Waterfalls of Iceland: Dettifoss

Big…powerful…loud…Dettifoss!  This waterfall is by many accounts Europe’s most powerful.  Dettifoss can be reached by two roads:  862 to the west and 864 to the east.  862 is a paved road.  864 is anything but a paved road.  No 4WD?  Plan on some 15-20 mph time.  However, views from the east are very nice.  While you’re here, be sure to check out Selfoss, which is about a one kilometer walk.  Few tourists seemed to be going to Selfoss.  Their loss, your Selfoss.  Afterwards, drive a short distance north to Hafragilfoss.

Location:  About 60 km east of Myvatn (f you take route 862).  Myvatn would be your likely stop the night before (if traveling clockwise).  We traveled clockwise, staying at Myvatn, visiting Dettifoss, then going on to Egilsstadir.  This was a full day with several stops.  Google maps location of Dettifoss


  • The shear volume of water is amazing.
  • The opportunity to see three unique waterfalls in a short amount of time.
  • Some tourists, but not overcrowded.
  • A famous waterfall – it has been featured in movies, including Prometheus.


  • Road 864.  Not fun, though the east side provides the best views of Dettifoss.
  • If beautiful waterfalls are your thing…well, Dettifoss is more about the power.


Be smart.  Be careful.  There are no fences.  This is a powerful waterfall.  Injuries have happened.



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