Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag


Travellers in danger at Goðafoss waterfall after snow and ice swallow walking paths

By Staff

  • Goðafoss waterfall One of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. It is 30 m (98 ft) wide and 9-17 m (29-56 ft) high. Photo/Andreas Tille/Wikimedia under a creative commons license

Many popular tourist destinations are not equipped to handle large numbers of visitors in the winter. Snow and ice make it impossible for visitors to see where it is safe to walk and how close they should venture to the edge of the canyon by waterfalls like Goðafoss waterfall in North East Iceland. The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports that people in the tourism industry feel it is urgent that improvements be made to the visitor area to avert accidents.

Travellers interviewed by RÚV said they had no idea where it was safe to walk and how close to go to the canyon, since there were no visible warning signs, markings or walking paths. The area is currently covered in snow and ice which have swallowed the low rope fence and the stakes that marked the walking path and viewing areas.

Read more: Photos: Visitors at Gullfoss waterfall stubbornly ignore warnings, venturing onto a closed path

A visitor from New York told RÚV that the travel videos he had seen from Iceland encouraged him to go as close to the cliff as possible. The dramatic views in these videos created an urge to get as close to the scene as possible.

Tour guides who accompany groups to the waterfall do their best to ensure travellers stay out of any danger and on the safe paths. However, visitors travelling on their own, can have trouble figuring out where it is safe to go. Sigríður Kralsdóttir, a restaurateur by Goðafoss told RÚV that she seen “crazy” behaviour by the waterfall in the winter. “For example when people are walking on the frozen river by the waterfall. Just walking there, along the edge out into the middle of the waterfall.”

We at Iceland Magazine would like to add that it goes without saying that such behaviour is extremely risky. Nobody wants to come home from a dream vacation in Iceland in a body bag.

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