Information about Fjallabak

 

Fjallabak may refer to two highland routes, South Fjallabaksleid or the North Fjallbaksleid.

South Fjallabaksleid

The South Fjallabaksleid ('Fjallabaksleid sydri') is an old highland route north of Myrdalsjokull glacier, connecting Rangarvellir (the eastern part of the South Iceland lowlands) to Skaftartunga (areas nothwest of Myrdalsjokull). This is a popular mountain track for hiking and jeeps and is easy to walk and drive. The area is very dry with scant vegetation, as it is situated between mountains that have a strong volcanic activity.  The mountains have left endless amounts of ash, sand and lava in the area, now covered in moss. Rhyolite is the characteristic petrological berg type colouring the landscape grey-pinkish with endless shades of other colours.

From the west, the South Fjallabaksleid starts from Keldur in Rangarvellir, then goes eastwards to Laufafell, across Markarfljot river to Alftavatn lake (there are huts at Alftavatn owned by the Icelandic Touring Association) then onwards to Maelifellssandur and ending at Skaftartunga. This track was the main route for farmers in the East as they led their sheep to be on sale at the town Eyrarbakki in the South Coast. Already in the Middle Ages, the South Fjallabaksleid was a frequent route.

North Fjallabaksleid

In more recent times, another track, North Fjallabaksleid ('Fjallabaksleid nyrdri') , has been laid, connecting the two aforementioned areas. This track lies further north across the South Iceland highlands, starting on the west side of Galtalaekur in Rangarvellir, leading on north of Hekla, through Landmannalaugar and Jokuldalir and towards Svartinupur in Skaftartunga in the East. This north track was originally named Landmannaleid by the local farmers who used it.

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