Driving the tricky 570 Road around the Snaefellsjökull glacier

Situated on the most western part of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, in western Iceland, 570 Road (Jökulshálsvegur) is one of the most scenic drives of the country. The drive can be very tricky: it is only passable by 4x4 vehicles.

Road 570 (Jökulshálsvegur)

Can you drive the 570 Road (Jökulshálsvegur)?

Tucked away in the Snæfellsjökull National Park, the road is very steep, with loose gravel surface, potholes, blind turns and blind hills. It is a rough and challenging road only for a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance.

Is the F570 Road (Jökulshálsvegur) defiant?

The drive is really challenging. The track is pretty bad, it's not rolling with a lot of big rocks. Expect large potholes, many ruts and large boulders on their surface. If the cloud cover is very low the drive is not recommended as you will be in them for most of the drive. Surrounded by a lunar landscape, the road is pretty bumpy. Expect to be alone, this track is not very busy. It is not recommended to drive unaccompanied. Due to road improvements, it’s not an F-road anymore. Still, Google Maps mark it as F570. Although there are no river crossings on 570 and the road is not even marked an F-road, it's a mountainous road where snow may hold for the long time. There are no river crossings.

How long is the 570 Road (Jökulshálsvegur)?

Set high on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, between Faxaflói bay and Breiðafjörður fjord, the road is 18.3km (11.37 miles) long, running from Arnarstapi (or Stapi) on the southern side of Snæfellsnes to Ólafsvík, on the northern side of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. The journey offers stunning views of Snæfellsjökull, a 700,000-year-old glacier-capped stratovolcano. Lava is everywhere, bare or covered with moss, rough or smooth.

Is the 570 Road (Jökulshálsvegur) open?

It’s one of the highest roads of the country, topping out at 658m (2,158ft) above the sea level. It’s only open during the summer months, usually between late June and early September. It’s one of Iceland's last mountain roads to open. Along the way you’ll be truly in a natural wonderland of landscape and geology. It is scary for those who have fear of height. Once you reach the highest point of the road, you have a magnificent view over the entire Snaefellsnes peninsula.