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West Fjords Iceland

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It’s funny how our Iceland trip ended up taking us to places we hadn’t planned and as is often the case, the unplanned events are often the most memorable. I had so many South Iceland locations on my list that I figured we would spend the majority of our time there before doubling back to Reykjavik at the end of our trip. As I had mentioned in my previous post about our visit to Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, the weather in southern Iceland was really wet and windy with no signs of improving in the coming week. So, I checked weather forecasts for northern Iceland and low and behold it was looking much more favourable. At that point we decided to continue traveling east and complete the #1 Ring Road which takes you all the way around Iceland. Eventually we did catch up to the nice weather and even found ourselves with enough time to add on a side trip to the West Fjords. This was such a stunning area and I only wish we had more time there but below you will see some highlights of what we did see and why we loved it so much. If you missed it, please check out my Iceland Trip Report for some hilarious stats and my top 11 photos from our time in Iceland.

Driving to West Fjords, Iceland

The roads in West Fjords were in pretty good condition when we traveled them but there are very steep narrow areas so caution is needed. Depending on where you are the roads may be paved or gravel. There was a chain-up area at the base before climbing so if you are planning to travel when snow might be a possibility snow chains would be a very good idea. Below is an iPhone picture to get an idea.

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Always look well ahead and scan the roadsides while driving anywhere in Iceland. We found more sheep on the roads in West Fjords than any other region we traveled and they don’t care much about cars and will take their time getting out of the way.

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Depending on where you are coming from, there are a couple different route options for getting to the West Fjords. We were starting out from Blonduous in NW Iceland and drove up to Dynjandi the first day.

Below are a few examples of some of the views you can expect along the drive:

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View along the road to Dynjandi, West Fjords, Iceland.

On a clear day with good visibility the drive is well worth the white-knuckles as you navigate from 5 metres below sea level to 494 metres above sea level on a narrow, winding gravel road without the comfort of guard rails separating your car from the sheer cliffs you are driving beside!  The views are breath-taking but the drive is not for the faint of heart and I would not attempt it in bad conditions. There were definitely a few moments where my heart was in my throat!

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Stunning views to be seen driving around the West Fjords, Iceland.

Dynjandi  Waterfall West Fjords Iceland

The reward for all the twisty-turny stomach-churning miles? You’ve now arrived at THE most stunning waterfall in Iceland. And that’s saying something considering Iceland is not exactly lacking in the stunning waterfall department. Even better, plan to stay the night like we did and pitch your tent beneath the roar of this beauty:

Dynjandi waterfall reflected in a puddle in the parking lot. West Fjords, Iceland.

Dynjandi waterfall reflected in a puddle in the parking lot. West Fjords, Iceland.

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Our campsite at the base of the Dynjandi Waterfall, West Fjords, Iceland.

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The campground and Dynjandi Waterfall, West Fjords, Iceland.

Be sure to make the trek up the trail to get a closer look at the waterfall where endless composition possibilities await:

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The human form indicates the scale of the Dynjandi.

Don’t forget to turn around and take in the spectacular view out over the Fjord as well. We headed up early evening and had the place to ourselves while the campers were making their dinners and the day-trippers had already headed for home. A nice bottle of wine was our motivation for the climb but really the greatest reward was this view:

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Looking out over the Fjord at Dynjandi, West Fjords, Iceland.

The following day we took a day-trip to Patreksfjörður where we enjoyed a relaxing soak in the local hot baths before heading back to Breidafjordur where we took the 6:00pm ferry to Stykkishólmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

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Fjord view from the Hot Pools in Patreksfjörður, West Fjords, Icleand.

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Ferry Baldur pulling in to Brjánslækur in West Fjords.

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Sunset view from the Ferry Baldur.

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The Iceland flag on the ferry from West Fjords to Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Thanks for taking a look!

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