Located next to a grand fjord in the Northern Westfjords, the small town of Þingeyri is known to many Icelandic people for hosting the Dýrafjarðardagar Viking Festival during the first weekend of July. This festival offers up festivities, including music, a beach volley tournament, and activities for children. In recent years, Þingeyri has also opened its doors to tourism, which has served as a way for the town to boost its economy. Locals now welcome those adventurous individuals who wish to experience the ruggedness of Icelandic nature in a remote location.
Stay: Hotel Sandafell
One of the hot spots in town is the Hotel Sandafell. Open throughout the summer months, the hotel offers rooms with spectacular views of the fjord, and has a restaurant which serves locally-sourced meat dishes. The kitchen is also happy to accommodate any vegan requests.
Eat: Simbahöllin Café
From its beautiful exterior to its old-style coffeehouse interior, the newly renovated Simbahöllin Café screams “time for a tea break!” The cozy, intimate café serves up coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, as well as an array of home-made cakes, soups, and light meals. The owners of the café, Janne Kristensen and Wouter van Hoeymissen, also offer guided horse riding tours and rent mountain bikes for self-guided adventures.
Visit: Jón Sigurðsson’s Instrument Exhibition
This small, intimate space dedicated to music is not your regular museum—here, visitors are allowed to touch the musical artifacts and even play a few tunes! The display consists of a mixture of musical instruments that were either hand-made or collected from across the world by the founder and music-enthusiast, Jón Sigurðsson. His personal favorite—the “langspil,” a traditional Icelandic drone zither.
Swim: Þingeyri Swimming Pool
If you’ve ever been frustrated that you couldn’t read and swim at the same time, this swimming pool answers your prayers: book recitals are regularly performed for visitors to enjoy while they enjoy a swim. Since it is located indoors, the pool is open all-year-round and every so often, it turns into the local meeting hub for the elderly generation of Þingeyri.
Hike: Svalvogar Lighthouse
At the edge of the town, you’ll find a 4-hour hiking trail that leads to a small lighthouse. On this walk where ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ meets ‘Game of Thrones,’ the sound of beating waves against cliffs accompanies you as you make your way along dramatic, rocky paths and through grassy fields—nature untouched at its finest!
Natural Attraction: Dynjandi Waterfall
The biggest waterfall in the Westfjords, Dynjandi, is just a 45-minute car ride away from Þingeyri. You can enjoy the waterfall up close if you park your car and follow a small path that takes you directly to the point where the water hits hard against the surface of the stream. The sound of this impact, and the overall grandeur of this natural phenomenon, will leave you in awe.