Adventure along Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) in Iceland

Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) is a very scenic drive located in the Western region of Iceland. Four-wheel-drive vehicle is not legally required, but highly recommended.

Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur)

Is road 550 Iceland paved?

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, with no unbridged river crossings.

When was Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) built?

One of Iceland’s oldest and first permanent roads, it was built in the 1830’s as a horse road between the western and north-western settlements.

How long is Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur)?

It’s 40km (25 miles) long, running south-north from Thingvellir to Húsafell. It is the shortest of the highland tracks traversing the Highlands of Iceland, therefore the nickname "highlands for beginners".

How long does it take to drive Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur)?

To drive the road, also known as Kaldidalur route, without stopping will take most people between 2 and 3 hours. 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.

Is Road 550 (Kaldadalsvegur) open?

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).