The 4X4 road trip in the Highland in Iceland is a thrilling adventure but not an Off road drive

Mar 4 2017

Whether you are an adventurer, a photographer, environmentalist or a traveler seeking to experience something new, different and exciting, a 4X4 trip in the Icelandic highland is a vacation you will not forget. The Highland is a vast area in Iceland, the interior, around 600 meters above sea level.  It is a land of hot springs, endless mountains, black sands, recent eruptions, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls, geothermal pools, and many other natural wonders. It is a wilderness loaded with an interesting landscape, peaceful sanctuaries and surprising destinations.

Why a 4X4 vehicle is required although not an off road place

The Icelandic highland is covered with thick snow most of the year, for nine months. And during those months not accessible. The snow melts in May and June, and as the wet roads and tracks become dry, the Highland opens as well as everything that was hidden under the snow.  Usually in late June and the beginning of July.  Most of the roads are rough gravel roads and dirt roads crisscrossed with rivers and creeks. So it is an area for a 4X4 jeep and good 4WD cars because of the roads but not the least because of river crossing that can become very dangerous. Anyone entering the Highland in a small car or insufficient vehicle is irresponsible and is putting himself and passengers in great danger. The roads are also often narrow, and it often takes considerable maneuvering to meet a car, something that 's hard if you don't have a 4WD vehicle. This is because driving outside marked roads or tracks is illegal. Even with two wheels outside the marked road on your right side is not permitted. The highland in Iceland is not a place for off road adventure but a wonderland for adventures 4X4 driving.

The key to an enjoyable trip in the Highland is detailed planning and thorough preparation

There are many difficulties that can await a traveler in the Highland in Iceland, and that is one reason you should never travel in one car or one vehicle. In most places, it is a good rule to travel in the company of two or more 4x4 vehicles. When planning you should study the map, the places and the distance you want to travel. You should intend to stop at the many natural wonders for a while, even for a few hours.  And you should remember that during the opening season it is daylight around the clock. If you bring your vehicle, you should prepare to have difficulties at some point. If you rent a car, you should rent a good and strong 4WD jeep, like Land Cruiser 200, a Land Rover, a Jeep or a Wrangler.  You should organize it as an expedition with tents and be prepared to take on some challenges.  To drive slowly through the fascinating places in the Highland and take on the wind and rain as well as the incredible calmness of the weather is uncomparable to rushing through the Highland on a day trip. By doing it right, the Icelandic way is to get the most out of your stay and it will stay with you all your life. It is a unique experience.

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