Akureyri Library Nominated for Green Library Award

The Akureyri Municipal Library (Amtsbókasafnið á Akureyri) is amongst the libraries that have been nominated for this year’s IFLA Green Library Award.

The library is on the long list for Best Green Library Project for an intriguing project that is actually not related to books at all.

The “Freedge”

The project in question, “Frískápur” (a portmanteau of “frí”, as in “free, and “ískápur”, as in “refrigerator”), which is called “Freedge” in English, is an ongoing project just outside the library building with the aim of reducing food waste.

Individuals, businesses and organisations with extra food that they might otherwise throw away are encouraged to bring it to and put it in these fridges instead. Anyone is then welcome to pick up this food for themselves.

More than books to lend

Incidentally, books are not the only things you can check out from this library, either.

Speaking to RÚV, library project manager Hrönn Soffíu Björgvinsdóttir pointed out that one can also borrow cake forms, dishware, tools and board games. They even have a sewing machine, which guests are free to use on the premises.

Where to Stay in North Iceland

With dramatic landscapes, lush farmlands, and charming villages, North Iceland has much to offer travellers. It’s fantastic for outdoor activities, culinary experiences, and cultural exploration and in terms of lodgings, it’s most definitely not lacking. But with a myriad of enticing options, finding a place to stay in North Iceland can be a challenging quest. But don’t worry – whether you’re after the cottagecore vibe or a city stay, family-friendly, luxury or budget, we’ve got you covered. 

In Akureyri

Staying in Akureyri is a great option for those who want a city break or are going skiing in Hlíðarfjall mountain. Due to how easy it is to get there without a car, it’s also excellent for those who want to explore the North without having to drive. You can simply take the bus or go by plane, and book North Iceland day-trips that leave from Akureyri. Northern lights, geothermal baths, whale watching and major attractions are all on the table. You can even book a tour tailor-made for you!

For a classic city stay, Hótel Akureyri ($$ – $$$) has three fabulous central locations in town. First, there’s Dynheimar, housed in what used to be Iceland’s firts movie theatre. It’s a quaint hotel on Akureyri’s main street, perfect for those who want something modern and eclectic. For a more classic and sophisticated design, go for Skjaldborg (use Hótel Akureyri when searching). The house was built in 1924 by the sobrietry social group Good Templars and later transformed into a printing factory. Lastly, there’s Akurinn Residence, a stately villa with the same classic design as Skjaldborg that can house up to 17 people. 

Ideal for skiers, Hótel Hálönd ($$) is situated at the base of Hlíðarfjall mountain, only a five-minute drive – or a 40-minute walk if you want a warm-up – from Akureyri’s skiing area. You’ll have access to a hot tub after your adventures on the slopes and a chic, modern room to rest up in. There’s no restaurant at the hotel, but the city centre is only an eight-minute drive away.

People skiing on a sunny day in Hlíðarfjall, Akureyri.
Photo: Golli. People skiing on a sunny day in Hlíðarfjall, Akureyri.

On a budget

It must be said that finding cheap accommodation in Iceland is not an easy task. With a high cost of living, hotels and guesthouses tend to be on the more expensive side. On the bright side, the standard of accommodations in Iceland is relatively high, so in most cases, you’ll be getting your money’s worth. Even so, some lodgings have a below-average price tag whilst also keeping up the good ratings. 

Guesthouse Svínavatn ($) by Svínavatn lake is a small and friendly shoreside accommodation offering rooms with shared or private bathrooms. The lake is popular for fishing, an activity guests can enjoy free of charge. The guesthouse is also conveniently located within an hour’s drive from popular attractions such as Kolufossar waterfalls in Kolugljúfur, Kattarauga pond, and the historic Glaumbær turf house.

A 15-minute ferry ride or a short flight away from the mainland, you’ll find Syðstibær Guesthouse ($) on Hrísey Island, also known as the Pearl of Eyjafjörður. It has a retro vibe and a fantastic location, which allows you to experience the island life. You can take a stroll around the island on four different trails or book a sightseeing tour by tractor. Hrísey also has a bring-you-own-discs disc golf course, a sport that has taken Iceland by storm in the past few years, a small swimming pool and a museum (open by appointment; email [email protected] for inquiries).

The Hrísey lighthouse during summer.
Photo: Páll Stefánsson. The Hrísey lighthouse during summer.

Salt Guesthouse ($) in Siglufjörður is simple, comfy, central, and has historical roots. The house was built as a hotel during the boom of the herring era, and the name ‘Salt’ pays tribute to that history. It’s within five minutes’ walk from the bakery, grocery shop, pharmacy, information centre, and several bars and restaurants. Guests on Booking have noted that the guesthouse is not clearly marked on the outside. Look for a flag hanging above the entrance and the marking ‘Hvanneyri 1935’. This is the name of the house and the year it was built.

Right in the centre of Akureyri, there’s Hafnarstræti Hostel ($-$$), which offers a unique, spaceship-like capsule experience, and Akureyri Backpackers ($), a more typical hostel with a slightly cheaper nightly rate and a sauna. These are great if you want a budget accomodation in the town centre, or if you just really enjoy the more social hostel life. 

For families and groups

With tons of family-friendly adventures, North Iceland is a fantastic place to bring your family! From horseback riding and nature exploring to interesting museums and swimming pools, there’s a lot to discover. Finding suitable lodgings for the whole family might be the hardest part, but following are some that accommodate up to seven people and have nearby activities for kids. These are also ideal for groups that don’t want to split themselves up in hotel rooms. 

Brimnes Bungalows ($-$$$), located by Lake Ólafsfjörður, are classic family cottages that sleep up to seven people. They are fully equipped with a kitchen and bathroom, as well as a hot tub on the veranda. Guests also have access to boats to row on the lake, a great activity for the whole family. Ólafsfjörður Swimming Pool, which has a waterslide, is only a six-minute walk away. The price per person depends on the number of guests, as there is a flat rate for the cottages.

Stóra-Ásgeirsá Horse Farm Stay ($-$$$) offers guests a true Icelandic farm experience. As Brimnes, it accommodates up to seven people, making it perfect for family vacations. The kids can run around the fields, interact with the friendly farm animals, and even take part in farm chores. It’s also possible to book horseback riding, an activity that most children love. At Mjólkurhúsið pub, you can buy drinks and traditional Icelandic meat soup, a hearty dish that will fuel you up after a long day. The price per person for this accommodation depends on the number of guests, as there is a flat rate for the rooms.

Hotel Kjarnalundur ($) in Kjarnaskógur forest, one of the relatively few in Iceland, offers accommodation for up to six and is located in an area that is immensely popular with families. It stretches across 800 hectares of land and is filled with fun trails, playgrounds, volleyball courts, covered grill areas, sledge slopes (during winter), and more. You might even spot some rabbits hopping around. It’s a superb area for family adventures and picnics.

Cottagecore

If hotel rooms and apartments are not your vibe, and you want something a bit more country, perhaps the numerous cottages available in North Iceland sound more attractive.

For nature lovers, Hestasport Cottages ($-$$$) in Varmahlíð, surrounded by fields of grass and mountainscapes, perfectly capture the countryside feeling. They offer a serene atmosphere and an excellent opportunity to experience both the magnificent winter sky and bright summer nights. The price per person depends on the number of guests, as there is a flat rate for the cottages.

There is also Vegamót Cottages ($-$$) in Dalvík, which has an old-fashioned village feel to it. You can choose between a small cottage with a private toilet (no shower) and kitchenette or a slightly bigger cottage with a private bathroom, full kitchen and living room. It does have a three-night minimum stay, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s a good base location for day trips to Siglufjörður, Akureyri, Grímsey, Húsavík, and more. The price per person depends on the number of guests, as there is a flat rate for the cottages.

Romantic and luxurious

There’s also plenty to pick from on the other end of the spectrum. If you’re on the hunt for romance or luxury, North Iceland will certainly not disappoint you. Whether it’s to get the ultimate relaxation, celebrate an anniversary, pop the question, or just to treat yourself, you won’t have any trouble finding the right accommodation. 

Brimslóð Atelier ($$) is situated in the oldest part of Blönduós village. A small, farmhouse-style hotel right by the sea, it’s well suited for a couple’s getaway. Breakfast is included, and those interested in a Nordic culinary experience can dine at the in-house restaurant, which serves “Icelandic heritage food with a modern twist” from locally sourced and natural ingredients. They also offer a cooking workshop where participants learn about Nordic nature and cuisine.

For something striking a balance between nature and city, try Sigló Hótel ($$$), an outstanding hotel located by Siglufjörður’s harbour. Its classy, romantic design, paired with the marina hot tub and sauna, is perfect for a romantic stay or relaxing after a tiring day. A continental breakfast is included in the price. The hotel also runs three restaurants, offering guests dinner and lunch options ranging from fine dining to burgers and pizza. 

Three people enjoying the view of a snow-covered Siglufjörður from the marina hot tub at Sigló Hotel.
Photo: Golli. Three people enjoying the view of a snow-covered Siglufjörður from the marina hot tub at Sigló Hotel.

For those wanting the best of the best, Deplar Farm ($$$$$) is a remote hideout that offers a highly luxurious experience of the Icelandic wilderness. Surrounded by mountains, fields, and rivers, with nothing else in sight for miles, it’s ideal for recharging. It has a Nordic and minimalist style and offers a range of activities, both in summer and winter. With nightly rates starting at around ISK 600.000 [$ 4.500, €4.100] and a minimum stay of three nights, it is one of the most – if not the most – expensive hotels you can book in Iceland. However, it’s also one of the most exquisite, making the 2023 Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List as one of the “Best Hotels in the World”. 

One with nature

If you’re going to North Iceland to breathe in the exquisite nature, you can enhance your experience by choosing the right place to stay. Although a great deal of the available accommodations in North Iceland are, in fact, surrounded by nature , there are several that really stand out from the crowd in regards to location or design.

Fosshótel at Lake Mývatn ($$$), designed with nature in mind and in perfect harmony with its surroundings, is an excellent choice for those wanting to immerse themselves in Iceland’s beautiful landscapes. Sitting in the magnificent lava fields of Mývatn and facing the lake, the enormous dining hall windows offer an unobstructed view of nature. The hotel has a first-class continental breakfast and an in-house restaurant perfect for those wanting to try the famous Icelandic lamb or fish

Sky sighting Iglúhús ($$) takes the closeness to nature one step further. With cosy and rustic, dome-style cabins that have windows across the roof, you’ll have an unrestricted view of the night sky while you lie in bed. This is a unique way to experience the midnight sun of summer and the northern lights of winter. Located in Árskógarsandur, it’s in the same area as The Beer Spa, quite literally offering their guests to bathe in beer whilst also drinking beer. A cheaper alternative is Hauganes beach baths, where you can refresh yourself with some sea swimming and relax in the ocean-view tubs. If you’re easily disturbed by light while you sleep, this is a place you should visit in fall, winter, or early spring while the sun isn’t up half the night. Note that there are no showers at the accommodation.

Iceland Yurt ($$ – $$$) takes camping to the next level, offering guests a traditional Mongolian wool-insulated and wood-fired yurt. Wake up to the birds singing or the sound of raindrops on the tent and connect with nature in a new way. Five minutes from camp is the Gaia god/dess temple, where you can book conscious movement and dance sessions, as well as deep relaxation. The tents accommodate up to five people, and included in the price is a yummy breakfast stored in cute little cooler boxes.

Camping and campervans

Should you be travelling in a camper van or with a tent, you need to find an established campsite ($) or get a landowner’s written permission to camp on their property. You should be able to locate a campsite easily, as plenty of them are around, but here are some of our favourites. 

People setting up camp.
Photo: Golli/Morgunblaðið. People setting up camp.

Hamrar in Kjarnaskógur, the same one mentioned above, is one of the most family-friendly campsites in Iceland. The campsite, situated in a woodland area just outside the city, is large and offers amenities such as picnic tables, playgrounds, volleyball courts, a bring-you-own-discs disc golf court, mountain bike trails, and covered barbecue facilities. There are also 12 km [7.5 miles] of gravel tracks to walk on, as well as ungravelled trails and tracks.

Ásbyrgi, located in one of Iceland’s national parks, is a curiously shaped glacier valley and a popular attraction. It has strong ties to Old Norse Mythology, which states that the horseshoe-shaped canyon was formed by Sleipnir, Óðin‘s eight-legged horse. The campsite is an ideal base for nature exploring, as there are several trails of various lengths in the area, which will lead you to a handful of natural attractions. If you have the time, you can even plan a multi-day hiking adventure. On the campsite, you’ll have access to electricity, a washing machine and dryer, toilets, showers, and a playground.

Situated in a small forest, Hólar in Hjaltadal has plenty of quiet and secluded corners and beautiful meadows, described by a Google reviewer as “one of the best campsites”. If you want a true old-school camping experience, this might be the place for you. At the Hólar campsite, there is no electricity, bad internet connection, and limited amenities, all of which are part of the attraction for those wanting a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. There are bathrooms and sinks with (mostly) cold water but no showers. 

Mánárbakki is the ideal place for a romantic camping experience. Situated on the Tjörnes peninsula, right by the sea, you’ll have an amazing view of the sunset right from your tent. The campsite, which offers washing and cooking facilities, toilets, showers, and electricity, has an exceptionally good rating of 4.8, based on 791 reviews.

Although it is possible to book some campsites in advance, you generally don’t need to. Most campsites are open from sometime in May into September, but this is different for each place, so be sure to look into that beforehand. If you need help finding a campsite or general information about them, Tjalda.is has a list and map of all campsites in Iceland. 

 

Fourth Sunniest Reykjavík Winter in Recorded History

Reykjavík at dawn

This winter was the fourth sunniest one in the history of Reykjavík since recording began. Only 1947, 1966 and last winter were sunnier, Vísir reports.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office recorded 313.5 sunny hours this winter, which is 106.5 hours above average. March was particularly sunny in Reykjavík, with 68.2 hours of sun more than the average of 1991 to 2020. Akureyri was also sunnier than usual, with 134 hours of sun, 15.4 hours above the average.

Nicer March than usual

The Meteorological Office also reported that March 2024 was sunnier, drier and warmer than usual. In the northwest, however, the weather was colder with more precipitation. Heavy snow in the north and east at the end of March, in addition to windy conditions, caused traffic issues and a number of avalanches to boot.

The average temperature in Reykjavík was 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is half a degree warmer than the average over the last few decades. In Akureyri, the average temperature was negative 0.3 degrees Celsius, lower than average. The warmest conditions were to be found in the south and southwest of Iceland, with the north and northwest colder.

Hottest day in Húsafell

The highest temperature measured was 12.4 degrees Celsius in Húsafell, inland from Borgarfjörður in the west of Iceland. The lowest temperature was negative 22.3 degrees Celsius in Mývatn and by Setur to the south of Hofsjökull glacier.

Driving The Ring Road in Three Days

Iceland’s famous Þjóðvegur 1 highway, or the Ring Road, is a 1322 km long road that circles the country. Technically it can be covered from start to finish in less than 24 hours but rushing the road trip would defeat the purpose of experiencing the beautiful nature and eccentric small towns that Iceland has to offer. The optimal way to travel the Ring Road is in approximately seven days with plenty of pit stops, but it’s also entirely possible to have an enjoyable trip in much less than that. For those who have limited time to travel, here’s a guide to a three day trip around Iceland.

Where to Begin?

At the start of the trip, travellers have two options, driving north or south but for the purpose of this article, the northern route is chosen. Heading north takes travellers through the Hvalfjarðargöng tunnel towards Borgarnes which is a popular first quick stop for gathering snacks or having lunch, but for a little less crowded option we recommend Baulan, a small gas station twenty minutes past Borgarnes. Baulan is perfect for a coffee break and a hot dog before getting back on the road. About 40 minutes from Baulan marks the beginning of the drive through Holtavörðuheiði, a long stretch of road that ascends through barren hillsides. During the summer, Holtavörðuheiði poses no difficulty for drivers but during winter the road can get quite icy and it’s worth staying up to date on road conditions when travelling in the winter months. Coming back down from the hills, travellers are greeted by Staðarskáli, a good sized gas station and restaurant that was originally opened in 1960 and then reconstructed in 2008 under the N1 chain of gas stations. Due to its location right between Reykjavík and the North part of Iceland, it has been one of the most popular rest stops on the Ring Road. Although some of the old time charm was replaced by a more modern look by N1, it’s still a classic stop to restock on drinks and road snacks. Before getting to Akureyri, the road crosses Blönduós, a decent sized town named after the Blanda river that rushes through the area. Blönduós has a number of restaurants and gas stations to drop in, but for people who crave an old fashioned burger joint there is the North West restaurant in Víðigerði, some 39 km from Blönduós.

Photo: Golli. A collection of waterfalls in Borgarfjörður

After that the Ring Road heads into Skagafjörður, a large region known for its dramatic history during the Sturlunga Era and for its rich horsebreeding culture. The last proper stop before Akureyri is Varmahlíð in Skagafjörður, a tiny community that still manages a hotel and a swimming pool along with a restaurant and gas station. From Varmahlíð it’s about an hour drive to Akureyri with no other options for pit stops through the sometimes treacherous Öxnadalsheiði. 

Akureyri, Capital of North Iceland

Akureyri, the second biggest town in Iceland, is nestled at the roots of Hlíðarfjall mountain, a popular skiing area during winter time. It has a more “city feel” than the other smaller towns that are scattered around the country, and is an ideal place to stop for the first night of the trip. Akureyri offers numerous hotels, guesthouses and camping areas along with a diverse restaurant scene and a huge swimming pool with a funky waterslide. The climate in Akureyri is often a lot calmer than in Reykjavík and during summer it’s more likely than not to catch beautiful, sunny days there while Reykjavík has more unpredictable weather. There is no shortage of activities available in Akureyri and it is sure to leave an impression on any traveller passing through. In 2022, a new geothermal bath spot opened right outside Akureyri called Skógarböðin, or Forest Lagoon, a beautifully designed, modern take on the natural bath. It’s a great spot to unwind after the long drive and enjoy the surrounding nature. For breakfast in Akureyri there are a few options, but a great little café called Kaffi Ilmur is a great choice. Kaffi Ilmur serves breakfast all day long and has amazing Dutch specialty pancakes that should not be missed.

Photo: Golli. Akureyri is the second largest town in Iceland

Experiencing East-Iceland

Heading out east from Akureyri, the next stop should be Egilsstaðir, a small town with a big personality and a great natural bath called Vök, which is located on top of Urriðavatn lake. Visitors can soak in the hot pools and then take a dip in the lake to cool off. East-Iceland has a lot to offer and it’s the only part of the country where wild reindeer roam free. Because of the short trip and long drives between destinations, it might not be possible to go on many excursions, but travellers should try to squeeze in a reindeer safari to see these adorable animals in their natural habitat. On the South-Eastern edge of Iceland, close to Vatnajökull glacer is Jökulsárlón, a glacier lake that is a must see on the Ring Road trip. The lake runs directly from Vatnajökull and out to the ocean and carries with it beautiful icebergs from the glacier in all different colors of blue. Close by is the Diamond Beach where pieces of the icebergs have broken off and collected on the shore. It’s a stunning display of the ever changing elements of Icelandic nature.

Photo: Berglind. The Glacier Lagoon in East-Iceland

 For the second night on the trip, Höfn í Hornafirði is a great spot, a small coastal town on the  South-East tip, or travellers can duck into Hotel Jökulsárlón, a cozy hotel close to the glacier lake. About 20 minutes before entering Höfn there are the Vestrahorn mountains, a picturesque range of ragged mountains that seem to rise up from the black, sandy beach. 

The Scenic South Coast

On the third day, driving from Höfn, begins the home stretch, a beautiful, scenic drive along the southern part of Iceland. This part of the country doesn’t have the many hills and valleys of the western and northern parts and so the drive is smooth and peaceful. The southern route also has some of the most popular nature highlights of Iceland, and as travellers get closer to Reykjavík, there are numerous spots to stop and enjoy the views. Three hours from Höfn is Vík í Mýrdal, another small seaside town that is surrounded by dramatic mountain formations. There are a number of food options in Vík, including a craft brewery pub called Smiðjan Brewery that offers a good selection of local specialty beers. Thirty minutes from Vík is the famed Skógafoss, an iconic waterfall that can be seen right from the highway. Continuing west is another, smaller waterfall, Seljalandsfoss, where visitors have a chance to walk up close and get behind the gushing water. Close by Seljalandsfoss is Seljavallalaug, a beautiful natural bath, hidden from the views of the Ring Road. It’s a bit of a hike to get to the pool but the soak is worth every minute.

Photo: Golli. Seljalandsfoss on the South Coast

Getting back on the road from Seljavallalaug, travellers have the option of taking a small detour to see Gullfoss waterfall and Strokkur geysir. As part of the Golden Cirlce, these spots are a popular attraction for tour groups, but it’s easy and fun to get around there on your own. From the Golden Circle it’s a short one hour drive back to Reykjavík where it all started. A short trip like this around Iceland is only able to give a small preview of all the possible things to see and do around the country, but it is a great way to get familiar with driving on the roads and to hopefully get hyped for a longer return trip in the future.

The Best Museums in North Iceland

Akureyri Iceland

Why should you pay a visit to the museums in North Iceland? What can you learn about the history of this spectacular region? Let’s read more about some of North Iceland’s most prestigious museums.

Given that Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavík, is where most visitors will begin their journey, it is completely understandable that North Iceland is less visited than the south. 

In some respects, this is a shame, while in others, it maintains the north’s secretive majesty. But however you look at it, the region is well-worth exploring. 

 

Closer to the Arctic Circle than any other part of the country, the landscape is known to be wild, mountainous, with deep fjords and stretching peninsulas. Unsurprisingly, this stunning place is a favourite amongst those who enjoy sightseeing, as well as breathtaking wildlife tours. 

Aside from the gravitas and splendour of its nature, the north is a domain rich in culture and history. Its people are proud of their place in the world – not to mention the distinction they hold amongst fellow Icelanders – and they are eager to share as much with visitors. 

You’ll discover so much fascinating information to learn about this amazing place in the region’s many museums, so make sure to break up the sightseeing by shifting your attention to some cultural highlights. 

Akureyri Museum

A historic photo of Akureyri
Photo: Minjasafnið á Akureyri / Akureyri Museum

For those looking for a comprehensive introduction to the North’s history, Akureyri Museum should be your first stop. Two permanent exhibitions – Eyjafjorður from Early Times and Akureyri: the Town on the Bay – display artefacts related to the history of the north’s two major settlements, including those from the Viking period and the Middle Ages. 

With information boards in English, Danish, and German, you will find their litany of facts highly accessible, allowing you to gain deeper insights into this most fascinating of regions. 

Akureyri Museum also operates a number of other establishments, including the likes of Nonni House, Museum Church & Garden, Akureyri Toy Museum, Davíðshús (Davíð Stefánson’s writers museum) and Laufás heritage site. Actually, Laufás is especially worthy of an extra note – it is a beautiful farmstead that perfectly captures how rural Icelanders once lived in the area. 

Address: Aðalstræti 58, 600 Akureyri

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 17:00 1. June – 30. September 

13:00 – 16:00 1. October – 31. May

The Icelandic Aviation Museum

Flight in Iceland
Photo: Photo: Flugsafn Íslands – The Icelandic Aviation Museum

Iceland does not have a military; no Army, no Navy (aside from their Coast Guard), and – most importantly in this context – no Air Force. 

Still, this small island does have a complex and fascinating history of aviation, especially in regards to their arduous but successful development of commercial airlines. 

Founded May 1 1999, Flugsafn Íslands, or the Icelandic Aviation Museum, is located in a hangar at Akureyri Airport. The museum was established due to a lack of hangar space at the airport, with many of them filled with older planes that were no longer in use. These aircraft were then moved to be permanently displayed in an exhibition that would detail how Icelanders first took flight. 

Inside, you will find aerial machines of all kinds, from old bi-planes to gliders, and even smaller models that hang decoratively from the ceiling. Each has an important place in this fascinating story – a tale that began in 1919 with the creation of the first Icelandic airline, to the powerful passenger jets and rescue helicopters that make up this nation’s air-fleet today. 

Flying over Iceland
Photo: Flugsafn Íslands – The Icelandic Aviation Museum

But it’s not all just reading and observing stationary aircraft. 

Visitors can actually look around inside the Coast Guard plane, TF-SYN, gaining a deeper insight into the inner-mechanics of such incredible works of engineering, and even see some of the aircraft in action during the museum’s exciting flight day, held each year in June. 

Address: Akureyri International Airport, 600 Akureyri 

Opening Hours: May 15th to Sept 15th: Open daily 11:00-17:00

Sept 16th to May 14th: Saturdays 13:00-16:00

Ystafell Transportation Museum

Cars at Ystafell Transportation Museum
Photo: Ystafell Transportation Museum

In 1998, married-couple Ingólfur Kristjánsson and Kristbjörg Jónsdóttir founded the Ystafell Transportation Museum, a natural extension of Ingólfur’s semi-compulsive collecting of mechanical parts. 

In fact, many guests attest that the reason as to why visiting is so memorable comes down to Ingólfur’s passion, dedication, and knowledge of the fascinating machines on display.  

Not only does the museum display the largest collections of automobiles in the country, but also many transportation types other than cars, including tractors, aircraft, or snowmobiles. 

Address: Ystafell III, Norðausturvegur, 641 Húsavík

Opening Hours: May 25th ­- Sept 25th: 11:00 -­ 18:00 

The Herring Era Museum

fishing in Iceland
Photo: Golli. A fishing boat in Iceland

Plans to open a heritage museum in Siglufjörður date back all the way to 1957, when newly elected town-council members recognised the need to preserve equipment, artefacts, and photographs related to the local fishing industry. It was not until 1989 that the Herring Era Museum finally opened its doors, allowing visitors the chance to learn more about why fishing – and fishing Herring, particularly – was so important to the town’s development. 

Renovations continued over the next decades, transforming an old fishermen’s shed, Róaldsbrakki, into a bonafide exhibition space, complete with a boat house and two large museum buildings. Today, it attracts over 30,000 visitors a year, as well as hosts countless events, including art shows and music festivals.

As is the case with so many islands, the Icelandic nation is built on fishing. Herring was once called ‘the silver of the sea,’ and is, to this day, considered to be one of the founding pillars of Icelandic society. This is because Iceland’s herring fishing took off at a time when much of the world was experiencing a financial depression, and thus it played a huge role in securing Iceland’s economic independence and stability. 

In fact, one could go as far as to say that the importance of Herring was among the major drives behind Iceland breaking away from Denmark in 1944. 

No other place in Iceland was so influenced by what’s known as the Herring Adventure than Siglufjörður. However, countless other towns developed primarily due to the hunting down and catching of this common fish species, including Dalvík, Akureyri, Seyðisfjörður, and many others. 

Address: Snorragata 10, 580 Siglufjörður

Opening Hours: June – August: 10:00-18:00

May – Sept: 13:00-17:00

Akureyri Art Museum

Akureyri Art Museum is one of the top museums in North Iceland
Photo: Golli. Exhibition at the Akureyri Art Museum

Akureyri Art Museum has a revolving door of exhibitions, showcasing a wide range of creative disciplines from watercolour paintings to contemporary art and even scenography. In short, it is one of the best places in the country to appreciate just how diverse Icelandic artists can be. Each Thursday, a guided tour in English allows visitors the chance to gain some insider knowledge about the artworks on display. 

The museum itself is designed in the Bauhaus-style of architecture, making it immediately noticeable when walking through Iceland’s second-largest city. Its stand-out appearance is quite notable given the building used to be home to a simple dairy. 

Akureyri Art Museum is also responsible for the A! Performance Festival, held in October each year. This fun and unique event draws in eclectic visual artists and weird, experimental theatre-projects of all kinds, transforming the city streets into a bohemian wonderland for a few days in the month. Aside from that, it also hosts the Iceland Visual Arts Awards, having done so since 2006. 

Address: Kaupvangsstræti 8-12, 600 Akureyri

Opening Hours: June – August: 10:00 – 17:00

Sept – May: 12:00 – 17:00

Safnasafnið – The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum

Safnasafnid
Photo: Daniel Starrason. Safnasafnið

The Icelandic Folk and Outsider Art Museum might be described as a true artist’s museum.

That is because this establishment – founded in 1995 by Níels Hafstein and Magnhildur Sigurðardóttir – displays work by creatives who have, for one reason or another, have been classified as working outside of the mainstream. 

Therefore, guests can expect to see not only the work of professional artists, but also that of amateurs and autodidacts.

Photo: Safnasafnið

Such a strange, diverse array of collected pieces adds a real sense of unexpectedness and curiosity to visiting here, as well as allows for a deeper glimpse into the often peculiar minds of Icelandic creators. 

Address: Hverfisgata 15, Hverfisgata 15, 101 Reykjavík

Opening Hours: May – Sept: 10:00 – 17:00 

The Museum of Prophecies

 

 

Þórdís the fortune-teller is the unlikely star of this strange and otherworldly museum in Skagaströnd. She was the first inhabitant of the region, and it was claimed she was a magic-woman, of sorts, capable of reading the future and unafraid of starting feuds with the settlers who came after her. In other words, Þórdís was a truly independent spirit, so revered in her time that she had a mountain – Spákonufell – named after her. 

Visitors to the Museum of Prophecies will learn about Þórdís’ life story, as well as the role that fortune-telling has played in Icelandic culture over the centuries. Aside from that, they can also have their own fortunes told as part of an informative guided tour.  

Built within a former army barracks, the museum is not large by any means. Still, it boasts incredible replicas of old Icelandic homes and famous people from folktales, and also has a decent gift shop which sells local handicrafts and a small cafe to purchase refreshments.   

Address: Oddagata 6, 545 Skagaströnd

Opening Hours: June – Sept:  13:00 – 18:00

In Summary 

Two people walking along Akureyri coastal path.
Photo: María H. Tryggvadóttir. Two people walking along Akureyri coastal path.

Those in the North should take time to step away from appreciating the spectacular surrounding nature to take-in the history and artwork that help make the region what it is. 

Given the breadth of cultural establishments one can explore, there is simply no other way to get a full sense of why it remains one of the most enticing and fascinating parts of the country. 

A City Guide to Akureyri, the Capital of North Iceland

Akureyri party-goers

Akureyri is located in the North of Iceland. It is often called the Capital of the North as it is Iceland’s second-largest city with a population of about 20,000. The city is small but stands out as a charming, vibrant city that captivates visitors. With its unique blend of culture and beautiful nature, Akureyri offers travellers countless attractions, activities and culinary experiences.

Below, we will delve into the many options of sights and activities to experience in Akureyri, along with listing where it is best to stay and where it is best to eat to give the taste buds a delightful time.

 

What to see in Akureyri

Akureyri in itself is a stunning sight, with breathtaking landscapes, such as tall mountains surrounding the city. If basking in the city’s beauty is not enough, there are endless other sights to encounter.

 

Kjarnaskógur 

Kjarnaskógur forest is the most popular outdoor area in Akureyri. Since the beginning of forestry there, over 1,5 million plants have been planted in the forest, making it a lush outdoor area. Kjarnaskógur forest has children’s play areas, walking paths, volleyball areas, and barbeque spots. In addition, people can mountain bike in the summer or cross-country ski in the winter, making it an attractive place for outdoor enthusiasts. 

 

Church of Akureyri 

Elegantly overlooking the city is the Akureyri Church, a noteworthy architectural landmark which has become the city’s symbol. It is a Lutheran church that was designed by the famous architect Guðjón Samúelsson and consecrated in 1940. 

The church is situated on a hill, providing stunning panoramic views over the town, where the steps leading up to it have become a popular photo spot for visitors and an exercise spot for locals. 

Akureyri Church by evening
Photo: Akureyri Church

 

Lystigarður Botanical gardens

Lystigarðurinn is a lush botanical garden situated at Eyrarlandsvegur street in the city of Akureyri. The garden was officially opened in 1912 and was Iceland’s first public park, making Lystigarðurinn a historically special one. The Akureyri Park Society was in charge of its design and was entirely composed of women, which was unusual at the time. 

Lystigarðurinn Botanical Garden is a true haven for plant enthusiasts with its diverse collection of Icelandic and foreign flora. It has a unique, peaceful atmosphere and has become an attractive spot for leisurely strolls, and at times, wedding receptions have been held in the garden’s cafe. 

 

Nonnahús – Nonni’s House 

Nonnahús, or Nonni’s house, is a museum dedicated to the works of the author Jón Ásgeirsson. The museum provides insight into his life and the cultural heritage of Iceland. The house itself is a special one, a dark wooden house from the 1840s, and was the famous author’s childhood home, making it a unique sight for visitors. 

 

What to Do in Akureyri

There are not only numerous things to see in Akureyri, although its beauty is truly captivating, but there are also endless things to do and experience.

 

Akureyri Whale Watching

The elegant creatures of the ocean can be gazed at during a whale-watching experience in Akureyri. The tour brings visitors to the beautiful Eyjafjörður fjord on a high-speed whale-watching ship to view the incredible Humpback whales in their natural habitat. 

The specially trained guides will educate tour participants on the whales, and they are able to answer just about any question you might have. They are also experts at spotting the whales and analysing their behaviour, which they will also educate the group on. 

A classic whale-watching tour can be booked here

Admission: ISK 12,990. Children 7-15: ISK 6,495, free for children under 7.

A mother Sei Whale and it's calf.
Photo: Christin Khan – Whale mother and calf.

 

Visit the Christmas House 

One of the most popular attractions in the Akureyri area is Jólahúsið or the Christmas House. As counterintuitive as it may sound, the Christmas House is open all year round and not only around Christmas time. Entering the house, you become transported to the land of Christmas, with decorations, candies and the scent of the holidays setting you in the right mood. The house’s exterior also looks like a giant gingerbread house, truly getting visitors into the holiday spirit, no matter the season. In the Christmas House’s garden, there is also a market offering beautiful handcrafted products from locals. 

 

Take a dip in Akureyri’s Swimming Pool

A popular destination for tourists and locals alike is the swimming pool of Akureyri. The pool is located centrally in the city and offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and Eyjafjörður fjord. The pool has become one of Iceland’s most grand water parks for visitors of all ages. It consists of two large outdoor pools, five hot tubs, a children’s pool, a steam room and a cold tub. To top it all, the pool also comprises three waterslides, one of them being the longest waterslide in Iceland. 

Admission: ISK 1,200. Seniors: ISK 300. Children 6-17: ISK 290, free for children under 6.

 

Icelandic Aviation Museum

The Aviation Museum is located at Akureyri Airport at the city’s brim. The museum exhibits and explains Iceland’s aviation history with the help of photographs, videos, models and historic aircrafts. Some of the museum’s aircrafts are in mint condition and are flown at the city’s air show held each year in June. 

The museum’s exhibition lets visitors explore how aircrafts and airlines have developed from the year 1919 up until now. Some aircrafts allow access for visitors to observe the interior and learn more about its operations. 

Admission: ISK 1,500. Seniors and Students: ISK 1,000. Free for children under 18 accompanying adults.

 

Forest Lagoon 

Right outside of Akureyri city is the geothermal spa Forest Lagoon. The lagoon is located in Vaðlaskógur forest, right outside the city, making it accessible from the centre. The experience is the perfect way to rewind in the midst of a birch and pine forest, overlooking the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður. 

Forest Lagoon consists of two large warm pools overlooking the ocean with a swim-up bar, a traditional Finnish dry sauna and a cold pool. The location also offers guests a high-quality dining experience at Forest Lagoon’s restaurant, Forest Bistro. 

Entrance to the Forest Lagoon can be purchased here

Admission: ISK 6,590. Seniors: ISK 4,990. Children 6-15: ISK 3,290, free for children under 6.

Skógarböðin Akureyri
Photo: Skógarböðin Akureyri

 

Hof Cultural and Conference Center 

Located in the heart of Akureyri is Hof, a cultural and conference centre. Hof is a notable and visually appealing venue which plays a vital role in promoting cultural activities in Akureyri. The building opened in 2010, and its design encompasses contemporary elements and top-tier facilities optimal for conferences, meetings, parties and exhibitions. 

The cultural centre hosts various events such as concerts, art exhibitions, theatre events and more. 

To see upcoming events hosted at Hof, visit Akureyri Cultural Company’s website here

 

Where to stay in Akureyri 

In Akureyri, a large variety of accommodation options are available, including hotels, guesthouses and apartments, catering to the different needs and preferences of visitors. 

 

Hotel Kea 

Hotel Kea is located centrally in the heart of Akureyri and has become an important landmark in the city. The hotel’s design is in a classical style, reflecting the hotel’s history. Around Hotel Kea are several shops, museums and restaurants in addition to the city’s swimming pool. 

 

Hotel Akureyri

Hotel Akureyri is a unique and modern hotel situated in the city’s centre. The hotel’s concept is a micro-hotel split into four buildings, inspired by locale, history and culture. The hotel is unconventional but provides guests with modern comfort and timeless experiences. Hotel Akureyri also has an eccentric restaurant named North, inspired by the Icelandic landscape. 

 

Sæluhús Apartments & Houses

Sæluhús Apartments & Houses is a popular accommodation option for locals and visitors in Iceland. The houses are located within walking distance of the city’s centre but still manage to offer tranquillity in a family-friendly environment. Located overlooking the city of Akureyri, Sæluhús Apartments & Houses provide superb views over the city and the Eyjafjörður fjord. Many options are available, ranging from small studio apartments to larger houses. 

 

Berjaya Akureyri Hotel 

Berjaya Akureyri Hotel is a bright and beautiful hotel located centrally. The hotel has been certified as a Green Hotel, where environmental performance has become a priority, along with providing guests with an exceptional level of service. Berjaya Akureyri Hotel is situated in a renovated historical building, exhibiting a very chic and modern design. 

 

Apótek Guesthouse

The guesthouse offers visitors a mix of Akureyri’s historic charm and modern comfort. In the past, the building housed a pharmacy, adding its historical uniqueness. Apótek Guesthouse is located in the heart of Akureyri, making it a convenient spot to get around the city’s centre on foot. 

 

What are the best places to eat in Akureyri?

With Akureyri being a vibrant and cultural city, there are endless options for cafes and restaurants. Below, we will discuss some of the best places to eat in Akureyri. 

 

Rub23 Restaurant

Rub23 is one of the most popular restaurants in the North of Iceland and for a good reason. The restaurant offers seafood, with a large selection of fish species and sushi dishes mixed with some meat options. Rub23 is a vibrant spot where the atmosphere is top-tier every day of the week. On Thursdays and Fridays, the restaurant also serves lunch.

 

Strikið Restaurant

Strikið restaurant is located on the 5th floor in the heart of Akureyri, letting guests enjoy a beautiful view over the Eyjafjörður fjord and Hof Cultural and Conference Center. In addition to the panoramic view, they have a wide range of delicious dishes and a friendly atmosphere, creating a special dining experience for all guests.

 

Lyst Cafe

Kaffi Lyst, or Lyst Cafe, is a unique cafe located in the midst of Lystigarðurinn botanical garden. The cafe is bright with large windows overlooking the garden and has a large outdoor seating area. Lyst Cafe is a casual spot, but with the blend of its beautiful interior, stunning surroundings and quality food and drinks, it’s a unique visit for all.

Food being served at Cafe Lyst in Lystigarðurinn, Akureyri
Photo: Cafe Lyst in Lystigarðurinn

 

Eyja Wine Bar & Bistro 

Eyja is a high-quality wine bar and bistro specialising in high-quality wines from around the world. The food selection is mouth-watering as they serve small dishes such as beef carpaccio, bacon-wrapped dates and cheese plates, to name a few, along with larger fish of the day. It is also possible to choose a special three-course dinner and pair it with one of the Eyja’s exquisite wines.

 

Pylsuvagninn – Akureyri Hot Dog Stand

When visiting Akureyri, you can’t miss out on a classic Icelandic hot dog from the city’s hot dog stand or Pylsuvagninn. The Akureyri-style hot dog is served with red cabbage, making it a unique one. 

 

How do I get around in Akureyri?

The central area of Akureyri is relatively compact, making it convenient to go around on foot. For instance, Akureyri Airport and the city harbour are only about 5 minutes from the city centre. However, several options are available to get around in Akureyri.

 

Getting Around by Bus 

Within the city of Akureyri, public buses are free of charge, making it a very feasible option. During the weekdays, the bus runs from 6:28 am until 10:36 pm, and on the weekends, it runs from 12:18 until 6:55 pm. The buses all drive in a loop, beginning and ending at the city centre’s main stop. For more information on the full bus schedule, click here.

 

Getting Around by Taxi

The only taxi station in Akureyri is BSO, located in the city’s centre by Hof Cultural and Conference Centre. It operates 24 hours a day, offering service to its customers. To contact the taxi service by telephone, BSO’s phone number is (+354) 461-1010.

 

Getting Around by Private Car: Parking 

In the city of Akureyri, there are two parking zones, P1 and P2. The simplest way to pay for parking is to do so by mobile app EasyPark (www.easypark.is) and Parka (www.parka.is). However, several pay stations are located in the city’s centre. See here for more information on parking in Akureyri.  

 

How much time do I need in Akureyri?

As Akureyri is quite a charming city full of activities to fill out the days, spending a lifetime there wouldn’t be atrocious. However, spending around 2 to 3 days in the city would be enough time to explore the main attractions and enjoy the best cuisine. 

When travelling in North of Iceland, Akureyri could also serve as the base while exploring nearby towns and areas. Therefore, spending longer there would also be a great option. 

 

Can You Walk Around Akureyri?

The short answer is yes. The city of Akureyri is quite small and compact so within the city’s centre going around by foot is very easy. Main attractions, restaurants and cultural events are most within walking distance. 

People walking around Akureyri city
Photo: Akureyri City

 

Is it Colder in Akureyri than in Reykjavík?

The average temperature in Akureyri is slightly lower than in Reykjavík, though the difference is not substantial. 

During peak summer the average high is 12°C [54°F]  in Reykjavík and 13°C [55°F] in Akureyri and average low is  8°C [46°F] in Reykjavík and 7°C [44°F] in Akureyri. 

During peak winter the average high is 3°C [37°F] in both Reykjavík and Akureyri and average low is  -2°C [28°F] in Reykjavík and -3°C [26°F] in Akureyri.

Iceland’s Diamond Circle: A Guide

Húsavík in Northern Iceland

What is the Diamond Circle in Iceland?

The Diamond Circle showcases some of northern Iceland’s magnificent waterfalls, geothermal, and volcanic sites. It consists of Goðafoss waterfall, Mývatn lake, Dettifoss waterfall, Ásbyrgi canyon, and Húsavík fishing town. The Diamond Circle itself can be completed in a day, as the driving distance with Akureyri as a starting point is about 224 km [139 mi]. The total time will vary based on the time spent at each site. Guided excursions and tours are available, but you can also choose to explore The Diamond Circle independently, at your own pace. The roads connecting the Diamond Circle are paved.

We will start in Akureyri, the third-largest city in Iceland, with a population of 20,000. The 390 km drive to Akureyri from the capital area is quite simple, as you drive on the same road the whole way- Route 1 or the “Ring Road” as it’s often called.

Goðafoss Waterfall

From Akureyri, you will continue on Route 1 for about 34 km [21 mi] before turning right towards Goðafoss.

On the sightseeing platform, you can take in the panoramic view of this 12 m [39 ft] high, 30 m [98 ft] wide waterfall that runs from the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. Goðafoss waterfall is a historic site in Iceland. In the year 1,000, Þorgeir Þorkellsson, the lawmaker of Iceland, had concluded that Iceland should become a Christian country. Believing in the Norse gods was still allowed, but that religion had to be practised in one’s home. He is said to have gone to Goðafoss waterfall (translated as “Waterfall of the Gods”) and thrown his heathen idols into the water.

Goðafoss Waterfall, Iceland
Photo: Golli. Goðafoss Waterfall in Iceland.

The geothermal area of Mývatn Lake

Return to Route 1, turning right to keep driving towards Mývatn lake. 30 km [22 mi], turn left to stay on Route 1, following the Húsavík/Egilsstaðir/Fuglasafn sign. Shortly, you will see the lake and can pick a stop of your choosing along the route- there will be several.

Mývatn lake was formed about 2,300 years ago due to a volcanic eruption. With an area of approximately 73 km2 [28 mi2], it’s the fourth-largest lake in Iceland. Mývatn lake is known for its rich birdlife and its surrounding geothermal area, including hot springs and mud pots.

You may want to experience the Mývatn Nature Baths for a relaxing stop. To get to the baths, stay on Route 1. Following the sign for Egilsstaðir, turn left to continue on Route 1. Follow the signs for Jarðböðin við Mývatn (Mývatn Nature Baths) and enjoy the beauty of this geothermal lagoon. This area also has a cafe where you can stop by for a snack.

Dettifoss Waterfall

From the baths, turn right to continue on Route 1 for 23 km [14 mi]. Then, turn left towards Dettifoss on Route 862 and follow the signs for Dettifoss. You will arrive at a parking lot. From the lot, there will be about an 850 m [0.52 mi] walk to the viewpoint. Dettifoss waterfall is the most powerful waterfall in Europe, with a flow rate of 193 m3 [6,815 ft3]. Dettifoss is located in Vatnajökull National Park, and its water runs from the glacial river “Jökulsá á fjöllum” directly from Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull. The waterfall is 44-45 m [144-147 ft] high and 100 m [328 ft] wide.

Ásbyrgi Canyon in North Iceland

Return to Dettifossvegur (Route 862) and turn right. When you approach the intersection of Route 862 and Route 85, turn right. Shortly, there will be a sign for Ásbyrgi canyon.

Ásbyrgi is a glacial canyon in the shape of a horseshoe. Like Dettifoss waterfall, it’s a part of Vatnajökull National Park. Ásbyrgi was formed due to a glacial flood from Jökulsár á fjöllum river during a volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn volcano. Ásbyrgi is about 3.5 km [2.2 mi] long and 1.1 km [0.7 mi] wide. In the middle stands a large 25 m [82 ft] high rock formation called Eyjan (The Island), emphasising the canyon’s horseshoe shape. Its surrounding cliffs are about 100 m [328ft] high. You can choose from several hiking trails with stunning panoramic views along the way.

Húsavík: Whale Watching Capital of Iceland

To get to Húsavík from Ásbyrgi, drive back towards Route 85 and make a left. The drive is 62 km [38 mi] long.
Húsavík is a small fishing town in Skjálfandi bay, with a population of about 2,300. It is home to The Exploration Museum, The Whale Museum and Húsavík Museum. The Húsavík Museum is a cultural centre displaying the historic exhibitions “Daily Life and Nature-100 years in Þingeyjarsýslur” as well as the “Maritime Museum”. This picturesque town is a prime whale-watching destination, offering tours to see some of the 23 species of whales. Húsavík has several restaurants and cafes with a beautiful view of the harbour.

Akureyrarkirkja Church, Akureyri Iceland
Photo: Akureyrarkirkja Church, Iceland.

Back to Akureyri

To return to Akureyri, drive south on Route 85 for 45 km [28 mi] until you hit Route 1. Make a right and continue for 30 km [19 mi] following the signs for Akureyri.

From the trembling power of Dettifoss waterfall to the tranquillity of Mývatn lake, the Diamond Circle is a great route to experience the distinct beauty of northern Iceland. It unveils the region‘s geological wonders of volcanic and geothermal areas, waterfalls, and cultural sites, making the trip an exciting adventure for any explorer.

 

Icelandair Resumes Service Between Keflavík and Akureyri in Trial

icelandair akureyri keflavík

Icelandair has resumed service between Akureyri and Keflavík International Airport.

The connection was last offered in 2019, and since then, Akureyri residents travelling internationally have needed to first fly to the Reykjavík airport, and then travel to Keflavík International Airport.

Limited time offer

According to an Icelandair press release, the first passengers on Icelandair’s international connection from Akureyri to Keflavik Airport were treated to a light coffee service at Akureyri Airport this morning. The international connection will be available from October 15 to November 30, 2023. During this period, flights will operate three times a week from Akureyri to Keflavik, departing at 5:50 AM on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and three times a week from Keflavik to Akureyri on Wednesdays at 9:20 PM, and Fridays and Sundays at 5:15 PM.

The decision was made to schedule the flight early, as accommodation options in North Iceland are limited during the summer. Icelandair has previously stated that it hopes to strengthen and develop the international connection from Akureyri.

The route is currently scheduled as a trial, though service may be expanded in the future if the connection proves popular.

As this flight is an international connection, security screening will be conducted at Akureyri Airport, and it can only be booked in conjunction with an Icelandair international flight.

Looking ahead

Tómas Ingason, Director of Revenue, Service, and Marketing at Icelandair stated to the press:  “The international connection from Akureyri has received a very positive reception right from the start, as it significantly shortens travel time for Northerners to Icelandair’s European destinations. With this connection, we also aim to promote better distribution of travellers around the country and stimulate increased demand for trips to Akureyri, especially during the winter. It’s exciting to announce that those who took the first flight from Akureyri this morning are on their way to various destinations across Europe, including Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, Tenerife, Dublin, London, Copenhagen, and Helsinki.”

 

 

Significant Damage After Residential Fire

Significant damage occurred after a fire broke out in a multi-family house in Akureyri, RÚV reports.

A fire began in a multi-family house in Akureyri early this morning, and although the fire brigade quickly managed to control the blaze, significant damage was done to the building.

RÚV reports that the fire has since been successfully extinguished.

Gunnar Rúnar Ólafsson, the fire chief in Akureyri, stated that a significant amount of smoke was coming from the house when the fire brigade arrived. No residents were inside the apartment that caught fire, and they managed to extinguish the fire quickly, in about half an hour.

The building in question is home to four apartments.

Gunnar stated that there is no further information about the source of the fire.

 

easyJet to Fly Direct to Akureyri this Winter

One of Europe’s largest airlines, easyJet, will operate direct flights between Akureyri, North Iceland and London, from October 31 of this year, Visit North Iceland reports. The flights will operate twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays, through March 2024. Locals of North Iceland have long been calling for more direct flight connections to mainland Europe, both for residents of Iceland and in support of tourism operators in the region, but although several airlines have promised to operate international flights to Akureyri Airport in the past, few have delivered.

EasyJet has already opened for bookings for the flights between Akureyri and Gatwick Airport, which Arnheiður Jóhannsdóttir, CEO of Visit North Iceland, says are “the result of years of preparatory work and collaboration.” Arnheiður adds that direct flights between the UK and Akureyri that were offered a few years ago proved successful and that this new route could lead to over 1,500 overnight stays per week in North Iceland during the winter season.

Akureyri Airport is completing an extension to the terminal that is expected to be fully completed in the spring of 2024. The development of the airport is intended to facilitate international travel to and from the region.

Several airlines have previously announced intentions to fly direct between Akureyri and mainland Europe, but many have also pulled out when conditions did not prove in their favour, including German Airline Condor which was set to fly to Akureyri and Egilsstaðir, East Iceland this summer. Plans to begin the services in 2024 are, however, reportedly underway.