Iceland has a bit of a translation problem when it comes to advertising Super Jeep tours and Off Road driving. We off course want to let people know that it is possible to go off the common paved main road for some river crossing and bumpy track driving. A fun and wholesome way to travel, and often the only way to visit sought after locations, such as Askja Caldera, Lofthellir Cave and Landmannalaugar. We often call these ways of travel Off-Road driving, for a lack of a better word.
Off-Road Driving is Illegal
According to Icelandic laws Off-Road Driving is illegal and subject to severe fines, meaning that going of a track or a road and onto an unspoiled terrain is illegal. This is where a misunderstanding occurs, Off-Road Driving, something that is advertised as a way of travel is suddenly illegal, and often not known about. Travelers from abroad on there own might think, due to advertisement of Off-Road Driving, that it is OK to go of the track for a short while. But it isn’t. Off-Road Driving is fine when we mean going off the paved main road onto a gravel track and crossing rivers (crossing points are almost always marked), but completely illegal when going off track.
A Road or a Track?
Off-Track Driving is the term we should use for the illegal act of going off the track to an unspoiled area. When in doubt whether something is a track or not, just do not go. Turn around or consult with authorities. Or go with a trained guide that knows the area. Like the guides of Saga Travel. And for those who know, but do not care, we have the simple question; where is your backyard? We would love to try out our Super Jeep in it…
Picture: Staff members of Saga Travel fixing Off-Track marks near Hrossaborgir on the way to Askja Caldera. Severe tracks in an untouched gravel. In the back we see Hrossaborgir, famously depicted in Oblivion (a Tom Cruise film).