Dynjandi (I believe is pronounced “DIN-yahn-dih”; also known as Fjallfoss or “Mountain Falls”) was definitely our favorite waterfall in the remote Westfjords (Vestfirðir) for it was by far the most spectacular one in the region. Befitting of its name was that the word “dynjandi” meant “thunderous” in Icelandic (my dictionary said “dynja” was a verb meaning “to boom” or “to resound”). It was actually a series of waterfalls (7 in all) with a cumulative height of 100m. The main uppermost tier was the one that we photographed the most (as shown above) since it was most notable with its trapezoidal shape (said to be 30m wide at the top, 60m wide at the bottom).
We noticed that each of the seven sections of the waterfall had a signposted name corresponding to it. The subtiers (not counting the main tier) were called Bæjarfoss, Hundafoss, Hrísvaðsfoss, Göngumannafoss, Strompgljúfrafoss, and Hæstajallafoss, respectively. While each of the falls were interesting, we thought it was the cumulative effect of all the falls coming down together in series that really made the collective Dynjandi stand out.
Driving to this falls was an exercise in long distances where even a ferry ride to the Westfjords region reduced the driving distances to something a little more manageable for a trip on limited time. Even most of the roads in the region were unpaved 2wd roads. Yet contrasting the remote theme of the Westfjords, when we arrived at the falls, we were surprised to see how tourist friendly the facilities were (i.e. well-established walkways, toilets, large car parks, signage, etc.). Plus, it was not unusual to see tour buses stopping here as well. As a result, this waterfall was surprisingly bustling despite its pretty remote location.
As for the walk up to the falls itself, it climbed immediately uphill through a combination of slopes and stairs. Some sections of the paths were pretty steep and rocky, but by and large the path was very doable by anyone with a reasonable amount of fitness. Perhaps it was more of a cardiovascular workout since the path went relentlessly uphill until it reached its end at the base of the main waterfall. But breaking up the exercise were signsposts next to each of the waterfall’s subtiers (which was how I was able to identify them by name) so that got us to mentally and physically take breathers before continuing on.
Julie and I took about 45 minutes or so going uphill to get all the way to the base of the main waterfall. It took us a total of around 90 minutes to cover the round trip distance plus all the time we stopped to take photos and admire the falls each step of the way. Going back downhill was a breeze, but it was definitely worth taking our time on the descent because the views of the Arnarfjöður and surrounding terrain were breathtaking.
From the north end of the ferry from Stykkishólmur at Breidafjördur Bay, we drove north on Route 610 for about 500m then turned right onto Route 62. We followed Route 62 for a little over 5km until we turned left onto Route 60 (Vestfjarðavegur), which went uphill up a wide gully to a small pass before descending towards its junction with the Route 63.
After about 30km from the Route 62/Route 60 junction (notice this road will go above the stream responsible for Dynjandi as well as another stream over a neighboring waterfall), there will be another signposted turnoff on the left for Dynjandi. Take this turnoff and follow it downhill for the last 760m to its end at the large car park for the falls.
This drive would take roughly an hour or less to go the direct route (which we described above) from Breidafjördur Bay to the waterfall.
As for the car ferry to the Westfjords, we took the Baldur ferry, which had a set schedule that left at 9am sharp. The ferry took 2.5 hours, including a stop at Flatey Island. For the most up-to-date information regarding the ferry schedule, see the official website.
Even though some say that the ferry doesn’t save on driving time, it definitely let us rest and recharge during the whole journey so that was why we did it. Stykkishólmur was about 165km (a little over 2 hours drive) north of Reykjavik. Had we driven all the way to Dynjandi from Reykjavik without the ferry, then this drive would have been 363km requiring about 5 hours of driving. Finally, if we were coming from the north at Ísafjörður, then we would be driving 85km (90 minutes drive) south on the Road 60 to get to the turnoff mentioned above that would lead to the car park for the falls.
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