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.
Hiking. This is a very popular route for long hikes. The hiking trail is a not too well trodden jeep track along the northern edge of icecap Vatnajokull. En-route some streams and rivers have to be forded, but in between are totally dry areas, where the hikers have to rely on their water supplies or snow patches nearby. Long hikes require good planning, preparations, and physical fitness. The psychology has to be considered as well. Sometimes the vast, barren landscapes, and the solitude overwhelm hikers, who are travelling alone and do not meet a soul for days on end.
View Conditions of Mountain Tracks. or call the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777
2014 Eruption – Holuhraun
August 29th 2014. A fissure eruption has started at Holuhraun lava North of Dyngjujökull glacier in Vatnajökull glacier. No volcanic ash has been detected with the radar system.
August 31st 2014. A small fissure eruption has started again in Holuhraun lava North of Dyngjujökull glacier in Vatnajökull glacier.
The eruption site is outside of the glacier, the fissure is estimated 1.5 km long with lava flowing to northeast. No volcanic ash has been detected by the radar system.
Alert Phase continues to be in effect Aviation color-code set by the Icelandic MetOffice was raised over the eruption site from orange to red.
Highland closures remain in effect
All airports, international and domestic, are open.
September-December 2014. Eruption are still in Holuhraun lava.
28 Februar 2015. The volcano has paused or the eruption in Holuhraun is over.