Journey to Maelifell and Maelifellssandur

Date 29 July 2021

Journey to Maelifell and Maelifellssandur

Journey to Maelifell and Maelifellssandur

We had planned to spend two nights near Hvolsvöllur in the south of Iceland to be able to travel to different regions over the next two days:

  • The Maelifell region
  • The Thórsmörk region

Today, we left for a total change of scenery in the Mælifell region, far from everything. The Duster indicated an outside temperature of 19 °C which was rather exceptional. After taking a break in Hvolsvöllur to put our things down and do some errands, we hit the road again for a first stop at the Sólheimajökull glacier.

The F232 trail

La F232

We chose not to take the F210 from the west but rather the F232 going east of Myrdalsjökull. Indeed, we were worried about certain sections of the track where our Duster might have struggled. The advantage of taking the F232 from the east was that there were no major fords, and we could avoid the big one near Rauðibotn, where we planned to pass a few days later.

The F232 was quite easy to navigate even if bumpy and we reached the start of the F210 around noon, just in time for lunch. It took us 1H30 in total to travel the F232.

Arrival in Mælifellssandur

Le Maelifellssandur

After the intersection between the F232 and the F210, the track becomes something else entirely. From bumpy gravel to a flat black ribbon so intense it's like riding over night itself...

We took several photo breaks as the landscape was simply incredible. We crossed streams that meander in the middle of this desert, it was amazing. After a few kilometers we discovered the large green cone that sits in the middle of this desert. There was absolutely no one on the trail with us, and we stayed for long minutes at the foot of the majestic Mount Mælifell.


We continued a few kilometers on the F210 before turning off in the direction of Strútur. We had originally planned to hike in the direction of Strútslaug but we finally had no time and preferred to walk near Mount Strútur near which we had a magnificent view of the region and especially Mælifell and the magnificent Myrdalsjökull, which we went around today.

On the way back, we decided to stop near Dyrhólaey and its Loftsalahellir cave where we had never ridden before. The view was nice in particular to the south, especially with the bright light of the Icelandic summer.

In the evening, we returned to Hvolsvöllur to our guesthouse because another big day awaited us tomorrow.