The Sprengisandur highland plateau stretches between the glaciers Hofsjokull and Vatnajokull (Europe’s largest glacier) and was the main route between the North and South of Iceland in former times. It stretches between the North and South at around 200 km, reaching a height of around 750-800 meters.
Browse a wide range of tours of the Highlands of Iceland.
The highland pass is mostly barren, with scant vegetation and is only passable during summer, and even then the weather can be unpredictable. It is accessible by car but it is a gravel road so a 4WD car is recommended.
To the north one can drive over to Eyjafjordur, Skagafjordur and Bardardalur. South of Hofsjokull is the nature paradise Thjorsarver. En route you’ll have view of three glaciers: Hofsjokull to the west and Tungnafellsjokull and the mighty Vatnajokull to the east. To the southeast is the oasis of Nyidalur with excellent lodgings.
Sprengisandur has strong connections with folklore and was a hiding place for outlaws in former times, the most famous being Fjalla-Eyvindur and his wife Halla, along with fellow outlaw Arnes, who resided at the southern border of Sprengisandur (ruins Eyvindarver bear witness to their stay). Already legendary, they were further immortalised in poet and playwright Johann Sigurjonsson's play Fjalla-Eyvindur, later made into a film by Swedish director Victor Sjöström. Poet Grimur Thomsen wrote a famous poem about Sprengisandur (A Sprengisandi = 'At Sprengisandur'), which was later set to music and is a highly popular song with Icelanders.