Which Cross Country Route? Sólheimar to Akureyri



First of all, I understand that all the highland roads are still closed at present (3 June 2018) so this might be a poor time to ask this question…and we may very well have to inquire locally before deciding which route to take based on conditions at the time.

We are visiting Iceland in late July and early August. For the first few days, we will be staying near Sólheimar and then driving to Akureyri. We have a 4x4 hired for the time we are in Iceland and would like to drive a highland route from Sólheimar to Akureyri.

Looking at maps, I see there are two (more or less) direct routes.

  1. Via F26, 842

  2. Via F26, F881, F821/821

Which route would be best and why?

We will be carrying food, water, extra fuel, a satellite rescue beacon.


Martin (Vancouver, Canada)


Hello Martin

Late July or early August all highland routes will be open.

As far as I can see you can drive F26 the whole way (I don’t see the 842 on a map) or do F26, F881, F821. I’ve never driven these roads myself although I’m a born and bred Icelander (never had access to a mighty 4WD car!) so not sure which road you should take, if either one presents you with greater scenery than the other. (Or if either one tends to be in better condition than the other. After a few hours on a gravel road you really start longing for some paved roads).

But if you have the time, I’d go further east and go onto roads F910 and F905 and visit the new lava field at Holuhraun and the hot spring crater Víti in Askja on the way, and then obviously make your stop at Lake Mývatn as well (spending the night there would be good if you have the time before visiting Akureyri).

Here’s a good blog about accessing Askja (coming from Akureyri): https://guidetoiceland.is/connect-with-travel-bloggers/639/how-to-visit-askja-in-the-highlands?a=79 - it warns you about F88.

Also, I first read ‘rescue bacon’ instead of rescue beacon. You should bring some of that as well :wink:

Have a great time!


Thanks for the information Nanna. The routes I proposed came from Google Maps… the F26, F881, F821/821 route is highlighted in this link…


Rescue bacon makes me think of a team of pigs pulling a sled along!

And yes… we will likely have to make a decision on which route we take closer to the date we intend to set out. And yes… I understand the gravel roads… I grew up in Canada’s far north!


The route in the link you sent is F35, or ‘Kjalvegur’ (or Kjölurinn). It lies a bit further to the West than F26. This route I know better, and is in a fairly good condition. Along the way you must also stop at Kerlingarfjöll (only a tiny detour) and go to Hveradalir that’s right by Kerlingarfjöll, as well as make a stop at Hveravellir that’s also along the way.

Read up on those areas in this article about The Highlands of Iceland | The Ultimate Guide

Maybe you can do one highland route to get to Akureyri, and the other one back? :slight_smile:


Thanks for the info (and the link) Nanna. We spend our second week in Iceland near Borgarbyggð. Since we will be arriving from Akureyri it seems more practical to drive the Ring Road back… but yes, taking one route up and the other back might be an option.


I see from looking at www.road.is that the F26 is now open!