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Read before going on Icelandic F-roads

The Land of Fire and Ice is stunning no matter what place you visit but indeed the remote areas are the most breathtaking ones. Untouched nature is always something that will arouse the curiosity of many adventurers. In Iceland getting to those untouched places is not so easy. The volcanic relief is not the easiest to explore, so you must be prepared for this. 

The Westfjords and the Icelandic Highlands are known to be remote areas where access is not possible every time of the year. For these areas, you need a proper car, proper knowledge and preparation.

Photo by Tabea Schimpf

What are the F-roads?

These roads are marked with F on the map of Iceland (e.g. F 280), which comes from the Icelandic “Fjalla” which means ‘mountain’ so the F-roads are in fact mountain roads. 

In Iceland, the mountain roads are not just unpaved or gravel roads but they involve also a river crossing. To be able to drive on these roads you also need a proper car that will take you safely through those rivers and most importantly you need some skills to cross the rivers. 

Photo source: Campervanreykjavik.com

When can you drive to F-roads?

The F-roads in Iceland are not open all year round, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration have a special timetable that is posted every year. This timetable exists because in Iceland the weather is influencing the road conditions and the unpaved roads are the most likely to change and be dangerous to drive if the weather is not good. The weather in Iceland is no joke, you can find more on our blog about the weather in Iceland

Photo source: Road.is

Depending on how long the winter is and how the weather is expected to be at the beginning of the summer, the date of opening the roads can vary from one year to another or be postponed until the conditions are safe. The same is to the date when the roads are closed in the autumn.

Most of the F-roads are open only during summer and this is the best time to drive to the Highlands or to the remote areas in the Icelandic Westfjords. The places that you will find there will make you feel like you are on another planet. 

As I mentioned, the car and your driving skills are very important for this kind of road. You will need a 4×4 car that can also take you through the rivers. During summer you can go alone if you are experienced with this kind of road.

During winter, there are just some F-roads open and are accessible only with an experienced guide and with a fully equipped car. You will not be able to enter those roads by yourself during the cold season.

Photo by Riccardo Chiarini

How to prepare for a road trip on the F-roads?

It is required by law to drive a 4×4 car on the F-roads. Cars such as a Land Cruiser, Subaru Forester, WV Transporter or any other SUV will be perfect for driving on F-roads, especially in the Highlands. Also, if you want to rent a campervan for the highlands make sure it is 4×4.

You will need a map with you when you venture into the Icelandic wild nature. The GSM signal is not available in many parts of Iceland and your GPS will not work. While on F-roads please stick to the road and do not venture on unmarked roads or paths. 

Also, make sure to fuel the car for the period you stay in the Highlands because the gas stations in Iceland can not be found in other parts than along the Ring Road and you do not want to get blocked into the highlands without gas.

Photo by Tim Trad

What to do while on F-roads?

  • As I already mentioned, stick to the path and follow the map. This will get you safely to the most beautiful places you will ever see.
  • Do not rush! Take your time to drive and be careful that F-roads are difficult to drive because of all the gravel, stones, sand and vegetation.
  • Let someone who is more confident or who has the experience drive on such roads.
  • Subscribe to the weather alerts on Safetravel.is so you will stay updated with all weather changes and road conditions that are important to know while venturing on F-roads.
  • Have fun and take many pictures! But do that responsible, you don’t have to put yourself in danger for a photo.
  • Create great memories in Icelandic wild nature.
Photo by Fernando Puente

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