Visit the most powerful waterfall in Europe and learn of the rich local culture and traditions of the area as part of this half-day superjeep adventure. Dettifoss is a thundering display of the force of nature.
Standing next to the falls, you’ll hear the deep roar of the water and see misty spray rising from its base. Frequently used as a filming location, and surrounded by a stark basalt landscape, the drama of the falls intensifies on sunny days when double rainbows form in the spray, lighting up the steep-sided canyon.
You’ll join a small group of other visitors for this half-day tour, which sets off from a variety of locations between Akureyri and Lake Mývatn. You’ll be driven east for approximately one hour in a 4x4 vehicle that’s been specially modified to deal with the tough terrain, eventually reaching the falls in Jökulsárgljúfur, one of Iceland’s most impressive canyons, through which the turbulent Jökulsá á Fjöllum river flows.
The first stop will be at Dettifoss, where, weather-permitting, you’ll visit the eastern bank of the canyon, a region accessed by a rough, unpaved road that only 4x4s can manage safely (if conditions are poor you’ll visit the west bank instead). Dettifoss, which is 45 m (148 ft) high and 100 m (328 ft) wide, is fed by milky-grey, silt-filled meltwater from the Vatnajökull ice cap. It plunges over the rim into Jökulsá Canyon in an almighty demonstration of nature’s power and force.
Near Dettifoss are a couple of other waterfalls that you can either walk or drive to, depending on the weather and road conditions. A few minutes’ walk upstream from Dettifoss is the Selfoss waterfall, a wide arc of ribbon-like falls cascading over sheer cliffs of columnar basalt. It’s undeniably beautiful, and after the power of Dettifoss, seems far more peaceful.
You can then continue on downstream to Hafragilsfoss, another set of falls on the edge of Jökulsá Canyon. Here, water plunges 30 m (98 ft) across a wide arc of cliffs, contrasting starkly with the surrounding lunar-like landscape.