is situated just close to Longitude 65 degrees North and thus is close to the arctic circle. The city has 18 thousand inhabitants and is the cultural and trade center of northern Iceland. Its international (but very small) airport and the frequently arriving cruising ships make tourists a normal sight in the main street. Its tourist dependency has constantly increased over the years which is seen in the rapidly increasing amount of accomodations, restaurants and cafés. The church Hallgrimskirkja with its many stairs is the most seen object on postcards.
There are 2 swimming pools, both indoor and outdoor, to choose from where both are heated by the hot water from the ground. Be prepared for the typical sulphour smell !
Lying deep in the fjord Eyjafjordur with more than 1000 meter high mountains around makes this a good starting point for walks into the many side valleys. You can also rent canooes or kayaks if you want to explore the fjord. A rich birdlife can be seen close to the airport since it is built in wetland.
Seen to its population size there are many facilities available from different sorts of museums to cultural events.
You can find some more practical information here : http://wikitravel.org/en/Akureyri
There are two islands worth visiting, Hrisey and Grimsey. Both have ferry connections from some miles north of Akureyri and are suitable for a great daytrip. Grimsey will take you north of the arctic circle while Hrisey is situated in the outer part of Eyjafjord close to Dalvik. There are caches on both islands so you will not go there in vein ;-)
This small island is best reached from Árskógssandur a small hamlet around 45 km north of Akureyri. You find all ferry details here http://www.hrisey.net/en/page/the_ferry_schedule
From Hrísey From Árskógssandur
23.00 * 23.30 *
Is the trip worthwhile ? Yes definitely ! There are three walking path on the island where the longest is up to 5 km and there are many beautiful views. There is a bird watching facility and a nice light house to visit. Organised trips are possible for those who want that rather than walk alone. Also boat trips for whale watching or fishing are available.
There are cafés and an overnight accomodation possibility. Why not test the thermal heated pool if the weather is cold ?
More information on the official homepage : http://www.hrisey.net/en/
There will be an IIGE2 event on Hrisey too.
For those who want to go further north Grimsey offers a visit above latitude 66 north. This is probably not the best reason to go there. Instead you will face a great trip on the sea (if you are not prone to seasickness) for 3 hours. The island itself is only inhabited by 100 people but there are a million of birds there !
There are possibilities to stay overnight and there is a small restaurant also aswell as a shop. For those who want to take a hot bath there is one pool too. The main reason to go there is to enjoy the birdlife and the sea trip.
Unfortunately the homepage http://www.akureyri.is/grimsey/english is only partly in english.