Often referred to as Iceland’s capital of the North, Akureyri offers many of the same things as Reykjavik but on a more local scale. As the largest city in the region, it is an excellent place to venture into the surrounding landscape and its mountains, waterfalls, and geothermal areas.
Godafoss, or waterfall of the gods, is an incredibly scenic place of significant historical influence located less than an hour’s drive from Akureyri. The waterfall received its name from the myth that tells the story of a local priest who tossed his statues of Pagan gods into the falls to represent his adoption of Christianity.
Situated in Akureyri Bay, it offers excellent whale watching opportunities with many different species in the area from blue whales to humpbacks. The mountains surrounding the bay make for a beautiful backdrop as well. With a long-standing fishing tradition, Akureyri also has great selection of seafood restaurants with fresh catches coming right from the bay.
The Arctic Botanical Gardens, founded in 1912, are the world’s most northernmost botanical gardens. Here you can see an extensive collection of every known species in Iceland as well as many varieties from abroad. Walking the pathways that wind throughout the gardens makes for a beautiful visit on a sunny day.
The Akureyri Pool is one of the larger pools in Iceland. It includes two 25-meter pools, pummeling water jets, water slides, a splash pool, an indoor pool, four hot pots of varying temperatures, a steam bath, sauna and an area for sunbathing. The pool has the added luxury of being able to swim indoors to outdoors via a plastic door, allowing guests to not having to endure walking through the cold. You are even able to enjoy the pool as many times a day as you can manage.
Bjórböðin, The Beer Spa, is Iceland’s first beer spa. It is located in the North of Iceland in a town called Árskógssandur, which is about 35 km from Akureyri on the coast of Eyjafjörður. Here you can enjoy the unique sensation of immersing yourself in a tub filled with a mixture of warm beer, water, yeast and hops at 38 degrees Celsius. The mixture is said to be very beneficial for the skin, hair and overall health, according to the website.
Akureyri offers many places for food lovers to explore. Kaffi Kú, located only 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from Akureyri, allows guests to enjoy their meal in a shed while watching cows get milked. Can we say farm-fresh experience? Strikið offers great views of the bay, classic cocktails and classic Icelandic dishes like lamb and reindeer. You can also enjoy the adorable Café Ilmur, originally built in 1911 as a saddler’s shop. After being extensively restored by the descendants of the original saddler, the café still feels like a relic of the past with the same furniture and pictures on the walls. The café serves breakfast, pastries and lunch with a focus on homemade varieties.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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