Inlet of city of Akureyri
Akureyri is home to only 18,000 residents but still remains the second-largest city in Iceland due to the country’s small size. It’s easy-going feel and rich culture makes it an especially unique destination for travelers. Recently, Lonely Planet named Akureyri #1 on its list of the best places to visit in Europe, highlighting the northern city’s various natural attractions, quality restaurants, and lively events.
In Akureyri, you can visit Lake Mývatn, where Game of Thrones’ ‘beyond the Wall’ is filmed, or stop by fishing village of Siglufjörður, home to many lava fields, volcanoes, and glaciers. You can also learn about the city’s rich culture at its various museums and small shops that are owned by local artisans. If you’re looking for a more lively experience in Akureyri, be sure to check out its many festivals, including the The Great Fish Day of Dalvíkcoming up in August or the Akureyri Summer Arts Festival going on now!
9 fun facts about Akureyri and other parts of Northern Iceland:
Akureyri has the northernmost botanical gardens in the world
Grimsey Island is Iceland’s only point touching the Arctic Circle
Akureyri has the world’s northernmost 18-hole golf course
Temperatures in North Iceland are higher than in Reykjavik
Lake Myvatn is a film locale in cult TV series Game of Thrones
Dettifoss in North Iceland is Europe’s most powerful waterfall
Akureyri has the most ski slopes in Iceland – which is why it hosts Iceland’s Winter Games
Siglufjordur hosts the award-winning Herring Era Museum
Lake Myvatn is the purported home of Iceland’s Yuletide lads
This information from taken from the Lonely Planet book and just thought to share it with all the reading going to Iceland and those who are not too.
Very Interesting Facts about Iceland.
- There is a penis museum in Reykjavik. It contains a collection of penises from over 200 different mammals, including one from a man.
- Icelandic babies are left outside to nap in freezing temperatures. It is not uncommon to see a pram outside a coffee shop parents crabbing a cup while the baby sleeps. Or to see one outside of a home as many Icelandic babies nap outside at least once a day, no matter the season.
- Iceland is a nation of book worms. There is a term in Icelandic called jólabókaflóð, the Christmas book flood. It refers to the great number of books published before Christmas, as books are popular Christmas presents.
- The beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989.
- Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament was founded in 930 and is one of the oldest in the world.
- Icelandic people love eating ice cream even though temperatures are well below zero.
- Icelandic people are no less fond of swimming pools and outdoor hot tubs in the freezing cold. As they are filled geothermal water they are warm great for relaxing. Or splashing around.
- There are volcanic eruptions every few years in Iceland.Most of which are small and magnificent to look at from afar.
- Nearly all of Iceland’s heating and electricity needs are served by hydroelectric power and geothermal water reserves.
- There are no mosquitoes in Iceland. There are in fact very few insects that can do much more to bother a person than simply existing.
- Comedian Jón Gnarr was elected the mayor of Reykjavik in 2010 and served 4 years. One of his campaign promises was not to fulfill any of his campaign promises.
- The Arctic fox is the only mammal native to Iceland.
- Iceland’s capital Reykjavik, is the northernmost city of any sovereign state in the world. It doesn’t get that cold though. The average temperature in Reykjavik in January is just about the same as in New York.
- Icelanders don’t have surnames in the traditional sense. The vast majority of Icelandic surnames simply record the fact that you are your father’s (or mother’s) son or daughter. First names are almost always used when addressing someone, no matter how formal the meeting. Even the phone book lists subscribers by their first name.
- More on names. There are strict laws on what names are allowed in Iceland, the point is to preserve the Icelandic language. All names not previously accepted must go before the Icelandic Naming Committee, which either allows them if they abide by the laws on Icelandic names, or rejects them, forcing parents to find another name for their child.
- The Icelandic police do not carry guns. One man has been shot by the police, ever.
- The English word “geyser” comes from the name of the great geyser, Geysir in Haukadalur, South Iceland.
- Iceland has only waged one war, and it can barely be called war. Its name is Þorskastríðið, The Cod War, it was a dispute between Iceland and the UK over fishing grounds in 1960s and 70s.
- Iceland like many other European countries burned witches at the stake in the 17thcentury. The witches in Iceland were however almost all male.
- There is no railway system of any sort in Iceland.