Akureyri is a town that is located about just 65 miles off the arctic circle, and it is the fourth most populous city in Iceland. This is an incredible destination that you can enjoy your travel at any time of the year. According to Icelandic literature, the town was started in the 8th and 9th centuries. The founders were Vikings, and it grew to be a perfect tourist destination. We all know that Iceland has some of the most scenic locations in Europe. The incredible nature, black sandy beaches, waterfalls, glaciers, northern lights, and snowcapped mountains are just some of the few things you can enjoy when you visit the country.
Iceland has other extraordinary destinations that you should visit, and you should not stick to only the capital Reykjavik. As it is popularly known, the capital of the north is a perfect destination that you can explore in Iceland. Akureyri is a location that is located in the northern part of the country, and it is five hours away from the capital. The city has around twenty thousand inhabitants, and you can visit a less crowded place.
You can check out incredible things in the region, such as fjords, northern lights, among others. Many travelers take advantage of the natural environment that is unpolluted to check the natural fauna and flora. For this reason, you should not miss a trip to the town and explore the natural environment.
What is the Best Time to Visit Akureyri?
The temperature of this town varies from -4 degrees Celsius during winter and 12 degrees Celsius during the summer period. You do not have to go on a specific period because you are sure to enjoy the country any time of the year. Winters present an opportunity for people to go skiing and to explore the northern lights.
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The summer period sees people enjoy outside sports and depending on what you want to go and enjoy in the country, you can choose a period that you are comfortable with and visit Akureyri.
How to get to Akureyri
If you are going to Akureyri, then you must plan your trip from the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. The northern town is located approximately 400 kilometers north of the capital, and you can either drive to the city or use the available local commercial airports.
There are numerous outdoor experiences in the city that you are sure you will have the time of your life visiting. Many people tend to prefer to go on a group or a private transfer which tends to be affordable. However, you are not limited by any means. You can explore the region in your own style.
It will take you approximately 9 hours to reach Akureyri if you go on a journey from Reykjavik and incorporate other travel ideas using the Ring Road. A direct journey will take you five hours. However, you can choose to include some excursions and get to know the areas as you travel.
Travel by plane will take you an hour or two, depending on the airport and the commitments that you have in the capital. There is a short and direct flight from Reykjavik, and it is a perfect choice for travelers who want a quick and easy connection of their journey to the final destination without waiting. If you get to travel on a day with clear skies, you will be able to enjoy the fantastic views of the highlands and check out the glaciers in the countryside.
Things To Do In Akureyri, Iceland
Once you have arrived in the northern town of Iceland, you have a chance to explore so many fun activities that will leave you appreciative of nature and the country as well. Here are some of the top things to do in the region.
Take a dip in the Akureyri swimming pool
If you want to explore an area, the best thing is to know the familiar places and places where many people will visit. The swimming pool is a few minutes walks from the center, and it is a perfect way to relax and unwind. Swimming in this pool is an ideal activity that you can enjoy after a long day of exploration and seeing the outdoor environment around the city.
There are two outdoor pools, a splash pool, water slides, an indoor pool, a paddling pool, and a steam bath. You are sure that you will not miss a fun activity to do in this area.
Visit Laufás turf houses
This is one of the areas that is often visited by many people. This features a colorful landscape, and it is a rich location as it has a history that dates back to the year 900 when the first people came and settled in the northern region.
The church that is currently in the area was constructed in the year 1865. Although it is a modernized church, it has been a tiny structure for hundreds of years. As you arrive, you will be welcomed by a visitors’ center to get more information about the houses and the region as a whole.
Explore the Christmas House
There is a Christmas shop that is rich in souvenirs and decorations throughout the year. You have a chance to explore the northern town and get some souvenirs from the city. You are sure that you will something that you can take back home.
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There are multiple items such as malt, Belgian waffles, among others. Besides, there is a Christmas garden in the back, and you can allow your kids to enjoy it as you purchase your souvenirs.
Visit the Hlíðarfjall Slopes
These slopes have been the country’s best skiing location, and many tourists flock to the area annually. Whether you are a first-timer or returning to this region, you are sure that you can get a place to ski and snowboard.
The fresh snow powder and cross-country tracks make it the best sensation that you can ever get. You can enjoy your winter trip to this destination because the skiing location is a perfect way to spend your time.
The Godafoss or God’s waterfall is one of the most unique features that make Akureyri a perfect holiday destination. As the name suggests, the waterfall was created or got the name from the fact that the country’s rulers decided to dump all their pagan symbols as they turned to Christianity.
The waterfall can be easily accessed from the car park, and you are sure that you will enjoy the views and other features of the fall.
Visit the Akureyrarkirkja
You will not have visited the northern town if you fail to visit this Lutheran church. The church features basalt rock columns, and it was constructed in the 9140s.
One of the church’s main features is the stained-glass windows on the altar. There is also a suspended ship on the ceiling, which symbolizes protection to the fishermen at sea.
Do not miss Akureyri Botanical Gardens
The lovely botanical garden offers a tranquil environment where you can go relax and unwind. It is a perfect holiday destination that you will explore and enjoy your stay in the city.
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There is a blend of arctic plants and temperate zone plants as well, which blend in with other plants brought to the area. During spring, you will be enchanted by the prosperous life that you will see in this area.
Learn some history at Akureyri Museum
There is nothing as important as getting to know the history of a particular location. If you want to know more about Akureyri, then this museum is a perfect destination that you must visit.
Although it may be a small museum, you have to learn and explore while in this destination. You will get to see fashion and contemporary art exhibits. There is a collection of Icelandic maps and objects that explain the town’s origin and the general history of the Icelandic people.
Explore Kjarnaskógur woodland area
This is a perfect location that boasts numerous well-labeled hiking trails that are good for individuals and families. Over a million tree species were planted over the past century, which makes the area an immense recreational facility that covers over 600 hectares. You can enjoy biking in the area as well.
There are two playgrounds where you can join the locals as you play some sports. In addition to these, there are picnic areas that you can enjoy your time as you spend your time with your loved ones.
Explore the Beer Spa
If you want to explore the history and diversity of the beautiful country, then visiting this spa is one of the must-do activities. The spa is located a few meters from Kaldi breweries, and these geothermal pools are usually heated, giving you a panoramic view of the valleys and Hrísey island.
Go hiking at Súlur Mountain
You will not have completed your visit to the northern city if you do not visit the Súlur mountain. The mountain rises above the town, and it offers multiple marked trails that you should explore when visiting this incredible destination.
It is not an easy hike, and it will take you from 5 to 6 hours to reach the top. On the top of the mountains, you will enjoy some of the most exquisite views of the mountain ranges on all sides.