tourist travel information sprengisandur gaesavotn kverkfjoll,

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Before setting off on the Highland routes, check the road conditions and remember that there are unbridged rivers to be forded!

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This part of the interior, the so-called Sprengisandur route, is the longest stretch between the South and the North and is passable by 4wd vehicles during summer. It is mostly very desolate and barren. Only where there is water, sparse vegetation can be found. In earlier times, when people were more superstitious than they are nowadays and believed in ghosts, giants, elves and outlaws, the few who dared use this route rode as fast as possible through and sometimes exhausted their horses. The word for to exhaust in Icelandic is "sprengja", hence the name of the area. The present route lies further east than the original one and the distance between the last farm in the South and the first one in the North is approximately 250 km.

The greatest obstacles enroute are the unbridged rivers, which have to be forded. They swell when it is warm and the glacial melting increases and when it rains much they can become very dangerous for those who have no experience. On a fine day this route is simply unforgettable because of the scenic beauty all around. During summer scheduled buses drive daily both ways across the interior between Landmannalaugar and lake Myvatn. Please check at nearest information centres before enter the highland Route!!!

Local maps
Sprengisandur Route

This route is only passable by robust 4wd vehicles!


4 x4 car only
( South Route F-910 )

This route is one of the most interesting and adventurous for 4wd vehicles in the country, where experience with the vehicles and river crossings is totally necessary. It takes you along the northern edge of the largest icecap of Europe and the terrain is so rugged that the average speed hardly exceeds 10 km/hour. It takes about nine hours to drive between the tourist huts at Nyidalur on the Sprengisandur route and Drekagil in the Askja region. To accomplish this you must take the original route, the southern one, not the new one across the lava fields closer to the shield volcano Trolladyngja. Extreme care has to be taken when fording glacial rivers and when the last one, just east of the Urðarhals, is reached the vehicles must never halt in the water during the crossing. If there is any hesitation the vehicles will immediately bog down in the moving sand. You have to select the first low gear and keep going until you reach dry land on the other side. Only that way, and without losing your nerve, you will get through. The best time of day to get through is early in the morning before the melting starts. This route is very barren an desolate and there are not many people around, sometimes you are alone. The surroundings and the scenery on a fine day simply cannot be described with words - you have to see to believe. It is almost as if you are alone in the world.

This route is only passable by robust 4wd vehicles!
arrow-from.GIF (274 bytes) Nyidalur
Marteinsflaeda / Hitulaug
Holuhraun lava

arrow-to.GIF (271 bytes)

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