F35 (Kjalvegur)

Road F35: a demanding drive in Iceland

Kjölur Route (F35) (also known as the Kjalvegur Road) is a highland road in Iceland, with a length of 168km (104mi), crossing Kjölur, a plateau in the highlands of Iceland, running at an elevation of about 600–700 metres, from north to south.

This corrugated and tuff gravel road begins in the south of Iceland near Haukadalur and behind the Gullfoss waterfall, and ends in the north near Blönduós. It takes about 5 hours to traverse by car. The road is often tough to drive and the road usually not maintained to standards. 4 wheels drive vehicle required. In the summer months one it’s possible to drive it in almost any car. Not, however, recommended using low vehicles. It’s one of the famous F Roads of the country.

It’s one of the highest roads of the country, climbing up to 672m (2,204ft) above the sea level. Access is seasonal. It’s only open from the end of June until the middle of September. In the winter it is covered with snow. The route leads through the middle of Iceland. It is enjoyable with a magnificent view of glaciers, mountains, and highland lakes.

It’s said to be the most famous road of the Icelandic highlands. If you like scenic drives, then this route is definitely for you. Expect cold temperatures and rapidly changing weather patterns. It requires planning your trip in advance. The road traverses the interior between two glaciers, Langjökull and Hofsjökull. It is the second longest of the roads through the Highlands of Iceland. Driving this road is most certainly an amazing experience, but not every car can venture on it. It runs through the geographical area, in which passenger rental cars are not allowed. The drive has a long history, once being a vital horse trail, allowing trade routes through the land.
Pic: Fabien Roucoux


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