Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and makes up one of the three components of the‘Diamond Circle, along with Husavik and Myvatn. On the opposite side of the country to the Golden Circle of the south, this popular route in the north is renowned for its incredible natural sites.
The waterfall takes its source from Jökulsa River, which, in turn, is fed into by Vatnajökull Glacier. I found it difficult to walk along the staggering cliff edges without being hit by a spot of vertigo, or feeling as if I was about to be swallowed up by the force of its tumbling waters below!
The walk from the car park to the waterfall itself is about 1 km, and upon arrival at Dettifoss, I recommend that you head south to Selfoss first – another (much smaller, but no less impressive) waterfall. From there, you can walk up the banks of the river along the cliff edges to reach the most spectacular section of Dettifoss’ falls.
Make sure you take a solid pair of walking boots with you, regardless of the season. During my last trip to the north of Iceland at the end of May, I was surprised to find a blanket of glistening white snow 20 cm thick surrounding Dettifoss! It’s a region of stark wilderness to say the least, and in winter, the route is often inaccessible depending on snowfall.