What the tourist brochure doesn’t tell you about Iceland

On the 9th of January 2017 the tragic event happened in Iceland that a German tourist drowned off the south coast of Iceland. This was a women that was 45 years old. What happened was simple, she and here family had gone too close to the ocean waves when they where checking out Dyrhóleey Island on the south coast of Iceland. The ocean wave in this part of the Iceland is extremely dangerous. The reason for that is this the deep ocean wave, this are not the ocean waves you find in fjords or such areas in Iceland. Those ocean waves are a lot smaller. This ocean waves on the south coast of Iceland can reach 5 – 10 meters easy when they get close to the coast. It might be a good weather in Iceland at the moment, but it might be a storm 600 km south of Iceland generating this ocean waves that hit the coast of Iceland few hours later.

This also goes for large part of the coastline in north Iceland. The main difference is that the north-coastline is less accessible then the south-coastline (mostly due to volcano activity or cliffs). Making the chance of accidents less likely to happen. But they can still happen, since all those cliffs can and often are unstable, as they break off slowly into the coastline below. If you are travelling in Iceland and go and look at one of those cliffs and notice a crack in the ground, never go over the crack to the other side, since there is no way to know when gravity is going to do its job and collapse the cliff down into the coastline below, with high chance of killing anyone standing on that part of the cliff. That has happened, luckily the people survived the fall and the rock fall. What has also happened is that people have fallen off a cliff and never to be found again.

Roads in Iceland are difficult, along with single passing bridges that are both on road one (main road) and on smaller country roads. It is expected that one car to wait while the other one is passing over it. Gravel roads are also something that people need to be aware of, many of them are in bad shape (many potholes) due to lack of funding for the last 10 years. Those are difficult to drive at beast of times, being extra careful on them is advised.

In few cases people have gone missing in Iceland never to be found again. There has been at least one case where a person did die in Iceland, but nobody reported the person in question missing and it was around a year later the remains where found by people on a walk. This is the most rare things to happen, but it does happen. When you are travelling in Iceland you should be aware that all this beautiful landscape is dangerous and if people are not careful, it is going to get them killed.

Also, please don’t stop the care on the middle of the road to take pictures of horses (farmers hate that) and it’s also illegal to jump out of the car in the middle of the road. Tourist from Asia do this a lot and besides being dangerous, this is highly illegal. It is also advised that people do not pet horses in pens, doing so messes them up and makes them unusable for work later on (many are used to collect the sheep in the autumn). if they get petted a lot the horses get spoiled due to all of the attention and that might make them unusable for work later, if that happens, they are just put straight into the slaughterhouse for meat.

That’s all.