Driving the wild Road F206 (Lakagígar)
Located in the Southern Region of Iceland, the wild road F206 (Lakagígar) is a demanding drive through breathtaking landscapes interspersed with rivers. It’s one of the famous F Roads of the country.
How long is road F206 (Lakagígar)?
Nestled in the southern part of Iceland, this 40 km (25 miles) road stretches from the iconic Ring Road to the Laki car park. It's entirely unpaved and traverses the site of one of Iceland's deadliest volcanic eruptions. The term "Lakagígar," or "Laki Craters," describes the fissure resulting from the 1783 eruption. This volcanic activity covered the region in lava, smoke, and ash, causing significant devastation. Over 50% of Iceland’s livestock succumbed to poisoning, leading to a tragic loss of 25% of its human population. The event's repercussions were global; Europe faced droughts and crop failures, with many dying from sulfur dioxide poisoning. Though the eruption lasted eight months, its aftermath persisted for years.
How challenging is the road F206 (Lakagígar)?
Plan about 2 hours to complete the drive. It is a rough and challenging road only for a 4 wheel drive vehicle with high clearance. Expect large potholes, many ruts and large boulders. Driving in a small passenger car is simply and plainly irresponsible and can be very dangerous. The road is heavily potholed and your vehicle will bounce, labour and shake. It’s only open during the summer months, usually between late June and early September. Expect to be alone, this track is not very busy even and very remote. In case of a breakdown, there is very little in the way of passing traffic or inhabitants around, and no cell phone service in parts.
How to cross rivers on the road F206 (Lakagígar)?
You will have to cross a dozen of deep rivers along the route. Crossing big rivers requires a bit of experience. Do not attempt to cross with one car, or during heavy rain. It can be treacherous if the water level rises due to lots of rain and warm weather. Only well equipped jeeps and larger vehicles are able to cross the rivers. Always check the river to ensure that it's not too deep. This road is amazing by day, but can be dangerous during the dark night. Rental car insurance does not cover damages from water, including any damage caused by crossing rivers.
Is road F206 (Lakagígar) worth a visit?
The journey gives way to some of Iceland's most epic landscapes. Tucked away in the Laki Crater Area, within the Vatnajökull national park, the road through the Lakagigar volcanic fissure area is surrounded by lunar landscapes, and is pretty bumpy. It leads to Fagrifoss waterfall, a high cascade over steep, black volcanic cliffs. The road runs travels through absolutely stunning landscapes offering stunning views.