Adventure along Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) in Iceland
Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) is the name of a very scenic drive located in the Western region of Iceland. Four-wheel-drive vehicle is not legally required, but highly recommended.
Set high in the Highlands of Iceland, the road, also known as "the Kaldidalur", is totally unpaved with some rougher sections, filled with potholes and stones. It’s 40km (25 miles) long, running south-north from Thingvellir to Húsafell. It was the first one to be made permanent with road building in 1830.
With no unbridged river crossings, to drive the road without stopping will take most people between 2 and 3 hours. It is the shortest of the highland tracks traversing the Highlands of Iceland, therefore the nickname "highlands for beginners". It is very important to check rainfall in this area before setting off. A 4x4 vehicle is recommended: many car rental companies forbid the use of their two-wheel-drive vehicles on this route.
Running through the Mars-like landscape of Kaldidalur and some rugged and stunning countryside, it's one of the highest roads of the country, topping out at 720m (2,362ft) above the sea level. Usually it is passable for most vehicles three to five months of the year: it’s is usually impassable from September/October through May (depending on snow).