At the northern end of the Kjölur road, near the headwaters of the Blanda river, the hot springs of Hveravellir provide a warm oasis. Not far from Hveravellir, the Kerlingarfjöll, a volcanic mountain range, is situated to the north-east of the Kjölur road.
Like Sprengisandur highland road, the area was probably known since the first times of Icelandic settlement and is mentioned in the Icelandic sagas. A track along Langjökull was used a shortcut between regions during summer. This is today known as Kjalvegur hinn forni (Old Kjalvegur) and is still in use for trekking and horse-riding. Piles of stones mark the track through the highland desert. After some people had perished in a snowstorm by the end of the 18th century, the Kjölur road was forgotten for about 100 years. It was rediscovered in the 19th century.
A gravel road known as Kjalvegur (F35) runs through the centre of the area, connecting the Southern Region and Northwestern Region of the country. A few smaller tracks lead from the main track, making Hveravellir and Kerlingarfjöll accessible by car. Other tracks however, may only be used on foot.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kjölur.|