Photo by STEPHEN J MASON PHOTOGRAPHY  –  Link

Akureyri

Iceland

This small waterfront town is the unofficial capital of North Iceland and the second largest city in Iceland - although with a population of just 18,000, that’s not to say it’s a huge metropolis!

Still, Akureyri has plenty of things to offer in terms of food, culture and entertainment. Plus, it has its own Akureyri airport, with several daily flights to and from Reykjavik as well as three smaller villages on the island.

Top things to do in Akureyri

Akureyri is situated at the end of the Eyjafjörður fjord, a long stretch of deep blue water lined with green meadows. Thanks to the city’s charming wooden houses and mountainous backdrop, one of the best activities to do here is to simply walk around and breathe in the natural beauty and fresh air.

Another popular pastime here is taking a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, featuring ‘hot pots’ that stay naturally heated by geothermal springs throughout the year. It also has family-friendly features like a water slide and play area.

For a bit of culture, you can visit the Akureyri Aviation Museum or peer through the stained glass windows of the Akureyri Church, which was built in 1940.

The Beer Spa

Akureyri also recently opened Iceland's very first Beer Spa, which is exactly what it sounds like. At the Bjórböðin spa, visitors can bathe in wooden tubs filled with an (apparently) soothing mixture of beer and essential oils. The murky brown colour of your bath may look a tad off-putting at first, but once you relax into it the relaxation sets in. Plus, each room at the Beer Spa comes with its very own beer tap

The Beer Spa, which is part of the Bruggsmidjan Kaldi microbrewery, opened its doors in summer 2017. It's located about a half hour's drive north from Akureyri.

A single bath costs 7,900 ISK (£57) and if you want to bring a partner along, a couple's bath costs 14,900 ISK (£107).

Exploring North Iceland

With its numerous hotels, hostels and guesthouses, Akureyri is also a good base for exploring some of the more remote parts of north Iceland.

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