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A Guide to Highland Road F208 in Iceland

Driving in Iceland can seem daunting. Weather conditions can be unpredictable and many locations are quite remote and far away from the capital of Reykjavík. Driving off the main roads can be even more intimidating as there are F-Roads and gravel roads that you will need to take in order to reach popular attractions and destinations. You may also be concerned about knowing where you can and can’t drive, given that off-road driving in Iceland is against the law. In this guide to the Highland Road F208, we look at one of the most popular Highland routes through Iceland and detail all the sights that you will see when driving this road.

Conditions on the F208

The F-Roads in Iceland are only open during the summer, so you should avoid this region if you are planning on travelling in the winter. This is because weather conditions such as ice and snow can cause these roads to be dangerous. The F208 only opens in sections when the conditions are suitable, but the whole route will typically be open from the end of June. Regulations mean you should only drive this route if you are renting a 4x4 as it can be treacherous in places and very difficult to navigate in a smaller vehicle. 

You should also take caution when driving on F-Roads during the summer as they are not as well maintained as major roads and highways.

Where is the Highland Road F208 in Iceland?

The Highland Road F208 runs from the south of Iceland towards the centre and through Friðland að Fjallabak Nature Reserve. You can join the F208 from its southern end near Vik, or its northern end via route 26 from the Ring Road.

Without stopping, a drive along the F208 would take between 3-4 hours, but with so many things to see along the way, we wouldn’t recommend driving straight through.

Popular Sights and Attractions on the Route

The rugged, scenic route of the F208 runs past some of the most famous locations in Iceland and is definitely a route that you will want to explore on your trip.


At the northerly point of the F208, you will find the Sigalda Power Station at the largest reservoir in all of Iceland. This hydroelectric plant and reservoir has stunning scenery surrounding it and is the perfect place for some photography. You will find several waterfalls in the region and stunning aquamarine-coloured waters. It is well worth stopping here even though you can’t tour the actual power station, the sights make up for this. Following the F208 along from here will lead you to Landmannalaugar, which is one of the most popular destinations in Iceland.

Sigalda Iceland


You can follow the route to Landmannalaugar from Sigalda quite easily and there are no rivers or treacherous roads to cross. This region is also known as the “people’s pools” and is a huge area of stunning natural beauty in Iceland. It is extremely popular for hiking and the natural hot springs are perfect for bathing. The region is most well known for its multi-coloured mountain ranges with pink, yellow, black, blue, and orange hues. This spectacular sight is caused by the high mineral content in the mountains. 

You can also stop at Laugahraun - a raven-black lava field, Frostastaðavatn Lake, and Ljótipollur Lake, all of which are close by



The next section of the road is a little more difficult to navigate and can involve crossing a river depending on the weather conditions. If you approach any rivers that look deep or difficult to cross then you should not attempt it. Rivers can be deceiving and unless you know how deep the river is then you should avoid it. It is important to remember that no insurance will cover any water damage to your car. 

However, if the conditions are fine and you can safely make the journey along the F208, you will be rewarded with some of the best-kept secrets in Iceland. With the amazing Ófærufoss Waterfall and one of the biggest lava fields in the world, this region of natural beauty is the perfect place to stop and take in your surroundings.



The final part of the F208 will take you to the area of Skaftártunga, which is not well known to tourists due to its remote location. Once again, there are rivers to cross on this route but you will be greeted by some spectacular scenery which will make the journey worthwhile. The Highland regions of Iceland are the perfect place to take in the amazing wildlife and nature in the country. 

As you come to the end of the road, you will reach a small settlement that lies in between two rivers, where you should definitely pay a visit to Hólaskjól Highland Centre. There is a fantastic canyon and a breathtaking waterfall with plenty more to see and do in the area.


Top Tips

This region and most of the highlands are fairly isolated, so you might want to make sure you have satellite navigation or hire a Wi-Fi device for the car in case you get lost on the route. For your safety, you should also look to submit your travel plans to Safetravel. If you do not return on time they will arrange a search for you.

If you plan on spending longer on this route then there are some cabins and campsites that would be perfect should you wish to stay. If you do run into any trouble then don’t forget you can, of course, call the emergency number on 112. If you are looking to head further afield or explore more of the Highlands, our guide to the F-Roads in Iceland will help you find your way around.