Dettifoss – Iceland - Atlas Obscura
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The most powerful waterfall in all of Europe. 


In Iceland’s Vatnajökull National Park, the waters of the mighty Dettifoss are ever-crashing.

The waters of the falls comes from the nearby Vatnajökull glacier, whose sediment-rich runoff colors the water a greyish white. The superlative of “most powerful” comes from its water flow coupled with its height. The falls, fed by the wide River Jökulsá, fall a total of about 150 feet, causing a massive, crashing spray. 

This can make getting close to the falls difficult. The pathways surrounding are frequently slippery, and authorities warn visitors to maintain a safe distance due to frequent accidents on the paths. This doesn’t stop visitors though. Dettifoss is the Niagara of Iceland and draws thousands of sightseers.

Know Before You Go

The best view is by reaching the waterfall from the east. Bring rain gear if you want to get close!

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