The Dettifoss waterfall is often considered the most massive waterfall in Europe in terms of mass flow, but with a flow rate of around 200 to 500 cubic metres per second, it is the 2nd most massive after the Rhine Falls in Switzerland.

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Dettifoss lies on Iceland's second longest river, Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which flows through basalt canyons and bare landscape. Apart from its flow, the waterfall doesn't let its size shame it: it is over 100 metres wide and the water falls to a depth of 44 metres.

Just less than 1.5 km upstream on the hiking trail, you'll come across another, much smaller but still beautiful waterfall, Selfoss. On the other hand, 2.5 km downstream you will come across the beautiful Hafragilsfoss waterfall.

How to get there?

To reach Dettifoss waterfall, you have to go to the remote landscape of northeast Iceland, located near the popular tourist lake Mývatn and about 538 km from Reykjavik (route map:

Well-traveled gravel roads run on both sides of the Jökulsá á Fjöllum River, but since you can't cross the river anywhere nearby, you'll have to decide which side of the waterfall you want to visit as early as the main road number 1 (about 35 km from Dettifoss).

The west side is more popular because the waterfall is directly opposite you. However, count on a massive hit of water that escapes just to the west. To get here, take road number 862 (map:, and you'll have to walk about 1 km from the parking lot.

The east side is more adrenaline-pumping, as you can practically get right up to the unprotected side of the waterfall, which is very dangerous. However, you'll enjoy the views into the deep canyon and won't have your view obstructed so much by the splintering water. To get here, take road number 864 (map: and then walk again for about 1 km.

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