With an immense 500 cubic meters of water falling each second, Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, and one of Iceland’s most extraordinary natural attractions, famously immortalized in the opening scene of Ridley Scott’s 2012 film, Prometheus. Dropping 45 meters and stretching for 100 meters along the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon in the Vatnajökull National Park, it’s hard not to be impressed by the magnitude of the falls, the largest of the three major waterfalls found along the Jokulsa river (including nearby Selfoss and Hafragilsfoss).
Dettifoss Waterfall is among the top sights of the ‘Diamond Circle’ driving route, the 260 km long ring road, which links together the highlights of North Iceland, but the falls can also be reached by hiking the scenic 35km trail from Asbyrgi canyon. As well as looking out over the canyon from the banks, visitors can climb down to the riverbed, where the views are marred by clouds of foam and the bedrock visibly trembles under its force.
Dettifoss waterfall is located around 90km from the town of Húsavík in the Vatnajökull National Park, Northeast Iceland. Road 864, a single-track gravel road, runs to the eastern bank of the falls and is open only from May-October, during which time buses also run from Mývatn. Alternatively, the paved Road 862 runs to the west and remains open during the winter, depending on the weather. Entrance is free.