It was in February 2016 when the Ministry of Industries and Innovation took the initiative to compile a list of the most dangerous 24 sites in Iceland. At that time there was an incident on the beach Reynisfjara, in which a man died. Some other accidents have happen in the same spot since then. Here you are some safety measures you can't miss in order to have a fully successful experience in the nordic country!
Reykjadalur, “The Valley Of Smoke", is a beautiful valley in southern Iceland, characterised by its intense geothermal activity and known for its hot river in which it is possible to bask. Located 40 kilometers from the capital Reykjavík, near the small town of Hveragerdi, Reykjadalur is a favorite place for hikers and nature lovers. Be careful, though, because some parts of the hot river have extremely high temperatures, and not suitable for swimming.
The beautiful beach of Reynisfjara became infamous when a man was killed there in February 2016 when he took advantage of the beautiful location. In 2007, a woman from the United States also lost her life there, when she was swept away by a wave. The winds and waves of the beach can be very violent and dangerous; we will repeat ourselves again by advising that you can enjoy the wonders of Icelandic nature, but, at a respectful distance.
Seljalandsfoss and Gljufrabui are beautiful waterfalls in southern Iceland, thirty kilometres from Skógar. Seljalandsfoss is 60 meters high and is especially popular because you can walk behind the waterfall, we recommend only in summertime. In winter the ice on the path can be very slippery and dangerous, and gigantic stalactites can fall at any time and cause injury.
Seltun is a geothermal area located on Route 42 on the Reykjanes peninsula in the south of Iceland; the temperature is high there because the area is home to dozens of fumaroles and hot pots. You can wander around the landscape using marked paths provided, but don't go off the trail because hot mud and smoke explosions can severely burn.
Near the small village of Skógar on the number one road, is a beautiful waterfall named Skógafoss. Very popular among the sights to see in Iceland with many steps leading to the top of the waterfall, 60 meters high. In winter, these steps are slippery and dangerous -prudence!
The glacier tongue of the glacier Sólheimajökull is an extension of Mýrdalsjökull glacier, a little after Skogar, on the number one road in southern Iceland. If you venture without a guide on the glacier tongue, even just a few meters, it will be the last thing you'll do, since cracks are not visible the glacier can swallow you up.
The same recommendations apply to the Svínafellsjökull glacier, a glacier forming the glacier tongue of Vatnajökull. It is easily reached by a short walk on a trail not far from Skaftafell.
Víti / Askja / Drekagil
Askja is a popular destination for travellers; it ’s a set of calderas most recently erupted in 1961. Askja is best known for one of its caldera, Öskuvatn. It is possible to swim in some parts of the crater Víti 20 - 60 ° C depending on the location. The road to Askja is located in the highlands and is only open during summer; the road is only accessible by 4x4 (smaller vehicles will not pass the Fords), and the journey may seem long and tortuous. You will cross several rivers, and we strongly recommend traveling with several cars when crossing fords.
The driver on the road must have experience; drive slowly and be aware of the obstacles that may arise on the way. If you decide to get there without going through a tourism company, make sure to be sufficiently informed and well equipped. An alternative is to use a professional travel services in the region, i.e. the team of Visit Askja.
If you intend (or by opportunity) to bask in Víti, know that its centre water depth is up to eight meters deep. The path to the swimming area may be slippery, muddy and on the way down can be a little hot. Also, look out for occasional rocks sliding down the crater.
Always check road conditions on the website of the Icelandic Road Administration.
Respect barriers, instructions and listen to the advice of locals.
If you are traveling in winter, in remote locations, or if you go to the Highlands (in any season), be prepared, do your research before departure and use common sense when on your journey.
In an emergency, call for help by dialing 112.
As this is the part 3/3 of the list compiled by the Government, you can go over the previous sites here: Top dangerous places in iceland (Part 1/3). 8 Most dangerous sites in Iceland. Tips to stay safe in Iceland! (Part 2/3)
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