Travel Guide to Þórsmörk (Road F249) by Icerental4x4
All rental vehicles in Iceland are forbidden to drive F249. There is a valid reason for this ban that is good to keep in mind when travelling to Þórsmörk
Visiting Þórsmörk in Iceland
In Iceland, we have roads that begin with the letter F, like F249. The F stands for Fjallvegur or Mountain Road, meaning that only 4x4 vehicles can drive on these roads. All F-roads have rough gravel roads, and many of them also have rivers that need to cross. While driving to Þórsmörk on road F249 there are many rivers that do not have any bridges and need to be crossed by driving through the river. The rivers that are on road F249 to Þórsmörk have one of the most dangerous rivers in Iceland where many 4x4 vehicles get stuck in the rivers causing water damage to the engine room and more. It is notable that no insurance in Iceland covers water damages so crossing a river is a risk and a risk that is completely on the driver of the vehicle.
While driving to Þórsmörk, there is a river called Krossá. This river can be very deep and it also has loose gravel under it, providing a very unstable path for vehicles. The river can be different daily, so there is no one way to cross Krossá. It needs great experience with the Icelandic mountain roads and a vehicle that is fit for these conditions to drive over this river. That is why car rental vehicles are forbidden to go into F249. Even though it may be a 4x4 vehicle, it does not mean that it is suitable for all roads in Iceland. Icelandic mountain roads can be unique and we have many Super Jeeps and specially equipped mountain busses that offer trips going into places like Þórsmörk. Even the locals in Iceland use the assistance of a professional mountain driver to take them into Þórsmörk when going for a hike.
In the photo, ontop can be seen a Hyundai Tucson 4x4 vehicle stuck in the river going into Þórsmörk. It can be seen by the photo how the waives are strong, and conditions are critical. This is why we at Icerental 4x4 strongly recommend all our customers to take a mountain bus or Super Jeep to go to Þórsmörk, the bus can be taken from the towns Hella or Hvolsvellir. There can be found parking lots next to the bus stops that are free of charge where the vehicles can be parked for the day or more when visiting Þórsmörk.
What to keep in mind when crossing a river
There are a few good tips that is good to keep in mind when crossing a river in Iceland.
- There are no insurances that cover water damage. Meaning that the risk is always on the driver when crossing a river. Water damages can easily cost over 10.000 EUR / 11.000 USD
- Always stop before crossing a river, go outside and take a look at the conditions
- If you are unsure or do not trust yourself to cross a river, don't, turn around is our advice
- Drive slowly but steady when entering the river, do not change gears and do not stop while driving through the river
- Always go down the stream when entering the river.
- Do not go where the water is completely still, it may be the deepest part of the river.
- Inspecting the river is important, if the river is deeper than your knee we recommend not taking the risk.
Next to some rivers on the F-roads, they have a sign that is very important to read and follow the instructions. The sign is there for a reason.