Images of a Northern Town: Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Olympus

Akureyri is the largest town in northern Iceland and it sits pretty deep in the Eyjafjörður fjord.  It is exactly at 12 o’clock if the island of Iceland were a clock (which it is not – in case you are wondering).  The town sits tight against the mountains behind it, almost being on the verge of being thrown into the water.

Where we stayed in Akureryi… or across from it

Through airbnb we found a phenomenal house sitting on a hillside directly across the fjord from the town so we got to look at it at night.  Er, in the evening hours in the daylight, since we were down there, er, up there, at the peak of summer when the sun did set, but not deep enough where it got dark (see the last two pictures in the sequence below).

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Olympus

The main “window” of the house we stayed at!

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Olympus

Looking from inside the “main window” across the fjord towards Akureyri – who cleans this window?

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Front” of the house I stayed at – and our nice rental vehicle

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Our house looking towards the end of the fjord; see the bridge to town on the right

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Late night in Akureyri in late June

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Late night in Akureyri in late June

My friends’ young girls loved running on the deck of the house and the field around it while we enjoyed sitting out there, soaking the view, with a beverage in hand (perhaps…).

In any case, I digress.  The town is small and is quite charming but is large enough to have a small airport for those who do not want to drive there from Reykjavik – which would be a crime if you skip the drive on the ring road!

Akureyri was a site for Allied forces in WW II which seems quite interesting given it is still a town of under 20,000 yet one that was first settled in the ninth century!  Something must have been right about it to be picked by the Allies during WW II given how far it is from Reykjavík.  You’d think they would have picked somewhere easier to get to.  In fact, Keflavík, where the modern Reykjavík international airport is located, was a U.S. air force base in WW II.

But I digress.  One night, we were wanting to be sure to have a good bottle of wine to have at the house so we rushed into town after we looked online where to buy some.  We knew we were tight on time as we had learned that liquor sales ended soon that day (I think maybe it was at 7PM but can’t recall) so we rushed out with a map on the phone marking where we needed  to go (thanks wifi!).  The drive over was nothing short of spectacular, rushing downhill, crossing the end of the fjord via the short bridge and then driving into town trying to find our way to the store (without wifi or GPS!).  We made it on time, like 10 minutes before it closed.  My friend ran in to get the wine while I stayed in the car – no time to find parking.  I sat there and watched people literally running into the store to make sure they could get their alcohol before liquor sales ended for the day.  People are people no matter what country you are in!!!

So what does Akureyri look like up close?

Alright, here are some images of this very northern town to close up this post…

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

Hof Cultural and Conference Center by the waterfront

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

Akureyrarkirkja (church)

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

Akureyri Junior College

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

The town from the house I stayed at

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Downtown”

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Downtown”

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Downtown”

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Downtown”

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

“Downtown”

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy

Sculpture in the image of a ship

Of pylsur, ice cream and pastries…

And of course, a post here cannot leave out a mention of something food…  Icelanders love their hot dogs or “pylsur”.  They are everywhere.

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy, hot dog, pylsur

They love their hot dogs (“pylsur”)in Iceland!

And, when in Iceland, well, have ice cream!  Brynja is one of the national brands.  We indulged.

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy, Brynja, ice crea,

After the liquor store, we found the ice cream store. Priorities.

And, when everything else fails, go pastries!

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Samsung Galaxy, foodporn, pastries, bakery, food

Pastries at a local bakery

Akureyri is definitely a place far away but, having spent three days staying there, it is like any other place on earth:  food and drinks matter and, where there are good views and you are in good company, it is all perfect!  Even if my family is only with me on a photo 🙂

Akureyri, Iceland, fjord, mountains, beauty, nature, travel, photo, Olympus

My family always travels with me…

——– More on Iceland ——–

My itinerary for my week visit to Iceland

A stroll around Reykjavik

Hallgrímskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Þingvellir:  Where History and Nature Meet in Iceland!

The Blue Lagoon

Goðafoss:  The Waterfalls of the Gods

Whale Watching in Iceland

Iceland’s South Shore:  The Dyrhólaey Peninsula and Vik

Postcards from Iceland:  Dalvík

Iceland, Where Is Brooke Shields??

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo, Olympus

When planning our trip to Iceland, we decided that because the Blue Lagoon was on the way from the airport to Reykjavik that it would make a lot of sense to stop there after landing as a way to relax after a not-long-enough overnight flight (and a long layover in JFK).Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo

Getting there

So after landing in Reykjavik, we found the bus that takes passengers to the Blue Lagoon (along with all the luggage), right outside of arrivals – you can’t miss it once you walk outside!   There are buses that go to the Blue Lagoon and others that go into Reykjavik.  Just look at the buses or ask!  Folks are very helpful.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo

The arrivals area at the Keflavik airport

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo

Right across from that arrival area, you see the buses

Once you get to the Blue Lagoon, right by where the buses drop you off, is a storage room where you can leave your luggage (for a price).  You can bring a bag in to the changing room and there are lockers there but they are small.  We packed the bathing suit, a change of clothes and some toiletries in the smaller bag.  There was a little of a wait to get in as the place was full and they control how many people will be in at once (which I take it as a good thing).

In the changing area they clearly ask that everyone shower without clothing on BEFORE getting into the lagoon.  I assume it is for hygiene reasons but it seems most people ignore that…

The lagoon – minus Brooke Shields

Though it was a little cold that morning, the moment you step into the lagoon (which is sort of a light baby blue) you begin to warm up.  The lagoon is quite large and you can remain close to the area where you drop your towel/lounge or you can go further away to areas that are much more quite on the opposite side.  That day love apparently was in the air as there were many couples on that opposite side…  You can also hunt down the areas where the hot water comes in if you want the temperature a little hotter.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo, Olympus

Beautiful waters and landscape

Conveniently (probably for all the British youth that may visit), there is a corner of the lagoon with an in-water bar area for those who want their drink on while in the lagoon.

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo, Olympus

The bar scene

Once in the lagoon, you can go to a couple of spots to find the local white-ish mud to put on you to rejuvenate your skin.  Though always uncertain about the effectiveness of such muds, I partook.  Clearly, not a flattering look but I look 18 years younger.  Well worth the embarrassing look captured below!

Blue Lagoon, Iceland, Reykjavik, geothermal, water, fun, travel, photo, mud, travel with children

The muddy faces blend well with the steamy air of the lagoon!

Oh, and it is worth saying that kids enjoy the lagoon too as you can see above!  But be sure to put the arm floaties because, even if they know how to swim, the waters are not clear so if a child goes under, they are unlikely to be seen.  No need to ask for trouble!

So, despite the similarly-named film, there was no Brooke Shields anywhere that I could tell.  If you go and you spot her, please let me know!  Otherwise, know that this is a great first stop to make after landing in Iceland from a red eye flight – it will help you recover some from the jet lag and lack of sleep, even if a bit on the touristy side!

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Read and see more about my trip to Iceland:

  • Thingvellir (or “Þingvellir” in local alphabet) – where history and nature meet
  • A “post card” from northern Dalvik
  • Our week-long itinerary
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