West Fjords – Þingeyri, Dynjandi Waterfall & Hagi
We spent this day exploring more of the West Fjords. If you look at Iceland on Google Maps and strongly use your imagination, Iceland kind of looks like a prancing reindeer with the West Fjords being the antlers. The West Fjords is a big peninsula that pokes off the northwestern corner of the main island facing the east of Greenland. There are about fifteen small settlements spread within the West Fjords, many of them fishing villages. It is heavily serrated by deep fjords and populated with mountains making it one of the more challenging areas to travel and pretty inaccessible in the winter times. However, if you have the opportunity to visit this area of Iceland during the summer, you get such a sweet treat around every curve and bend!
We started our day in the cute village of Flateyri where we had spent the night. We heard about an old bookstore in town and thought we’d visit before we got on the road again. We were greeted by a friendly cat demanding pets outside the bookstore which we highly welcomed since we had been away from our own fur ball for quite some time now. The bookstore, Bókabúðin, is a family affair and was the house of the current owner’s grandparents. It is part book store where you can buy books by weight and part museum filled with antiques. There’s a stack of old newspapers at your feet as soon as you walk in that have yellowed with time. I loved the old scale they use for weighing the books and all the ledgers they had on display with beautiful cursive handwriting. The rooms were filled with black and white family photographs, and the kitchen and dining areas looked as if time has stood still. I have a big dream of one day having my own antique decor store so being around old books and learning about pieces from the past is right up my alley!
We had quickly grown attached to the quaint town of Flateyri so it was bittersweet when it was time to leave, but we were excited about what the rest of the day had in store. We made a stop in the village of Þingeyri where we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the cutest cafe ever! Think white, original bead board on the walls, big windows, old wood floors, and the cutest green cabinets I ever did see! There was something so charming about this cafe and I was taking mental pictures and imagining having a place like this of my own. I am obviously a dreamer! Ben scarfed down his minestrone while I sipped on my sweet potato and carrot soup, which was delish! We decided to explore a little bit on foot and found a music museum and tourist shop nearby. My husband is a musician so the music museum was definitely his jam. While Ben ogled the locally made instruments, I split off and went to browse the tourist shop filled with handmade Icelandic treasures like woven mitts and sweaters, as well as horse hair flower pendants. I just loved the “homemade with love” lifestyle there!
Next up for the day was Dynjandi waterfall. Dynjandi is about an hour from Þingeyri and, of course, there’s beautiful scenery and more sheep traffic jams that fill the drive. I have to say that out of the zillions of waterfalls we saw in Iceland, Dynjandi was one of my top favorites. It is a multi-tiered waterfall set deep in a fjord with mountains surrounding you on three sides. Once you hike up closer to the massive falls, you’ll notice that they look like a white-blanketed staircase. As is true of many of the waterfalls we saw on sunny days in Iceland, there was yet another small rainbow prism reflecting off the lower falls. At the base of the mountains lying before the waters was a field of yellow wildflowers. It’s just a magical area. We spent a good bit of time here just soaking in the natural beauty before driving the last leg of our day to our hotel, Bjarkarholt Guesthouse, which was an hour away.
If you are ever visiting this area, I highly recommend staying at Bjarkarholt Guesthouse in Hagi. The owner, Rocky, is so nice, chill, and witty! Ben and I really enjoyed just getting to talk with a local and learn about their culture, while getting to share about our own. After chatting for a while about our Iceland adventure so far and hearing about other things to do in the area, Rocky cooked us up some hamburgers and flipped on the European Cup on TV where Iceland was playing! This was a really big deal for Iceland! Rocky and his son told us about a natural hot tub across the street with views of the beach so Ben and I made our way over there for a soak before settling in for the night. It was the cherry on top of our sweet day of exploring!
Old Bookstore in Flateyri
Along the way