Today we will drift away from the typical routes so we can discover Iceland’s hidden pearls. Traveling to the interior of Iceland can be challenging, so you need to be prepared for tough road and weather conditions. The most important thing to keep in mind is the type of vehicles authorized in these areas. Let’s learn about the Highlands of Iceland.
As we mentioned before, The Icelandic Highlands cover most of the interior of the island. It is an uninhabited land as it is rough, raw and wild. That is exactly why this region holds so many breathtaking natural wonders they cannot be compared to anywhere else. From colored mountains to rugged, otherworldly like terrains.
The Highlands of Iceland – What kind of vehicle do I need?
The land here is stunning but untamed. So it is important to know what to expect and weigh whether you have enough experience to head there on your own.
To reach the Highlands, you need to detour from the main Ring Road to secondary routes, which are not paved and are quite difficult to drive on. These roads are called F-Roads. It is easy to tell them apart as the road number will always have an “F” before it. Due to the characteristics of these paths, no one can access them without a 4×4 vehicle.
When renting a vehicle, please check with your provider if their 4×4 can be driven on F-Roads as certain companies do not allow this. Following the requirement of a 4×4 vehicle is important. There are no official checkpoints at the beginning of these roads but heading there with a 2WD vehicle can either destroy the vehicle itself, put your life at risk, or both. Before hitting the road, make sure you check the road conditions. You can get live updates on the official Iceland road authority website.
The Highlands of Iceland – Where to Stay
Lodging in the area is quite scarce not to say nonexistent. That does not mean you have to spend the night in the wilderness (unless you want to of course). There are a few campsites at the beginning of the highlands of Iceland area. You can use these as base or departing point for daily excursions or tours.
You can also do some tent camping or sleep inside of your 4×4 vehicle or 4×4 camper. Just make sure to check the weather forecast and to prepare yourself for any adverse situation. You can check the official Iceland weather website as it is constantly updated.
The Highlands of Iceland – When to Go
The access points to the interior of Iceland depend highly on the weather, which is not mild. Most of the F-Roads remain closed during the winter time as they are blocked with snow and mud. There is not an official opening date as it highly depends on each year’s weather. But there is an estimated calendar so you can get an idea.
The Highlands of Iceland: What Every Camper Needs to Know
Some of these roads open in early to Mid-April and some others are not available until June. Even though June is close to the Icelandic summer, it does not mean weather can be changeable at this time of the year. Iceland is still windy, rainy and chilly, so we highly recommend you to carry the right equipment and clothes with you.
Another thing you should take in mind is many of these F-Roads require river fording. If you do not have enough information or you are not an expert, we discourage you from doing so. They may not seem deep but some of them have strong currents. During the summertime, the snow from the mountains are melting so they can cause a rising tide. Please seek professional advice.