It is a serious business to drive in the highland in Iceland.  Most of the roads in the Highland are challenging dirt roads that are harsh and demanding to drive, both for the driver and the car.  Often you need to cross over rivers and creeks that can easily be too deep and complicated for a small car to cross.  If it starts to rain the volume increases in a short period and a small stream can turn into a river.  Many dirt roads are bumpy and require a slow speed, especially if your vehicle is small and low.  A drive in the Highland needs a good 4X4 car that can take you safely to your des

A wrong rent a car in the Highland often costs a huge amount of money if it breaks down, even though you might want to try to fix the damages on the spot.


Hrafntinnusker is a mountain in the Icelandic Highland a few hours hike from Landmannalaugar.  It is a volcano that most geologists assume is not going to erupt anytime soon, though.  The mountain takes its name from the black glass rocks, obsidian, formed when a rhyolite flowing magma cools extremely fast in an eruption. The Obsidian is a fascinating geological phenomenon. Such rocks are scattered around the whole are at Hrafntinnusker. Although a mountain, the second half of its name is Skerry, but not a mountain, and this is believed to be in accordance with naming traditions in the eastern parts of the lowland around Syðri Fjallabak, in Skaftafell.

An exotic place with many unusual ingredients

Hrafntinnusker is a unique place, even in the diverse landscape flora in Iceland.  It is a mountain with a small glacier on top. A relatively large active geothermal area with much of the activity under the ice. The ground is constantly delivering smoke while you visit the place. It is located in a very remote part of Iceland. It has ice caves because of the heat under the glacier and it offers a grand view because of the height of the mountain. As fascinating as the ice caves are they are also very dangerous as no one really knows how and when parts fall from the ceiling or inside the caves.  It is recommended that people do to enter the caves as vast and lethal parts can fall from the walls and ceiling of the caves.

Access only available for hikers and well equipped 4X4 vehicles

There are basically two ways to visit Hrafntinnusker.  One is the hiking trail from Landmannalaugar on the east side of the mountain, and the other is the 4X4 trail from the west side. Although a fascinating place not many visitors get an opportunity to come here.  Most of the people hiking the Landmannalaugar hiking trail only see the east side, and might stay overnight in the hut located there, but miss the west side.  The west side is very interesting and requires a well equipped 4X4 vehicle as the road is quite difficult with many rivers to cross.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Hrafntinnusker on the map of Iceland

Hrafntinnusker is a unique place, even in the diverse landscape flora in Iceland


In the Highland northeast of the glacier Langjökull, and between the two glaciers Langjökull glacier and Hofsjökull glacier, is a fascinating geothermal area Hveravellir right on the Highland Road F35 Kjalvegur. Kjalvegur is a route that Icelanders used for centuries to travel between the north region and south region.  So Hveravellir is a place with a long history and probably one of the best-known spots in the Highland. Probably because during summer you could travel on a horse in one day to Hveravellir from Skagafjörður in the north and the second day south to the area around Gullfoss.  It is a place most Icelanders know, and many have visited.  Another reason is, according to folklore, the highly admired outlaw couple Eyvindur and Halla had their home in Hveravellir for a short time.  It is also a beautiful area with a variety of hot springs that have interesting names and an endless spectrum of activity and colors.  And we should not forget that Hveravellir has one of the most famous natural geothermal pool in Iceland.

Kjalvegur is the best option to travel in the Highland in Iceland

For anyone planning to see and visit Hveravellir, one of the best options is to driver Kjalvegur.  Here you need to keep in mind while preparing a trip to the Highland that the road is only open from the end of June until the middle of September. In the winter it is covered with snow.  Although possible to drive the road in a small vehicle it is not recommended.   The road is often tough to drive and the road usually not maintained to standards.  It is a rough gravel road, so a 4X4 vehicle is highly recommended. The route is enjoyable with a magnificent view of glaciers, mountains, and highland lakes.

Access to Hveravellir is easy both from the south and the north

The Highland Road F35 practically runs from Gullfoss and Geysir, two of the most famous landmarks and natural wonders in Iceland, to the Ring Road in the north.  The whole drive is about 170 kilometers, but the drive from Gullfoss to Hveravellir is approximately 80 kilometers. This is the easiest way to drive to Hveravellir, from the South to the North.

Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Hveravellir on the map of Iceland

And we should not forget that Hveravellir has one of the most famous natural geothermal pool in Iceland.

The Icelandic Highland is a huge uninhabited area of Iceland basically covering the center and sometimes stretching to places near the shore.  The whole highland area is loaded with natural wonders, hiking trails, places to visit, fascinating geology, mountains, geothermal pools, waterfalls and much more. It is characterized and defined by altitude as the term Highland implies. It is mostly above 900 meters and thus usually rather cold and seldom specifically warm.  In any sense of the word, it is extremely sensitive. The soil, the lava, the vegetation, the roads, the hiking trails. 

Most of the time the whole area is under snow.  Almost nine months of the year.  Only in the summer does the Highland reveal itself and starts blooming and exposing its vegetation, crystal clear creeks and beautiful mountains with thousands of colors.  In large areas, it consists of vast black sands, dark lava, suspiciously looking rocks, powerful rivers flooding from under glaciers and long horizons. If there is one message or one thing an Icelander would tell you about the Highland it would be to understand the sensitivity of this harsh landscape.

Like many Icelanders, it looks harsh and tough but under the surface is a very sensitive soul.  It is a place where people need to drive carefully on a good 4X4 vehicle with good preparation on marked tracks only.  Anyone trying to drive the Highland in a vehicle not fit for the task is both irresponsible and possibly compromising a wonderful experience.  If you decide to travel in the Icelandic Highland, please take care and understand the sensitivity of the whole are. And remember that most of the Highland is only open from the beginning of July until the end of September.