Information about Diamond Circle

Dettifoss is an attraction on the Diamond Circle.

The Diamond Circle is a famed 260 kilometre (162 mile) sightseeing route in the northeast of Iceland, characterised by its sheer number of natural attractions, picturesque settlements and fantastic landscapes.

The Diamond Circle is available for those who wish to drive the route themselves, as well as those who would prefer to partake in a guided tour of the region.

It is considered the northeastern alternative to the popular Golden Circle sightseeing route, which is reached by travelling for forty minutes from Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík, and comprised of the three major sites Þingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Valley and Gullfoss Waterfall.

The route’s four main attractions are Lake Mývatn, Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, the horseshoe-shaped canyon, Ásbyrgi and the fishing town of Húsavík, known primarily for its fantastic whale watching opportunities.

Lake Mývatn

Lake Mývatn is one of the most popular sites of the north; it is a favourite location for birdwatchers in particular, who can see dozens of species year round.

The lake area is also known for its flora, being home to rare moss balls and many wildflowers, and its geology. This takes the form of basalt pillars rising from the waters, pseudocraters surrounding them, and the lava fortress of Dimmuborgir.

Dimmuborgir is a dramatic and beautiful location, used as a setting for the Game of Thrones franchise. In folklore, it is said to be home to the thirteen Icelandic Yule Lads

Dettifoss.

Dettifoss is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, found in the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river in the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon, which is part of the great Vatnajökull National Park. It is 40 metres (131 feet) tall and over 100 metres (328 feet) wide.

Dettifoss is one of three waterfalls in the river; Selfoss is just a little upstream, while Hafragilsfoss is downriver.

Ásbyrgi

The horseshoe shaped canyon of Ásbyrgi is so perfectly formed that one could be forgiven for thinking it has divine origins. This is, in fact, what old Icelanders used to believe; according to legend, it was created when one of the hoofs of the eight-legged horse of the god Oðin made contact with the earth.

The land within the canyon is well-forested, due to the shelter that the sheer cliffs provide.

Húsavík

Húsavík is often nicknamed ‘the whale-watching capital of Europe’, due to the wealth of life in its waters. Most tour operators boast 100 percent sighting rates on their tours throughout summer, with the most common species being humpback whales and white-beaked dolphins.

Over twenty species of cetacean, however, are found in Iceland’s waters, and there is a chance of seeing any of them, depending on the time of year, from the town. Blue whales, for example, have been seen in summer, and some rather lost Narwhals and Belugas have been seen in winter.

Other Sites

Other sites on the Diamond Circle include the likes of Goðafoss Waterfall, Æðafossar (“Eider Falls”), Hljóðaklettar (“Echo rocks” or “The Whispering Cliffs”) and Laugar swimming pool.

Do note, however, that not all tour operators travel to each of these attractions. If you are looking to visit each location individually, with nothing missed, it is recommended to drive the sightseeing route yourself.

Services near Diamond Circle

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Diamond Circle

Gjástykki

  Gjastykki is a beautiful and rugged rift valley to the north of the caldera Krafla, in the north of Iceland. Gjastykki was literally blown ap...

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Víti in Krafla

Viti (meaning 'Hell') in Krafla is an explosion crater. It is one of the two most famous Viti craters in Iceland, the other being Viti in Askj...

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Leirhnjúkur

  Leirhnjukur ('Mud Peak') is a 525 m high active volcano, located to the northeast of Lake Myvatn in North Iceland. Leirhnjukur is pa...

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Krafla

Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo Credit: Earthquakes Krafla Krafla is a caldera, part of a greater volcanic system of the same name, located north ...

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Hljóðaklettar

Hljodaklettar (‘Echo Rocks’) is a distinctive cluster of columnar rock formations, located by Jokulsargljufur in Vatnajokull National Pa...

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Nesgjá

Nesgja is a fresh water fissure in North Iceland, close to Husavik and Asbyrgi. It is one of Iceland‘s top dives.    As with the Silf...

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Mývatn

Mývatn is a beautiful lake with many small islands in the north of Iceland, the fourth largest lake in the country. Due to its serenity, bird...

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Stóragjá

Stóragjá is a little-known rift in north Iceland which holds cave filled with naturally-heated geothermal water. Found next to the vill...

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Námaskarð

Námaskarð Pass is a geothermal area on the mountain Námafjall, in north Iceland, less than half an hour’s drive from Lake M&...

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Bjarnarflag

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons, Photo by LV Corporate Bjarnarflag is the oldest geothermal power station in Iceland, having been first open...

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Hafragilsfoss

  Downstream of Dettifoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall, is another major waterfall, the thunderous Hafragilsfoss. Like Dettifoss, Hafr...

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Mývatn Nature Baths

Photo from Goðafoss Waterfall and the Mývatn Nature Baths The Mývatn Nature Baths are a set of geothermally heated pools and steam ...

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Dettifoss

Dettifoss is a waterfall found in North Iceland, said to be the most powerful in Europe. It is regularly visited on Diamond Circle tours and should ...

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Námafjall Geothermal Area

The Námafjall Geothermal Area is located in Northeast Iceland, on the east side of Lake Mývatn. At this area, also known as Hverir, ...

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Jökulsárgljúfur

Jökulsárgljúfur is a canyon in Iceland that was once its own national park; now, it is part of the greater Vatnajökull Natio...

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Selfoss (waterfall)

Selfoss is a beautiful waterfall in north Iceland, often visited on Diamond Circle tours. It is not to be confused with the town of the same name i...

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Knútstaðaborg

Knútsstaðaborg hollow is an open cave, or lava chamber, about 10 square metres (107 square ft.) in size. It is a site surrounded by bea...

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Ásbyrgi

Ásbyrgi Canyon is a spectacular horseshoe-shaped depression in the northeast of Iceland, steeped in folklore. It is found only fifty miles e...

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Grjótagjá

Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras Grjótagjá is a small lava cave located near lake Mývatn in north Iceland, famous for fe...

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Hverfjall

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Tong Hverfjall is a tuff ring volcano with an incredibly impressive crater, approximately one kilo...

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