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new road to dettifoss

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Temse, Belgium
posts: 9
reviews: 6
new road to dettifoss

I read that there is a new road to Dettifoss, which is much better than the old road.

Can somebody tell me where the road starts ? I suppose is starts from the south ?

Los Angeles
posts: 2
reviews: 2
21. Re: new road to dettifoss

Thanks for the quick reply!

Bologna, Italy
posts: 2
22. Re: new road to dettifoss

A question for Icelandicguide please.

Do you think it's possible to drive to Dettifoss on the east road from south with a camper? And then it's possible to continue to Asbyrgi? In positive case how long is the complete trip?

Thank you

Edited: 6:07 pm, June 07, 2012
Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
posts: 1,613
reviews: 2
23. Re: new road to dettifoss

I drove both the roads on the east side (864) and west side (862) last weekend. All vehicles can drive the east road, also those with campers. The ride is quite rough, mainly because it has washboards and is very dry with lot's of dust. The smaller the car, the more you notice the washboards. But it's easily doable. The drive takes between 1-2 hours plus stops at the waterfalls.

This reply refers to the entire east Route 864, from Route 1 to Route 85 so yes, you can get to Asbyrgi this way.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
posts: 1,613
reviews: 2
24. Re: new road to dettifoss

To extend upon my previous comment. People sometimes ask about the need to take the gravel insurance when renting a car in Iceland. The 864 to Dettifoss is a excellent example of a road where you would feel *much* better having opted in on that insurance.

Bologna, Italy
posts: 2
25. Re: new road to dettifoss

Thank you very much Northice!

So the west side road is unsuitable for camper?

Do you think the east side is good for having the best view of the falls?

Thank you again!!!

Reykjavik, Iceland
Destination Expert
for Iceland
posts: 1,613
reviews: 2
26. Re: new road to dettifoss

The west side (862) is split into two types of roads. First there is a 25 km stretch from Route 1 to Dettifoss waterfall. This is a brand new modern asphalt road. From there it's possible to continue down to Hljodaklettar and Asbyrgi, but that part of the road is gravel, mostly just 1 or 1.5 lane wide, but with pullouts where vehicles can meet. It's supposed to be ok to drive on all vehicles, but currently it's marked as suitable for 4x4 (4wd) only. I think it's a fun ride, certainly one of the more primitive roads you'll ever encounter in Iceland. In fact I met one camper on my way there last weekend so you certainly can drive the road.

There are split views of which side offers the best view of the waterfall. I actually think the west side has the potential to have the best view, I think it's more dramatic from there as you are facing the whole wall of water, instead of looking at it sideways on the east side. *However*, and this is a quite important factor, the west side is in the shadow of the water spray. That means the viewpoint closest to the waterfall get's sprayed with water. Now... that doesn't have to be a bad thing if you are in full raingear. In fact it an be quite thrilling to have the water from Europes most powerful waterfall sprayed into your face, but no way you could bring your expensive camera down there. I did not have raingear on me but that was okay, I stood on the upper viewpoint, overlooking both the waterfall and the lower viewpoint. This spot did not get any waterspray (at least not this time), but the downside is that you don't see all the way to the bottom of the waterfall. The lower viewpoint (which by the way is the edge of the river gorge) blocks the lower half of it. You could also go a bit further along the edge, away from the waterfall and then you get a good view of the whole waterfall, but with the chance of getting wet. Still an amazing sight!

This video shows the west side: http://youtu.be/5kB-0OMyiRA?t=8m29s The link makes the video start near the end of it, but you can rewind to the beginning to see footage from Asbyrgi and Hljodaklettar

I also found this video which shows Dettifoss from both sides: http://youtu.be/j8S6iVukojE

Now it's up to you to make the decision! Cheers.

Edited: 5:12 am, June 09, 2012
27. Re: new road to dettifoss

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