A GUIDE TO MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR TIME IN ICELAND's CENTRAL HIGHLANDS!
The preserved and untamed highlands are a volcanic "desert": a mix of lava fields, volcanoes, glaciers and valleys. Below is a guide where you will find maps with the places to see, a list of the highlights not to be missed, and some extra pictures just because it is so beautiful!
Attention! Accessible only during the Summer months
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VIDEO: VISIT CENTRAL HIGHLANDS Iceland
Here is a short video (4 minutes) with the beautiful landscapes of the Central Highlands including waterfalls, volcanoes, lava fields and stunning mountains. I am sorry I shake a lot when I film; I hope you will still enjoy it and it will give you an idea of what you can expect. (Reminder: I visited in September).
MAP OF CENTRAL HIGHLANDS - 4WD Tracks
A detailed Map with the roads and locations of the best places to visit in the region (like the one for the Snaefellsnes Peninsula) is available in the eBook:
ATTENTION: the highlands are accessible by foot or WD vehicles only during the summer months.
PLACES TO SEE IN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS
Click on each places to discover more photos, info and planning tips.
Lesser known waterfalls with beautiful surroundings at the limit of the Central Highlands
An isolate canyon with many small waterfalls flowing on its cliffs. Off road of a 4WD road… truly isolated!
One of the most feared volcanoes in Iceland, known as the Gateway to Hell, a view well worth the climb.
A very unique geothermal area in the middle of the Highlands with colorful mountains: pink, green, dark...
A 4WD road guiding you through some of the stunning valleys of the Central Highlands.
A valley with basalt columns that leads you to a waterfall with water swirling in small pools and then plunging under your feet.
A National Park quite different from the rest of Iceland with trees. This is the most popular hiking spot in Iceland.
Other places to visit in the Central Highlands Iceland
- ASKJA - Volcanic Area: Reached from North Iceland and Lake Myvatn
- VEIDIVOTN "50 LAKES" - This part of the country has about 50 lakes of various sizes (most are crater lakes) famous for hiking and trout fishing.
- LAKAGIGAR or LAKI - It is a volcanic fissure with is series of craters created from 1783 to 1784
- OFAERUFOSS - A 2 step waterfall in the Eldgja chasm
- FRAGRIFOSS - a gentle "veil" waterfall on the way to Laki
- LAUGAVEGUR TRAIL - Iceland's most popular hiking trail, 55km connecting Thorsmork and Landmannalaugar, you can also connect with Skogafoss.
PREPARING FOR THE DRIVING THE HIGHLANDS
Travelling through the highlands should not be decided on the spot. It requires planning with a 4WD vehicle, 4WD driving skills (including river crossing) and all the necessary equipment. Check out my post about driving in Iceland for road safety conditions.
If you can't drive there are 4 different options:
- if you are fit, you can do the amazing Laugavegur trek
- Busses do go to specific locations including Landmannalaugar
- Organized group tours are offered by touring companies when they have sufficient people
- You can hire a super jeep and a drive like I did. Check out my review of this experience
The area is isolated and with the unpredictable Icelandic weather, the journey can become extreme. BE PREPARED!
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.
If you want to share another place you found in the Highlands or have further questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment!