Widely regarded as Iceland’s ‘second city’, Akureyri provides an excellent base for exploring the incredible landscape and Aurora-rich skies of Northern Iceland and serves as the capital of the area. It has long played an important role as a trading post in this part of the country and is now an important meeting point for tourists from all over the world, who come to look for the Northern Lights.
Akureyri nestles at the tip of the Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland. This, combined with the many mountains which surround it, give it a much gentler climate than that found on the coast. It is in part due to this that the city plays such a vital role in Iceland’s fishing industry, as its harbour remains free of ice.
With a mix of trendy cafes and restaurants, as well as a selection of museums and places to shop, Akureyri gives Reykjavik some competition as a cultural destination. Its inhabitants are known to be incredibly pleasant, with a friendly and relaxed attitude.
The city’s position puts it very close to some of Northern Iceland’s best natural attractions. Chief among these is the Lake Myvatn Nature Reserve – a fascinating location with cratered earth, bubbling pools of mud, and a rich variety of birdlife.
Photography by Visit North Iceland