Iceland // The west coast //

The Kaldidalur interior route

From Húsafell, Route 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) winds its way southwest through the haunting beauty of the Kaldidalur valley on its way to the information centre and campsite at Þingvellir, a distance of around 60km. If you’re short of time but want a taste of the barren expanses of the Icelandic Interior, this is a good option: you’ll come face to face with four glaciers – Eiríksjökull, Okjökull, Langjökull and Þórisjökull, a small oval-shaped ice cap rising to a height of 1350m – and pass through a vast grey desert where ferocious sandstorms can appear in seconds, transforming what was once a clear vista of majestic ice caps and volcanic sands into an impenetrable cloud of grit and dirt. As the neck of land carrying the road narrows to pass between the Ok and Þórisjökull glaciers, the route climbs and rides along the straight Langihyrggur ridge affording spectacular views of Þórisjökull opposite.

The Kaldidalur route is unsealed and rough, though generally open to conventional vehicles from mid-June until late August – you’ll need to check road conditions in advance through

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.