Known as ‘the Jewel of the Westfjords, Dynjandi is considered one of Iceland’s most beautiful waterfalls. It is located on the Arnarfjörður; the second longed fjord in the Westfjords.
Dynjandi stands at 328 ft (100 m), making it the largest waterfall in the Westfjords. It is just shy of being top ten of the tallest waterfalls in the country. However, the width and shape are what Dynjandi is known for. At the top of the waterfall, Dynjandi is 98 ft (30 m) wide, and the bottom reaches 196 ft (60 m ) wide. This trapezoidal shape and its cascading flow five gives the Dynjandi the description of looking like a bridal veil.
The name ‘Dynjandi,’ also known as ‘Fjallfoss’ or ‘Mountain fall,’ comes from the word ‘dynja,’ which means to boom or resound. Dynjandi means “thunderous,” and the sound it produces adequately fits that description.
One of the best things about Dynjandi is the collective series of waterfalls on the Dynjandisá river. On the short hike up Dynjandi, you will pass by seven smaller waterfalls. These waterfalls are named Bæjarfoss, Hundafoss, Kvíslarfoss, Hrísvaðsfoss, Göngumannafoss, Strompgljúfrafoss, and Hæstahjallafoss. Even though they are a good bit smaller, these miniature waterfalls bring charm to the area.
Another waterfall, Kálfeyrarfoss, can be found further up the river. Kálfeyrarfoss is much larger than the seven waterfalls below Dynjandi. Both Dynjandi and Kálfeyrarfoss find its source from the lake Stóra-Eyjavatn.
The Arnarfjörðurin, where Dynjandi sits, is claimed to be full of monsters. The fjord is cited as having 180 recorded sightings of sea monsters, and Dynjandi has a few tales and myths of its own.
The most famous legend describes a supernatural being who dwells in the waterfall, also named ‘The Thunderer.’ Another legend claims that Dynjandi is the literal bridal veil of a giantess who got jilted, and the booming sounds are the cry of her heartbreak.
There is a belief that Dynjandi, not Goðafoss, is where the law speaker threw pagan idols into the waterfall and declared Christianity as the national religion. The myth suggests that the thunderous sounds are from the fury of the Nordic gods.
Regardless of monsters and legends that lurk around Dynjandi, the waterfall is, without a doubt, a natural wonder. Dynjandi is also of historical importance.
While Dynjandi is uninhabited today, historical evidence suggests it did have previous long-term human habitation. There are the remains of an old turf house known as the “Farm Mound.” One report alleges the house was inhabited until 1951 until the farmer’s wife could not stand living near Dynjandi’s roar anymore.
On September 16th, 2019, the energy company, RARIK, donated Dynjandi and the surrounding lands to the Icelandic State. RARIK is a state-owned company, but this was done to celebrate Icelandic Nature Day. This donation was also made to preserve Dynjandi and its history further.
Length: 1 mi (1.6 km)
Elevation gain: 308 ft (94 m)
Route Type: Out & back
The hike to Dynjandi is short, only half a mile from the parking lot to the waterfall. As mentioned before, there are seven waterfalls below Dynjandi, and these are all viewable along the hiking trail. While the path is short, it can be very steep and rocky. However, it is still rated as an easy hike, and there are some stairs on some of the inclines.
Viewable from Road? Yes
Nearest Major Town or City: Ísafjörður
Distance from Reykjavík: 225 mi (361 km)
The Westjords where Dynjandi resides is known to be very remote. Ísafjörður is the nearest town, but it is around an hour’s drive north of the waterfall. The drive from Reykjavík to Dynjandi takes around 5 five hours. You will head north on the Ring Road (Route 1) and turn left onto Vestfjarðavegur (Route 60). This left turn can be found shortly after Bifröst. Also, you can find the waterfall Glanni in this area. The remainder of the drive will be Vestfjarðavegur (Route 60) until you reach the parking lot.
Dynjandi is marked on Google Maps.