Some Highlands Roads Open Already - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Some Highlands Roads Open Already

Published June 27, 2016

Photos by
Mia Wotherspoon

Iceland’s climate this spring and summer has conspired to open some roads over the Highlands a bit earlier than usual.

While many visitors to Iceland concentrate on Reykjavík and other coastal towns, Iceland’s Highlands are often sorely neglected, due in large part to only being open to vehicular travel for a few weeks each year. East Iceland news service Austurfrétt now reports that some of the roads over the Arctic desert are now open.

As can be seen on this map, which is refreshed regularly, Route 35 – which stretches from Gulfoss northwards, reaching almost to Blönduós – is now open to car traffic. There are also several East Iceland roads going into the Highlands which are now accessible.

Bear in mind, though, that the shaded areas of the map reflect areas where vehicular traffic is still forbidden, due to flooded roadways and other hazards. Going into these areas regardless is not only a violation of the law; it could also put you and anyone traveling with you in physical danger.

Sprengisandur, the legendary Highlands route that stretches across the country between the glaciers of Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull, was slated to open today; two weeks earlier than usual. However, it still being in the map’s grey area, the road has either not been opened yet, or the map has not been updated.

If you do seek to travel over the Highlands, refer to the map before heading out, be sure to rent a vehicle which can handle the terrain and, if you are camping overnight, equip yourself with clothing for any weather condition or temperature range. In addition, as always, let someone know where you are going and when you will be coming back, so that on the off chance you are stranded out there, rescue teams will have a better chance of finding you fast.


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