The Interior of Iceland is a rugged snowy territory, accessible only in summer.
None, actually! The interior is vast but has no permanent population. The closest thing it has to settlements of any kind are huts, some of which are manned during the summertime, providing accommodation for travellers.
Anyone's biggest worry in the interior is to run out of petrol. Here are a few places to look out for. Accommodation is available in all of them as well as food.
- Hótel Hrauneyjar is a small hotel located in the southern interior, just north of Mt. Hekla.
- Hveravellir is the only gas station in the interiour. It is located near the exact center of Iceland, between Langjökull and Hofsjökull glaciers. It's located near the main mountain track, kjalvegur.
- Lakagígar. Fissures that where formed after an eruption in 1783-1784 that threatened the population of Iceland at the time. Lakagígar can be accessed by going into road 1, turn into road 206 just south of the town Kirkjubæjarklaustur and continue on road F206.
- Askja. A volcano that collapsed in on itself after an eruption in 1875. Since then water has accumilated in the crater, making a 220 meter deep pool of water. Askja can be accessed by going into road 1 and turn into road F88 near a bridge on road 1 over the glacial river Jökulsá á fjöllum.
This is probably the harshest, most "away from it all" place in all of Europe. In addition to being largely covered in glaciers, this area is also volcanically active. The biggest danger to the common visitor however, is running out of gas. Plan accordingly.
The easiest, cheapest and safest way to venture into the interior is by BSI bus (special 4x4 buses with experienced drivers). Renting a 4X4 is very expensive and must be done in advance. It's best to travel with at least one other car as conditions are extreme. Remember that off-road driving is prohibited in Iceland because it contributes to erosion and can be very dangerous.
The interior can be accessed from East Iceland, North Iceland, South Iceland and partly from West Iceland. Mountain roads in the interior accessable via West Iceland only cover an area west of Langjökull glacier.
- West Iceland: Go onto road 1 and turn right into road 50 near Varmahlíð and turn left into road 518. Once you see the river Hvítá to your left, several mountain passes intersect the road to your right.
- North Iceland: Two large distance roads can be accessed from here, kjalvegur and sprengisandur. Both of them go through the interior and end in South Iceland.
- Kjalvegur: From road 1 turn into road 731 (between the towns Blönduós and Varmahlíð) and turn again into road 35 - Kjalvegur.
- Sprengisandur: Turn off road 1 into road 842 (between Akureyri and Húsavík) and continue going to road F26 - sprengisandur.
- East Iceland: The area accessable in the interior via East Iceland is currently closed due to the eruption in Holuhraun.
- South Iceland: Two large distance roads can be accessed from here, kjalvegur and sprengisandur. Both of them go trough the interior and end in North Iceland.
- Kjalvegur: Turn off Road 1 near Selfoss to road 35 - Biskupstungnabraut. The road then changes its name near the waterfall Gullfoss to Kjalvegur.
- Sprengisandur: Turn off road 1 to road 26 (Landvegur) between the towns Selfoss and Hella. When the road ends, turn into F26 - sprengisandur.
Bring your own provisions. There is no guarantee that you will find food anywhere.
Water from streams in the interior is safe to drink, but you should not try to drink from glacial rivers, which carry coarse sediments.
Every year, people die in the interior due to being caught by bad weather and being unprepared.
Do not venture into the interior if you don't know what you're doing, or are not accompanied by somebody who knows what they're doing. It is a region of extreme weather with no settlements, so you need to be prepared for whatever may happen. This includes packing very warm clothes and bringing food and drinks for a stay that may become longer than intended. You must also have a good car, and for most roads there 4x4 trucks are necessary. Never travel into the interior without being sure somebody at home knows your itinerary and can contact the authorities if they don't hear from you within a set time.