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THE OFFICIAL GUIDE TO AKUREYRI
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WELCOME TO AKUREYRI Akureyri, sometimes known as the capital of the north, is a beautiful town nestled between steep mountains and the deep blue sea. It’s the biggest town outside the Reykjavík area and manages to combine all the charm of a small Icelandic fishing town with the culture and entertainment of a much larger city.
WALKING THROUGH TOWN
As you get acquainted with the setting of Akureyri, you’ll notice how steep some of the streets are. Starting out as a tiny harbour village by the sea, it only had one direction to grow, uphill! The result is a town filled with spectacularly picturesque views in every direction. From down by the sea, the town panorama, with the church on the steepest hill as a crowning jewel, is an impressive sight, while the church steps offer a stunning view of the Eyjafjörður fjord and the surrounding mountains.
Downtown Akureyri is best enjoyed on foot. Taking a stroll through the town centre is perfect if you’re looking to stop by a shop, a café or a restaurant. If you want to get acquainted with the roots of the town, walking through the old town and stopping by a museum or two will give you a glimpse of days gone by. If great views and a connection to nature is what you’re after, just stand anywhere in town and look around you! A stroll through the botanical garden is not a bad idea either, it has almost every type of plant growing in Iceland, with a total of 7.500 local and foreign specimens.
AKUREYRI AT A GLANCE Akureyri is a popular tourist destination both for short and long visits. The town offers a wide range of activities and interesting places e.g. notable museums, the world’s northernmost botanical garden, a great swimming pool, 18-hole golf course, the best skiing area in the country and good hiking trails. To top it all off, the public bus system in Akureyri is completely free of charge, making it easy to get between these attractions!
Akureyri is also great base camp it you’re interested in exploring the many natural wonders of the north of Iceland. The area surrounding Akureyri has waterfalls, volcanic areas and canyons, as well as numerous exciting activities, such as rafting, hiking, caving, whale watching and horseback riding. You can enjoy the culture and the bustling life of the town, while still being just a short drive from some of the most magnificent sights Iceland has to offer.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS Akureyri is a great place for the lover of the outdoors. Those fond of hiking or cycling can enjoy Akureyri’s many trails and routes; Glerá river is a beautiful place for a walk, Mt. Súlur is great for a hike, and in winter, Hlíðafjall is one of the best places in the country to go skiing. Strolling by the harbour offers an invigorating breeze from the ocean while Kjarnaskógur forest will fill you with peace and serenity. For more healing energy, Akureyri has two geothermal swimming pools; perfect for kids and great for striking up a conversation with the locals. Finally, the famous Mývatn Nature Baths, North Iceland’s answer to the Blue Lagoon, are only about an hour’s drive from town.
AKUREYRI IN FACTS AND FIGURES
In Akureyri, many of the older houses don’t sport the traditional ridges of corrugated iron, but a sort of quilted texture instead. In the thirties, a master carpenter imported prepressed iron plates from America, which became popular. These plates were called stone-tins as they looked similar to stones. The stone-tins turned out to last very well, being a mix of copper and iron that weathered less than the corrugated iron.
Akureyri sits at the head of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður.
© saga travel
In 1863, more than 50 years before women got the right to vote, a woman in Akureyri voted in the municipal elections. Her vote was accepted because of a loophole due to a translating error in the originally Danish law.
Akureyri is only 60 km (37,2 miles) south of the Arctic circle.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
Akureyri is the second largest urban area outside the capital area of Reykjavík with a population of around 18.000. It’s sometimes known as the capital of the north.
Since Akureyri is so far north, it’s a prime spot to experience the midnight sun. Around the summer solstice (occurring around the 20th of June each year) the sun doesn’t even set for the whole 24 hours. From the beginning of June till the middle of July is thus a great time to experience the midnight sun. The name Akureyri means “the sandbank by the field” hinting that the area has been agriculturally important for several centuries. In Akureyri, stopping at a red light is much more pleasant experience than elsewhere; the reason being that the red lights are heart shaped. In fact, there are hearts everywhere, in the windows of people’s homes, shop doors and other peculiar places. The hearts turned up after the financial crash of 2008, when people’s spirit was in need of some lifting up.
The Botanical Garden contains almost all plants that grow in Iceland along with several species from other countries, including Greenland.
A SHORT HISTORY OF AKUREYRI The history of the area where Akureyri is now stretches back to the 9th century when Helgi magri (Helgi the thin), a Norse Viking, settled in the area. Later on, Danish merchants used the location as for their trading posts. Eyjafjörður is a fertile area for agriculture and has been populated since Iceland’s settlement. Helgi magri (Helgi the thin), so called after being starved as a child, was the first settler in the area. The name Akureyri isn’t mentioned until several centuries later, in 1562. It was under somewhat compromising conditions, in a court document where a woman was sentenced for having premarital sex. At the time, Akureyri only contained some houses used by Danish merchants when they were trading in Iceland in the summer. They weren’t allowed to live there all year round until 1778. The town was recognised as an official market town a few years later although the town didn’t really start to blossom until the mid-19th century. Since then, Akureyri has grown into an important hub of commerce, production, arts, culture and education for the north of Iceland. The history of Akureyri is embedded into the town itself, its buildings and streets. The buildings represent different stages of time in history, from the charming houses of the old town, through the more modern centre and all the way to some of the most recent buildings on the north side of town.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Akureyri, a trip to the Akureyri Museum
is a must. Akureyri also has preserved some of the houses of notable poets that lived in town. You can visit the house of Matthías Jochumsson who wrote the national anthem, Jón Sveinsson, Nonni, the author of several autobiographical children’s books about growing up in Akureyri and poet Davíð Stefánsson. Besides the importance of these museums to Icelandic literature, they are also interesting examples of how the people of Akureyri lived through the years.
CHOOSE BETWEEN VARIED DAY TOURS Save time and fly. Round trips included in Day Tour prices.
Air Iceland is your West Nordic airline, offering scheduled domestic flights and flights from Iceland to the Faroe Islands and Greenland. A variety of Day Tour packages in Iceland and to Greenland, including flight, bus transfer and guidance. A FEW EXAMPLES
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DOWNTOWN AKUREYRI THE OLD TOWN If you stroll south from Akureyri’s centre, you can walk through the history of early Akureyri. This narrow strip, between the water and the mountains, is the birthplace of Akureyri. The theatre, the primary school are charming buildings that put their mark on the town. You can also see the oldest building in Akureyri, Laxdalshús, built in 1795, and have a chance to visit several museums such as Nonni’s House and Sigurhæðir, the houses of author Jón Sveinsson (Nonni) and poet Matthías Jochumsson
THE CENTRE Downtown Akureyri is the beating heart of the town, where you’ll find the greatest density of independent cafés, restaurants and shops— everything from handmade sushi to the latest in Icelandic music. Although most shops are lined up on Hafnarstræti and Skipagata, if you wander out into the residential areas you’ll find some smaller shops, bistros and galleries. Here you’ll also find bus stations, taxi stands and booking centres. At the centre is of course the Ráðhústorg (Town Hall Square, a peculiar name when you consider that the square has never been the location of a town hall).
Located just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, is Akureyri’s shopping mall, Glerártorg. Built in the year 2000, Glerártorg offers a selection of local fashion stores, cafés,
restaurants, outdoor and sports stores, a supermarket and much, much more. Glerártorg is definitely the place to stop for the avid shopper in Akureyri. So if you have some time to spend and want to do some shopping, make sure to stop by Glerártorg!
THE ARTS ALLEY The centre of cultural life in Akureyri is on Kaupvangsstræti, which curves through Grófargil in the middle of Akureyri, nicknamed the Arts Alley. The buildings in the Arts Alley used to house industrial operations but when they gradually moved elsewhere, it freed up a lot of housing that turned out to be ideal for a the artistic crowd. The Akureyri Art Museum, the Akureyri School of Visual Arts, smaller galleries and the multipurpose Deiglan and Ketilhús, among others, have now taken up residence there instead.
© Hörður Elís Finnbogason
NEARBY AKUREYRI The area around Akureyri is no less interesting and diverse than Akureyri itself. The fertile Eyjafjörður has been a farming community since Iceland’s settlement and has the history to prove it. The unique communities of the Eyjafjörður islands, Grímsey and Hrísey, are no less charming, and the secluded locations of the islands have led to the formation of aunique culture.
EYJAFJÖRÐUR Eyjafjörður is a farming community bustling with life. The entire coastline is speckled with small villages and local attractions, like the tiny fishing villages of Dalvík and Siglufjörður, or the farming town of Svalbarðseyri. For some local flavour, visit Árskógssandur, home of the Kaldi brewery, drive by countless small farms, stop by the historical Laufás turf farm and Saurbær church as well as the numerous other churches in fjord. Diving to the unique Strýturnar sub-aquatic geothermal cones is unforgettable or try out the different skiing areas in the area at Akureyri, Dalvík, Ólafsfjörður or Siglufjörður. The fjord is very narrow, measuring only about 10 km across for most of its 60 km length, but quite deep. It’s completely surrounded by mountains
The islands of Eyjafjörður are teaming with birdlife
and has several rivers running into the ocean down both sides. The stunning scenery is the perfect place for the outdoorsman to experience nature first hand. Furthermore, Eyjafjörður is one of the most popular destinations for cruise ships visiting Iceland. Local food production plays a big role in the culture of Eyjafjörður. It’s one of the biggest food production areas in Iceland, making Akureyri a great place to experience the local food culture. The north of Iceland is a treasure chest of magnificent nature and quaint, charming local culture, and Eyjafjörður is no exception. Akureyri is the perfect launch point from which to explore these hidden gems and the lively locals will welcome you every day of the year—even in the heaviest of blizzards!
Grímsey Church in Grímsey
Hrísey, the pearl of Eyjafjörður, is known for its beautiful nature, diverse bird life, and pleasant walking paths. A good way to get to know the island is to take the ever-popular tractor sightseeing tour, strike up a conversation with one of the 170 inhabitants of the island or just walk around and enjoy the scenery on your own two feet. You can also use your time there to visit the exhibition at the house of Shark Jörundur and learn all about shark fishing.
Grímsey is known for being the northernmost settlement in Iceland with the Arctic Circle running straight through it. In spite of that, Grímsey’s summers are generally mild and the island has a rich vegetation. Up to sixty species of birds and one of the biggest puffin colonies in Iceland make Grímsey ideal for bird watching. For the history enthusiast, there’s the Grímsey church, built in 1867 and renovated in 1932. On the eastern side of the island, you can see the dramatic coastline where the islanders climb down the sheer rock cliffs with a rope, at great personal risk, to collect eggs for themselves and their families.
Hrísey is the second largest island off the coast of Iceland after Heimaey in the Westman Islands, and it has been continuously inhabited since the settlement of Iceland in the 9th century. It’s famous for being a bird watching haven; since there are no natural predators of birds on the island it forms a natural bird sanctuary, making it ideal for its 40 native species of birds, including ptarmigan, arctic tern, and eider duck. To get to Hrísey, there’s a 15-minute ferry ride and the ferry goes every one or two hours.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
A tractor in Hrísey
To get to Grímsey you can take the ferry from the village of Dalvík (30 min drive from Akureyri, or straight from Akureyri. You can go by yourself or take a guided tour if you prefer. Taking this refreshing boat trip is ideal for families, particularly on sunny days. Alternatively, you can also travel to Grímsey by air, a 25 min flight from Akureyri Airport, daily departures in summer and on Sun, Tue, and Fri during winter.
HIGHLIGHTS OF AKUREYRI There are countless things to see and experience in Akureyri, whether you like nature, adventure, wildlife or culture. Here we’ve listed some of the highlights of the town that of course come highly recommended!
THE BOTANICAL GARDEN The garden is one of the northernmost botanical gardens in the world and is equally popular with locals and visitors. The public park was opened in 1912 but the botanical section in 1957. Currently, there are about 6600 foreign species and over 400 native species, which makes the Botanical Garden an excellent choice for those wishing for a break from the daily stress.
AKUREYRI CHURCH The Akureyri church is one of the most recognizable symbols of the town, and the church steps are a particular highlight. Walking up the 100+ steps should be on everyone’s checklist of things to do when visiting Akureyri. This Lutheran church was designed by renowned architect Guðjón Samúelsson and the bas-reliefs on the nave balcony are by sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson. The church is one of the most beautiful landmarks of Akureyri.
AKUREYRI GEOTHERMAL POOL
One of Akureyri’s most popular attractions, the Akureyri Geothermal Pool is a great place to take your family, group, significant other or just yourself. With a wide range of facilities and features, this is your one-stop place for relaxation as well as action. The 4 hot tubs, two 25m outdoor pools, and waterslides ensure everyone can find something to their liking.
GAMLI SKÓLI—THE OLD SCHOOL
HOF CULTURAL CENTER Hof, the conference centre and concert hall, is Akureyri’s newest landmark. It hosts parties and exhibitions and has also been used for theatrical events as well as meetings and receptions. Inside you’ll find the tourist information centre, as well as a bistro and a design shop, for those looking for some cool Nordic design. It’s located only minutes away from downtown and its unique design lets you recognise it as soon as you see it.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
This beautiful wooden house is a part of Menntaskólinn á Akureyri (Akureyri’s Junior College) and was built in 1904. The school is an important part of the Akureyri community and is one of the oldest schools in Iceland. Today, the building houses the faculty members of the school, classrooms, and the old music hall. If you’re headed to the Botanical Garden, it’s right in its back yard!
AUTHOR HOMES Akureyrians have always had a high regard for culture and the town has been home to many a respected author in Iceland. Some of the more celebrated ones, Matthías Jochumsson, the author of the national anthem, Nonni or Jón Sveinsson, author of autobiographical children’s books and Davíð Stefánsson, one of the most popular poets of the 20th century, have all earned the honour of having their homes preserved as a museum. Even if you’re not familiar with their work, their homes are still worth the visit for their historical value.
THE MUSEUM CHURCH The biggest artefact in the collection of the Akureyri museum is the black-tarred church that stands in the hillside below the museum. The church was moved there from Svalbarð on the east side of the Ejafjörður fjord and was originally built in 1846. Very different from the architecturally impressive Akureyri church, this simple church, with a lone white cross indicating that it is a house of worship, is a great example of churches built in the countryside in the 19th century.
AROUND AKUREYRI HLÍÐARFJALL Hlíðarfjall is one of the prime skiing areas of Iceland. The hallmarks of Hlíðarfjall are highquality snow, extensive cross country trails and exciting ski slopes with breath-taking views of Eyjafjörður. Equipped with snow making machines and fully floodlit main runs, Hlíðarfjall promises great conditions all through winter, open from the end of November till early May, and is a must-visit spot during your winter break to Akureyri.
KJARNASKÓGUR South of Akureyri is Iceland’s most visited forest, Kjarnaskógur. The recreational area has more than 1 million trees of various species planted within the last 50 years. The area has a 7km lighted trail in addition to a vast network of backcountry trails, as well as a 10km long designated mountain bike trail. There are two playgrounds, picnic areas, barbeque facilities, a volleyball course and of course restrooms, making Kjarnaskógur the perfect outdoor area for nature lovers.
GLERÁRDALUR & MT SÚLUR The mountain Súlur rises above the town in the south-west. Hiking to the peaks and back again takes about 5-6 hours and the hiking trail is popular with the locals. The starting point is a parking lot in the Glerárdalur valley. There are two peaks; the highest one reaching about 1213 meters. The peaks are mainly made of light rhyolite (liparite) which is a volcanic material, created during volcanic eruptions around 8-9 million years ago.
Krossanesborgir nature reserve consists of rock formations, made of basalt. Most of the rocks are formed by the ice cap covering the area during the ice age about 10 thousand years ago. Vegetation is rich in the area and consists of around 200 different plants. There’s also diverse birdlife in the area, over 27 different birds or about 35% of all Icelandic birds nest in the area. There is a birdwatching cabin in Krossanesborgir, as well as three other locations in the area, namely Naustaborgir, the estuary of the river Eyjafjarðará and in the island Hrísey.
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AKUREYRI ALL YEAR ROUND When visiting Iceland, it’s important to take the weather and the seasons into account. Iceland in the summer is a completely different beast from Iceland in the winter and Akureyri is no exception. Each season has its own charms and season-specific activities and it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s easy to realise that if you want to go skiing, it’s going to have to be in the winter, but did you realise that the Norterhn Lights are only visible in the winter as well? Or that hiking is almost exclusively a summer activity in Iceland? Read on for our guide to the seasons of Akureyri.
As spring arrives, the Botanical Gardens is beyond a doubt the destination you want to head to when Akureyri’s flora starts bursting into life. Inhabitants of Akureyri also start blooming as many dig up their running shoes, drag out their bikes for a ride or fire up their barbecues. Akureyri in springtime is also an ornithologist’s paradise, with the rich variety of migratory birds returning to the area to lay their eggs. Particularly good places for birdwatching include Krossanesborgir, the estuary of the river Eyjafjarðará and the islands, Grímsey and Hrísey. Grímsey is home to one of the biggest puffin colonies in Iceland and in Hrísey, Ptarmigan and Arctic Terns are quite common.
Summer is the most popular season to visit Akureyri and for a good reason! The nature around the town puts on a show and the weather is on its absolute best behaviour. Museums and exhibitions that are closed for the winter also open their doors as they welcome both Icelandic and international visitors. Akureyri is one of Iceland’s northernmost towns, only 60 km south of the Arctic Circle, making it the perfect spot to experience the midnight sun. sunglasses at night are par for the course in the weeks around the summer solstice. Favourite summertime activities include golfing, visiting the Botanical Garden, dropping in at a museum or taking a stroll around town. Nothing beats sitting outside a café on a sunny day soaking up the rays. To encounter nature at close range, hop on a boat for a whale watching tour. Feeling more active? Hike up the magnificent Mt. Súlur! Summer is also a great season to visit Akureyri as it feels like there’s always something going on. Summer celebrations include the Aviation Days, the Akureyri Art Festival, Vaka Folk Festival, National Day, Hiking Week, Arctic Open golf tournament, and Gásir Medieval Days, to name but a few.
Akureyri has a lively cultural life with impressive yearly theatre and concerts program. Not only does the town have the only professional theatre outside of Reykjavík, it’s also filled with concert venues big and small. You can catch everything from Iceland’s top bands playing at intimate venues like Græni Hatturinn to the North Iceland Symphony Orchestra at Hof concert hall and cultural centre.
Akureyri truly becomes a winter wonderland in the winter seasons, when the snow covers everything and the Northern Lights twinkle over the Arctic Circle. Northern Lights excursions are one of the most popular wintertime activities, with the season lasting from the end of September until the end of March.
The Akureyri town festival, celebrating Akureyri’s official anniversary in late August, sets the scene for the festivals of the autumn in Akureyri. There are plenty of events, including a female-centric programme in October when the whole town gets together to raise awareness (and funds) for breast cancer and further afield in the north, the Grímsey’s Arctic Run, which circles the island and crosses the Arctic Circle. For rainy or windy days, Akureyri has the perfect solution; museums! The Akureyri Art Museum, the Akureyri Museum and the Industrial Museum all offer a great way to spend the day. If you want to learn more about the local culture, art and the artists who make it, stop by Flóra, a souvenir shop/cultural events venue/artist workshop.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
For everyday pleasure, soaking in the hot tubs at the Akureyri swimming pool is great when it’s cold outside, but for excitement, activities such as snowmobiling, winter horseback riding and dog sledding are popular options. Mt. Hlíðafjall, arguably the best ski- and snowboarding resort in the country, is only a 5-minute drive from the city centre and within the city you can go skating at the skating rink. Cross-country skiing in Mt. Hlíðarfjall and Kjarnaskógur is popular, the best time of year being from roughly November until the end of April. For those on the hunt for a slightly less conventional outing, there’s snowshoeing and heli-skiing. For the extremely adventurous, there’s the option of arctic surfing or even diving! These extreme types will not want to miss the Iceland Winter Games in March or AK Extreme in April. In addition, there is a full in-town calendar of concerts, plays and exhibitions. Finally, being in Akureyri on New Year’s Eve is something not to be missed. Not that you can miss it if visiting, the town practically explodes with colourful fireworks!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT VISITAKUREYRI.IS
TRANSPORTATION GETTING TO AKUREYRI
GETTING AROUND AKUREYRI
Air Iceland offers multiple daily scheduled flights between Reykjavík and Akureyri. The airport is located about 3 km south of the town centre and, unless you’re traveling very light, we recommend getting a taxi or a bus from the airport.
AKUREYRI BY BIKE If you have a bicycle, biking is a great way to get to know Akureyri. There are a number of paths along the coast (including Glerárgata to the north and Drottningarbraut to the south) that will take you around the Akureyri area. Another popular attraction is Kjarnaskógur woodlands and valley, a lush, green, nature reserve close to the centre. Here you find the first tailor-made mountain bike path in the country inaugurated in the summer of 2008. The round trip is about twelve kilometres.
Grayline also offers airport shuttles, straight from the Keflavík International Airport to the heart of Akureyri. Check out their schedule at www.grayline.is. Strætó, the Reykjavík bus system, has scheduled departures to and from Akureyri. Check out www.bus.is or the Strætó app for more information.
GETTING FROM AKUREYRI Norlandair operates scheduled flight services within the vicinity of Akureyri and also to East Greenland. Trips to Grímsey island are daily over the summertime and three times a week in winter. If you want to get to the islands of Hrísey or Grímsey, you could also take the ferry. Ferries leave from Akureyri or Dalvík Strætó (the bus) runs to a few towns in the Eyjafjörður and Tröllaskagi area.
AKUREYRI BY BUS (STRÆTÓ) In Akureyri, the city buses are free! Maps are available at bus stations and tourist information centres. Most bus stops with a shelter also include a route map. Operating hours: Daily from 06:25 to 23:03 on weekdays and from 12:49 to 18:36 on weekends and holidays. Schedules during weekends depend upon time of year, for further information check the waiting shelter at the Ráðhústorg (City Hall Square) or call +354 462 4929. There is no bus service on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
INFORMATION AKUREYRI MUNICIPAL AIRPORT AIr Iceland +354 570 3000 | www.airiceland.is Norlandair +354 414 6960 | www.norlandair.is
Ferry Sæfari +354 853 2211 | www.landflutningar.is/saefari/ Ferry Sævar +345 695 5544 | www.hrisey.net
Ambassador +354 462 6800 | www.ambassador.is
Hof Cultural Center Strandgata 12, Akureyri +354 540 2700 | www.bus.is SBA Norðurleið Hafnarstræti 82, Akureyri +354 550 0720 | www.english.sba.is Sterna Hafnarstræti 77, Akureyri +354 551 1166 | www.sterna.is
BSO Strandgötu, Akureyri +354 461 1010 Taxi 17 (at BSO) +354 892 4257
WHALES OF AKUREYRI
Whale watching is our passion
GPS: 65° 681567N // 18° 086479W Tel: +354 462 6800 // email@example.com Look for schedule and prices on our website ambassador.is
Bláa kannan Café is located in the heart of town. Great selection of coffee drinks, cakes and sandwiches Opening hours: 09:00—23:30 www.facebook.com/blaakannan Bláa Kannan • Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri • tel:+354 461 4600
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN AKUREYRI
AKUREYRI For such a small town, Akureyri has an abundance of entertaining and engaging museums. Whether youâ€™re interested in modern art, personal history, industrial history, folk art, or literature, Akureyriâ€™s museums have something to discover for everyone. For further information on exhibition schedules, opening hours and more museums of interest, please refer to www.visitakureyri.is or stop by the official Tourist Information Centre, at Hof Cultural House. 25
AKUREYRI ART TRAIL There is no containing the creative spirit of the Icelanders to a museum or a gallery. Spread all over Akureyri is a wide variety of open-air artworks by some of our most revered artists, such as Ásmundur Sveinsson, Einar Jónsson, Elísabet Sigríður Geirmundsdóttir, Nói, Kristinn E. Hrafnsson, Nína Sæmundsdóttir, Ragnar Kjartansson, Ríkharður Jónsson and Steinunn Þórarinsdóttir, to name just a very few.
AKUREYRI ART MUSEUM The Akureyri Art Museum is situated in the town centre; in Listagil (Art’s Street). It aims to promote visual arts and culture in the local community as well as in a wider global context. The museum hosts several diverse art exhibitions showcasing the works of artists, young and old, Icelandic and international, featuring everything from illustrations and photography to performance art and installations. The museum’s two venues are located side by side, right in the heart of Akureyri; in Listagil. The two buildings, on the north side of the street are: Akureyri Art Museum and Ketilhús.
Art’s Street, Kaupvangsstræti 8-12, Akureyri +354 461 2610 | www.listak.is Open: Jun—Aug | Tue-Sun 10-17 Sep—May | Tue-Sun 12-17
As you stay in Akureyri, be sure to pick up the Akureyri Art Trail map, which divides the city into six easy walking tours around these not-so-hidden treasures. The more notable pieces include Outlaws by sculpture pioneer Einar Jónsson (1900) in the city centre, The Harp of Prayer by Icelandic icon Ásmundur Sveinsson (1965) on the north side of town, the Pearl and Ode to the Night, both made by Elísabet Geirmundsdóttir in 1951, and both situated in the old town, and many other important pieces of art.
AKUREYRI MUSEUM An interesting museum for the entire family with exciting exhibitions. One such is “Akureyri—the Town on the Bay” which depicts the history of the town with unique artefacts relating to everyday life, from the 19th century to the present day. The museum is situated in the oldest part of town in the beautiful museum garden with a wonderful 19th century church.
SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS 2016-17 »» Akureyri - The Town by the Bay portrays the way of life in a 19th century town with interesting objects and photographs. »» Are you ready, Madam President? Tells the story of the first female president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. Surrounded by suit-clad officials, she was a fearless trailblazer in both word and deed. »» The annual Christmas exhibition is a combination of nostalgia and playfulness explaining traditional customs and the yule lads. »» Land Ahoy! - Historical Maps of Iceland 15471808—Schulte Collection. Exquisite maps reveal how the image of the island evolved. Don’t miss the interactive cartographer’s room or the sea monsters. »» All exhibitions are family friendly with fun for all ages.
Aðalstræti 58, Akureyri +354 462 4162 | www.minjasafnid.is Open: Jun—Mid-Sep | Daily 10-17 MId-Sep—May | Daily 13-16 Adults (18+) 1200 ISK Groups (10+) 960 ISK Day Pass 2000 ISK—Annual Pass 3000 ISK Free bus no. 1 & 3 | 20 min walk from town center
The exhibition sheds light for the first time on an important factor in the tenure of the first woman president in the world, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. Surrounded by suit-clad officials, she was a fearless trailblazer in both word and deed shaping a public image, not least manifested in her choice of attire. Throughout her 16 years in office she was sought after as a head of state and a role model. Her presence and participation were requested on a variety of occasions around the world.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN AKUREYRI
ARE YOU READY MADAM PRESIDENT?
EXHIBITION AT AKUREYRI MUSEUM
THE OLD TURFHOUSE LAUFÁS The heritage site Laufás is mentioned in historical records soon after the settlement of Iceland (874-930) being a renowned church site and chieftain’s residence. The existing church was built in 1865 and among its special items is a pulpit from 1698. Laufás was rebuilt in an ambitious style in 1853-1882 and is an example of the gabled farmhouse, although significantly larger than the ordinary farmhouses of the time. The Laufás farmhouse is furnished with household items and utensils from the period. One of Laufás characteristics is the Bridal room where brides prepared themselves for the big event. Laufás Visitor Centre has a cosy atmosphere and additional information about nature, wildlife and history of the vicinity. Local handcraft and souvenir shop and refreshments. Family friendly visit—Icelandic ponies every Sunday 14-16, free of charge. The old turf house is part of the National Museum’s Historic Buildings Collection.
Grýtubakkahreppur, Akureyri +354 463 3196 / 895 3172 www.minjasafnid.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 9-17 Adults (18+) 1200 ISK | Groups (10+) 960 ISK Day pass to all exhibition locations of the Akureyri Museum 2000—Annual pass 3000 30 km from Akureyri / 20 km from Goðafoss
THE BELOVED ROMANTIC POET In the green hills of Akureyri is a house with the exciting history and unique atmosphere of the 1960s. Built in 1944 by one of Iceland’s most loved poets and writers, Davíð Stefánsson, Davíðshús was the poet’s home until his death in 1964. Davíð, one of the most popular poets of the 20th century in Iceland, had a taste for the finer things in life and was an enthusiastic collector of art and books. His apartment stands as a testament to his taste; full of books, art and other personal articles, just as he left it in 1964.
Bjarkarstígur 6, Akureyri +354 462 4162 | www.minjasafnid.is Open: Jun—Aug | Mon-Fri 13-17 Adults (18+) 1200 ISK Groups (10+) 960 ISK Day pass to all exhibition locations of the Akureyri Museum 2000—Annual pass 3000 5 min. walk from the Municipal Library.
A SMALL HOUSE WITH A BIG STORY In the oldest part of Akureyri lies one of the hidden gems of the town. “Nonni’s House” is the childhood home of the writer and Jesuit priest Jón Sveinsson, “Nonni;” where he lived until going to France to study to be a Jesuit priest in 1870—12 years old. Nonni never returned but his adventures as a boy became an inspiration for his stories published in over 40 countries around the world, in such diverse languages as Chinese and Esperanto. Built in 1850, Nonni´s house is amongst Akureyri’s oldest and is furnished accordingly, with artefacts from Nonni’s life and books from around the world. Books by Jón Sveinsson in several languages are available at the museum.
Aðalstræti 54, Akureyri +354 462 3555 / 462 4162 | www.nonni.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-17 Adults (18+) 1200 ISK Groups (10+) 960 ISK Day pass to all exhibition locations of the Akureyri Museum 2000—Annual pass 3000 Free bus no. 1 / 20 minutes walk from town center.
JOCHUMSSON’S HOUSE AUTHOR OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
Sigurhæðir (Hills of Triumph) is an exhibition dedicated to the clergyman and poet Matthías Jochumsson (18351920). Matthías was one of Iceland’s best loved writers and poets, author of a canon of religious poetry and the Icelandic national anthem. Matthías had the house built in 1903 and lived there until the end of his life in 1920.
Eyrarlandsvegur 3, Akureyri +354 462 4162 | www.minjasafn.is Open: Jun—Aug | Mon-Fri 13-17 Adults (18+) 1200 ISK Groups (10+) 960 ISK Day pass to all exhibition locations of the Akureyri Museum 2000—Annual pass 3000 5 min. walk from town center.
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You can even rent a car in one place and return it at another.
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Avis and Budget stations are located in 8 places around Iceland. Find the station that is closest to you and drive away.
Hvannavellir 14 Tel: 591 4023 / 824 4010
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AVIS +354 591 4000 avis.is Budget +354 562 6060 budget.is.is
Better prices on rental cars
THE ICELANDIC AVIATION MUSEUM The museum is dedicated to aviation in Iceland, its history and development, from the first fumbling attempts at commercial aviation in 1919 to the mid- and late 20th century airlines, some of which still operate, to the history of medical transport and the Icelandic coast guard. It includes 28 fullsized aircrafts, including airplanes and helicopters, as well as a collection of photographs related to aviation history and other historically significant items.
Akureyri Airport +354 863 2835 | www.flugsafn.is Open: Jun—Sep | Daily 11-17
AKUREYRI INDUSTRIAL MUSEUM The Akureyri Industrial Museum houses artefacts connected with the industry of ages past, from margarine makers, printing presses and lathes, to sewing machines and instruments of watchmaking. The museum hosts a great number of tools from the “old factories” which used to produce some of the most familiar Icelandic brands of food and household products. On the top floor of the museum there is a display of the clothes and shoes produced in Akureyri in the past century, which every Icelander over a certain age is very familiar with.
Krókeyri, Akureyri +354 462 3600 / 897 0206 | www.idnadarsafnid.is Open: Jun—Mid-Sep | Daily 10-17 MId-Sep—May | Daily 14-16
THE ICELANDIC MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM The Icelandic Motorcycle Museum documents the 100-year history of the motorcycle in Iceland in an 800m2 building specifically built for the purpose. Its origin can be traced to the tragic death of Heiðar Þ. Jónsson in 2007, who left behind him his vast collection of bikes and assorted motorbike accessories. The museum details the history of the motorcycle through important bikes and stories of colourful characters and is a must-visit 32 location for all motorbike enthusiasts.
Krókeyri 2, Akureyri +354 466 3510 / 866 3500 www.motorhjolasafn.is
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HÚNI II Húni II, built in Akureyri in 1963, is a 132 gross tonne oak ship used as a fishing boat until the 1990s. To this day, it serves as a tour and leisure boat with a capacity of 100 passengers. It is one of the largest oak ships ever built in Iceland, and the largest still in use. It is preserved by an interest group called the Friends of Húni, along with the Industrial Museum of Akureyri, as an important artefact of local history.
Docked by the pier. +354 848 4864 www.huni.muna.is
THE MUNICIPAL LIBRARY Amtsbókasafn, the Municipal Library of Akureyri, is one of the biggest libraries in Iceland. It is housed in a beautiful building and offers all regular library services such as lending out books, movies, CDs, audiobooks and such, as well as offering free wi-fi and access to computers for a mild fee. You can also read all Icelandic newspapers and the latest copies of more than 70 international and domestic magazines on site. In the same building you will find the café AmtsKaffi-Ilmur, which serves lunch, coffee and cakes.
Brekkugata 17, Akureyri +354 460 1250 | www.akureyri.is/amtsbokasafn Open: Mid-May—Mid-Sep | Mon-Fri 10-19 Mid-Sep—Mid-May | Mon-Fri 10-19, Sat 11-16
HVÍTSPÓI ART GALLERY An “Art Studio and Gallery” owned by textile artist Anna Gunnarsdóttir, who makes sculptures and wearable art using wool, leather and fish skin. Her lamps made of wool are especially popular and all the work is hand-made and done in the studio. She has exhibited at various locations, all around the world, and has obtained number of prizes and huge appreciation for her work. The studio is open during working hours where one can appreciate her work and even have a chat. In the Gallery is an on-going art exhibition by different artists. The relaxed, friendly atmosphere is 34 very enjoyable.
Brekkugötu 3a, Akureyri +354 466 2064
In addition to being a great place to get a meaningful souvenir from Akureyri, Flóra is a great place to get in touch with the local community of artists, as several artists have studios in the building. They work on everything from painting and photography to textile art and goldwork. Flóra also regularly serves as a venue for cultural events; exhibitions, concerts and readings.
Hafnarstræti 90, Akureyri +354 661 0168 | www.flora.is Open: Jun—Aug | Mon-Sat 9-19, Sun 13-19 Sep—May | Mon-Fri 10-18
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN AKUREYRI
The nature-friendly concept store Flóra is a gem in the centre of Akureyri. The store is a treasure trove of of design and art pieces and focuses on offering renewed and recycled artefacts along with homemade production and things that are produced in under friendly circumstances for people and nature. Among the items on offer are books, spices, candles, clothes, and music, along with a host of other items, some one-of-akind and only temporarily available.
OTHER MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN AKUREYRI OLD TOYS ON DISPLAY IN FRIÐBJARNARHÚS Aðalstræti 46, Akureyri +354 863 4531
THE PUBLIC PARK AND BOTANIC GARDEN Eyrarlandsvegur, Akureyri www.lystigardur.akureyri.is
HOF CULTURAL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE Strandgötu 12, Akureyri +354 450 1000 | www.mak.is
JUST OUTSIDE OF AKUREYRI
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Aðalgata 14, Ólafsfjörður +354 464 9200 | www.fjallabyggd.is
HVOLL—LOCAL FOLK MUSEUM
Karlsrauðatorg, Dalvík +354 460 4928 / 892 1497 | www.dalvik.is/byggdasafn
BERG CULTURAL HOUSE
Goðabraut, Dalvík +354 460 4000 | dalvikurbyggd.is/menningarhus
THE BIRDLAND EXHIBITION
Húsabakki, Dalvík +354 4600 1551 / 861 8884 | www.birdland.is
THE ICELANDIC FOLK AND OUTSIDER ART MUSEUM
THE HOUSE OF SHARK JÖRUNDUR
THE CHRISTMAS GARDEN
Hrísey | +354 695 0077 | www.hrisey.is
Svalbarðaströnd, Akureyri +354 461 4066 | www.safnasafnid.is Akureyri | +354 463 1433
THE SUNDRY COLLECTION
Sólgarður, Akureyri +354 463 1261 / 699 8474 | www.smamunasafnid.is
IN NEIGHBORING TOWNS GRENIVÍK FISHING MUSEUM +354 698 5610
THE HERRING ERA MUSEUM Snorragata 10, Siglufjörður +354 467 1604 | www.sild.is
THE FOLK MUSIC CENTER
Norðurgata 1, Siglufjörður +354 467 2300 | www.folkmusik.is
Hrísey | +354 695 0077 | www.hrisey.is
HOLT—MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF ALDA HALLDÓRSDÓTTIR HÚSAVÍK MUSEUM HOUSE
Stóragarði 17, Húsavík +354 464 1860 | www.husmus.is
GRENJAÐARSTAÐUR, OLD FARMHOUSE Grenjaðarstað, Húsavík +354 464 3688 | www.husmus.is
HÚSAVÍK WHALE MUSEUM
Hafnarstétt 1, Húsavík +354 414 2800 | www.whalemuseum.is
SIGURGEIR’S BIRD MUSEUM
Ytri-Neslönd, Mývatn +354 464 4477 | www.fuglasafn.is
Ásbyrgi Canyon | +354 470 7100
2016 CERTIFICATE OF E XCELLENCE ON TRIP ADVISOR
Enjoy interesting local design at Kista
Don't forget to visit us and bring a bit of Icelandic design back home with you!
Menningarhúsinu Hofi Tel.+354 466 1862 · firstname.lastname@example.org
Menningarhúsinu Hofi S í m i 8 9 7 0 5 5 5 / 8 5 2 4 5 5 5 · k i s ta @ k i s ta . i s
DINING IN AKUREYRI
DINING IN AKUREYRI Akureyri’s restaurant scene has a unique palate all of its own, embracing the fresh ingredients of the Eyjafjörður area. A great many outstanding kitchens can be found in Akureyri, focusing on different flavours using Iceland’s bounty of seafood, lamb, wild game, organic greenhouse vegetables and top-notch dairy products. Although fine dining is still popular among Iceland restaurants, many places are moving towards more traditional Icelandic “soul food”—fish balls, smoked lamb, plokkfiskur and rúgbrauð, mushy peas, red cabbage, salt cod steaks—the kind of hearty dishes you’d find the nation’s grandmothers cooking 37
EYJAFJÖRÐUR: EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY Eyjafjörður, the fjord in which Akureyri lies, is remarkable in many ways, not least in the great amount of excellent food and drink produced there. As in all of Iceland, the purity of the nature and old fashioned farming methods mean some of the best raw-materials in the world are available absolutely anywhere. Akureyri is aptly named the “Béarnaise Capital of Iceland” because the locals put Béarnaise sauce on practically everything. Most restaurants in Akureyri will feature a Béarnaise menu; the beef-laden pizza at Greifinn, slathered in béarnaise and topped with French fries, is popular and hamburgers of similar style area ubiquitous. The Akureyrians loooove their Béarnaise.
Have a slice of cake and a coffee while watching the cows at Kaffi Kú. If you’re feeling hungry they also serve a delicious goulash soup.
Smoked trout on rye bread is lake Mývatn’s national dish and no trip to the north is complete without it. Bonus points if the rye bread is buried and cooked with geothermal heat.
Laufabrauð or leafbread is an Icelandic delicacy that originated in the north of Iceland, traditionally served at Christmas. Waferthin wheat cakes are carved with delicate patterns and deep fried until crisp. If you’re travelling outside Christmas time, don’t worry; at the Eyjafjörður Christmas Garden, it’s Christmas all year round!
While in Akureyri, stopping by Brynja for some ice cream is a must. The ice cream store/ convenience store is more than 70 years old!
Have a slice of cake and a coffee while watching the cows at Kaffi Kú. The café is situated on the top floor of a cowshed, with windows overlooking the cows.
Akureyri is still a fishing town and the fresh seafood is delicious, don’t leave town before you try it! Ekta Fiskur (Real Fish) makes delicious salt cod (bacalao), for example.
Try some of Eyjafjörður’s very own Kaldi beer, brewed at Ársskógssandur. If you’re still feeling thirsty, Einstök beer, Víking brewery’s line of craft beers, is also brewed here in the north.
The Icelandic hot dog is a cultural institution and this is a great place to get one. Every hot dog stand serves the classic a hot dog with everything (raw and fried onions, ketchup, mustard and remoulade), but only in Akureyri can you get one with pickled red cabbage. The Icelandic meat soup is also delicious.
EASED TO MEAT YOU! DJ GRILL AKUREYRI BACKPACKERS BAKARÍIÐ VIÐ BRÚNA
Located in the heart of town, Grill is many things, homely and This charming bakery and café 5 square and creative burgers would love to "meat" you. DJ Akureyri Backpackers is a great comfortable, yet new and exciting. not only serves great bread and
place to meet other travellers, delicious pastries, it also opens share stories and enjoy quality every day at 7 AM, making it food and a great selection perfect for an early breakfast, of beers. The menu is simple a light lunch or an afternoon and tasty, with no formality or coffee. Located behind the fanciness—just simple quality! Glerártorg Shopping Centre. Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri Glerareyrum 2, Akureyri +354 571 9050 +354 461 2700 | email@example.com akureyribackpackers.com www. e big bo THE LAMBURGER miss reykjavik fat sigurjón
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With fresh baked bread every Renowned for their square day, topped with fresh Icelandic breads and burgers, the ingredients, Hlölli has been serving Hamburger Factory is on of up delicious subs, with his secret Iceland’s favourite burger places. sauce, for decades. Whether Located right in downtown you’re in the mood for a lunch or Akureyri, here you can trust you’ll a late night snack after a night get a great burger, delicious ribs of dancing in the Akureyri ORY BURGER the trucker east coast burger ariba, sonclubs, of salsa and a good service. Hlöllabátar is the way to go. Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri Ráðhústorgi 1, 600 Akureyri +354 575 7575 | fabrikkan.is +354 462 7200 | hlollabatar.is
A great place to sit down with the family, have burgers or sandwiches, as well as steaks, fish and chicken. DJ Grill is a restaurant that can just as well dub as a Sport bar or a take-away place, that’s perfect when you need something quick! Strandgata 11, Akureyri +354 462 1800
ÍSBÚÐIN AKUREYRI— ICECREAM AND COFFEE A fantastic Ice Cream Parlour in the heart of Akureyri, where you will find a wide selection of soft ice cream, gelato and slurpee’s but also coffee drinks and cakes. The parlour is also famous for their freshly made sandwiches with homemade pesto and juice. . Geislagötu 10, Akureyri +354 461 1112
Located in the loft above the biggest and most advanced cow barn in Iceland. Guests are allowed to go into the barn, greet the calves and breathe in the aroma of the countryside. Come by and enjoy coffee and waffles with wipped cream at our café. Kaffi Kú is only 10 min from Akureyri.. Garður, Nearby Akureyri 40 +354 867 3826 | kaffiku.is
The Icelandic hot dog is a cultural institution and this is a great place to get one with variations like the classic a hot dog with everything (raw and fried onions, ketchup, mustard and remoulade), but only in Akureyri can you get one with pickled red cabbage. The Icelandic meat soup is also delicious. Hafnarstræti, Akureyri +354 849 8827
First and foremost a seafood restaurant with a broad selection of dishes as well as sushi and some meat dishes. Rub23 has the goal to offer varied, simple but exciting choices for a broad group of customers. Kaupvangsstræti 6, Akureyri +354 462 2223 www.rub23.is
Phone 469 4020
BEER - WHISKEY - WINE & STREET FOOD
r5.is I Ráðhústorg 5 I Bar
KUNG FU EXPRESS
1862 NORDIC BISTRO
An ambitious sushi, sandwich and salad place located in the heart of Akureyri, by the Ráðhústorg. They offer only the freshest ingredients available on land and sea and put an emphasis on quality. The place seats 15 people and also offers take-away for individuals or groups. Ráðhústorg 3, Akureyri +354 462 1400 | kungfu.is
Focuses on dishes of Nordic origin with local food in leading role. On the menu are open Danish sandwiches, lamb and seafood dishes, coffee, cakes & beverages. They serve a brunch buffet every Sunday and the patio view of Eyjafjörður and the mountains across the fjord is incomparable. Hof, Strandgata 12, Akureyri +354 466 1862 | 1862.is
World famous in Iceland for its excellent pizzas, Greifinn is a family run restaurant where a lot of time and energy is put into providing good service for a wide range of clients. Its good name is known to all those satisfied customers who have visited Greifinn time and again. Glerárgata 20, Akureyri +354 460 1600 | greifinn.is
MÚLABERG BISTRO & BAR
BLÁA KANNAN CAFÉ
Located on one of the most scenic corners in town, Múlaberg is where the finest Icelandic ingredients meet bistro cuisine, and offers one of the greatest selections of wines and cocktails in the north of Iceland. Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri +354 460 2020 | mulaberg.is
Good coffee and great atmosphere are the hallmarks of Bláa kannan café. Not only can you get delicious cakes and sandwiches all day long but they also serve a delicious light lunch and soup. Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri +354 461 4600
Sometimes you’re just in the mood for a good steak and T-bone Steakhouse serves the best steaks in Akureyri. The mouth-watering side dishes and decadent sauces will take your meal from good to great!. Brekkugata 3, Akureyri +353 469 4020
RESTAURANTS OUTSIDE AKUREYRI
A small pizzeria, founded in 2009. It’s located right next to our reception and very visible from the main road. We serve mouthwatering, delicious pizza from our secret recipe. Try the local topping – smoked trout from Mývatn Lake with cream cheese and pine nuts. Vogar, 660 Mývatn +354 773 6060 | vogahraun.is
Adorning the Húsavík harbour front, Restaurant Gamli Baukur offers the atmosphere you´re looking for. It offers you a superb scenery over the harbour and the mountains across the bay. The restaurant offers fresh local seafood and other local and international dishes, as well as various beverages Hafnarstétt 9, Húsavík +354 464 2442 | gamlibaukur.is Gamli Baukur
A small family restaurant located by the town square in Siglufjörður. They use local burger buns, fish, shrimps and serve local beer as well. The menu has a wide variety of burgers, pizza, fish & chips, salads and more, and you never know what pops up on the off menu. Live music and a great atmosphere. Aðalgata 32, Siglufjörður +354 467 2323
• Húsavík • +354 464 2442 • www.ga
— RESTAURANTS — AK-INN Hörgárbraut, Akureyri | +354 464 6474 AKUREYRI FISH RESTAURANT Skipugata 12, Akureyri | +354 578 5656 BAUTINN RESTAURANT Hafnarstræti 92, Akureyri | +354 462 1818 BRYGGJAN Strandgata 49, Akureyri | +354 440 6600 DOMINOS PIZZA Undirhlíð 2, Akureyri | +354 581 2345 GOYA - TAPAS BAR Kaupvangsstræti 23, Akureyri | +354 519 7650 ICELANDAIR HÓTEL AKUREYRI Þingvallastræti 23, Akureyri | +354 518 1000 INDIAN CURRY HUT Hafnarstræti 100 b, Akureyri | +354 461 4242 KRÍAN – GRÍMSEY ISLAND Nýja-Sjálandi, Grímsey | +354 467 3112 / 898 2058 KRUA SIAM Strandgata 13, 600 Akureyri | +354 466 3800 LA VITA É BELLA Hafnarstræti 92, Akureyri | +354 461 5858
TASTE Skipagata 2, Akureyri | +354 578 6400 VEGANESTI Hörgárbraut, Akureyri | +354 461 3012 VERBÚÐIN 66 HRÍSEY Sjávargötu 2, Hrísey | +354 467 1166 / 891 7293
DINING IN AKUREYRI
OTHER RESTAURANTS IN AKUREYRI
ÖRKIN HANS NÓA Hafnarstræti 22, Akureyri | +354 461 2100 / 863 1313
— BARS AND CAFÉS — AMTS - CAFÉ ILMUR Brekkugata 17, Akureyri | +354 862 4258 BERLÍN BREAKFAST AND COFFEE SHOP Skipugata 4, Akureyri | +354 772 5061 BRAUÐBÚÐIN CAFÉ Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri | +354 460 5930 CAFÉ AMOUR Ráðhústorg 9, Akureyri | +354 461 3030 CAFÉ ILMUR Ingimarshús by Hafnarstræti, Akureyri | +354 571 6444
LEIRUNESTI | Leiruvegur, Akureyri | +354 461 3008
CAFÉ LAUT Eyrarlandsvegi 30, Akureyri | +354 461 4646
LITLA KAFFISTOFAN Tryggvabraut 12, Akureyri | +354 462 2345
FLUGKAFFI Akureyri airport, Akureyri | +354 462 5017
NÆTURSALAN Ráðhústorg 7, Akureyri | +354 519 6918
GRÆNI HATTURINN Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri | +354 461 4646
SERRANO Ráðhústorg 7, Akureyri | +354 519 6918
GÖTUBARINN BAR Hafnarstræti 95, Akureyri | +354 462 4747
SILVA GREEN FOOD Syðra-Laugaland | +354 851 1360
KAFFI JÓNSSON CAFÉ Hafnarstræti 26, Akureyri | +354 461 1126
SÍMSTÖÐIN Hafnarstræti 102, Akureyri | +354 462 4448
KAFFI TORG CAFÉ Glerártorg, Gleráreyrar 1, Akureyri | +354 462 2200
SPRETTUR-INN Kaupangi v/Mýrarveg, Akureyri | +354 464 6464
PÓSTHÚSBARINN Skipagötu 10, Akureyri | +354 866-6186
STRIKIÐ Skipagötu 14, Akureyri | +354 462 7100
TE OG KAFFI CAFÉ Hafnarstræti 91-93, Akureyri | +354 540 2180
SUBWAY Kaupvangsstræti 1, Akureyri | +354 461 3400
ÖLSTOFA AKUREYRAR Kaupvangsstræti 23, Akureyri | +354 663 8886
Church Swimming pool Camping site Pharmacy Hospital Healthcare Museum Airport Police Golf course
WALKING PATHS (MORE INFO ON PAGE 73) HISTORICAL PATH (BLUE) 4,1 KM / 2,5 MILES THE FIRST SETTLERS & TOWN ARCHITECTURE (GREEN) 2,9KM / 1,2 MILES RIVER AND GARDENS (ORANGE) 5,1KM / 3,1 MILES
THE SEA & ODDEYRIN (PINK) 1,9KM / 0,6 MILES
Post office Ski Resort Ferry Sports fields Graveyard
To Eyjafjörður / Reykjavík
Golf court Akureyrar
WELCOME TO GLERÁRTORG AKUREYRI LARGEST SHOPPING CENTER
GLERÁRTORG OPENING HOURS Monday - Friday 10:00 am -18:30 pm Saturday 13:00 am - 17:00 pm | Sunday 13:00 am - 17:00 pm
WE ARE HERE
C 5 – 10 minutes walk
Glerártorg is the main shopping center in Akureyri, only 1,2 km from main city center. Convenient and cosy with 31 shops, supermarket, restaurants and services.
–af lífi & sál–
FROM AKUREYRI Blessed with extreme proximity to some of Iceland most magnificent pearls of nature, Akureyri is a perfect base from which to undertake numerous different excursions. Whether you want to traverse to the West, for the Troll-Peninsula, Siglufjörður and other quaint little towns, or to the East, to Lake Mývatn, Húsavík and some of the most stunning waterfalls you’ll ever see, everything starts from Akureyri.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES FROM AKUREYRI
DAY TOURS &
INTERESTING PLACES AND ACTIVITIES NEARBY AKUREYRI
1. THE CHRISTMAS GARDEN 2. HRÍSEY ISLAND 3. THE OLD RECTORY AT LAUFÁS 4. BOAT EXCURSIONS 5. FISHING VILLAGE 6. HORSE RENTALS 7. SNOW CAT TRIPS 8. GOÐAFOSS WATER FALL 9. LAKE MÝVATN 50
10. NATURE BATHS
11. MUSEUMS AND WHALE WATCHING 12. THE HERRING ERA MUSEUM 13. GRÍMSEY ISLAND 14. RAFTING 15. THE ICELANDIC EMIGRATION CENTRE 16. THE KRAFLA AREA AND VÍTI CRATER 17. THE NATIONAL PARK: DETTIFOSS 18. NATIONAL PARK: ÁSBYRGI
Make itâ€™s Eld sure ing!
Call us on +354 497 1000 or visit www.elding.is
CLASSIC WHALE WATCHING
EXPRESS HUMPBACK TOUR
NORTHERN LIGHTS CRUISE
Express Humpback tour May 10:00 14:00
Jun 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00*
Jul 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00
Aug 10:00 12:00 14:00 16:00
* From 15th of June Season from 15th of May to 15th of September
19.900 ISK incl. VAT. 165 EURincl. VAT. Available for 10 yrs + PICK UP from hotels: 2000 ISK
Elding Whale Watching schedule Jan-Feb Mar-April May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov-Dec 9:00 9:00 9:00 9:00 9:00 11:00 13:00 13:00 13:00 13:00 13:00 13:00 13:00 11:00 17:00* 17:00 17:00 20:30* 20:30 20:30**
Northern Lights Cruise Sept Oct-Mars April 22:00 21:00 22:00
* From 15th of June ** Ends 14th of August
10.990 ISK incl. VAT. 77 EUR incl. VAT. Children 7-15 yrs - 50% off Children 0-6 yrs - free PICK UP from hotels: 2000 ISK
10.990 ISK incl. VAT. 77 EUR incl. VAT. Children 7-15 yrs - 50% off Children 0-6 yrs - free PICK UP from hotels: 2000 ISK
Sept 10:00 14:00
A DAY FROM AKUREYRI:
SIGLUFJÖRÐUR AND THE TROLL-PENINSULA The colourfully named Tröllaskagi (TrollPeninsula) is the area immediately west of Akureyri and it’s the perfect destination for a day trip. The route north-west from Akureyri takes you through Árskógssandur, where you have a chance to visit the Kaldi Brewery, go whale watching or take the ferry to Hrísey island, a famous birdwatching haven. Further north is Dalvík, also great for whale watching and home to the Hvoll Folk Museum, featuring an exhibition on Jóhann the giant (2,34m /7ft8in) and a natural museum. In the nearby Svarfaðardalur is the Birdland exhibition, where the birds of Iceland are presented in an entertaining way. Here you can also go horseback riding or hop on the ferry to Grímsey island, the northernmost point of Iceland, also renowned for birdwatching. Drive on through the tunnel to the charming fishing town of Ólafsfjörður. The next tunnel will take you to the stunning, uninhabited
Héðinsfjörður valley. The next destination is Siglufjörður, a historic fishing town which rose to prominence during the 1950’s when there was an astounding upswing in herring fishing. If you want to learn more, you can visit Síldarminjasafnið (the Herring museum). There’s also the Folk Music Centre, which preserves our traditional music, as well as an endless list of outdoor activities to partake in, such as fishing, hiking and sailing to the Arctic Circle. Siglufjörður is also a great place to enjoy the local culture with some seafood and a beer at one of the restaurants by the harbour. Heading South-West from Siglufjörður, down the other side of the peninsula, you will come to Hofsós, which was an important trading town in ages past. You can visit the old tarred-timber Warehouse, built in 1777, pay homage to the exodus of Icelanders to Canada at the Icelandic Emigration Center, or view some impressive basalt column rock formations at the nearby
are produced. In addition to this you have the option of horseback riding, bird watching, golfing, or even a boat trip to the dramatic Drangey island, famous for its birdlife.
You might even venture as far west as Sauðárkrókur though it may be getting late at this point. In and around the town you can visit the Glaumbær folk museum and a reconstructed traditional turf house, bathe in the mythological Grettislaug nature pool, or visit the Tannery Visitor Centre, the only tannery in Europe where both animal skins and fish-leather
Finally, in the nearby Varmahlíð area, there are companies offering rafting experiences on both the east- and westside of Jökulsá river. One is family friendly but the other is not for the faint of heart! After an action-packed day, drive back to Akureyri on the main road.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES FROM AKUREYRI
black-sand beach. Whatever you do, don’t miss the newly constructed Infinity Pool, where you bathe in the hot geothermal water while looking out over the ocean.
A DAY FROM AKUREYRI:
Lake Mývatn is a unique location. It’s an environmental paradise with internationally important birdlife and natural phenomena. There are more species of ducks at Mývatn than any other place on earth, in addition to many other migratory birds. On the way to Mývatn from Akureyri, stop at Goðafoss (the waterfall of the gods), where the chieftain Þorgeir threw his graven idols after ruling that Icelanders should convert to Christianity in the year 1000 AD. From here you can go south of Lake Mývatn until you get to the pseudocraters of Skútustaðir—a unique geological phenomenon. Stop by the bizarre lava pillars of Kálfastrandarlogar en route to Dimmuborgir (Dark castles), a set of lava formations that resemble an Elvish city—complete with cathedral and all. All
along the lake Mývatn route you will have great opportunities for bird spotting. Moving west from Lake Mývatn you could stop by Grjótagjá, a hot spring inside a lava cave, which featured memorably on the hit TV series Game of Thrones. Alternatively, you could take a guided tour to the fascinating Lofthellir lava cave—it’s so deep that the temperature’s always below freezing, resulting in ice stalactites. From there it’s a short drive to the geothermal area of Mt. Námafjall, and the explosive crater of Víti (which means “Hell”) in the Krafla volcanic area. You can also take an hour long hike around Leirhnjúkar, an 18th century lava field which is beautifully grotesque. If there’s still time left, you could go as far north as Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, which was the backdrop for the epic opening scene of the movie Prometheus. If you were feeling remarkably ambitious you could go all the way to Ásbyrgi Nature Reserve, a stunning horseshoeshaped valley, far from civilization, which according to legend derived its shape from the footprint of Sleipnir, the eight-footed horse of Óðinn. Whether you make your day shorter or longer, you should end your day with a relaxing dip in the Mývatn Nature Baths—a geothermal pool with a unique mineral composition and a mountain view. After this you can return to Akureyri satisfied with the day’s adventures.
RElax - enjoy - experience
- Welcome TO Mývatnssveit www.jardbodin.is · phone +354 464 4411 · firstname.lastname@example.org
A DAY FROM AKUREYRI:
HÚSAVÍK AND BEYOND
© North Sailing— Húsavík
The reason why it’s particularly good for whale watching, is that from Húsavík it takes a very short while to sail out to the open sea, where
you can see blue whales, the largest mammals on earth, who live mostly in the ocean north of the country. Add to this the possibility of going puffin watching, and the rich birdlife, and you will see why Húsavík is many a nature lover’s idea of paradise. In addition to the wildlife, the town offers many interesting museums. The Whale Museum is a 1.600 m2 (17.222 ft2) hall which houses exhibitions on whaling and marine ecosystems, several full size whale models as well as real whale skeletons and many other things. They recently acquired a skeleton of a Blue whale. A
© North Sailing— Húsavík
Húsavík is an easy day-trip from Akureyri, and offers a number of attractions that make it well worth the visit. The town itself is a charming little fishing village of less than 2.500 people. It has a beautiful old wooden church, built in 1907, with distinctive woodwork and green-thatched spire, a surprising amount of great museums considering its size, not to mention that it’s one of the best places in the country to go whale watching.
other things several full-sized boats. It’s easy to spend a whole day taking in the atmosphere at Húsavík and wandering down to the harbour to enjoy one of the excellent local restaurants, but if you want to make more of your day, you might consider detouring to Goðafoss waterfall en route or driving to Aðaldalur Valley where you can visit Grenjaðarstaður folk museum, which resides in a traditional Icelandic turf-house which dates all the way back to 1865. The charming folk museum at Mánárbakki—housed in two buildings, one of which is a turfhouse built in the old Icelandic style—is also just a short drive away,
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES FROM AKUREYRI
stone’s throw away you can find the Húsavík Folk Museum, the Maritime Museum and an impressive Photographic Collection, all in the same building. The Folk Museum is unusual in its display and curation—a result of a collaboration with a number of artists and theatre set designers, it is a far cry from the “academic,” chronological arrangement of most museums, opting instead to arrange the natural specimens, (including stuffed birds, fox and polar bear), historical (including tools, clothes and kitchenware) together in a thematic and aesthetic way. The Maritime Museum documents this most important local industry in great detail, preserving amongst
HARBOUR ATMOSPHERE FRESH SEAFOOD Gamli Baukur • Húsavík • +354 464 2442 • www.gamlibaukur.is
ACTIVITIES AND DAY TOURS A GUIDED TOUR OF LOFTHELLIR LAVA CAVE Explore Lofthellir Lava Cave, located close to Lake Mývatn—a world of unique ice formations and darkness. The cave boasts magnificent natural ice sculptures that occur naturally because of the freezing temperature at such depth. The total length of the cave is about 370 meters with a ceiling height of, at its highest point, about 15 meters. During the excursion at least one hour is spent inside the cave, observing this unbelievable natural phenomenon in all its sparkling glory. And as you travel back, you can take the opportunity and see some of the other fantastic sceneries in the same area, such as Dimmuborgir (Dark Castles), one of Iceland’s most popular natural tourist attractions.
© Ólafur Þröstur Stefánsson
DIVING IN THE NORTH Scuba Diving in Iceland is truly an expedition of itself. Every plunge into its icy waters is different than the previous one. Iceland has a fascinating variety of marine life, such as sea-snails, crabs, all kinds of fish, jelly-fish, sponges and starfish. Lucky divers may see seals, and maybe even whales while exploring the exciting waters of Iceland! A two-hour drive from Akureyri is the first protected underwater area in Iceland, the geothermal cone Strýtan in Eyjafjörður fjord. It’s the only one of its kind that you can scuba dive to as others are only found at 3000m or deeper. Around 100 liters of freshwater per second at 72°c is coming from the cone.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES FROM AKUREYRI
© Ólafur Þröstur Stefánsson
SEA ANGLING IN THE NORTH Eyjafjörður, the fjord of islands, one of the longest fjords of the country, is truly the place for some deep-sea fishing excitement. The fishing grounds are near the departure spots and the surroundings are majestic. Boats are well equipped for deep-sea angling and the tackle awaits you on board. The only risk is that your catch might be too much to carry home. The chef at the place you are staying could hopefully help to prepare a good meal from the day’s catch.
VISIT GEOTHERMAL ENERGY PLANTS The steam columns from the geothermal plants at Krafla and Bjarnarflag (Mývatn) are a magnificent sight. A visit to either of the two green energy plants will give you a feeling of the state-of-the-art technology that has powered households and industries of Iceland for decades. Your way back to the town takes you past nature landmarks such as Lake Mývatn, with its unparalleled beauty, and Goðafoss, the scenic waterfall with historic connections to Iceland’s conversion to Christianity in the year 1000.
WHALE WATCHING & BOAT TRIPS The north of Iceland is a great area to get in touch with the giants of the ocean, the whales. The clean, clear waters are full of life, whales, as well as other creatures of the sea, mainly birds, with the puffin being the most sought after. Akureyri and nearby towns of Dalvík and Húsavík are all great for whale watching, especially for seeing the giant humpback whales. Other whales one could expect to see are minke whales, fin whales as well as an assortment of dolphins and porpoises.
© Viking Rafting
RAFTING Rafting has been one of the most popular adventure activities in Iceland for years, creating an unforgettable, fun-filled adventure for kids, teenagers and adults. Akureyri is very close to the best rafting rivers in Iceland. There are two, the East Glacial River or the West one, the East river generally regarded as one of the top 5 rafting rivers in Europe— some even claim it’s simply the best. This is an action packed river, not for the faint of heart but sure to provide a great time. Day trips are available but also 3-day expedition style trips, going straight from Hofsjökull glacier, the source of the river, running every rapid on the river. The journey winds through highland deserts, hot springs, glaciers, remote cabins and a truly pristine and beautiful wilderness. The West River is an
adventure suitable for families and kids as young as 6 years old. It has a riverside hot spring that’s used for mixing hot cocoa on the trip so despite being less demanding than the east river, it promises enjoyable family fun.
SNOW MOBILING Some of the biggest adrenaline rushes one can imagine come from the thrill of riding a snowmobile. Incredibly powerful machines, yet surprisingly easy to manoeuvre, a ride on a snowmobile (or a ski-doo if you like) is bound to be one of the highlights of your visit to the north. You don’t need any specific experience to confidently ride, though be sure to drive carefully, as these are really powerful machines! Note: Driver’s license needed!
ARCTIC CIRCLE EXPRESS Approx. 6 hour cruise from Akureyri to Grímsey, an enchanting island on the Arctic Circle Puffins and other seabirds Breathtaking scenery Guided tour Catch of the day Storytelling Whale watching
Check prices and schedules at
GPS: 65° 681567N 18° 086479W
Akureyri Whale watching
June, July & August
Tel: +354 462 6800 email@example.com
THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND AKUREYRI
THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND
AKUREYRI The foodie, the outdoorsman, the thrill-seeker, the bird lover, the music fan, the historian: no matter what youâ€™re interested in, Akureyri has a wide range of activities and day tours to suit any visitor. Have fun visiting Akureyri and make sure you make the most of your trip!
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS The Northern Lights—also called Aurora Borealis—are one of the most spectacular shows on earth and can be seen from September through April on clear and crisp nights. While you don’t actually need to come to the north of Iceland to see the Northern Lights, the area surrounding Akureyri is especially good for Northern Lights viewing, due to the high mountains on both sides of the fjord. They keep the clouds away—essential for actually seeing the elusive lights!
WHAT CAUSES THE NORTHERN LIGHTS? Well, it’s electricity that does it—and the sun. Tiny particles from electronic storms on the sun (solar wind) get trapped in the earth’s magnetic field. While rushing around in their magnetic trap, some particles escape into the earth’s atmosphere. When they hit molecules in the atmosphere, these impacts cause the molecules to glow, thus creating the auroras.
WHAT ARE THEY LIKE? In terms of what the Northern Lights look like, they are best described as translucent sheets or ribbons of lights, dancing across the sky. They’re most often a shade of bluish green, but sometimes tinged with pink or purple. While it’s easy to describe what they look like, the experience of witnessing the Northern Lights is much harder to put into words. Standing in the arctic darkness underneath the twinkling stars while the Northern lights flutter above is something everyone should get to do, at least once in their life.
HOW CAN I SEE THEM? As the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, they’re not a reliable attraction. 64 Sometimes they are there, sometimes they
are not. Sometimes they come out in the early evening, sometimes they don’t come out till the middle of the night and sometimes they don’t come out at all. Still, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of seeing the lights. You need to get out of the lights of Akureyri, which overshadow the delicate light phenomenon. Also, in order for the lights to be visible, the night needs to be clear and cloudless, since the lights originate above cloud level. Finally, be prepared, check out the northern lights forecast at en.vedur.is/weather/ forecasts/aurora. A guided tour is also a great option. They take you out of town, know a lot about the hows and whys of it all, and if you don’t see any lights, you usually get to go again for free.
VATN AJÖKU L SÞJ ÓÐ G AR ÐUR NATION A L PA R K
We are proud to welcome you to Vatnajökull National Park!
Gljúfrastofa Visitor Centre
©Einar Ragnar Sigurðsson
Visit our website www.vjp.is to find more information on Vatnajokull National Park.
Vatnajökull National Park is Iceland’s newest protected area, established in 2008. With a total area of roughly 13.950 km2 it is by far the largest national park in Iceland as well as in Western Europe.
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY When travelling with your family, it can sometimes be difficult to find suitable activities for everyone and getting around can be a hassle. Luckily, you won’t have those problems in Akureyri, where the buses are free, crowds are rare and fun family activities abound! Splashing around in pools is pleasant for the whole family, as is looking out for whales, trolls or whatever your imagination desires. Akureyri is a safe and clean town offering family oriented environment where high chairs can be found in every café, babies sleep in their prams outside and breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of.
WHAT TO DO You could go ice skating! Take a spin on the skating rink “Skautahöllin” at Naustavegur 1 is a perfect way to spend the day with your family. In case you didn’t bring your own skates you can always rent a pair. Speaking of winter sports, Akureyri is also one of the best places in Iceland for cross-country and downhill skiing, most notably in mount Hlíðafjall. The Akureyri festival calendar is another thing to keep an eye out for—conventionally filled with activities and celebrations. Firm favourites include the First Day of Summer (April), National Day (June 17) and Medieval Days at Gásir (July). Finishing a long day of exploring the town with a swim in one of the great geothermal pools is a great way to unwind and relax for the parents while the kids splash about in the pool or take several trips on the waterslide!
WHERE TO GO
How do you feel about Christmas in July? Despite the name, Jólagarðurinn (The Christmas Garden) is open all year round and only a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Akureyri. The Scandinavian lifestyle boutique Tante Grethe’s Backyard is right next door and Eplakofinn (The Apple hut) sells coffee and food on sunny days.
Iceland doesn’t have a lot of wooded areas but Kjarnaskógur forest, just outside Akureyri is the exception that proves the rule. 800 hectares of forest—complete with two playgrounds, a volleyball field, and plenty of walking paths—are the perfect venue for a day out with the family. If the forest sounds a bit too wild for you, there’s also the Akureyri park and botanical garden, the perfect spot for a picnic. The garden contains nearly all plants that grow wild in Iceland, along with a host of others, including some that only grow in Greenland. For a day of adventure, why not take the ferry to Hrísey and spend the day exploring? Guided tractor tours of the island are available and you can visit an exhibition dedicated to shark fishing or Holt, the former home of Alda Halldórsdóttir, now a museum.
WHEN IT RAINS A visit to the Akureyri Museum, or the Toy Display at Friðbjarnarhús are great ways to spend a day with the family when the weather is rough. Another great museum is Nonnahús, the childhood home of Nonni, or Jón Sveinsson, the author of several autobiographical children’s books about his childhood in Akureyri with his brother Manni. There’s also a museum of aviation and motorcycles!
Northern Lights L ake Mývatn Dettifoss Goðafoss Nature Baths
Personal 4x4 Tour From Akureyri
www.startravel.is firstname.lastname@example.org AFÉ LAUT +354 8677072
All year around
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A nice café in the beautiful Botanical Gardens.
MYK - FJÓRLITUR
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Hot coffee and freshly baked goods everyday. Open daily from 10:00— 20:00 during the summer. For those wishing for a break from daily stress.
www.facebook.com/cafelaut Café Laut—Botanical Garden • Eyrarlandsvegur 30, Akureyri • tel: +354 4614601
SKIING IN AKUREYRI Iceland is a world-class destination for skiing and some of the best ski slopes can be found in the Tröllaskagi area in northern Iceland. With vertical descents of up to 1500m or almost 5000 ft, thousands of peaks and slopes for all beginners as well as experienced skiers, Akureyri and the surrounding area is a paradise for skiers and mountaineers. Akureyri’s main ski resort is situated just 5 km outside of the town. The ski area has a vertical drop of 455 meters and the longest trail is more than 2.5 km. It is equipped with 7 ski lifts and 23 alpine slopes. “Snow cannons” ensure an early opening of the season, which extends from the end of November until early May. For those who want to go skiing during the shortest days of the year there are flood lights that make night skiing possible. If the crowds at Hlíðafjall are too much for you, you’ll find some smaller ski-resorts in the villages of Dalvík and Siglufjörður.
IF YOU FEEL LIKE SKIING BUT TAKING THE SKI LIFT IS JUST TOO MUCH WORK By the village Grenivík, snowcat tours are offered to the top of Mt. Kaldbakur (1.173 m) with a possibility of skiing down. Heliskiing is also a growing sport in the area with the season from around mid-March until the beginning of June with generally excellent corn skiing and the occasional powder dump. Throw in a mix of volcanic activity, hot springs, lava fields and a unique culture and you will find that Iceland is a true adventure skiing destination.
Plan your perfect winter holiday!
For 50 years the mountain Hlíðarfjall, only 5 km above the town of Akureyri, has been one of the prime skiing areas in Iceland. The hallmarks of Hlíðarfjall are high quality snow, extensive cross country trails and exciting ski slopes with breathtaking views over Eyjafjörður bay.
www.hlidarfjall.is/en Tel: +354 462 2280 /hlidarfjall
For the Great Outdoors
Outdoor clothing, shoes and equipment.
HISTORICAL PATH (BLUE) 4,1 KM / 2,5 MILES Start your walk at the Ráðhústorg square (The name translates to Town Hall Square, though there isn’t and never was a town hall) and walk south through the centre, into the oldest part of Akureyri, with its vividly coloured houses. Walking along Hafnarstræti, you will pass historic buildings, such as the Akureyri theatre, built in 1906, and Sigurhæðir, the former home of poet Matthías Jochumsson (who wrote the national anthem), now a museum. You will also come across Akureyri’s most famous ice cream shop, Brynja. When you get to the Akureyri museum, stop to admire the childhood home of Nonni, a popular children’s books’ author, and a 19th century country church. When you pass the museum, turn right and head up the hill. As you walk back towards the centre on your way back towards the Ráðhústorg square, you’ll walk past the Akureyri park and the Akureyri school.
THE FIRST SETTLERS & TOWN ARCHITECTURE (GREEN) 2,9KM / 1,2 MILES Starting once again from the town hall square sans town hall, walk up the hill past the Municipal Library, to a hill where statues of the first settlers of Akureyri, Helgi magri and Þórunn Hyrna, look over Eyjafjörður. Fittingly, you walk back towards the town along Helgamagrastræti. At the end of the street is the Akureyri geothermal swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing swim. Continue along Þórunnarstræti till you get to the Akureyri park and Botanic Garden. This beautiful park is the northernmost botanic garden in the world and contains several thousand plant species. When you leave the garden, pass the Akureyri school and walk atop the edge of the hill towards the Akureyri church. On your way, you’ll pass the Akureyri Catholic church and the spot where a television broadcast was first received in Iceland.
RIVER AND GARDENS (ORANGE) 5,1KM / 3,1 MILES
Walking up the Brekkugata street, you’ll find statues of the first settlers of Eyjafjörður perched atop a wild-looking cliff. As you continue over the hill, you get to the Glerá river that crosses through Akureyri. Follow the walking path along the river and take in the wonderful scenery. In the summer, Akureyri often gets the best weather in all of Iceland, making a stroll along the river an absolute delight. Cross the river and pass the Akureyri University. As you walk back towards the town centre, you’ll pass through green areas and playgrounds in the residential areas of Akureyri, getting a look at the peaceful Akureyri life. As you get closer to the centre, you pass the Akureyri swimming pool, highly recommended for freshening up after a long walk through nature before ending your walk back at the Ráðhústorg square.
THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND AKUREYRI
WALKING IN AKUREYRI
THE SEA & ODDEYRIN (PINK) 1,9KM / 0,6 MILES This walk is only a short stroll, but well worth the trip, especially on still days. Starting at the town square, Ráðhústorg, you walk east, towards the sea. You will pass Hof, the cultural centre, on your right. The circular building housing a concert hall, café and the information office is certainly impressive but it has nothing on the view over the Eyjafjörður fjord on your right. When you’ve had your fill of the view, take a turn to the left and enter the residential neighbourhood. This is one of the oldest parts of town and the delightful old houses are painted in every colour of the rainbow. Many of the houses here feature the classic stonetins that cover many of Akureyri’s oldest houses. Walking back through the neighbourhood will get you back to the Ráðhústorg square.
CHECK OUT THE WALKING PATHS ON THE MAP IN THE CENTRE!
THERMAL POOLS IN AKUREYRI The popularity of swimming pools is one of the things that surprise visitors to our rocky sub-arctic island. Thanks to copious amounts of geothermal heat, our swimming pools, especially the hot tubs keep us feeling warm, toasty and relaxed all through the cold and dark winter, as well as the bright summers. Akureyri is no exception and there are no less than two public swimming pools to be found.
AKUREYRI GEOTHERMAL POOL This is one of the most popular attractions in Akureyri and it’s open all year round. The pool area features two 25m outdoor pools, pummelling water jets, water slides, a splash-pool for the children, an indoor pool as well as four hot pots, a steam bath and a sauna. On top of that the pool area has an extensive space for sunbathing. All the pools are heated by natural geothermal water,
with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 42°C in the hottest tubs. Right next door to the pool is a very popular family area, featuring a miniature golf course, a giant chess set and a playground for all to enjoy.
GLERÁRLAUG When the Akureyrarpool is crowded on a sunny day, or when the weather is looking rainy or unappetising, the Glerárlaug geothermal pool is a great option. Glerárlaug is an indoor pool with two outdoor hot tubs. The Glerárlaug geothermal pool is a great option for those seeking an indoor pool or a little less crowd than can be expected at the bigger Akureyri Geothermal Pool. The outdoor area features two hot tubs, a children’s wading-pool as well as outdoor dressing rooms.
GEOTHERMAL POOLS IN AND AROUND AKUREYRI Akureyri Geothermal Pool Þingvallastræti 21, Akureyri / +354 461 4455
Hrafnagil Geothermal Pool Hrafnagilskóli, Akureyri / +354 464 8140
Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:45-21, Sat-Sun 8-19:30 Winter | Mon-Fri 6:45-21, Sat-Sun 9-18:30
Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:30-21, Sat-Sun 10-20 Winter | Mon-Fri 6:30-21, Sat-Sun 10-17
Glerárlaug Geothermal Pool Höfðahlíð, Akureyri / +354 462 1539
Grímsey Pool Grímsey / +354 461 3155
Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:45-18:30, Sat 9-12 Winter | Mon-Fri 6:45-8 & 17:30-21, Sat 9-14:30, Sun 9-12
Open: Mon-Wed 20-21:30, Sat 14-16
Hrísey Geothermal Pool Austurvegi 5, Hrísey / +354 461 2255
Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 10:30-19:00, Sat-Sun 10:30-17 Winter | Tue 14-20, Wed 14-18, Thu 14-20, Fri 14-18, Sat 12-15,
Þelamörk Geothermal Pool Þelamörk, Laugalandi / +354 462 4718 Open: Summer | Sun-Thu 11-22, Fri-Sat 10-22 Winter | Mon-Thu 17-22:30. Fri 17-20, Sat 10-19, Sun 10-22:30
AKUREYRI THERMAL POOL
Enjoy the Water World Every Icelander Loves
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Summer (02/06–29/08): Weekdays 06.45–21.00. Weekends from 08.00–19.30. Streetfrom map Winter (30/08–01/06): Weekdays from 06.45–21.00. Weekends from 09.00–18.30.
Visiting Reykjavík? Check out the Volcano Exhibition & Documentary at the Volcano House! Reviews from tripadvisor “Must-go when touring the museums of Reykjavik”
“Volcano eruptions are a way of life for Iceland”
“A must stop for geology buffs!”
“Highlight of our time in Reykjavik!”
- Nikeflies, Connecticut, November 22, 2015 - sfrarymt, Montana, October 3, 2015
- FastEd1972, Texas, November 21, 2015 - alexa011, Wisconsin, October 2, 2015
Volcano Documentary and Geological Exhibition in Downtown Reykjavik, next to the Old Harbour. Open Every Day from 10:00-21:00 / Show time every hour, on the hour. Tryggvagata 11, 101 Reykjavík | (+354) 555 1900 | www.volcanohouse.is
EVENT CALENDAR GRÍMSEY FESTIVAL
June 3rd-5th An annual festival focusing on old traditions from Grímsey, such as collecting eggs, boat tours, children’s games, enjoying seasonal local food, music etc.
June 5th Fishing has always been very important to the Icelandic way of living and as Akureyri houses one of the largest fishing companies in Iceland, the day is celebrated with various events. Fishing vessels stay docked in the harbour during the celebrations, so that the sailors can spend the day with their families.
AKUREYRI CAR EVENTS
June 11th-18th Bíladagar is one of the largest motor sports events in Iceland, It’s an annual celebration of all cars, motorbikes and general motor sport vehicles from around Iceland. Races, drag racing, displays and much more fills the timetable.
VAKA FOLK FESTIVAL, FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
June 15th-18th VAKA folk festival presents the best and brightest of traditional folk song, music, dance and handcraft from Iceland, Scandinavia
and the British Isles. The festival will feature four days and nights of non-stop music making and dancing under the midnight sun.
ICELANDIC NATIONAL DAY
June 17th The National Day of Iceland, the 17th of June, is a very important celebration for the people of Akureyri as it is to all the people of Iceland. On this day in 1944, the Republic of Iceland was formed. The town is decorated with flags and a celebratory program, suitable for all ages, starts at 13.00 and runs until midnight.
GRÍMSEY SUMMER SOLSTICE
June 21st The inhabitants of Grímsey, Iceland’s northernmost inhabited island and the only part of the country that lies above the Arctic Circle, celebrate the summer solstice on the 21st of June. Visitors can experience the extreme beauty of the Island of Grímsey with the locals in the midnight sun and watch thousands of puffins in flight and nesting. Grímsey has one of the largest puffin colonies in Iceland.
ARCTIC OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT
June 22nd-25th Around the time of the summer solstice, one of the northernmost 18-hole golf course in the world hosts the annual Artic Open Golf Tournament. It’s an international event which attracts golfers from various parts of the world. Few golfers ever get to experience a game of midnight golf but now is your chance.
June 25th A good opportunity to view new and old air crafts of different kinds and even see some of them in action. Perfect opportunity for families to have a good time.
N1 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Vaka Folk Festival
June 29th-July 3rd The Summer games are a new festival, focusing on outdoor activities and sports. Expect the town to fill up with people interested in running, cycling, hiking and other sports.
THORVALDSDALUR TERRAIN RUN
July 2nd Terrain running enthusiasts gather in Þorvaldsdalur in Eyjafjörður every year to run the 25 km length of the Þorvaldsdalur valley. Runners can expect to run over streams, marshes and lava fields.
July 2nd-3rd The “Pollamót” is an annual sporting event held by Icelandair and Þór football club at the beginning of July. The contestants are adult people who want to show they haven’t lost their touch.
SIGLUFJÖRÐUR FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
July 6th-10th Many of Iceland’s best musicians will perform at the festival, be they folk, jazz, traditional, or classical musicians. Guests can enjoy a variety of workshops and seminars, for children as well as grown-ups.
FESTIVAL IN HRÍSEY
July 8th-10th This festival takes place in the middle of July each year. Enjoy a family friendly festival which includes a “surprise tour of the island” beach tour, campfire and songs. Hrísey is known as the pearl of Eyjafjordur and has a rich birdlife and excellent hiking trails. Catch the ferry from Árskógsströnd for a 15 min trip over to the island.
July 14th-19th An annual motorbike meeting takes place in Akureyri in late July. The motorbike club Tían (The Ten) organises this event, offering a diverse programme to suit everyone with a passion for motorbikes.
MEDIEVAL TRADING WEEKEND AT GÁSIR
July 15th-17th Gásir was the main trading post in northern Iceland during the Middle Ages and the place is mentioned many times in Old Icelandic Sagas. Gásir comes to life during these summer festival days with iron forgers, noisy local and foreign traders, children’s laughter, songs and food.
SUMMER ART FESTIVAL 78
July 16th-August 27th The Akureyri Summer Arts Festival is an annual artistic boost to life in
Akureyri. The whole town takes place and shows off their artistic side, with exhibitions, performance art, music and dance events in every corner of Akureyri.
July 18th-24th The hiking week is an event celebrating and making the most of the great hiking trails in the area. On the programme are short (two up to three hours) walks suitable for most people.
ICELAND SUMMER GAMES.
july 26th-August 1st Iceland Summer Games is a new festival which focuses on outdoor activity such as running, cycling, walking and so on.
“SÍLDARÆVINTÝRI” FAMILY FESTIVAL IN SIGLUFJÖRÐUR July 29th-August 31st
Every year, the town of Siglufjörður celebrates the town‘s past as a the herring fishing capital of Iceland. During the middle of the 20th century, business was booming and people flocked to Siglufjörður in the herring version of the gold rush. The herring festival attempts to recreate that atmosphere.
ARCTIC HANDCRAFT AND DESIGN, HRAFNAGIL.
August 4th-7th The Arctic Handicraft and Design Iceland is one of a kind. About 100 individuals are selected to sell their exclusive handicrafts, art and design that often are based on the old Icelandic traditions.
FISH FESTIVAL IN DALVÍK August 5th-7th All you can eat—for free! Everybody is invited to a seafood buffet. Fish producers and other members of society invite guests to a seafood buffet to enjoy a good day at the harbour in Dalvík. Don’t miss a cruise in the fjord, art shows, street theatre and music of all kinds throughout the day in a beautiful environment with spectacular mountains as backdrop.
AKUREYRI TOWN FESTIVAL.
LATE 2016 ARCTIC RUN IN GRÍMSEY
September 10th The race takes place each year around mid-September in the island Grímsey, in 2016 on the 10th of September. It was held for the first time in 2012 and has become very popular amongst Icelanders since then. The race covers most of the island and crosses the Arctic Circle. Participants can choose between the distance of 12 and 24 km / 7.5 and 15 miles.
October 6th-9th The Akureyri Ladies days gives the women of Akureyri a chance to celebrate each other. Originally conceived as a breast cancer awareness event, the programme features exhibitons, concerts, fashion shows and plenty of other events.
CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR IN AKUREYRI November 29th-December 29th There is plenty on offer for visitors at this charming time of year. Visit the quaint Jólagarðurinn (The Christmas Garden), which is only a 10-minute drive from Akureyri, check out exhibitions, concerts, theatre and markets or explore the fantastic winter landscape around Akureyri. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can enjoy a traditional Icelandic Christmas dinner at some of the best restaurants in town, and taste the local Icelandic delicacies.
NEW YEAR’S EVE
December 31st In Akureyri, the New Year is celebrated in the traditional Icelandic way, which, of course, calls for an enormous bonfire, great music, dancing and a whole lot of fireworks. The bonfire at Réttarhvammur (way up on Hlíðarfjall ski centre, which is open during New Year), kicks
of the celebration at 8 pm, and an hour later a wonderful firework display follows. In town, there are concerts and dances way into the early hours of the morning, and leading up to the midnight hour, thousands of fireworks will light up the sky above Akureyri, creating a unique atmosphere and welcoming in a New Year. There are also tour operators working, so check out our tour section to book a jeep, gourmet, hiking, horse riding, snow scooter or a Northern Lights tour during this magical night.
August 26th-27th Akureyri Town Festival takes place the last weekend of August on the anniversary of Akureyri. Akureyrians young and old get together to celebrate their town and the unique quirks of the people there.
EARLY 2017 EASTER ADVENTURE IN AKUREYRI
March 24th-28th Easter in Akureyri is an unforgettable experience. Whether you fancy going to a concert, a trip down the ski slopes of Hlíðafjall, a swim in one of the best pools in the country or treat yourself to a good meal or drink, Akureyri is the right place.
ICELAND WINTER GAMES March 24th-April 3rd The Winter Games are an international freeski and slopestyle competition and the Winter Festival presents all kinds of winter sports, tours and events.
AK EXTREME— SNOWBOARDING COMPETITION
April 7th-10th For three days the best snowboarders/skiers in Iceland get together organising this event and hundreds of people turn out to watch the show.
DONALD DUCK SKI COMPETITION
April 20th-23rd The competition was first held in 1976 and has become a highly successful annual event. The Donald Duck Ski games are a family affair enjoyed by adults and children alike.
MUSEUMS DAY IN EYJAFJORDUR
April 21st The numerous and interesting museums in the fjord organize different programs and open their doors collectively to the public.
The Official Tourist Guide Summer 2015
kó gs sa Ha nd ug ur an es
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Vestu rhóp s Borg vatn arvir ki
Gullfoss / Geysir
Varmilækur Reykir Steinsstaðir Bakkaflöt
Hóp Va tn hó sdal lar s-
kir Rey eyri ð r Bo 61
Svalbarð 711 Hamarsbúð
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Lu nd ey
Ba kk afj örð ur
Víkingavatn Skjálftavatn Þe
Vatnajökull National Park
watching SINCE 1995
ZERO EMISSION *
SILENT OPERATION *
selected departures * On from Húsavík
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Published on Jun 6, 2016
The official Guide to Akureyri is now out. Published annually, Akureyri Guide aims at providing accurate and helpful advice and information...