The green giant in the highlands

Iceland's highlands

The green giant in the highlands

Nestled in the remote highlands of southern Iceland, Mælifell stands as a beacon for adventurers and nature enthusiasts planning their road trip. This unique mountain, with its stunning conical shape and vibrant green moss-covered surface, offers a stark contrast to the surrounding expanse of black volcanic sands. Mælifell's otherworldly appearance has made it a favorite subject for photographers and a must-visit for travelers seeking the essence of Iceland's wild landscapes.


The Formation of Mælifell

Mælifell is a tuya, a type of volcano formed under the ice during periods of glaciation. This geological phenomenon occurs when lava erupts beneath a glacier or ice sheet. Trapped by the ice, the lava cools and solidifies rapidly, creating a steep-sided, flat-topped mountain as it pushes up against the ice. As the climate warms and the ice melts away, what remains is the distinct shape of Mælifell, now clad in a lush green moss.


The landscape around Mælifell is a testament to Iceland's fiery underbelly, formed by the relentless forces of volcanism at the boundary of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. The surrounding black sands are composed of volcanic ash and other pyroclastic materials, remnants of the dynamic eruptions that continue to shape this land.


Accessing Mælifell

Mælifell is accessible only during the Icelandic summer months when the rivers recede, and the roads become passable. It lies in a region only reachable by 4x4 vehicles, highlighting the adventure that awaits those who visit. The key to reaching Mælifell on your road trip in Iceland is navigating Iceland's F roads, a network of mountain tracks designated for four-wheel drives.


The primary route to Mælifell is via F210, known as the Syðri Fjallabak route. This challenging track requires fording rivers and traversing rough terrains, offering an exhilarating experience for adept drivers. The journey to Mælifell on F210 not only brings travelers closer to the mountain but also through some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes Iceland has to offer. The route's raw beauty, coupled with the thrill of driving on F roads, makes the trip to Mælifell unforgettable.


Why Visit Mælifell

Mælifell is more than just a destination; it's an experience. From its geological origins under ancient ice to its current status as an iconic natural monument, Mælifell encapsulates the spirit of Iceland's wild, volcanic beauty. It serves as a perfect symbol of the island's dynamic Earth, where fire and ice coexist.


Visitors to Mælifell are rewarded with not only breathtaking views but also a profound sense of isolation and tranquility away from the bustling tourist spots. It's a place where one can truly connect with nature and witness the power of Earth's geological processes in real time.


The Journey to Mælifell

Preparing for a trip to Mælifell involves careful planning, especially if you're off to Iceland for the first time. Ensuring that your vehicle is suitable for F roads is crucial, as is packing necessary supplies for safety and comfort. The weather in Iceland can change rapidly, and being prepared for all conditions is a must. Additionally, respecting the natural environment and adhering to local guidelines preserve the beauty and accessibility of places like Mælifell for future visitors.



If you're off to Iceland and have a penchant for adventure, Mælifell and its challenging F roads await. Prepare for a journey that not only challenges your driving skills but also rewards you with some of the most spectacular sights that Iceland has to offer. Mælifell isn't just a stop on a road trip in Iceland; it's a highlight that embodies the awe-inspiring power and beauty of nature. Whether you're an avid hiker, a passionate photographer, or someone who loves exploring unique landscapes, Mælifell offers an unforgettable experience that captures the heart of Iceland's untamed wilderness.


With every visit, Mælifell continues to awe and inspire. Its timeless allure calls to those ready to explore the less traveled paths of Iceland and discover the raw, unfiltered beauty that this country has to offer. So, when you're planning your road trip in Iceland, make sure Mælifell is on your list, and get ready for an adventure that will etch itself into your memory forever.