The Highlands

The Great Escape

For centuries, the interior of Iceland was virtually inaccessible, for years at a time playing host only to outlaws in hiding. Via the mountain roads Kjölur and Sprengisandur, the untouched wilderness of Iceland's mountainous centre is now open to the general public—for cautious exploration by foot or 4x4 vehicles—in the summer months.

Surrounded by obsidian and colorful rhyolite mountains, visitors can bathe in natural hot rivers in the geothermal area of Landmannalaugar. From there, the Laugavegur trail leads to the woodland nature reserve Þórsmörk—a hidden valley surrounded by mountains, glaciers and glacial rivers—that serves as a popular base camp for hikers who intend to reach the surrounding highland mountains.

The highlands of Iceland are an untamed mingling of rocky deserts, jagged peaks, volcanoes, ice caps, valleys and hot springs, that should be explored at all times with respect, care and preparatory measures.

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The highlands of Iceland are an untamed mingling of rocky deserts, jagged peaks, volcanoes, ice caps, valleys and hot springs, that should be explored at all times with respect, care and preparatory measures.
Major towns

None

Regional airports

None

Major attractions

Askja, Kjölur, Kverkfjöll, Landmannalaugar, Sprengisandur and Þórsmörk

Other Regions of Iceland

East Iceland

The east coast of Iceland is home to the country's largest forest, lush farmlands and a range of small fjords and islands. Thanks to the East's many natural harbors, a variety of fishing villages and small seaside communities border the coast.

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South Iceland

The south coast of Iceland is home to some the country's most visited tourist attractions. The coastline itself is renowned for its beauty, and the towns along the coast are famous for their fresh seafood.

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North Iceland

The north of Iceland is truly a place of contrasts. Its long valleys and peninsulas are interspersed with mountains, lava fields and smooth hills carved out by rivers. As one nears the Arctic Circle in the northern latitudes, the midnight sun is invariably awe-inspiring.

Learn more