it doesn’t take long to wait for another car to cross the river so that you can see which part is easy to cross. Unfortunately, in our case only much bigger cars were crossing the rivers at the time we were watching. Those cars didn’t give a damn about any river crossing rules and just went for the quick ford via the centre of the river splashing the water everywhere around.

iceland river crossing

Landmannalaugar river crossing. Picture taken from https://www.foodiebaker.com/day-4-iceland-travelogue/

I definitely didn’t want to go for another river wandering by feet in ice-cold water so I opted just for a visual inspection. The river looked to be of almost the same depth in its entire width, just the right part seemed to be a little shallower. We slowly went for the right part and the water level seemed to be highest so far compared to all fords before, but we managed to do it without problems.

Second river crossing seemed very similar and we had a chance to watch Suzuki Jimny crossing it right before us. They went for the left side, which seemed to be quite deep (50-70cm at least) and their car didn’t look stable at all during the ford but they’ve made it. So, we opted for the same side. This time almost entire wheels were below water during the ford and the car slowed considerably while I was driving, but we managed to reach the other bank and the car continued working as before. This had been definitely our biggest river crossing at that time.

Brennisteinsalda camping

18:00-

Landmannalaugar Brennisteinsalda campsite

Landmannalaugar Brennisteinsalda campsite on a summer evening

Brennisteinsalda camping is the worst campsite we’ve been to in Iceland. It’s also the most expensive one. The only advantage (the one why everyone, including us, chooses to stay here) is its proximity to Landmannalaugar and that it’s the only campsite around. Toilets were in bad condition, I don’t remember seeing any showers, kitchen area was non-existent and we had to walk really long (5-7 minutes) from the spot where cars were supposed to camp to reach the campsite’s facilities like toilets or water pipes. Nevertheless, the surrounding views were more than just breath-taking when the weather was good – which was the case when we arrived.

Brennisteinsalda hot spring

Distance from car park: 5-7 minutes from both car parks (in camp and before camp)
Time spent at: 20-40 minutes 
Worth visiting even with bad weather: yes
Physical condition needed: little to medium
Interesting index: 1 – amazing (1-amazing, 2-great, 3-nice)

Brennisteinsalda hot spring is the only real natural hot spring (without any human interference) we’ve seen in Iceland so it’s definitely worth trying. It’s basically a stream of some really hot water (>50°C) flowing into the small river and you may bath in this river. There’s no place to change your clothes, just a wooden structure to put leave your clothes on, which also serves as an entrance to the hot river. The river actually isn’t so hot, maybe around some 26-30°C which doesn’t feel so fantastic when it’s like 5-10°C outside. But the more you approach the actual hot stream, the warmer it gets. The warmest place is, of course, just near the place where the stream flows into the water. This is the place you want to aim for (but so will all your fellow co-campers). You will probably have to wait some time to get to that source.

There’s also another smaller stream a few meters to the right, so these 2 streams flowing into the river are the hottest spots. The river is also really shallow, only some 40-70cm deep, so you basically have to lie in it to be covered by water. Nevertheless, it’s definitely worth the experience and it’s a really cool thing to try as Brennisteinsalda hotpot is one of the very few “wild” hot springs not artificially modified by locals.

Landmannalaugar hot spring

Landmannalaugar hot spring. Picture taken from https://www.foodiebaker.com/day-4-iceland-travelogue/

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