This part of the interior, the so-called Sprengisandur route, is the longest stretch between the South and the North and is passable by 4wd vehicles during summer. It is mostly very desolate and barren. Only where there is water, sparse vegetation can be found. In earlier times, when people were more superstitious than they are nowadays and believed in ghosts, giants, elves and outlaws, the few who dared use this route rode as fast as possible through and sometimes exhausted their horses. The word for to exhaust in Icelandic is “sprengja”, hence the name of the area. The present route lies further east than the original one and the distance between the last farm in the South and the first one in the North is approximately 250 km. The obstacles en route are rivers, which have to be forded. They swell when it is warm, the glacial melt-water increases and when it also rains they become dangerous. The scenic beauty makes this route unforgettable.
Hiking. This part of the Interior offers a great variety of possibilities for short or long hikes. In most cases it depends on the individual traveler to decide which hillock or mountain is the best vantage point, or how far to go into the wilderness. 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.
After the establishment of Europe’s largest national park, Vatnajokull, on June 7th, 2008, Nyidalur/Jokuldalur became one of the centres for the NP wardens. During summer scheduled buses drive both ways across between Reykjavik and lake Myvatn and between Landmannalaugar and Lake Myvatn.
Remember! Off road driving is strictly prohibited!
View Conditions of Mountain Tracks. or call the Road Administration Information Line (+354) 1777