Located in the Vatnajökull National Park on the northern east side of the island. Visiting Dettifoss Iceland should be high on the list for anyone that’s traveling the country looking to see its most beautiful sites. Listed as the second most powerful in Europe, and the most powerfull waterfall in Iceland. It’s one of the more impressive falls you are going to see anywhere in the world. Dettifoss Iceland was also made famous for being featured in the 2-12 Ridley Scott movie Prometheus. As the location where life begins on earth.
Getting there is not easy, and requires a bit of drive off the ring road. On what can best be described as a dirt highway. And there are actually two sides of the falls you can go to, on the East and West side. So below I’m going to give you all the tips I wish I knew before our trip. Along with video, pics, and links to a map. I’ll share our experience visiting this incredible waterfall, along with tips and advice for anyone planning their own trip to Dettifoss.
Visiting Dettifoss Iceland – Hiking The Most Power Waterfall in Iceland
- Dettifoss Falls is located in the Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland. With the canyon and falls being carved by water over millions of years.
- There are two sides to the falls, Dettifoss West and Dettifoss East.
- Both are roughly 40 minutes off of the ring road, along a dirt highway.
- Both sides are not accessible from the falls. To get from one side to the other you would drive 40 minutes to the ring road, another 10 minutes on the ring road, then 40 minutes off to the other side’s parking lot.
- Dettifoss West is the more popular side and where they filmed the famous scene from the movie Prometheus.
- There are parking lots, trails. And viewing platforms located on both sides of the falls.
- During the spring thaw in mid to late May the falls are at their most impressive.
- There are no bathrooms at either parking lot.
Dettifoss Iceland Map
Our Stop at the Most Power Waterfall in Iceland
As you can see from the map above there are two sides of the falls that you can visit. And both are a good drive off of the ring road. So this is where we will start our adventure. Only having time to stop at one side of the falls, we decided to visit the more popular west side. Which is where the movie Prometheus was filmed and allows you to get possibly too close to the actual falls.
Road to the Waterfall
The road off of the ring road is one of Iceland’s famous dirt roads. It’s long and bumpy, but that doesn’t stop people from flying. We were lucky to have a bit of rain knock down some of the dust. But you can expect an action packed 30+ minute drive to get to the actual falls. With no real sightseeing along the way. .
At the falls there is a medium sized main parking lot with plenty of overflow along the miles of dirt road. There is no bathroom. From the lot you can see the mist fishing from the fall just over a small crest. And it’s only a short walk down to the fall itself.
The falls themselves are astonishingly powerful! And well worth the visit. We spent roughly 30 minutes there, but there are plenty of trails. You could easily kill a few hours hiking.
Dettifoss Iceland Photos
Closing Thoughts On Visiting Dettifoss Iceland
Visiting Dettifoss Iceland was an unforgettable experience that will stay with Kyle and me for the rest of our lives. Its power is indescribable. From the moment we first heard the sounds of the water roaring down the falls we were in awe of its beauty and the moment. As you get closer and closer the sounds are almost deafening and there is an incredible updraft of water being thrust into the air from the force. Standing at the edge of the falls you could feel the mist on your face as a rush of water soaked air is cast hundreds of feet in the sky. Water is truly a magical force. And Iceland is truly a land of incredible beauty. With Dettifoss as a shining example of what makes this country so unique. So make sure you add this incredible place to your Iceland itinerary.
Iceland Road Trip Links
Check out the other stops from our incredible Iceland road trip.
Day 2 Stops
Stokksnes Vestrahorn – Abandoned Viking Village Link Coming Soon
Day 3 Stops
DettiFoss Iceland – Iceland’s Most Powerful Waterfall