Skagi / Skagafjordur, Northwest Region (Norðurland vestra), Iceland

About Ketubjorg

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 30-45 minutes

Date first visited: 2007-06-27
Date last visited: 2007-06-27

Waterfall Latitude: 66.02749
Waterfall Longitude: -19.99806

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Ketubjorg (more accurately Ketubjörg; pronounced “KET-oo-byurg”) mesmerized us with its 120m cliff dive going right into where Skagafjörður met the North Atlantic Ocean (well, almost due to the fallen rocks at its base). Actually, I am not sure whether this name refers to the waterfall or the cliff in Skagi supporting nesting birds. Nonetheless, this ocean-feeding waterfall reminded us a lot like a much bigger and more rugged version of McWay Falls in California albeit with a little less color.

Since we were literally on cliffs dropping right into the ocean, we saw lots of birds flying about against the frigid winds as if they were hovering in the air both beside us as well as between us and the falls. They really added to the memorable scene as did the many wildflowers blooming on the grassy plateau, which added a little more color to the mostly blackened cliffs and dark waters under the overcast skies.

From the signpost for Ketubjörg (see directions below), we climbed over a stile before walking onto trailless grassy bluffs that rolled and undulated before abruptly ending at the sheer dropoffs into the sea. This was where we were able to get distant views of the waterfall, but we had to be careful not to get too close to the cliff edges given the potential for instability in the cliffs.

While the view of the falls seemed a bit distant from our vantage point, we were still able to have a satisfactory viewing experience without the need for a telephoto lens. Even though we didn’t do it, we probably could have scrambled a little more around these coastal bluffs to view the waterfall from different angles and possibly even venture out closer to the top of the waterfall itself.

Overall, we spent roughly 45 minutes away from the car, and this included all the time we spent just enjoying the scenery and watching the birds hover in the sky against the Arctic winds.


From Blönduós, we headed about 1.6km east of town along the Ring Road (Route 1) turning left onto Route 74. We followed Route 74 for about 7km turning right onto Route 744. Then, we followed Route 744 for about 21km before turning left onto Route 745. We followed Route 745 north for about 26km to a small pullout with a signpost and stile nearby indicating Ketubjorg.

It’s also possible to come here from Akureyri, but that would involve driving west for 91km on Ring Road (Route 1) getting off on Route 75 at Varmahlið. Then, follow Route 75 for about 25km as it eventually joins with Route 744. Then, turn left onto route 744 and follow it for about 18km, then turn right onto Route 745 to take it for the remaining 26km to the stile and signpost at Ketubjorg.

By the way, on the latter route between Ketubjorg and Akureyri, we stumbled upon Glaumbær, which were interesting turf farms as well as an exhibit. Glaumbær was along Route 75 about 7km northwest of the Ring Road junction at Varmahlið.

As for geographical context, Blönduós was 143km (over 90 minutes drive) along the Ring Road west of Akureyri and 237km (about 3 hours drive) along the Ring Road north of Reykjavík.

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Tagged with: skagi, skagafjordur, blonduos, akureyri, glaumbaer, varmahlid, northwest region, nordurland vestra, iceland, waterfall, tidefall

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