Iceland has over 10,000 waterfalls scattered across the country, with a few essentially being our island “A-listers”. Dynjandi Waterfall is definitely one of them. But what makes this waterfall one of our must-visit attractions here on the island?
Where can you find it? And when should you plan your visit? We tackle all your most frequently asked questions regarding Dynjandi and reveal all in our deep dive into Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland.
What Makes Dynjandi Waterfall so Special?
Dynjandi (pronounced DIN-yahn-dih) is one of our falls with the most unique aesthetic. The name Dynjandi means “thunderous”, and the falls are also known as Fjallfoss, which means “mountain falls”, but none of these names will prepare you for the 100 meters high, tiered waterfall that you will encounter when visiting the site.
Exactly what Dynjandi reminds you of remains to be seen since visitors’ opinions are split, although both have a wedding theme to them. Some say that the falls remind them of a bride’s veil as she walks down the aisle. Others say that it looks just like a tiered wedding cake, the glossy white icing giving way to the dark cake hiding underneath at certain places.
Dynjandi also is a type of combo deal since you may come to visit the 7-tiered falls, but you’ll end up staying for the 5 falls below it as well (Udafoss, Hundafoss, Haifoss, Göngufoss, and Bæjarfoss).
Where is Dynjandi Waterfall in Iceland?
Dynjandi may not be the biggest waterfall on the island, but it most certainly is the largest in the Westfjords. It is located in Dynjandisvobur Bay, to be exact, right at the end of a fjord called Arnafjördur. It’s a pretty remote region and quite a drive from some of our bigger cities.
With it being roughly 6 hours from Akureyri and about 5 hours from Reykjavik, we highly recommend that you arrange to sleep over at the town of Isafjordur (the closest town to Dynjandi) when making this a day trip. This is also why most opt to simply include the falls as a stop on their Westfjords road trip.
How was Dynjandi Waterfall Formed?
Dynjandi is a good example of why the country is referred to as the Land of Fire and Ice. The water of the falls comes from Lake Stora-Eyjavatn, which lies pretty high up, considering that it’s 350 meters above sea level. But Dynjandi’s tiers are remnants of the past and serve as a reminder that Iceland is a country filled with volcanic activity. The “dark cake” peeking out of the icing, in reality, is black basalt rock, which is essentially hardened lava.
Why there is a waterfall at this exact spot is due to thousands and thousands of years of Fire and Ice – many eruptions, many glacial floods, and the terrain ever-changing due to this back and forth between fire and ice. The rockface where Dynjandi plummets to the earth today is what’s left of glacially eroded cliffs, marking an Icelandic coastline of many centuries ago.
When is the Best Time to Visit Dynjandi Falls?
Although the falls are technically open to the public all year round, we would suggest that you work in a visit during the warmer months here on the island (May to October). This is because the Westfjords is one of the regions that is most affected by the colder weather conditions.
Many Westfjords roads and routes are kept closed during the colder months, and others might be subject to sudden closures due to deep snow or avalanches. You’ll also need a lot more than the 4-5 hours of daylight Iceland serves up during the winter months to get to the falls and back.
How Much Time Do You Need for Dynjandi?
To actually get to the falls in the first place, you will need to take a hike. This hike is not very difficult, but is not suitable for very small children or the elderly. So, even though most end up spending about an hour at the falls, you’ll need to add the 40 minutes of hiking beforehand. So, give yourself at least 2 hours for a visit to the falls.
How Long is the Walk to Dynjandi Waterfall?
As we already mentioned, the Dynjandi walking trail will take roughly 40 minutes. This will depend solely on your own pace. Although the hike is just over 1.5 kilometers long and not extremely hard, it can get pretty steep and rocky at certain places.
How Do You Get to Dynjandi?
There are a few options to get to Dynjandi in Iceland:
You Can Visit as Part of a Guided Tour
You will find various tour operators here on the island that offer all sorts of guided tours to Dynjandi. Some will offer this as a day tour, whilst others may offer it as part of a multi-day holiday package tour. If you are planning on visiting Iceland in our busy summer season, we do recommend that you book the tours well in advance to avoid any disappointment.
You Can Take the Bus
The Westfjords Adventure Bus travels between Isafjördur and Patreksfjördur multiple times each week, and one of its stops is at Dynjandi. Many opt to catch the bus to Dynjandi, especially since it gives you just enough time to take the hike to the falls and back and then catch the bus on its way back again. But please take note – you don’t want to miss that bus, or you’ll not only be visiting Dynjandi but sleeping there as well.
You Can Drive Yourself
This will always remain our personal favorite, since driving yourself means that you are in full control of your own time and itinerary. And we believe a road trip is the best way to discover the island and all its hidden gems.
If traveling from one of the major cities here on the island, simply get on the Ring Road and drive towards Route 60, which will drive you straight into the Westfjords and passes Dynjandi. It’s important to note that the section of Route 60 you need to take to Dynjandi is not paved. And although it is not a legal requirement here, we highly recommend that you take this route on with a 4x4 vehicle.
Dynjandi Waterfall; the Pride of the Westfjords
If you’ve got the Westfjords on your Icelandic bucket list, there’s no way that you can miss out on Dynjandi during your trip. These falls, and its 5 “siblings” nearby make for a very impressive sight. So, rent a car in Reykjavik, do that Ring Road road trip, and visit the falls to finally settle the debate for yourself; bridal cake or bridal veil?