Natural Wonders
26 October 2021

A Guide to Iceland’s Dettifoss Waterfall

If you find yourself seeking out the greatest wonders of the natural world, then you need to make Iceland's Dettifoss waterfall your next vacation spot. As the second most powerful waterfall in all of Europe, Dettifoss provides spectacular views and a breathtaking travel experience. With this guide, learn how and when to visit Dettifoss, and start planning your trip to Iceland today.

Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland

What makes Dettifoss special?

Second only to Switzerland's Rhine Falls, Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe. With a width of 330 feet and a 144-foot dropoff into Jökulsárgljúfur canyon, it is also the second-largest waterfall in the country of Iceland. Known as "The Beast" by some locals, Dettifoss produces mist so thick it can be seen from several miles away. The sheer power of the waterfall combined with the stunning view from its observational platform makes Dettifoss a spectacular place to visit.

Where is Dettifoss?

Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park in Northeast Iceland. It is situated on the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river, which flows from the Vatnajökull glacier—the largest icecap in Iceland. The water that flows through Dettifoss is rich in sediments and makes its way from the falls all the way out to the Greenland Sea. 

Roughly 300 miles from Reykjavik, Dettifoss is the perfect destination for a weekend trip outside the city. For closer access, the city of Akureyri is also a great place to stay and will leave you only 95 miles from Dettifoss.

How do you get to Dettifoss?

From the city of Akureyri, Dettifoss is just a two-hour drive away. The drive will lead you to the gravely west bank of the waterfall, where there are a few visiting facilities including a bathroom and an observational platform. From here, you can use the maintained hiking paths to get a closer view of Dettifoss or to head to the east bank of the falls. 

When should you visit Dettifoss?

While Dettifoss is open to visitors in every season, summer is the ideal time to plan a trip to the waterfall. During the winter months, the roads to Dettifoss may be closed due to ice and snow. When this happens the banks of the waterfall become slippery, increasing the chance of injuries. For these reasons, summer is the safest and most reliable time of year to visit the waterfall. 

What else can you do around Dettifoss?

Dettifoss is just two hours away from the city of Akureyri, the second-largest city in Iceland after Reykjavik. Here you'll find a number of restaurants, tourist attractions, and entertainment opportunities to explore. If you enjoy hiking, you can utilize a 21-mile hiking trail to travel from Dettifoss to Asbyrgi Canyon in Oxarfjordur.

If you're interested in the breathtaking views of a natural wonder, then Dettifoss is the perfect travel destination for you. To travel Iceland in a way that works for you, visit the Blue Car Rental website to reserve a rental car today.

Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland