Discover another great Icelandic drive: F570 around the Snaefellsjökull glacier. After my drive through the lava field of Berserkjahraun, I started another off the beaten track adventure in the Snaefellsnes peninsula: the exhilarating road to the glacier. 4WD mandatory!!!!
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - F570 to Snaefellsjökull
F570 is a 4WD Road at the western end of the Snaefellsnes peninsula that leads to the Songhellir Singing caves and to the Snaefellsjokull glacier made famous by Jules Verne.
Getting to Road F570
- F570 crosses the Snaefellsnes peninsula between North and South Coast
- At the northern end it joins the road circling the peninsula just East of Olafsvik and on the South coast just East of Arnarstapi
- You can also check out my map of Snaefellsnes with places to visit to locate this road
All the best locations in the Snaefellsnes peninsula, along with many other beautiful places, are included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Iceland.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
Driving Road F570 to the glacier
- The Road is 19km long and rising to over 800m - the Southern part is in better condition than the Northern section
- The Glacier is closer to South (7km)
- If the cloud cover is very low I would not recommend the drive as you will be in them for most of the drive
- The Singing caves are at the beginning of the road, starting from the South - it is recommended to bring a flashlight
- It is a 4WD road. It is not easy with some big cracks and rocks, and some very steep portions. I have seen normal cars make it but I want to remind you that F-marked roads are forbidden by rental companies for 2WD-cars (re the insurance
- That said, there were no rivers to cross... Personnally I had never driven 4WD before, I stressed a bit seeing some portions but going slowly I managed it and even found it fun
- The summit is four to five hours’ walk; or you could drive part way along the F570 and then walk; or join an organised tour to walk or do snowmobile on the glacier
- I think the 19km drive took me less than 2 hours to drive it with many stops
I drove F570 starting in the South just before arriving at Arnarstapi. The crossroad is well indicated and I started the steep ascent. My first stop was at the Songhellir 'Singing Caves' just a few minutes after. Those caves are well known because of their echo properties (which in the Saga were considered to be dwarf talks). So stop and go shout for a little while. It feels good 🙂
Then, considering the beginning of the drive which was harder than what I had done before, I took the time to weigh in the pros and cons to continue on this 4WD road. Seeing that I would not be alone I decided to try one section at a time and turn around if I felt I could not drive through the next one.
The glacier Snæfellsjökull from F570
Made famous by Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth, Snæfellsjökull (Snæfell means “Snow Mountain”) stands at the Western end of the Snaefellsnes peninsula. The volcano has built up through numerous eruptions over the last 800,000 years. It rises 1446m (4745 ft) above sea level with a summit crater 200m in depth, 1km in diameter and full of ice. The latest eruption took place around 1800 years ago.
The National Park of Snaefellsjökull was established on June 28, 2001 and its proximity to Reykjavik (approx. 2 hours drive) makes it one of the most visited parks in Iceland.
A land of contrasts
I was amazed all the way as I just needed to drive a few minutes to discover a new landscape. Lava is everywhere, bare or covered with moss, rough or smooth.
Chasing the rainbow on F570
Once at the top, with cloud all over my head and very strong wind I spotted a rainbow! I started chasing it to see its full lenght with different landscapes until I was down the road back on the coastline. It was an amazing sight with the landscape and I took way too many pictures.
Plus you cannot see it on those shots but the wind was crazy. At one point I had to walk backwards and leaning to reach my car. I loved the feeling though; Being alone surrounded by surreal landscape, chasing a rainbow and blown away by the wind. I started breathing more deeply and feeling alive with all my senses!
And another waterfall
At the end, arriving on the North coast, I found a little waterfall to perfectly finish this drive. However I am not able to find its name and it is annoying me so much.
For a first 4WD experience, what a success! I normally do not like driving but I really enjoyed the focus it requires. At the same time do not worry, there are no river to cross or anything huge. If you rent a 4WD I really recommend this drive.
Want to see more of Iceland's beauty?
Discover more things to do and places to see in Iceland in my online Iceland Destination Guide.
Have you ever chased a rainbow 🙂 ?