Area of the North
• WINING & DINING • SHOPPING
• EVENTS • ACCOMMODATION
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE AND MAP
• THINGS TO DO
• MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AKUREYRI
DAILY : LAKE MýVATN DIAMOND CIRCLE WATERfALL DETTIfOSS CAVE ExPLORATION LOfThELLIR NORThERN LIghTS ASKJA WhALE WATChINg hORSEBACK RIDINg LOCAL CULINARY TOURS RIVER RAfTINg gRíMSEY ISLAND SNOWMOBILES NIghT TRAVEL MIDNIghT SUN SIgLUfJöRðUR COASTAL CULTURE ART & DESIgN WALK SIghTSEEINg fLIghTS SEAL WATChINg
... and mhucmho, re ! muc
NORTH I C E L A
558 8888 www.sagatravel.is
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Departures from: Akureyri · Lake Mývatn · Reykjavík Húsavík · Dalvík · Hauganes Hvammstangi rs ... and private touwh from any ere ...
CONTENTS LIST AKUREYRI 6-15 MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
WINING & DINING
SHOPPING 30-35 MAP OF AKUREYRI
THINGS TO DO
EVENTS 56-59 ACCOMMODATION 60-61 PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Authors have taken all reasonable care in preparing this handbook, information has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but make no guarantee about the accuracy or completeness of its content. © MD Reykjavik ehf.
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WELCOME TO AKUREYRI 6
There is something for everyone in Akureyri, a beautiful town nestled between mountains and the deep blue sea, large enough to offer a rich selection of culture and entertainment, yet small enough to be very personal and close to nature. Upon arrival many things will surely catch your eye at once. The first thing to strike you will probably be how steep some of the streets are. Since it was built by the sea, as it grew it only had one place to go – uphill(!). The ocean view from the bottom of the Eyjafjörður fjord is an impressive sight, balanced by the town panorama bearing the church as a crown on top of its steepest hill. Being the biggest town outside of the Reykjavík area, Akureyri has plenty of cafés, restaurants and activities, but is still small enough to offer the quietude of the countryside. It has become a favourite among tourists, both foreign and Icelandic, striking a balance between a city and a town.
The Centre The first thing you’re likely to do is probably to stroll through the town centre. Get acquainted with the leisurely feel and friendly townspeople, window shop along the street, grab a bite at one of the many excellent restaurants or take in a concert at Græni Hatturinn -“the Green Hat”- one of Iceland‘s best-known music clubs. Finding accommodation should not be a problem either, as the town has plenty of high standard hotels and guesthouses (although it‘s safer to book in advance during high-season). From the center you could stroll through the Botanical Garden which has in recent years become one of the town’s most popular sites. Once inside, you have the garden’s wide collection of flora, including specimens of almost every type of plant growing in Iceland, with a total of 7.500 local and foreign specimens. Further south from the garden you can discover the “Old Town” - the oldest part of town and home to many of the museums and historic buildings. Return back to the town centre along the new walking path to be completed this summer at the seaside or Pollurinn as the locals call it.
A VIBRANT CULTURAL SCENE
A STROLL THROUGH HISTORY Akureyri has a rich and colourful history. Settled in the 9th century, it was mostly a farming area until it grew during the urbanisation of the 20th century and particularly influenced by the NorwegianBritish Air base there during WWII. For those interested in history, Akureyri Museum and the Industrial Museum house a big part of the town’s heritage. Of course Akureyri’s rich history is also reflected in the buildings of the town itself. Particularly the “Old Town” , situated south of the centre, with its beautiful and wellpreserved houses from earlier centuries, including Nonnahús and Laxdalshús, the town’s oldest building, completed in 1795. The second oldest part of town, Oddeyri, also has many historic buildings as well as shops and businesses.
Did you know? The Midnight Sun Akureyri is in a prime position to experience the midnight sun, due to its northern position. The summer solstice, occurring around the 20th of June each year, marks the suns highest point in the sky, when the sun doesn’t even go under the ocean surface for the whole 24 hours. From the beginning of June till middle of July is thus a great time to experience the midnight sun.
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 will give an invigorating breeze from the ocean while Kjarnaskógur forest will leave you filled with peace and serenity. For more healing energy, Akureyri has two different geothermal swimming pools which are perfect for kids and great for striking up a conversation with the locals, in addition to which it’s possible to bathe in hot tubs at different spas and gyms in town. Finally the famous Mývatn Nature Baths are only a bit over an hour’s drive from town.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
For those interested in the arts, Akureyri has a lot to offer. The steep hill that runs down from Akureyri swimming pool into the town center is generally called “Arts’ Alley” due to the fairly large number of art galleries and art studios there. The Akureyri Art Museum is located on this same street, an institution that has been one of Akureyri’s cultural pillars since its foundation in 1993. True to its policy the museum keeps its exhibitions diverse, both progressive and carefully selected, interesting and provoking.
EYJAFJÖRÐUR Akureyri lies at the very bottom of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður - the “Fjord of Islands”. It’s not to say though that it has a particularly large amount of islands on it – but they are quite significant, with Hrísey being the largest.
Eyjafjörður is speckled with small villages and local attractions, for instance check out 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 & Saurbær church as well as the numerous other churches in fjord. Dive to the unique Strýturnar sub-aquatic geothermal cones 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 is quite deep. It’s completely surrounded by mountains and has several rivers running into the ocean down both side, making the scenery here both stunning and beautiful, and 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 – as 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!
find out more! Read more about the islands of the fjord – Grímsey and Hrísey on page 68.
AKUREYRI ALL YEAR ROUND With Akureyri’s vibrant energy and variety of activities and festivals all year, there is no wonder every season brings something extraordinary to charm both visitors and locals. 10
As spring arrives, visiting the Botanical Gardens is beyond a doubt the destination you want to head to when Akureyri’s flora starts bursting into life. Inhabitants also start blooming as many dig up their running shoes, drag out their bikes for a ride or fire up their barbecues. Springtime is also the ornithologist’s paradise, with the rich variation of migratory birds returning to the area to lay their eggs,
including puffin and arctic tern. Particularly good places for birdwatching include Krossanesborgir, the Estuary of the river Eyjafjarðará and the islands, Grímsey and Hrísey.
Being one of Iceland’s northernmost towns, Akureyri could definitely crown itself the town of the midnight sun. Favourite summertime activities include golfing, visiting the Botanical Garden, dropping in at museum or taking a stroll around town. To encounter nature at close range, hop on a boat for a whale watching tour. Feeling more active? Hike up the magnificent Mt. Súlur! Akureyri’s outdoor café society is in full summer swing down town with people out in droves to soak up the sun. More than just rainy-day places, we recommend a visit to Akureyri Art Museum offering a great selection of contemporary art. Summer celebrations include the Aviation Days, National Day, Hiking week, Arctic Open golf tournament, Gásir Medieval Days and Akureyri Family Festival.
AKUREYRI THERMAL POOL
Enjoy the Water World Every Icelander Loves
We Are Here
Kaup vang ss
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.
The cultural calendar of Akureyri really gets into high gear during the months of autumn with the yearly theatre and concerts program, starting off with Akureyri Town Festival at the end of August, which commemorates the anniversary of the town.
Akureyri truly becomes a winter wonderland over the darker seasons, often with an astonishing sight of the Northern Lights mixed with a twinkle of snow. Speaking of the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights excursions are one of the most popular wintertime activities – with the season lasting from the end of September till the end of March .
Another wonder are the ever famous “hearts” of the town, giving a warm feeling all over when they pop up either in the street lights or in the windows of the locals homes. For everyday pleasure, Akureyri has a lot to offer. Soaking in hot tubs is always a treat, 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 center, and within the city you can go skating at the skating rink. For the even more adventurous, there’s the option of arctic surfing or even diving! 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!
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
HIGHLIGHTS OF AKUREYRI There are countless of stunning things to see and experience in a town such as 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!
Hlíðarfjall For nearly 50 years the mountain Hlíðarfjall has been one of the prime skiing areas of Iceland. The hallmarks of Hlíðarfjall are high quality snow, extensive cross country trails and exciting ski slopes with breathtaking 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 mustvisit spot during your winter break to Akureyri.
The Botanical Garden The garden is one of the northern most botanical gardens in the world, and is equally popular both with locals and visitors. The Public Park was opened in 1912 but the Botanic section in 1957. Currently there are about 6600 foreign species and over 400 native species, which makes the Botanic Garden an excellent choice for those wishing for a break from the daily stress.
The Old Town If you take a stroll from the Akureyri’s central towards south you will walk through the history of early Akureyri, past the old Theatre, the old Primary School , and the Old Hospital built in 1827, the first two-storied house raised in Iceland and the oldest building in Akureyri the Laxdalshús built in 1795. You will also have the possibility to visit several museums such as Nonni’s House and Sigurhæðir (read more on pg. 18).
Akureyri Church The Akureyri church is one of the most recognizable symbols of the town, with the church steps being a particular highlight. Walking the steps is one of the things everyone should do when visiting Akureyri. This Lutheran church was designed by renowned architect Guðjón Samúelsson, while the bas-reliefs on the nave balcony are by sculptor Ásmundur Sveinsson. The church is considered one of the most beautiful landmarks of Akureyri.
The centre of cultural life in Akureyri is on Kaupvangsstræti, which curves through Grófargil in the middle of Akureyri, nicknamed the Arts Alley. For a long time, there were extensive industrial operations there that gradually moved elsewhere, freeing up a lot of housing that perceptive people saw was ideal for all kinds of art activities. These include the Akureyri Art Museum, the Akureyri School of Visual Arts, smaller galleries, the multipurpose Deiglan and Ketilhús and much more.
Akureyri geothermal Pool One of the most popular attractions of Akureyri, the Akureyri Geothermal Pool is a great stop for everyone – be they individuals, couples, families or groups. With a wide range of facilities and features, this is your onestop place for relaxation as well as action. The 4 hot tubs, two 25m outdoor pools and waterslides, ensure here everyone can find something to their liking.
WELCOME TO AKUREYRI
The Arts Alley
Kjarnaskógur South of Akureyri is Iceland’s most visited forest Kjarnaskógur. The recreational area has more than 1 million trees of many 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 volley ball course and of course restrooms, making Kjarnaskógur a perfect outdoors area for everyone.
Many good places for bird watching are within Akureyri and its surroundings. Four bird watching cabins are available for birdwatchers in the area, three within the town itself and one in the island Hrísey which also belongs to Akureyri. These cabins are placed in the following areas, Naustaborgir, Krossanesborgir, at the estuary of river Eyjafjarðará and in the island Hrísey.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES 16
For such a small town, Akureyri abounds with museums, galleries and other cultural institutions. You can discover a quirky, young artist at the Center for Visual Arts, get a feel for the cultural history and daily lives of people in Eyjafjörður at the Akureyri Museum, and finish the day at any of the great workshops and galleries scattered over town. Akureyri and the surrounding area, offers a vast array of museums, and a few of them actually being quite unique in Iceland, such as the Icelandic Aviation Museum, The Motorcycle Museum of Iceland, the Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum (featuring a stunning 4100 works!) and the Sverrir Hermannsson’s Sundry Collection. Furthermore, of particular interest are the houses of the poets and writers, Nonni,
Davíð Stefánsson and Matthías Jochumsson, but three of the most influential writers of Icelandic history lived in Akureyri – these houses now serve as museums, dedicated to each of the writers. For further information on exhibition schedules, opening hours and more museums of interest, please refer to www.visitakureyri.is or stop by at the official Tourist Information Centre, at Hof Cultural House.
Did you know? The Hearts in Akureyri All over Akureyri, you will find hearts—in the traffic lights, in the windows in people’s homes and other peculiar places. The hearts appeared following the financial crash of 2008, when there was a need for positive thinking and to put an emphasis on what really matters.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
AKUREYRI MUSEUM An interesting museum for the entire family with exhibitions depicting the history of Akureyri – the Town on the Bay 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 the wonderful 19th century church.
Special exhibitions 2014-15 • Land ahoy! Maps of Iceland from 15471808. The Schulte Collection. Be an explorer and find the strange creatures of the sea. June-February. • A view from the past. - Modern Akureyri through the lens of the 19. century. Have a look yourself - take a picture in the studio. June-October. • The Yule lads! Get to know the Yule lads all 82 of them! November-January. All exhibitions are designed to be family friendly with many hands on objects.
Open: Jun—Mid-Sep | Daily 10-17 MId-Sep—May | Thu-Sun 14-16 Adults (18+) 1000 ISK | Groups (10+) 800 ISK Day Pass 2200 - Annual pass 3500 Free bus no. 1 | 20 minutes walk from town center
Aðalstræti 58, Akureyri +354 462 4162 www.minjasafnid.is
THE BELOVED ROMANTIC POET In the green hills of Akureyri is a house with an exciting history and a unique atmosphere of the 60’s. Built in 1944 by one of Iceland’s most loved poets and writers, Davíð Stefánsson, who lived there until he died in 1964. Davíð had a taste for the finer things in life and was an enthusiastic collector of art and books. His apartment is a testament to his taste, full of books, art collection and other personal articles, just as he left them in 1964.
Bjarkarstígur 6, Akureyri +354 462 4162 | www.minjasafnid.is Open: Jun—Aug | Mon-Fri 13-17 Adults (18+) 1000 ISK | Groups (10+) 800 ISK Day Pass 2200 - Annual pass 3500 5 min. walk from the Municipal Library
A SMALL HOUSE WITH A BIG STORY
In the oldest part of Akureyri you will find one of the hidden gems of the town, 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 houses and is furnished accordingly with artefacts from Nonni’s life and books from around the world. Books by Jón Sveinsson in several languages are sold at the museum.
Aðalstræti 54, Akureyri +354 462 3555 / 462 4162 | www.nonni.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-17 Adults (18+) 1000 ISK | Groups (10+) 800 ISK Day Pass 2200 - Annual pass 3500 Free bus no. 1 / 20 minutes walk from town center
AUTHOR OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM Sigurhæðir (Hills of Triumph) is an exhibition dedicated to the reverend and poet Matthías Jochumsson (1835-1920), one of Iceland’s most loved writers and poets, author of the Icelandic national anthem and a canon of religious poetry. 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+) 1000 ISK | Groups (10+) 800 ISK Day Pass 2200 - Annual pass 3500 5 min. walk from town center
THE OLD TURFHOUSE LAUFÁS
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 3194 / 895 3172 www.minjasafnid.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 9-17 Adults (18+) 1000 ISK | Groups (10+) 800 ISK Day Pass 2200 - Annual pass 3500
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
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.
30 km from Akureyri / 20 km from Goðafoss
HVÍTSPÓI ART GALLERY
In 2012 The Akureyri Art Museum and The Cultural Center merged to create The Center for Visual Arts. Under this umbrella three exhibition venues are gathered: The Art Museum and the multifunctional facilities Ketilhús and Deiglan, all situated in The Arts Alley in the heart of Akureyri. Emphasis is on variety of exhibitions and works of the highest artistic standard. In addition to older works, The Center for Visual Arts makes room for the best and the brightest new talent, both domestic and foreign and prides itself on its good relations with artists, museums and galleries all across Iceland.
An “Art Studio and Gallery” owned by TextileArtist Anna Gunnarsdóttir, who makes sculptures and wearable art using wool, leather and fish skin. Her lamps made of wool are very popular all around. All the work is hand-made and done in the studio. She has exhibited at various places around the world and has obtained number of prizes and huge appreciation.
Listagilið, Kaupvangsstræti 12, Akureyri +354 461 2610 | www.sjonlist.is
The studio is open during working hours where one can appreciate her work and even have a chat. In the Gallery is ongoing art exhibition by different artists.The relaxing friendly atmosphere is very enjoyable.
Open: Jun—Aug | Tue-Sun 10-17 Sep—May | Tue-Sun 12-17
Brekkugötu 3a, Akureyri +354 466 2064
THE CENTER FOR VISUAL ARTS
OTHER MUSEUMS & GALLERIES IN AKUREYRI THE ICELANDIC AVIATION MUSEUM Akureyri Airport +354 863 2835 www.flugsafn.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 13-17 Sep—May | Sat 13-17
OLD TOYS ON DISPLAY IN FRIÐBJARNARHÚS Aðalstræti 46, Akureyri +354 863 4531 Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 13-17 Sep—May | Sat 14-16 GALLERY BOX Kaupvangsstræti 10, Akureyri
THE ICELANDIC MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM Krókeyri 2, Akureyri +354-466 3510 / 866 3500 www.motorhjolasafn.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 12-18 Sep—May | Sat 15-19
MJÓLKURBÚÐIN GALLERY Kaupvangsstræti 12, Akureyri +354 895 7173 POPULUS TREMULA – GALLERY In the basement of Akureyri Art Museum Kaupvangsstræti 12, Akureyri poptrem.blogspot.com
AKUREYRI INUSTRIAL MUSEUM Krókeyri, Akureyri +354 462 3600 / 897 0206 www.idnadarsafnid.is Open: Jun—Mid-Sep | Daily 14-17 Mid-Sep—May | Sat 14-16 HÚNI II
THE PUBLIC PARK AND BOTANIC GARDEN Eyrarlandsvegur, Akureyri www.lystigardur.akureyri.is Open: Jun—Sep | Mon-Fri 8-22, Sat-Sun 9-22
Docked by the pier. www.huni.muna.is Open: Jun 1—Aug 20 | Mon-Fri 13-17, when docked to the pier Mid-Sep—May | Sat 14-16
GALLERY SVARTFUGL Njarðarnesi 4, Akureyri +354 461 3449 www.svartfugl.is
THE MUNICIPAL LIBRARY Brekkugata 17, Akureyri +354 460 1250 www.akureyri.is/amtsbokasafn Open: Jun—Mid-Sep | Mon-Fri 10-19 Mid-Sep—Mid-May | Mon-Fri 10-19, Sat 11-16
HOF CULTURAL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE Strandgötu 12, Akureyri +354 450 1000 www.menningarhus.is
JUST OUTSIDE OF AKUREYRI THE ICELANDIC FOLK AND OUTSIDER ART MUSEUM Svalbarðaströnd, Akureyri +354 461 4066 www.safnasafnid.is Open: Mid-May—Aug | Daily 10-17
THE CHRISTMAS GARDEN 601 Akureyri +354 463 1433 Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-21 Sep—Dec | Daily 14-21 Jan—May | Daily 14-18
SVERRIR HERMANNSSON‘S SUNDRY COLLECTION Sólgarður, Akureyri +354 463 1261 / 699 8474 www.smamunasafnid.is Open: Mid-May—Aug | Daily 10-17
THE GRENIVÍK FISHERIES MUSEUM +354 698 5610 Open: Mid-Junn—Mid-Aug Daily 13-17 THE HERRING ERA MUSEUM Snorragata 10, Siglufjörður +354 467 1604 www.sild.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-18 Spring/Fall | Daily 13-17 THE FOLK MUSIC CENTER Norðurgata 1, Siglufjörður +354 467 2300 www.sild.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 12-18 MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY Aðalgata 14, Ólafsfjörður +354 464 9200 www.fjallabyggd.is Open: Jun—Aug | Tue-Sun 14-17 HVOLL - LOCAL FOLK MUSEUM Karlsrauðatorg, Dalvík +354 466 1497 www.dalvik.is/byggdasafn Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 11-18 Sep—May | Sat 14-17 BERG CULTURAL HOUSE Goðabraut, Dalvík +354 460 4000 www.dalvikurbyggd.is/Menningarhus Open: Mon-Fri 10-17, Sat-Sun 12-17
THE HOUSE OF SHARK JÖRUNDUR Hrísey +354 695 0077 | hrisey.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 13-17
HÚSAVÍK MUSEUM HOUSE Stóragarði 17, Húsavík +354 464 1860 www.husmus.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-18 Sep—May | Mon-Fri 10–16 GRENJAÐARSTAÐUR, OLD FARMHOUSE Grenjaðarstað, Húsavík +354 464 3688 Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 10-18
HÚSAVÍK WHALE MUSEUM Hafnarstétt 1, Húsavík +354 414 2800 www.whalemuseum.is Open: Jun—Aug | Daily 8:30-18:30 September | Daily 9-16 Oct—Mar | Mon-Fri 10-12 & 13-15:30 Apr—May | Daily 9-16 SIGURGEIR’S BIRD MUSEUM Ytri-Neslönd, Mývatn +354 464 4477 www.fuglasafn.is Open: Mid-May—May | Daily 11-19 Jun—Mid-Aug | Daily 10-19 Mid-Aug—Aug | Daily 11-19 Sep | Daily 12-17 Oct | Daily 13-17 Nov—Mid-May | Mon-Fri 14-16, Sat-Sun 13-16 GLJÚFRASTOFA Ásbyrgi Canyon +354 470 7100 Open: May | Daily 10-16 Jun—Mid-Jul | Daily 9-19 Mid-Jul—Mid-Aug | Daily 9-21 Mid-Aug—Aug | 9-19 Sep | 10-16
THE BIRDLAND EXHIBITION Húsabakki, Dalvík +354 4600 1551 / 861 8884 www.birdland.is Open: Mid-May—Aug | Daily 12-17
HOLT - MEMORIAL MUSEUM OF ALDA HALLDÓRSDÓTTIR Hrísey +354 695 0077 Open by arrangement
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
IN NEIGHBOURING TOWNS
WINING & DINING IN AKUREYRI Akureyri’s restaurant scene is emerging with a unique palate all of its own, embracing the fresh ingredients Iceland offers at home. Icelandic chefs are keen to bring different cultures and cuisines to the local table. 22
A great many of outstanding kitchens can be found in Akureyri with an eye to different flavours using Iceland’s own 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 instead 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.
In Akureyri you’ll find a variety of great restaurants to choose from, offering a vast selection of different styles of cuisine and different plates, such as a top-notch Spanish-style tapas place, with an Icelandic twist, using only local ingredients, a renowned modern seafood and sushi place, an Indian Curry Hut ( the name of that one is surprisingly logical by the way), as well as an assortment of fine dining, pizzas, pasta, Icelandic, international, traditional, modern and everything else in between. Akureyri enjoys great access to local food productions, as the Eyjafjörður area is rich in agriculture and food production, for example, three (relatively) large meat production companies operate from Akureyri, as well as the country’s biggest producer of cheese. Furthermore there is rich culture of beer production, with Viking and Kaldi being located in and around Akureyri. For such a small town, Akureyri definitely holds its own when it comes to restaurants, so you should have no worries, everyone will find something to their liking.
Rub23 Funky, fresh and full of flavour!
RUB23 | KaupvangsstrĂŚti 6 | Phone: +354 462 2223 | email@example.com
Kung Fu Sticks + Sushi
Bakaríið við Brúna
A place fitting many descriptions. It’s both homely and comfortable, yet new and exciting. Here you can sit down with the family, have burgers or sandwiches, as well as steaks, fish and chicken. DJ Grill is a great restaurant that can just as well dub as a Sport bar or a takeaway place, that’s perfect when you need something quick!
A new and ambitious sushi and sticks place located in the heart of Akureyri, by the Ráðhústorg. They offer only the freshest ingredients available by land or sea and put an emphasis on quality. The place seats 50 persons, comfortably and also offer take-away both for individuals and for groups.
Bakery and a café. Enjoy the best of what Icelandic bakeries have to offer. Great coffee shop and good prices. Located behind Glerartorg Shopping Center.
Strandgata 11, Akureyri +354 462 1800
goya Tapas Bar 24
Experience the relaxed Spanish atmosphere in the heart of Listagilið - Akureyri. Over 50 various dishes to choose from and four different, ever changing sample menus. Try our cured goose, duck orange, beef caramel, salmon teriyaki or any other of our great Tapas dishes.
Glerareyrum 2, Akureyri +354 461 2700 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brekkugata 3, Akureyri +354 462 1400 www.kungfu.is
Ísbúðin Akureyri icecream and coffee A brand new ice cream and coffee shop in the heart of Akureyri with a wide selection of soft ice cream, gelato, all kinds of specials and Slurpee’s and a selection of coffee drinks, fine pastries and light refreshments.
1862 nordic Bistro With its summer evening buffets every night from June 26th, local menu of open Danish sandwiches, selection of coffee, cakes & beverages, brunch buffet every Sunday and the unique patio view of Eyjafjörður – 1862 Nordic Bistro is the place to be. The restaurant focuses on dishes of Nordic origin with local food in the leading role.
Kaupvangsstræti 23, Listagilið, Akureyri +354 512 8181 | www.goya.is
Geislagötu 10, Akureyri +354 461 1112
Múlaberg bistro & bar
Located on one of the most scenic corners in town, Múlaberg is where the finest Icelandic ingredients meet bistro cuisine under French, Italian and Danish influences,. Múlaberg offers one of the greatest selections of wines, spirits and cocktails in the north of Iceland.
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 a range of client. Its good name is known to all those satisfied customers who have visited Greifinn time and again.
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.
Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri +354 460 2020 www.mulaberg.is
Glerárgata 20, Akureyri +354 460 1600 www.greifinn.is
Hof, Strandgata 12, Akureyri +354 466 1862 | www.1862.is
Kaupvangsstræti 6, Akureyri +354 462 2223 www.rub23.is
reservations: +354 575 7575
HAMB URGER FACT ORY
PLEASED TO MEAT YOU!
The Hamburger Factory is Iceland's most beloved gourmet burger chain! Our 15 square and creative burgers are made from top-quality Icelandic beef and would love to "meat" you. HERE WE ARE Reykjavík
The groundfloor of Höfðatorg, the tallest tower in Reykjavík, right opposite Höfði
The groundfloor of the historic Hotel Kea, in the heart of the city center
ATTENTION Our burgers are square - beef and bun! Does it taste better? You tell us!
BE SQUARE AND BE THERE
Indian Curry Hut
It is a well known fact (by the locals, anyway) that Brynju Ís, or Brynjas Ice Cream, is the best in the world. This, alleged, fact might be contended by some, but all agree that Brynja is a cultural institution in Akureyri for all to visit. Aðalstræti 3, Akureyri +354 462 4478
Probably the smallest Indian restaurant in Iceland and your stop for take-away Indian food while in Akureyri. This incredibly cosy little place is located right in the heart of the town and is hard to miss with its yellow walls and the cute bell tower. The food is of great quality, with the Naan-bread being especially renowned!
The restaurant and guesthouse Brekka in Hrísey island has been running for over 30 years, which makes it the oldest steakhouse In Iceland. They offer something for everyone, big steaks, freshly caught fish from the fjord, hamburgers, pizzas, salads, cakes and so on.
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.
Hafnarstræti 92, Akureyri +354 461 5858 www.bautinn.is
Hrísey +354 695 3737 / 466 1751 www.brekkahrisey.is
Garður, Nearby Akureyri +354 867 3826 www.kaffiku.is
Located in Dalvík, overlooking the lively harbour, this friendly place offers a wide range of great food, such as fish, steaks, burgers and pizzas at a fair price. On top of that – they’ve recently opened a bakery and a coffee house, allowing for a full day of opening!
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.
Hafnarbraut 5, 620 Dalvík
Vogar, 660 Mývatn +354 773 6060 www.vogahraun.is
If you’d care to have a light meal or a drink, then the bright red building in Siglufjörður is your place. A lively place - especially on Friday and Saturday nights, with its live bands or trubador’s during summer. It’s a great spot for lunch, dinner and for getting to know the local people.
In one of the oldest and most renowned houses in the heart of Akureyri, lies Bautinn Restaurant. We put our pride in fresh, reasonably priced food. Fresh fish and quality meats are our specialty, but we also offer a wide variety of other dishes, along with our well stocked salad bar. Hafnarstræti 92, Akureyri +354 462 1818 | www.bautinn.is
La Vita é Bella 26
An Italian restaurant where we emphasize outstanding service and a comfortable atmosphere where you can enjoy our excellent Italian cuisine. We welcome you to a pleasant evening of home-made Italian pasta and pizzas that are by now the talk of the town.
+354 466 2040
Hafnarstræti 100 b, Akureyri +354 461 4242
Gránugata, Siglufjörður +354 461 7733 www.raudka.is
OTHER RESTAURANTS AKUREYRI – RESTAURANTS –
AURORA RESTAURANT Icelandair Hótel Akureyri Þingvallastræti 23, Akureyri +354 518 1000 www.icelandairhotel.com BRYGGJAN Strandgata 49, Akureyri +354 440 6600 www.bryggjan.is HAMBORGARAFABRIKKAN
LEIRUNESTI Leiruvegur, Akureyri +354 461 3008
Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri +354 575 7575 www.fabrikkan.is
LITLA KAFFISTOFAN Tryggvabraut 12, Akureyri +354 462 2345
KRUA SIAM Strandgata 13, 600 Akureyri +354 466 3800 www.kruasiam.is
NÆTURSALAN Strandgata 6, Akureyri +354 462 4020
PENGS Strandgötu 7, Akureyri +354 571 9000
SERRANO Ráðhústorg 7, Akureyri +354 519 6918 www.serrano.is
SILVA GREEN FOOD Syðra-Laugaland +354 851 1360 | www.silva.is STRIKIÐ Skipagata 14, Akureyri +354 462 7100 | www.strikid.is ÖRKIN HANS NÓA Hafnarstræti 22, Akureyri +354 461 2100 / 863 1313 www.noa.is
– FAST FOOD – AK-INN Hörgárbraut, Akureyri +354 464 6474 DOMINOS Undirhlíð 2, Akureyri +354 581 2345 www.dominos.is
JÓN SPRETTUR Kaupangur, by Mýrarvegur, Akureyri | +354 464 6464
TASTE - FAST DELICIOUS CHICKEN Skipagata 2, Akureyri +354 578 6400
– BARS AND CAFÉS – AMTS-CAFÉ ILMUR Brekkugata 17, Akureyri +354 862 4258 www.kaffiilmur.is BLÁA KANNAN Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri +354 461 4600 BRAUÐBÚÐIN Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri +354 460 5930 BRUGGHÚSBARINN Kaupvangsstræti 23, Akureyri +354 896 6782 www.brugghusbarinn.is CAFÉ AMOUR Ráðhústorg 9, Akureyri +354 461 3030 www.cafeamour.is
CAFÉ LAUT - BOTANICAL GARDEN Eyrarlandsvegi 30, Akureyri +354 461 4646 FLUGKAFFI Akureyri airport, Akureyri +354 462 5017 GRÆNI HATTURINN Hafnarstræti 96, Akureyri +354 461 4646
GÖTUBARINN Hafnarstræti 95, Akureyri +354 462 4747 KAFFI AKUREYRI CAFÉ & BAR Strandgata 7, Akureyri +354 461 3999 www.kaffiakureyri.is KAFFI JÓNSSON CAFÉ Hafnarstræti 26, Akureyri +354 461 1126 www.keilan.is/kaffi-jonsson KAFFI TORG CAFÉ Glerártorg, Gleráreyrar 1, Akureyri +354 462 2200 PÓSTHÚSBARINN Skipagötu 10, Akureyri SJALLINN Geislagata 49, Akureyri +354 462 2770 www.sjallinn.is TE OG KAFFI Hafnarstræti 91-93, Akureyri +354 540 2180 www.teogkaffi.is
HLÖLLABÁTAR Ráðhústorgi 1, Akureyri +354 462 7200 www.hlollabatar.is
SUBWAY Kaupvangsstræti 1, Akureyri +354 461 3400 www.subway.is
CAFÉ ILMUR Ingimarshús by Hafnarstræti, Akureyri | +354 571 6444 www.kaffiilmur.is
WINING & DINING IN AKUREYRI
AKUREYRI BACKPACKERS Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri +354 571 9050 www.akureyribackpackers.com
OTHER RESTAURANTS IN NEIGHBOURING TOWNS – SIGLUFJÖRÐUR – HARBOUR HOUSE CAFÉ Gránugata 5b, Siglufjörður +354 659 4809 www.harbourhouse.is AÐALBAKARINN Aðalgata 28, Siglufjörður +354 467 1720 HANNES BOY CAFÉ Gránugata 23, Siglufjörður +354 461 7730 www.raudka.is
GAMLI BAUKUR Hafnarstétt 9, Húsavík +354 464 2442 www.gamlibaukur.is
HÓTEL REYKJAHLÍÐ Reykjahlíð, Mývatn +354 4644142 www.reynihlid.is
PAKKHÚSIÐ BISTRO/BAR Garðarsbraut 6, Húsavík +354 698-2551
VOGAFJÓSI (THE SHED) Mývatn +354 464 4303
SALKA COFFEE HOUSE Garðasbraut 7, Húsavík +354 464 3999
– GRÍMSEY –
ALLINN SPORTBAR Aðalgata 30, Siglufjörður +354 467 1111
KRÍAN GRÍMSEY Grímsey +354 467 3112 / +354 898 2058
TORGIÐ/PIZZA 67 Aðalgata 32, Siglufjörður +354 467 2323
– DALVÍK –
– ÓLAFSFJÖRÐUR –
– HÚSAVÍK –
CAFÉ BORGIR Dimmuborgir, Mývatn +354 464 1144 www.visitdimmuborgir.is
BRIMNES RESTAURANT & HÓTEL Bylgjubyggð 2, Ólafsfjörður +354 466 2400 www.brimnes.is
ÞULA CAFÉ-BISTRO Berg Culture House Goðabraut 2, Dalvík +354 460 4000
HÖLLIN Hafnargata 16, Ólafsfjörður +354 466 4000
– MÝVATN – RESTAURANT SEL HOTEL Skútustaðir, Mývatn +354 464 4164 www.myvatn.is
SALKA RESTAURANT Garðarsbraut 6, Húsavík +354 464 2551 www.salkarestaurant.is HEIMABAKARÍ CAFÉ AND BAKERY Garðarsbraut 15, Húsavík +354 464 2900 CAFÉ SKULD Hafnarstétt 11, Húsavík +354 464 7272 | www.skuld.is
local delicates If you’re looking to try a few typically Icelandic goodies, try hangikjöt (smoked lamb), svið (seared lamb face), hákarl (putrified shark), brennivín (great as a chaser with hákarl), skyr – a delicious, high-protein yogurt-like substance, puffin or harðfiskur (dried fish strips).
BIRD MUSEUM SIGURGEIRS Ytri-Neslöndum, Mývatn +354 464 4477 www.fuglasafn.is
Torgið - Pizza 67 in Siglufjörður
Large menu Coffee and cakes Summer opening: Daily
+354 467 2323
og þú hlýtur að vera recent years Siglufjord, the northernmost i??:)In town in Iceland, has become a popular tourist attraction. This small and wonderful community has grown to be one of Iceland’s most romantic town, rich of culture and history. the harbor, visit the small galleries in town and Iceland’s only European awarded museum, the amazing Herring Era Museum.
sari Instærð ca? 2011 two colorful houses were renovated by the marina. Having housed old fisheries in the ng) past they now became renowned restaurants
that together create a picturesque scenery by the marina.
ef hægt er. Spurning heimasíða, Only 30 e available) - það sem
At Kaffi Raudka you can sit outside and relax in the refreshing atmosphere of the marina, enjoy a delicious cake with steaming hot coffee or go for the traditional Icelandic hashed fish. While at restaurant Hannes Boy you´ll find a wonderful culinary experience in a more romantic and historic environment where reservations are recommended. In June 2015 Hotel Sunna will open its doors. Uniquely built into the small marina this romantic 68 room hotel will offer an amazing view of the harbor life and surrounding mountains. Only an hour drive from Akureyri, Siglufjord is definitely a daytrip worth the while. Call for reservations at Hannes Boy 461-7730 or drop by at Kaffi Raudka to enjoy our live by the marina. We are on Tripadvisor and www.raudka.is
WINING & DINING IN AKUREYRI
æklinginn á pdf í stærð ð fara sendaexperience þetta til It’s aað delightful to enjoy a walk by
KUBPLE! PIC AILA
NU T E D
U R E YR I !
L Y A 30 ON
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SHOPPING IN AKUREYRI Iceland enjoys a very high standard of living and Icelanders demand quality and diversity in the products they purchase. Designer brands and high-fashion labels are generally less expensive in Iceland than in many other countries.
Tax-free shopping - which gives an added discount of approximately 15% is available at many shops (look for the Tax-free sign), note that there is a minimum sum of purchase in order to get tax-free. Tax free can be refunded at the official tourist information in Hof. Shops in Akureyri are mainly concentrated in two places, the city centre along the street Hafnarstæti and in the shopping mall Glerártorg by the street Glerárgata.
You can be sure to find very diverse products available, ranging from affordable and adorable, to high-end for the demanding consumer and in the worst case scenario, you’ll get to talk to the locals while you browse the shops! We recommend you take special note of the numerous shops featuring Icelandic design, as Akureyri and the surrounding area is a cradle of crafts, fine arts and design.
THE VÍKING - TOURIST SHOP The Viking sells all sorts of souvenirs and neat gift items to bring back home. The selection includes postcards, outdoor clothing, books, woollen sweaters among Viking statues and shot glasses.
Enjoy interesting design at Kista, housed within the impressive Hof-Cultural Centre of Akureyri. The store displays a wide variety of work by Icelandic designers including jewellery, textiles, wool, and household goods.
Hafnarstræti 104, Akureyri GEYSIR Clothing and gift items from all over Iceland, Geysir has its own very popular woollen line as well as other Icelandic designers. A safe card for the last minute souvenir shopping. Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri www.geysir.net
Come and experience the wonderful space of Hof and its great facilities. The design store puts emphasis on offering a fun and diverse selection of exciting and innovative Icelandic design. Don’t forget to make a visit, browse at your leisure, at Kista and take a bit of Icelandic design back home with you. Strandgötu 12, Akureyri Open: Jun—August | Mon-Fri 9-18, Sat-Sun 10-17 Sep—May | Mon-Fri 11-18, Sat 12-17
NO NEED TO GO HUNGRY AROUND ICELAND
OUR GROCERY STORES ARE ALL AROUND ICELAND
SHEAR GENIUS 32
The sheep in this country far outnumber the people, which is good because Icelanders have a penchant for their ovine friends. Although the lamb chops are delish and the ewe’s milk cheese is divine, it’s these woolly coats that are the prize of Iceland’s flock. The wool of the Icelandic sheep has been used to clothe Icelanders for centuries. And for good reason: it’s great stuff. Warm, waterproof, breathable and nearly indestructible. You’ll see the locals walking around in their “lopapeysas”, which is the traditional ring-neck sweater.
All Icelanders have one of these heavy-hitters in their cold-weather arsenal—most likely knit by their granny. But for those of us who don’t have an Icelandic granny, you’re in luck: There are grannies for hire all around the country, knitting like mad to keep the tourists warm.
The unique composition of the Icelandic wool consists of two types of fibres: inner fibres are insulating – fine, soft, and retain warmth well. Outer fibres are water-repellent – long, glossy and keep water out of the garment.
VARMA THE WARMTH OF ICELAND The warmth of Iceland Varma is produced by Glófi ehf, the largest knitwear producers in Iceland, located in Akureyri. The Varma brand includes socks, mittens, hats, headbands, gloves, scarves and shawls, as well as a selection of sweaters, cardigans and capes made from high quality Icelandic wool. Their product lines range from traditional styles and patterns following the latest fashion trends. Knitwear designer Laufey Jónasdóttir designs Varma’s new designer knitwear line, Blik. Austursíðu 2, Akureyri / www. varma.is
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DOWNTOWN AKUREYRI This is the beating heart of Akureyri where you’ll find the greatest density of independent cafés, restaurants and shops—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 tourbooking centres. 34
The main shopping street Hafnarstræti stretches between the Town Hall Square and Hótel Kea, although most shops thin out towards the southern end. You’ll find streetwear, high fashion, local music and art, quirky souvenirs, cool Icelandic design and all kinds of food and bars along the strip as well as trendy passers-by. People-watching here is a must: morning, noon and night.
Branching off the Town Hall Square and leading down towards the seafront and HofCultural & Conference Centre is Skipagata, which is a bit tinier and shorter than Hafnarstræti, you’ll find the bank and shops with an emphasis on arts and crafts.
This is the main square in Akureyri where you’ll always find something going on. Cosy coffeehouses, galleries, travel agencies as well as jewellery shops and even the cinema for a late night movie. This is a great place for poking around and doing a puzzle over a cup of coffee.
The Attic – Antique Store Located in the Old Town of Akureyri, close to Akureyri’s oldest house is the Attic, a family owned antique store that’s one of its kind in the whole north of Iceland.
Located just a few minutes’ walk from the town centre, lies Akureyri’s prestigious shopping mall –Glerártorg. Built in the year 2000, here you can find 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 – in reality being the only shopping mall in Akureyri. So if you have some time to spend and want to do some shopping – make sure to stop by Glerártorg!
Hafnarstræti 19, Akureyri +354 461 1415 / 659 0904
SHOPPING IN AKUREYRI
With a selection of beautiful antique products that often bring up bittersweet memories, the Attic takes you on a journey through time free of charge.
Open: Mon-Fri 13-18, Sat 13-16
Technical School Camping
Botanical Gardens Hospital
Graveyard Akureyri museum
Akurey Thermal P
Swimming Pool Glerรกr Elementary school
Glerรกrtorg Shopping Center
Police Station Library
H贸tel Kea | Hafnarstr忙ti 87 - 89 | Tel.: +354 460 2000 | email@example.com | www.keahotels.is
Two great choices and the best location in town
H贸tel Nor冒urland | Geislagata 7 | Tel.: +354 462 2600 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.keahotels.is
Sun - Thu 11.00-23.00 Fri - Sat 11.00-01.00
M煤laberg Bistro & Bar | H贸tel Kea | Akureyri | Tel.: +354 460 2020
THINGS TO DO IN AKUREYRI AND THE SURROUNDINGS The foodie, the outdoorsman, the thrill-seeker, the bird lover, the music fan, the historian: no matter what you’re interested in, Akureyri has a wide range of activities and day tours to suit any visitor.
Whether you’re looking to ride the unique Icelandic horse (it’s small, cute and has 5 gaits!), soaking in the natural geothermal hot water of Iceland, or wanting to catch the magnificent giants of the ocean up close and personal, a good starting point is the Official Tourist Information Center in town. There you can talk directly to the experts of the area and get their recommendation on what’s best to do at that particular season, as summertime Akureyri, with its midnight sun, is really nothing like wintertime Akureyri, where it’s Northern Lights galore and a skiers paradise! The Akureyri region is a paradise for bird watchers, boasts one of Iceland’s best skiing areas and is just a short drive from a multitude of varied activities, such as white river rafting, quad biking, snowmobiling, hiking, diving, so on and so forth, so the options are endless.
In this chapter we’ve highlighted some of the activities and things to do that the area is best known for, such as the Northern Lights, swimming and skiing. Furthermore we’ve listed some of the many options available for activities and day tours in the region, but bear in mind that this is just a sample, and no doubt there are countless other adventures to experience in Akureyri and the nearby area. Have fun visiting Akureyri and make sure you make the most of your trip!
Did you know? Mount Súlur The mountain Súlur is the Town-mountain of Akureyri, rising above the town in south-west. There is a popular trail – walking path up to the peaks, the walk/ hikes takes about 5-6 hours forth and back. The starting point is from a parking lot in the valley Glerárdalur. The peaks are two; the highest one reaching about 1213 meters. The peaks are mainly made of light rhyolite (liparit) which is a volcanic material, created during volcanic eruptions around 8-9 million years ago.
ACTIVITIES AND DAY TOURS 42
SOAK IN THE CULTURE
Icelanders simply cannot walk past hot water without at least sticking a toe in. An impressive place to appreciate this “love of the soak” is in the warm, eerily blue waters of the lagoon at Mývatn Nature Baths, nestled in the landscape of Lake Mývatn.
Not only is Iceland’s breed a horse of a different colour; it’s a horse of an entirely different genetic make-up. Having been bred in almost perfect isolation for over 1000 years, this breed of horse is markedly different than the horses you’ll find anywhere else in the world. In fact, the herd is so protected that once an Icelandic horse leaves the island, it can never return.
As summer merges into autumn, the landscape becomes a panoramic patchwork dotted with shades of gold and brown, while winter brings its own tapestry of snow, sparkling frosts, and frequent opportunities to enjoy the unforgettable splendour of the Northern Lights. The milky waters stretch out over the lagoon with 3,5 million liters of geothermal warm, soothing waters. At some point sweat it out in a natural steam room or just sit back at the Magma Café and enjoy a relaxing lunch or dinner at the terrace, or inside the modern yet welcoming dining area.
Small (if you fall, you won’t fall far) and extremely well-tempered, the Icelandic horse is known for its unique fifth gait: the tölt. The tölt is an unusual gait where the horse seems to crouch down and slide over rough landscape like lava fields. You’ll find companies offering lots of different tours, from short ones, giving you the opportunity to experience the Icelandic horse at a glance, to several days’ tours for only the hardened and experienced riders.
Explore Lofthellir Lava Cave located in the area of Lake Mývatn – a world of unique ice formations and darkness to experience. The cave you’re about to see boasts the greatest natural ice sculptures currently known in any Icelandic lava cave. 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 phenomena with all its sparkling colours. And as you travel back, why not take the opportunity to 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.
GEOTHERMAL WILDERNESS See Icelandic nature in all its splendour. The steam columns from the geothermal plants at Krafla and Bjarnarflag (Myvatn) are a
magnificent sight. Why not make a visit to any of the two green energy plants and get the 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.
THINGS TO DO
WEIRD WORLD OF ICE AND DARKNESS
WHALE WATCHING & BOAT TRIPS The north of Iceland is a great area to get in touch with the giants of the ocean, the whales. With its clean, clear waters, full of life, the ocean surrounding Iceland is a good place to see the 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 are the minke whale, fin whale as well as an assortment of dolphins and porpoises.
SEA ANGLING IN THE NORTH www.whatson.is
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 and the surroundings are majestic. Boats are well equipped for deep-sea angling and the tackle awaits you on board. Beware; it 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 days catch.
Rafting has been one of the most popular adventure activity in Iceland for years, creating a memorable family adventure for kids, teenagers and adults who want to share an unforgettable, fun-filled adventure, and Akureyri is very close to the best rafting river in Iceland. There are two options for rafting, the East Glacial River or the West one, with the East river generally being regarded as one of the top 5 rafting rivers in Europe – though some even claim it’s simply the best one. This is an action packed river, not for the faint hearted, sure to provide a great time. Available are day trips for us normal people, but for those really wanting to kick it into high gear, a 3-day expedition style trip is available, going straight from Hofsjökull glacier, the source of the river, running every rapid on the river. That journey winds through highland desert, 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 a very enjoyable family fun. So, while not obvious straight ahead, river rafting can definitely be a family activity for everyone to enjoy, or something for the
toughest adrenaline junkies – all depending on choice and preferences. What’s always guaranteed though is an incredibly scenic and fun trip with towering canyons and stunning vistas – and some splashing action while you’re at it!
QUAD ADRENALINE ATVs, four-wheelers, quad bikes … I don’t know what you call them, but we call them fun! At Engimýri, conveniently located in the valley of Öxnadalur, right by Highway number 1, only 34 km west of Akureyri, you can take your roadrage to the lava field where these powerful machines eat up the terrain. Quad bikes open up a world that’s normally hidden from the average traveller; the hills and mountains normally only accessible to off-road vehicles. Riding through moss and lava, across black sands and over water in close proximity with nature, you’re sure to have a blast.
DIVE 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! If you’re a diving fan then you’re in for a treat and even for those adventure-seeking visitors that are not experienced divers that want to explore parts normally hidden from the naked eye, no need to worry. Driving two hours from Akureyri you’ll find the geothermal cone Strýtan in Eyjafjörður fjord. The only in the world that you can scuba dive to as others are found at 3000m or deeper. Around 100 liters of freshwater per second at 72°c is coming from the cone. Strýtan is the first underwater protected area in Iceland.
THINGS TO DO
DISCOVER THE NORTH
Coach Charter / Schedule Service HJALTEYRARGﾃ傍U 10 | 600 AKUREYRI | ICELAND | TEL: (+354) 5 500 700 | e-mail: email@example.com
EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC Dettifoss Grand Tour Day tour to Dettifoss Waterfall, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, sightseeing around Lake Myvatn and the Jokulsargljufur canyons formed in a devastating glacial flood. Price 18.700 ISK.
This 9 hour tour to one of the lovliest spots in Iceland focuses on the most attractive features of the area. Visit Godafoss waterfall, the geothermal fields in Hverarond, explosion crater of Viti and the Myvatn Nature baths. Price 14.100 ISK
THINGS TO DO
Lake Myvatn Excursion
Whale Watching - Summer Tour A bus tour to the small fishing and tourism village of Húsavík where you will experience whale watching at its very best with North Sailing. Price 15.500 ISK
Askja - Kverkfjoll - Vatnajokull Glacier This three-day tour to Askja caldera is designed to give the traveller the opportunity to experience the rugged nature of a country that is constantly being shaped and battered by the powerful forces of ice and fire. Price 42.900 ISK
HJALLAHRAUNI 2 | 220 HAFNARFJÖRÐUR | ICELAND - TEL: (+354) 5 500 770 | e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE NORTHERN LIGHTS 48
The Northern Lights – also called Aurora Borealis – are one of the most spectacular shows on earth and can frequently be seen in Akureyri and surroundings from September through April on clear and crisp nights. The area surrounding Akureyri is especially good for Northern Lights viewing, due to the high mountains on both sides of the fjord, who affect the cloud cover positively, leading to frequent holes in the clouds – that are essential for actually seeing the elusive lights! What causes this spectacular phenomenon, so characteristic of our northern lights here in Iceland? Well, it’s electricity that does it - and of course it all goes back to the sun. Tiny particles, protons and electrons caused by electronic storms on the sun (solar wind) are trapped in the earth’s magnetic field and the begin to spiral back and forth along the magnetic lines of force - circle around the magnetic pole, so to speak. While rushing around endlessly in their magnetic trap, some particles escape into the
earth’s atmosphere. They begin to hit molecules in the atmosphere and these impacts cause the molecules to glow, thus creating the auroras. White and green are usually the dominant colours but sometimes there are considerable colour variations, as the pressure and composition of the atmosphere varies at different altitudes. At extremely high altitudes where the pressure is low, there tends to be a reddish glow produced by oxygen molecules when they are struck by the tiny particles of the solar wind. At lower altitudes, where there is higher pressure, their impact-irritated oxygen molecules may glow with a greenish tinge and sometimes there is a reddish lower border created by particles colliding with nitrogen molecules in the immediate vicinity. The phenomenon is easily explained by modern science. What our ancestors may have thought when they gazed into the brightly-lit winter sky is quite another matter. But by all means don’t let any scientific explanation spoil your appreciation of the beauty of the Northern Lights. They are a truly impressive spectacle, whatever their cause.
Iceland is a world-class destination for ski touring. A great area of activity is Tröllaskagi, Troll Peninsula, in northern Iceland, with vertical descents of up to 1500m or almost 5000ft, thousands of peaks and slopes for all abilities making this a paradise for skiers and mountaineers. The fact that it is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean makes it ideal for incredible opportunities, skiing right down to the ocean on stable coastal snow with the excitement of Arctic weather and conditions. Several places offers option for skiing. The biggest ski area is at Akureyris’ ski resort is situated just 5 km outside of the town, in a very unique area. The elevation of the site goes from 500 m to 1000 m above sea level and so there is plenty of opportunity for good skiing during the winter months, with the season lasting from the end of November till beginning of May. 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 enjoy skiing during the shortest days of the year there are flood lights that make night skiing possible.
THINGS TO DO
SKIING IN THE NORTH
You find some nice but smaller ski-resorts in the village Dalvík and Siglufjörður and by the village Grenivík snowcat tours are offered to the top of Mt. Kaldbakur (1.173 m). Heliskiing is 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. Check out some of the great skiing events in Akureyri on pg. 58!
FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY No matter what age, travelers should be able to find enjoyable activities suited to their interests.
Splashing around in pools is pleasant for the whole family, as is looking out for whales, trolls or whatever your imagination desires. Iceland is definitely a kid-friendly nation (we tend to have a lot of them). Much of Icelandic life is centered on activities with our children. 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. For a pleasant surprise, Jólagarðurinn (The Christmas Garden) is not far away. Open all year round despite the name and only a few minutes drive from the centre of Akureyri, this beautiful garden environment, with benches and tables provided, makes it an excellent spot for a picnic. 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), Medieval Days at Gásir (July), and Akureyri Family Festival (beginning of August).
ACTIVE AKUREYRI Akureyri, being a small, family friendly town that’s very close to nature, offers tons of opportunities for outdoor activities at any time of year. You could hire a bike, for instance, and roll your family through Akureyri; most of the town’s green spaces are set up for excellent cycling tours. Contact the information center about schedules or rentals. Another option is
ice skating or skiing, on cold days in winter, there is nothing more refreshing. Take a spin around on skates at the skating rink “Skautahöllin” at Naustavegur 1, and in case you didn’t bring your own skates you can always rent a pair. Call and check opening hours +354 461 2440. Akureyri is also one of the best places in Iceland for cross-country and downhill skiing, most notably in mount Hlíðafjall (see www.hlidarfjall.is).
COSY AKUREYRI If you’re less of an outdoors-y type, if the weather’s bad or if you’re just plain tired after your long day of activities, what better way to relax than a good movie? Icelanders love their movies, but they also love their movie snacks. Be warned that the film will stop in the middle so everyone can get a refill! Remember to check whether kids movies are dubbed or subtitled.
DAY TRIPS AROUND AKUREYRI Just a short ferry ride away from Árskógssandur, 35 km north of Akureyri, nature and history can be found all over the compact island Hrísey – often called the “pearl of Eyjafjörður”. It’s a great place to wander the trails, or take a trip around the village and surroundings, on a hay cart towed by an old tractor. Another option is for instance Grímsey, which is a slightly longer boat journey for viewing the popular puffin (may-august), or just driving around the small towns and historic remains along the fjord Eyjafjörður.
GEOTHERMAL POOLS IN AKUREYRI The Akureyri Geothermal Pool is one of the most popular attractions in Akureyri and is open all year round. The pool area features two 25m outdoor pools, pummelling water jets, water slides, a splashpool 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.
Geothermal pools AKUREYRI GEOTHERMAL POOL Þingvallastræti 21, Akureyri / +354 461 4455 Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:45-21, Sat-Sun 8-19:30 Winter | Mon-Fri 6:45-21, Sat-Sun 10-18:30
HRÍSEY GEOTHERMAL POOL Austurvegi 5, Hrísey / +354 461 2255 Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 9:30-18:30, Sat-Sun 10:30-17 Winter | Tue 14-20, Wed 14-18, Thu 14-20, Fri 14-18, Sat 12-15, Sun-Mon Closed
All in all, the swimming pools of Akureyri are among Iceland’s finest, and they’re always aiming higher, so make sure it’s one of your stops in Akureyri, as it really has something to offer to anyone – from top notch relaxation, to thrilling action and activities.
HRAFNAGIL GEOTHERMAL POOL Hrafnagilskóli, Akureyri / +354 464 8140 Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:30-21, Sat-Sun 10-20 Winter | Mon-Fri 6:30-21, Sat-Sun 10-17 GRÍMSEY POOL Grímsey / +354 461 3155 Open: Mon-Wed 20-21:30, Sat 14-16 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
need more information? For more information about these pools, or to discover other thermal pools in the norther area, please visit the website www.sundlaug.is
GLERÁRLAUG GEOTHERMAL POOL Höfðahlíð, Akureyri / +354 462 1539 Open: Summer | Mon-Fri 6:45-18:30, Sat 9-12, Sun Closed Winter | Mon-Fri 6:45-8 & 17:30-21 Sat 9-14:30, Sun 9-12
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.
THINGS TO DO
Visiting Iceland, you’ll most likely know that the geothermal swimming pools are a very big thing here, and Akureyri of course is no different. In the town of Akureyri you’ll find two pools, the Akureyri Geothermal Pool and the Glerárlaug.
AKUREYRI ON FOOT, BIKE OR BUS
In a town such as Akureyri, there are of course countless things to see and experience, that are best accessible by different methods of transportation. Akureyri really has it all, whether you prefer to walk, bike or travel by bus. In fact – the city buses are free in Akureyri, making that a great choice, especially if combined with walking. So whatever your favorite method is, walking, biking or driving, you’ll have no shortage of options for either here.
Akureyri by bike There are a number of glorious 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 preserve close to the centre. Here you find the first tailormade mountain bike path in the country inaugurated in the summer of 2008. The round trip is about twelve kilometres. Biking is a great way to get to know Akureyri. Bike tours are organized year round (bikes and helmets provided). Or if you’re up for a real adventure (and less pedalling) then rent a scooter to zoom along the coast and the wilderness on the outskirts of town. Get a tour around the city with a friendly guide and bring your kids along too.
akureyri by bus (strætó) These giant, yellow bananas ploughing through the town are the cheapest way to get around Akureyri. How can we claim it’s the
cheapest? Surely walking is always cheaper? Well not in this occasion – as 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 462 4929. There is no bus service on Good Friday, Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
WALKING IN AKUREYRI Historical path (purple)
River and gardens (brown)
4,1 KM / 2,5 MILES
5,1KM / 3,1 MILES
Starting along the shores of Akureyri this path takes you through the oldest part of town with places of historical interest. Passing by the graveyard and towards the slopes of the old potato gardens that’s been in use for over 200 years. From here to the Botanical Gardens and the stunning views from Akureyrarkirkja. Down the church stairs and through the town centre ending at the Ráðhústorg –“Town Hall square”
From the corner of Brekkugata and the statue of the first Viking settlers in the area, Helgi Magri and Þórunn Hyrna, -“Helgi the Lean & Thorunn Hyrna”. From there towards the Glerártorg mall along the river up to the water reservoir and the Akureyri University area. Passing through the green areas down to the town thermal pools and the Akureyri church. Down the church stairs and through the town centre ending at the Ráðhústorg.
The sea & Oddeyrin (pink) 1,9KM / 0,6 MILES
2,9KM / 1,2 MILES During this walk you pass several of the most prominent buildings in Akureyri. Starting at Brekkugata towards the statue of the first Viking settlers in the area, “Helgi the Lean & Thorunn Hyrna”. South by Helgamagrastræti to the towns thermal pool, the Botanical Gardens to Akureyri church and down by the town centre ending at the Ráðhústorg.
Down by Strandgata towards HOF Cultural Center and along the sea to the harbour. Then crossing the streets into one of the oldest parts of town with wooden houses covered with stone imitated covering, typical for older houses in Akureyri. Back towards the town centre ending at the Ráðhústorg.
THINGS TO DO
The first settlers & town architecture (green)
53 Akureyri University Swimming Pool Glerár Elementary school
Shopping Center Technical School
The Settlers Akureyri Thermal Pool Botanical Gardens
Oddeyri Old Town
THE EVENT CALENDAR – JUNE 2014 – FISHERMAN’S DAY AKUREYRI // JUNE 1
This event takes place on the first Sunday in June. 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.
HIKING WEEK AKUREYRI // JUNE 10-14 A program of local hiking around Akureyri. Suitable for all abilities. Hikes 2/3 hrs long. www.ffa.is
“BÍLADAGAR” AKUREYRI CAR EVENTS AKUREYRI // JUNE 13-17 Bíladagar is one of the largest motor sports events held in Iceland and is 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. www.ba.is
ICELANDIC NATIONAL DAY
ICELAND // JUNE 17
AKUREYRI // JUNE 26-28
The National Day of Iceland which is on the 17th of June is very important celebration for the people of Akureyri as it is to all the people of Iceland, as this is the day the Republic of Iceland was formed. The town is decorated with flags and a full celebratory program starts at 13.00 and runs until midnight, suitable for all ages.
This international golf tournament takes place at the end of June around Summer Solstice. One of the northernmost 18 hole golf course in the world hosts the annual Artic Open Golf Tournament yearly. It is an international event which attracts golfers from various parts of the world. A game of midnight golf seems an unlikely prospect to many enthusiasts and few golfers have experienced this delight. But now you have a novel opportunity to participate in an event which features round the clock golf in mid-summer at high latitudes. www.arcticopen.is
THE AVIATION DAY AKUREYRI // JUNE 21 A good opportunity to view new and old air crafts of many kinds and even see some of them in action. Perfect opportunity for families to have a good time. www.flugsafn.is
SUMMER SOLSTICE GRÍMSEY // JUNE 21 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 along 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. www.grimsey.is
– JULY 2014 – FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL SIGLUFJÖRÐUR // JULY 5-6 Many of the best musicians of Iceland 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.
N1 FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT AKUREYRI // JULY 2-5 A tournament that has become very strong in junior football where 1,500 boys, with families, meet and play each year. www.ka-sport.is
“BÍLADAGAR” AKUREYRI CAR EVENTS
POLLAMÓT AKUREYRI // JULY 4-5 The “Pollamót” is an annual sporting event held by Icelandair and Þór football club at the beginning of July. It is a football tournament for adult people who want to show they haven’t lost their touch. www.pollamot.is
AKUREYRI // JULY 12 The 24 peaks in 24 hours hike is an ambitious annual hiking event in July. The challenge is set in July to try and experience the best conditions for hiking in the Glerá Valley. www.24x24.is.
HRÍSEY FESTIVAL HRÍSEY // JULY 11-13 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 the pearl of Eyjafjordur with a rich birdlife and excellent hiking. Catch the ferry from Árskógsströnd for a 15 min trip over to the island. www.hrisey.net/en
BIKE DAYS AKUREYRI // JULY 17-20
GÁSIR // JULY 18-20 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. www.gasir.is
– AUGUST 2014 – EIN MEÐ ÖLLU FAMILY FESTIVAL AKUREYRI // JULY 31-AUGUST 3 The main theme is one of romance with a dash of nostalgia. However there should be something for everyone. The name means literally “One with everything”, which is the most popular order when buying an Icelandic hot dog! During the festival, a variety of entertainment can be enjoyed by all. There is an open air concert downtown Akureyri every night. Our aim with this festival is for everyone to have a great time, young and old. www.einmedollu.is
FISH FESTIVAL IN DALVÍK DALVÍK // AUGUST 8-10 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. 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. www.fiskidagur.muna.is
ARCTIC HANDCRAFT AND DESIGN HRAFNAGIL // AUGUST 7-10 Held at the school Hrafnagilsskóli, south of Akureyri for the 20th time, 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. www.handverkshatid.is
TRADITION FOR TOMORROW AKUREYRI // AUGUST 20.-23 This music festival brings you a singular opportunity to enjoy Nordic traditional music and dance as each Nordic country presents its best and brightest in 4 days and nights of non-stop music making and dancing.
AKUREYRI TOWN FESTIVAL AKUREYRI // AUGUST 29-31 Akureyri Town Festival is held on the last weekend of August on the occasion of Akureyri´s birthday at the end of August. The theme Akureyri Town Festival 2013 was multiculturalism as people from more then sixty ethnicities live in Akureyri. www.visitakureyri.is/en
An annual motorbike meeting is held in Akureyri in late July. The motorbike club Tian (The Ten) organises this event , it offers a diverse programming to suits all who have a passion for motorbikes. www.motorhjolasafn.is
THE MEDIEVAL DAYS AT GÁSIR
THE 24 PEAKS IN 24 HOURS HIKE
© Axel Darri Þórhallsson
– OCTOBER 2014 – LADIES DAYS AKUREYRI // OCTOBER 9-12 Even in the harshest time of winter it’s nice to have a reason to celebrate. On Konudagur, “Ladies Days”, men must remember to treat their partners with something nice, flowers and chocolates are always popular. Get pink and shimmery and enjoy Ladies Days with concerts, exhibitions and everything women love. www.visitakureyri.is
– DECEMBER – ADVENT & CHRISTMAS AKUREYRI // DECEMBER 1-26
There is plenty on offer for visitors at this charming time of year. Visit the quaint Jólagarðurinn (The Christmas Garden) 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. www.visitakureyri.is/en
NEW YEAR’S EVE AKUREYRI // DECEMBER 31 New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to go a little bit overboard. Join in the celebrations by
taking a New Year’s Eve tour or by finding your way to the town’s huge bonfire at Réttarhvamm (area on the way up to Hlíðarfjall ski centre) that kicks off the celebrations around 20:00. Then it’s time to reconvene for the big send-off at midnight, where we set off a frankly improbable amount of fireworks to welcome the New Year. www.visitakureyri.is/en
– FEBRUARY 2015 – ICELAND WINTER GAMES AND WINTER FESTIVAL AKUREYRI // FEBRUARY First time this year two events become one. The Winter Games is a international freeski and slopestyle competition and the Winter Festival presents all kinds of winter sports, tours and events. www.icelandwintergames.is
– APRIL 2015 – EASTER ADVENTURE AKUREYRI // MARCH / APRIL Easter in Akureyri is an unforgetable 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. www.visitakureyri.is/en
AK EXTREMESNOWBOARDING COMPETITION AKUREYRI // MID APRIL, The festival was first held in 2002 as part of the idea to create a snowboard festival in Akureyri. For three days the best snowboarders/skiers in Iceland get together organising this event and hundreds of people turn out to watch the show. www.akextreme.is
DONALD DUCK SKI COMPETITION AKUREYRI // APRIL 23-26 The competition was first held in 1976 and has become a highly successful annual event. The Donald Duck games are a family affair enjoyed by adults and children alike. www.skidi.is
ACCOMMODATION IN AKUREYRI – HOTELS – HÓTEL AKUREYRI
Hafnarstræti 67, Akureyri +354 462 5601 www.hotelakureyri.is
Eyrarlandsvegur 28, Akureyri +354 444 4000 www.hoteledda.is
Hafnarstræti 87-89, Akureyri +354 460 2000 www.keahotels.is
HÓTEL NORÐURLAND Geislagata 7, Akureyri +354 462 2600 www.keahotels.is
ICELANDAIR HÓTEL AKUREYRI
Þingvallastræti 23, Akureyri +354 518 1000 www.icelandairhotels.com
RÁÐHÚSIÐ APARTMENT HOTEL Brekkugata 1b, Akureyri +354 571 5101 / 691 0601 www.radhusid.is
Sunnutröð 2, Akureyri +354 618 2800 www.saeluhus.is
– GUESTHOUSES – AKUREYRI BACKPACKERS
Hafnarstræti 98, Akureyri +354 578 3700 www.akureyribackpackers.com
Hafnarstræti 81, Akureyri +354 695 3366
Geislagata 10, Akureyri +354 892 9838 www.hotelibudir.is
Hafnarstræti 104, Akureyri +354 469-4104 / 696-4109 www.h104.is
GUESTHOUSE BÁSAR – GRÍMSEY
Brekkugata 27a, Akureyri +354 461 2500 www.akurinn.is
Hlíðarfjallsvegur, Akureyri +354 462 5723 www.glera2.is
Básar, 611 Grímsey +354 467 3103
GUESTHOUSE GULA VILLAN Brekkugata 8 & Þingvallastræti 14, Akureyri +354 896 8464 www.gulavillan.is
GUESTHOUSE HVÍTAHÚSIÐ Gilsbakkavegur 13, Akureyri +354 869 9890 www.guesthousenorth.is
YOUTH HOSTEL STÓRHOLT 1 Stórholt 1, Akureyri +354 462 3657 www.akureyrihostel.com
Hrafnagilsstræti 6, Akureyri +354 770 2020 www.6hrafnar.is
Brekkugata 33, Akureyri +354 896 2219 brekkugata.wordpress.com Byggðavegur 97, Akureyri +354 895 1260 www.brekkusel.is Brekkugata, Akureyri +354 461 1133
Þórunnarstræti 93 og Klettastíg 6, Akureyri +354 461 1160 www.sulurguesthouse.is
GISTIHÚSIÐ HRAFNINN Brekkugata 4, Akureyri +354 661 9050 www.hrafninn.is
LÆKJARGATA BED ‘N’ BREAKFAST
Lækjargata 9, Akureyri +354 691 7606/822 5207
AKUREYRI PERLA NORÐURSINS
Hafnarstræti 86a & Munkaþverástræti 33, Akureyri +354 865 9429 / 846 2692 www.innrikraftur.is
Möðruvallastræti 5, Akureyri +354 865 9429/846 2692 www.innrikraftur.is
Gránufélagsgata 43, Akureyri +354 694 4314 www.gista.is
APARTEMENT AKUREYRI Hamratún, Akureyri +354 892 6515 www.ibudagisting.is
– CAMPING – HAMRAR
by Kjarnaskóg, Akureyri +354 461 2265 www.hamrar.is
CAMPING SITE ÞÓRUNNARSTRÆTI
Kotárgerði 29, Akureyri +354 462 5668 Munkaþverárstræti 23, Akureyri +354 861 8864 www.altunga.is
Þórunnarstræti, Akureyri +354 462 3379 www.hamrar.is
Akureyri +354 571-7201 og 691-0601 Find the on booking.com
Langholt 11, Akureyri +354 858 7900 www.gistingakureyri.is
Helgamagrastræti 30, Akureyri +354 820 1950 www.helgimagri.com
Hafnarstræti 102, Akureyri +354 892 9838 www.centrumhostel.is
by Hlíðarfjallsvegur +354 460 6100 www.halond.is
OUTSIDE AKUREYRI – HOTELS – SVEITAHÓTELIÐ Í SVEINBJARNARGERÐI
Sveinbjarnargerði, Akureyri +354 462 4500 www.countryhotel.is
HOTEL - FARM HOLIDAYS ÖNGULSSTAÐIR III Öngulstaðir, Akureyri +354 463 1380 en.ongulsstadir.is
SEL HÓTEL MÝVATN Skútustaðir, Mývatn +354 464-4164 www.myvatn.is
Þórisstaðir Svalbarðsströnd, Akureyri +354 467 1070 www.hotelnatur.com Skútustaðir Mývatn, Mývatn +354 464 4455 www.keahotels.is/Hotel-Gigur
FOSSHÓTEL DALVÍK Skíðabraut 18, Dalvík +354 466 3395 www.fosshotel.is
Mývatnssveit, Mývatn +354 464 4170 www.reynihlid.is
FOSSHÓTEL LAUGAR Laugar, Laugar +354 464 6300 www.fosshotel.is
HÓTEL REYKJAHLÍÐ Mývatnssveit, Mývatn +354 464 4142
Bylgjubyggð 2, Ólafsfjörður +354 466 2400 www.brimnes.is
– GUESTHOUSES – HOLIDAY HOUSES JÓNATANSHÚS AND MÍNUKOT HRÍSEY Norðurvegi 17, Hrísey +354 898 9408 www,visithrisey.is
by Hlíðarfjallavegur +354 460 6100 www.halond.is
GUESTHOUSE BÁSAR – GRÍMSEY
Básar, 611 Grímsey +354 467 3103
GUESTHOUSE HRAFNAGIL Hrafnagil, Akureyri +354 463 1197 www.hrafnagil.is
GUESTHOUSE BRÚNALAUG Brúnalaug, Eyjafjarðarsveit, Akureyri (is by road nr 823- 12 km from Akureyri) +354 463 1206
Eyjarfjarðarsveit, Akureyri +354 463 1472 / 868 8436 www.ytra-laugaland.net
GUESTHOUSE PÉTURSBORG Pétursborg, Akureyri +354 4611811 www.petursborg.com
GUESTHOUSE SKJALDAVIK Skjaldarvík, Akureyri +354 552 5200 / 895 5200 www.skjaldavik.is
Lónsá, Akureyri +354 462-5037 / 895-1685 www.lonsa.tk
PRACTICAL INFORMATION DOMESTIC AIR TERMINAL Air Iceland offers scheduled flights between Reykjavík and Akureyri. Akureyri Municipal Airport +354 570 3000 www.airiceland.is 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. www.norlandair.is + 354 414 6960
FROM & TO AIRPORT The airport is located about 3 km south of the town centre and unless you plan to take a taxi, a nice walk through the old town is ideal.
BUS TERMINALS Take the bus to destinations all around the island. Hof Cultural Center Strandgata 12, Akureyri Tel.: +354 540 2700 www.bus.is
SBA Norðurleið Hafnarstræti 82, Akureyri Tel.: +354 550 0720 www.english.sba.is Sterna Hafnarstræti 77, Akureyri Tel.: +354 551 1166 www.sterna.is
FERRIES The ferry Sæfari offers scheduled 3 hour trips three times a week, the whole year from Dalvík to Grímsey island. The trips are Mon, Wed and Fridays. Scheduled trips to Hrísey island are two times a week, Tue and Thursdays. Ferry Sæfari, Tel.: +354 853 2211, www.landflutningar.is/saefari/ english The ferry Sævar offers scheduled trips several times a day the whole year between Árskógsandur and Hrísey. The ride takes 15 minutes. Ferry Sævar, Tel.:(+345) 695 5544 www.hrisey.net/en
TAXIS IN AKUREYRI Taxis in Iceland tend to be rather nice: Mercedes, Audis, etc. You can always pay with a credit card. Taxis can be reached with a phone call or at the taxi stand located in the town centre.
BSO Strandgötu, Akureyri Tel.: +354 461 1010 Taxi 17 (at BSO) Tel.: +354 892 4257
driving in akureyri SPEED LIMITS On city streets the speed limit is generally 50kmph / 30mph, unless otherwise stated.
SEATBELTS Wearing seatbelts at all times is mandatory and children under the age of five must be strapped into an approved child seat.
CYCLISTS Bicycles in Akureyri have been increasing greatly and they are now a presence on the road. Give them space.
INTERNET ACCESS & HOT SPOTS If you have your own device there are hot spots all over, in the town centre area, and you will find WiFi access at almost any café or bar for free (sometimes you have to buy a coffee). Many hotels and guesthouses also offer free WiFi.
PHONEBOOK The Icelandic phone book lists people by their first names. You can access the directory online at ja.is.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION & INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE DIAL 118 or DIAL 1811 the 24/7 service for information.
EVERYTHING ELSE OPENING HOURS
While the idea of “rush hour” is relative in such a small city, Akureyri is a car-based city and its major traffic arteries will fill up from 7:45 to 8:15 and 15:45 to 16:30.
Public institutions: Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 15:00 or 16:00. General office hours: Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.
Monday-Friday most banks open from 9:00 to 16:00.
Most gas stations are open every day from 8:00 to 23:30— many with 24-hour pay at-the-pump facilities. To pay at the pump your card generally needs to have a chip and a PIN number (although some also accept bills).
phone&Internet CALLING CARDS Cell phones work almost all over Iceland. If you think you’re going to be calling a lot, you can also buy phone cards at most groceryand convenience stores.
DIALLING When dialling internationally in Iceland, dial 00 to get out of the country, then select the country code, then the number. When dialling local numbers you don’t need to include the 354-country code, only the last seven digits.
PHONE CENTRE At the HOF Tourist Information Centre, by the harbour at Strandgata 12, you will find WiFi access, computers and phones for a small fee.
SHOPS Shop hours vary, but they are generally from 10:00 to 18:00 Mondays to Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 16:00.
LATE NIGHT SHOPPING Open 24/7/365 at Samkaup Strax, Borgarbraut. 10-11 store at Kaupangur, Mýrarvegur.
USEFUL NUMBERS The emergency number in Iceland is 112. Use it in any emergency for ambulance, fire department, medical help, police and doctors. Doctors on duty +354 848 2600 Police – Non-emergency Þórunnarstræti 138 +354 464 7700
LOST CREDIT CARDS VISA: 525 2000 MasterCard: 533 1400 Amex: 575 5900
A warm welcome awaits you in Kista, a home to Icelandic contemporary design and souvenirs made in Iceland. Find us in the Cultural Center of Akureyri, Hof.
Local Bistro menu Danish open sandwiches Selection of coffee and cakes
Evening buffet during the summer Brunch buffet every sunday Great view from our patio area
SIGLUFJÖRÐUR THE HERRING ERA Siglufjörður is one of the northernmost towns of Iceland’s mainland and its fame and fortune has always been linked to the fishing industry. Just a tiny shark fishing village in the 1900s, Siglufjörður soon became the undisputed capital of herring fishing in the north Atlantic with more than 10.000 inhabitants at times. Although the herring has long since disappeared, the town bears the distinct imprint of “The Herring Era”. As can be seen during the annual The Herring Era Festival, when people salt fish on every corner and dance in the town square.
The harbour at Siglufjörður has long been considered one of the best in Iceland. As early as the middle ages, English and Dutch fishing and merchant ships favoured Siglufjörður and by mid-century over 500 boats were active in the local herring fishing fishery. By 1970, the old wooden shelters were replaced by permanent concrete. The harbour remains popular with fishing boats and cruise ships to this day. Siglufjörður & Ólafsfjörður fjords are connected by a new tunnel. Tourists can find many things for amusement in both places.
ÓLAFSFJÖRÐUR MYSTERIOUS RETREAT When you drive through the road tunnel entering the village and see Ólafsfjörður in front of you, you will no doubt feel the majestic, mysterious quality of the surroundings. The mountains around the fjord are high and steep, with many beautiful hanging valleys, tempting destinations for hikers. The waters of Ólafsfjörður Lake reflect the town, the mountains and the sky, and occasionally a trout breaks the surface, a reminder of the treasures of the deep. The lake itself has a long-lived reputation for mystery, not least because both fresh-water and salt-water fish are caught in it.
The highest sea cliff in Iceland Hvanndalabjarg, (630 m.) where seabirds fill the air, lies west of the fjord. Further out toward the open sea, Héðinsfjörður, which is an ideal place to throw out a fishing line, appears. In winter, various ski facilities are open in the area. Snowmobile trips into valleys and the ice-covered lake are organized by local snowmobile companies. Ólafsfjörður is also the host of an annual blues festival. Siglufjörður & Ólafsfjörður fjords are connected by a new tunnel. Tourists can find many things for amusement in both places.
Dalvík is a community in Eyjafjörður with a whopping population of nearly 2000 people. Tourism is a fast growing industry there with the Cultural house, swimming pool, Birdland exhibition, golf course, whale watching, horseback riding and more. Hiking is a popular sport and the surrounding mountains of the Troll peninsula make an excellent scene for hikers. The folk museum comprises thousands of items, in addition to exhibitions about earthquakes, Jóhann Svarfdælingur, “the
Giant”, the tallest man in Iceland and Kristján Eldjárn former president of Iceland. It has a natural history collection where the polar bear is the most popular. If you are visiting the area during the wintertime you could consider doing some Arctic Helicopter Skiing on Tröllaskagi, or “Troll Peninsula”. The potential for world class downhill skiing is mind blowing with thousands of slopes and peaks waiting for the first skiers with vertical descents of up to 1500m or almost 5000ft.
DALVÍK FISH AND FUN
MÝVATN NATURE AT ITS BEST The area is awash with interesting things to see: the strange rock formations of Dimmuborgir, the pseudo-craters around Skútustaðir, the hot springs, the Krafla geothermal area and the Mývatn Nature Baths. Laxá River, one of the most bountiful and sought after fishing rivers of the country, runs from Mývatn. The stream Grænilækur, from Lake Grænavatn, is Mývatn’s only source of surface water, the majority of the water coming from underground sources.
Mývatn and the surrounding area are renowned for their beauty and many unique geological features. The lake is large and shallow, with a maximum depth of only about 5 meters (16 ft.), and contains more than 40 small islands. In addition to other rich birdlife, the area is home to more species of ducks than any other place on earth. Mývatn derives its name from the often-annoying gnat, which is divided into two kinds, of which one has a habit of biting people, and both are important food to our feathered friends.
HRÍSEY THE PEARL OF EYJAFJÖRÐUR Hrísey, the pearl of Eyjafjörður, is known for its beautiful nature, diverse bird life and many pleasant walking trails. A good way to get to know the island is to take one of the so everpopular tractor sightseeing tours, 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. Hírsey 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 is particularly famous as 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 regular ferry which takes 15 min on sea, from Ársskógssandur harbor (25 min drive from Akureyri).
GRÍMSEY THE ISLAND ON THE ARCTIC CIRCLE Grímsey is another popular island, known for being the northernmost settlement in Iceland with the Arctic Circle running straight through it. Despite that, Grímsey’s summers are generally mild and the island holds 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. To get to Grímsey you can take the ferry, which takes 3 hours, from the village of Dalvík (30 min drive from Akureyri, departure on Mon, Wed and Fridays). Taking this refreshing boat trip is ideal for families, particularly on a sunny day. If you prefer, 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. www.grimsey.is
Húsavík is a small town of 2.500 inhabitants, nestled on the slopes of a mountain by the Skjálfandi bay. Húsavík is historically a fishing town, but in recent years tourism has become the more dominant industry. The bay is one of few in Iceland where one can spot a blue whale, the largest animal in the world, in addition to other native species such as minke whale and as a result, whale watching is a very growing and flourishing industry in the area. The town also features a number of
museums , such as the Whale Museum which features 9 full-sized skeletons, the Civic Museum featuring natural as well as historic relics, the Maritime museum featuring a number of large and impressive boats amongst other things, and the exploration museum, featuring an exhibition of the Apollo astronaut training in the area, as well as studies of other historic frontiers. The town is also noted for its church built in 1907 in the “Schweitzer” style.
HÚSAVÍK WHALE CAPITAL OF ICELAND
GRENIVÍK UNSPOILT NATURE AND HOSPITALITY scenery of the fjord and the mountains around, go for a hike or visit the local pool. Or during winter take a snow cat to the top of Mt. Kaldbakur 1.173 m. www.hrisey.is
This tiny little fishing village is the northernmost habitation on the western side of Eyjafjörður. It is one of the very smallest villages in Iceland, with only 256 inhabitants. For a look at a genuine Icelandic village, drive by and check it out, enjoy the beautiful
Everybody´s Favorite We do our best to present the best Iceland has to offer, from land or sea – but also invite you to try dishes from around the world. Our menu offers everything from delicious pizzas and grilled hamburgers to the most exquisite meat and seafood cuisine.
email@example.com Tel.: +354 460 1600 Greifinn Veitingahús
SOUVENIR SHOP SHOP OF THE Y EA R 20 12
E R O M S I E THER E R O L P X E O T
The viking:info Laugavegur 1 · Reykjavík Hafnarstræti 1 - 3 · Reykjavík Hafnarstræti 104 · Akureyri
Published on May 28, 2014
Published on May 28, 2014
The ultimate Guide to Akureyri is now out. Published annually, Akureyri Guide aims at providing accurate and helpful advice and information...