Dettifoss Waterfall

Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Partially Family Friendly

About Dettifoss Waterfall

Possibly the most powerful waterfall in Europe, Dettifoss is located in the Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland. Water travelling from the Vatnajokull Glacier plunges over a 45 m (147.6 ft) high, 100 m (328 ft) wide cliff down to the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon below. The river and waterfall has a milky appearance to it, due to the sediment-rich meltwater that originates from the Vatnajokull Glacier. These raging white waters are a sight to behold, producing a great spray as they reach the bottom which makes it easy to believe that the Dettifoss Waterfall produces the largest volume of water of any waterfall in Europe. The waterfall's immense power could potentially be harnessed to produce energy for the country, however, to date there have not yet been any realistic ideas put forward on how this could be achieved.


Main visitor access to the Waterfall is via a tarmac road, completed in 2011. This road takes visitors to the east side of the waterfall. It is also possible to gain completely different views from the east and west side, where the waterfall cuts the river at an angle. Views from the west side are often hindered by the spray, but there’s a likelihood of experiencing beautiful rainbows, created in the mist that rises from the base of the falls.

There is a 34 km (21.1 mi) hiking trail running along the canyon from Dettifoss to Asbyrgi, with camping facilities nearby.


On the east side there are no guardrails, making it possible to get closer to the waterfall, but beware the jagged rocks and other potential dangers of coming so close to nature‘s extreme power.

Most major access roads are closed in winter due to snow and poor conditions.

Landscape Photography
Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Latitude: 65.821919, Longitude: -16.388169