Your guide to F-roads: Driving in Iceland’s highlands
If you’re planning to rent a car in Iceland, you’re going to encounter F-roads. They take you off the beaten track and towards the most stunning scenery. Put simply, they are where your off-road adventure starts...
But, what are F-roads in Iceland? What are the challenges of F-road driving in Iceland? And how should you navigate around Iceland’s F-roads? This blog has answers to all your F-road questions.
What are F-roads in Iceland?
Iceland’s F-roads are the country’s mountain and highland roads (the F stands for fjalla – mountain in Icelandic). They are always marked with an ‘F’.
Away from the tarmacked Ring Road or graveled sections of road, F-roads can be narrow, rocky, steep and full of potholes. You may also encounter water crossings when driving F-roads. They can present a challenge to even the most confident and competent of drivers.
Conditions and hazards on F-roads in Iceland
Iceland’s F-roads are not well maintained and are often in a bad state of repair. It is easy for damage to be caused to rental vehicles when you are unfamiliar with the roads – especially to the underside of vehicles.
Taking you across mountains and rivers, conditions on F-roads can be dangerous. Changes in the road’s surface (which can happen faster than you realize) are indicated by road signs. F-roads are not safe to drive in the fall, winter and spring, you can only access them during the summer months.
Other hazards you may encounter on Iceland’s F-roads include blind summits, blind corners, and animals running into the road. The key is to stay alert when behind the wheel.
4x4: The best F-road car rental in Iceland
F-road conditions in Iceland can be so bad, it’s neither safe nor legal to drive a two-wheel drive vehicle. Instead, if you are planning to travel Iceland’s F-roads, you’ll need to hire a 4x4. And the higher the clearance on your rental vehicle, the better.
It's important to note that off-road driving is illegal in Iceland, and we do not condone or encourage it. As responsible visitors, always stick to the pre-marked roads to protect Iceland's fragile environment and preserve its beauty for future generations to enjoy.
Speak to your car rental company about your travel plans before you hire a vehicle. This way they will be able to recommend the best 4x4 for your trip.
F-roads in Iceland map/ Map of Iceland’s F-roads
When traveling around Iceland by rental car, you will need a map to show you where you are and how to get from A to B. Your rental car will have a paper map and GPS. But before then, check out this map to help prepare for your Iceland F-road adventure.
Image source: Vegagerðin