Map of Gaesavatna Route

Robust 4 x4 vehicles only!
Off road driving is strictly prohibited!

Before Entering the Interior Highlands Check Your Nearest Informaton Centres!

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.

For information on road conditions, see or call the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777