Akureyri: The bustling city of North Iceland
Iceland is a relatively small country with a population that doesn´t reach 400.000 people. However, while it’s not as overpopulated or popular as other countries, most travelers agree that it is one of the most fantastical places to visit. While most people travel towards the south where the nations capital is located, it is the northern areas of Iceland that truly capture its splendor. One of these places is the lovely cosmopolitan city of Akureyri. the so-called capital of northern Iceland.
At a glance, Akureyri seems like a place transported from the Swiss Alps. Set at the head of Eyjafjordur Fjord, a long fjord which is one of the most beautiful fjords in Iceland, Akureyri is an ideal base where one can load up with supplies to begin an incredible journey through Iceland’s most beautiful wonders such as waterfalls, volcanic areas and canyons. Snowcapped peaks rise behind the town, while flower boxes, lush gardens and towering trees fill the town in summer with a whimsical atmosphere probably because its only 60 miles away from the North Pole. During winter, Akureyri is a true skiing paradise and a great place to experience the winter time in Iceland. To get to Akureyri we suggest simply to do get some self-drive packages like this one.
Akureyri is a bustling, cosmopolitan town considered as Iceland’s second-largest city. It has a population of 15,000 which for other countries is a decent number for a small town but in Iceland it is considered a good population for a city. While Akureyri doesn’t have the same sthe ophistication of the nation’s capital it more than makes up for it because of its charm. It has a fine selection of shops, cafes, restaurants and museums that travelers can leisurely visit without being hurried off towards the next destination by an irate tour guide.
Akureyri is considered as a cultural capital for the prescence of quite a number of museums. The city is also the birth place of Matthias Jochumsson, a native poet and Jon Sveinson who was a children’s book author. One of Akureyri’s most peculiar aspect is the warm climate which is ironic for travelers since it is just a stone’s throw away from the arctic circle. The summer temperature is set at 20° C which citizens from Reykjavik always takes advantage of during the weekends. The temperature is so perfect that the Botanical Gardens is the city’s best known attraction.It hosts over 2,000 species of native and non-native plants which flourish without the aid of a green house. Akureyri is a hotspot during the summer with its lively festivals, and it also boasts of Iceland’s best winter skiing during the winter. Akureyri is a popular weekend destination for Icelanders, both during summer and winter.
History of Akureyri
The name of Akureyri has its origin in local folklore wherein the name originates from a cornfield that was thought to have existed in a sheltered location within one of the water systems in the neighboring farms. It was first mentioned in a criminal trial in 1562, when a woman bedded a man without a marriage certificate. In 1778 the first residential house was built and in 1786 it became the certified trading post for the first time in its history . during that time it only has about 12 residents, however it continued to grow in its size.
Adventures in Akureyri
There are many festivals in Akureyri specially during the summer months which locals and visitors always look forward to. There are though prime tourist destinations for adventures seeking excitement. One of the most beloved activity in Iceland is hiking and Akureyri has a perfect spot for it.
Mt Súlur is a pleasant and invigorating hike which starts at Súluvegur, then a left turn off Þingvallastræti just before the Glerá bridge and up towards Glerádalur valley until hikers reach the summit of Mt Súlur which is 1144 m high. The whole hike takes seven hours to complete so tourists are advised to bring lots of water and emergency supplies and rations. Aside from the rigorous hiking opportunities, Akureyri also has ski resorts, art museums, golf courses, river rafting, sea angling and wildlife shows which feature whale watching and wild horse sightings. Do not forget the amazing Northern lights shows during winter, which will leave no one disappointed. Small towns and beautiful natural treasures are close to Akureyri which can make a nice day tour in summer and half day tour in winter as the daylight hours aren´t that many during winter season Please also make sure to check the weather forecast before you head out of town as well as road conditions as roads can be slippery / with heavy snow during winter.
Akureyri is a spectacular place which combines the throbbing pulse of city life and the untamed beat of the wilderness. It is a must stop destination for people who want to experience the best of both worlds.