Iceland Mag

9 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Travel

More stopping places: Travellers won't have to park on the shoulder to enjoy the view

By Staff

  • Between Gullfoss and Geysir There only a handful of stopping places along major roads in Iceland where travellers can safely stop their cars to get out to enjoy the view or snap photos. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

Following repeated complaints that the lack of stopping points along Icelandic roads is creating significant risk of accidents the Icelandic Road and Coastal Authority has launched a study to look into where the need for stopping places is greatest. Currenthly there are only a handful of stopping places along the ring road or major roads where people can park their cars safely to get out to enjoy the view, take photos or walk around.

Danger on the Golden Circle
The problem is particularly acute along the Golden Circle. The road between Geysir geothermal area and Gullfoss waterfall is repeatedly blocked by travellers who have parked their cars on the side of the road to take photos or pet horses in the fields along the road. This creates a significant danger of accidents, as the parked cars effectively turn the road into a single track, while travellers milling in the road are in danger of being hit by oncoming traffic. 

To add to the problem of no stopping places along Icelandic roads is the fact that they usually have no shoulder, and the side of the road frequently very steep, making it virtually impossible to stop anywhere but on the road itself. 

 A local guide took the following video, which was shared on Facebook earlier this week, showing a very common sight on the road:

The side of the road on this stretch is not too steep, allowing drivers to get out on the shoulder without too much difficulty. But this is not the case at many other places where travellers like to stop. In other cases people have parked their cars in the driveways leading to fields or farms, blocking local traffic.

A spokesman for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Authority told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that the agency is well aware of the problem caused by the lack of adequate stopping places, and is currently studying where the need for new spots is greatest. 

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