Crossing Rivers on Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri): An Adventurous Journey through Iceland's Mystic Landscapes

Located in the mystical landscape of southern Iceland, F210, also known as Fjallabaksleið syðri, is an enchanting journey for the adventurous. This 113km (70 miles) route unfolds amidst awe-inspiring panoramas that are undoubtedly some of the country's finest. However, a word of caution: the road is strewn with numerous unbridged rivers that can test the mettle of even the most seasoned drivers.

F210 (Fjallabaksleið Syðri)

Can I drive my vehicle through Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri)?

Nestled within a lunar-like terrain and shrouded by an air of profound solitude, F210 presents a formidable challenge. The road is rough and only navigable by 4-wheel drive vehicles with significant ground clearance. Large potholes, deep ruts, and imposing boulders characterize the road's surface, demanding nothing short of deft driving skills.

Is Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri) open?

Peaking at an elevation of 645m (2,116ft) above sea level, F210 reveals its beauty only in the summer months, typically between late June and early September. Outside of these months, the route remains closed, preserving its allure for the next season. However, venturing down F210 requires adequate preparation. The road is often subject to Iceland's unpredictable highland weather, which can give rise to heavy rain or dense fog without warning. Having the appropriate equipment, vehicle, and driving skills is essential to safely navigate these challenging conditions.

How long does it take to drive Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri)?

F210's remoteness contributes to its allure. Only a handful of adventurers venture down this path, making it one of Iceland's lesser-explored F-roads. Nonetheless, the journey can take anywhere between 3 to 5 hours, with the reward being the mesmerizing sight of the legendary Maelifell mountain, a coveted gem along this route.

Where does Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri) start and end?

The trail runs west-east, starting from Keldur (F264 Road) and ending at Grafarkirkja (F208 Road). F210 is a quiet path, frequented by only a few, giving you a solitary communion with nature.

River crossing on the Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri)

The route has a distinctive trait - several rivers, streams, and creeks that cross the path, creating an adventurous drive. Some are small and manageable, while others grow into formidable obstacles under adverse weather conditions. Two significant rivers, Kaldaklofskvísl in the west and Holmsá in the east, often present a challenging crossing. Only vehicles with high ground clearance can dare to ford these waters, always with a careful assessment of depth and safety.

Is Road F210 (Fjallabaksleið syðri) dangerous?

It’s one of the famous F Roads of the country. As enthralling as the journey is by day, it becomes a different beast when night falls, making it potentially hazardous. So, if you decide to embark on this adventure, make sure to plan your journey well and respect the power of nature, especially when crossing the rivers. The beauty of F210 is not to be taken lightly, for it is an adventure that promises both rewards and challenges in equal measure.
Pic: Janos Rajki