Iceland’s Diamond Circle

The Diamond Circle is another fairly new region that Iceland has been preparing for more visitor access. A key part of this route is now part of the Vatnajokull National Park (previously the Jokulsargjufur National Park). Husavik is also on the Diamond route and it continues north around the peninsula to Tjornes and then comes SE towards Asbyrgi Canyon. We were turned on to this site by the hotel staff in Husavik and it was an unusual sight to see. We really needed a drone to get an ariel shot to see the humongous horseshoe-shaped “hoofprint” left by Odin’s giant 8-legged horse. The more mundane explanation for the cliffs would be an ancient glacial flood but doesn’t Odin’s story sound more interesting?

Just one part of one wall in the Asbyrgi Canyon.

In any case, no mere mortal photos do this justice or can capture the scope of the site. Hikers head up and walk a trail in the middle or around the perimeter.

The north flowing Jokulsa a Fjollum (Glacial River in the Mountains).

Next up and high on our list of must-sees – Dettifoss Falls. This is Europe’s most powerful waterfall at 150’ in height and 340’ wide, it puts out in excess of 130,000 gallons of water every minute. It’s massive, loud, wet, and I thought intimidating.

A trail runs from the parking area about half a kilometer to the first viewpoint. The lower viewpoint was closed for safety reasons. To get to the higher viewing areas visitors have to navigate rocks and uneven footing, and an entire portion had no guard rail of any kind. Other “guard rails” consisted of a rope strung between poles. It was cloudy (so no rainbows today) and at the upper view, we were soaked with the mist. Seeing Dettifoss was fabulous but I will confess my heart was pounding and it was not from the exertion of the hike!

Let me not forget to mention the midges. They were out in full force and we were the only people I saw with head nets (thankfully I still had them in my possession from the day before). Several people we passed commented on what a good idea this was. People were using scarves and face masks to try and keep them out of their mouths and noses.  It would’ve been intolerable without our nets (3 for $12.99 at Amazon).

Of note, Selfoss Falls is reached from the same site and there are good, free bathrooms by the parking area.

9 Comments on “Iceland’s Diamond Circle

  1. You always include the important information and your fan club appreciates it …. Bathroom locations, best prices for hair nets and string guard rails for safety! This one country seems to have all the one of a kind scenery!

  2. Everything you share from this place has a WOW factor!

  3. Another inspiring post giving me an incurable case of the “I Wanna Go’s”! I can see why you were intimidated by the gorgeous waterfall. Looking down at all that power flowing into a gorge would intimidate most of us. Your posts certainly convey the beauty of the country. Knowing about the midges, as well as the face nets, will be filed away for future reference. Keep these lovely posts coming. I am going to use them to convince Mike that we HAVE to go to Iceland! Thank you for sharing.

    • A beautiful country and so easy to get here from the US. Despite the language being complicated, most everyone speaks English which helps.

  4. Beautiful pictures and interesting information.

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