Akureyri All Year Round

Akureyri is a treat no matter what the season. The town offers a wide array of different activities, from skiing and hiking to birdwatching and fishing; from visiting museums to just lounging about the town’s charming cafés and restaurants. There’s something for everyone and especially you!


As spring arrives, visiting the Botanical Gardens is beyond a doubt the destination you want to head to when Akureyri’s flora starts bursting into life. Inhabitants also start blooming as many dig up their running shoes, drag out their bikes for a ride or fire up their barbecues. Springtime is also the ornithologist’s paradise, with the rich variation of migratory birds returning to the area to lay their eggs. Particularly good places for birdwatching include Krossanesborgir, the Estuary of the river Eyjafjarðará and the islands, Grímsey and Hrísey. Grímsey is home to one of the biggest puffin colonies in Iceland and in Hrísey Ptarmigan and Arctic Terns are quite common.


Being one of Iceland’s northernmost towns, Akureyri could definitely crown itself the town of the midnight sun. Favourite summertime activities include golfing, visiting the Botanical Garden, dropping in at a museum or taking a stroll around town. To encounter nature at close range, hop on a boat for a whale watching tour. Feeling more active? Hike up the magnificent Mt. Súlur!

Akureyri’s outdoor café society is in full summer swing down town with people out in droves to soak up the sun. More than just rainy-day places, we recommend a visit to Akureyri Art Museum offering a great selection of contemporary art. Summer celebrations include the Aviation Days, the Akureyri Art Festival, Vaka Folk Festival, National Day, Hiking week, Arctic Open golf tournament, Gásir Medieval Days and Akureyri Family Festival.


The cultural calendar of Akureyri really gets into high gear during the months of autumn with the yearly theatre and concerts program, starting off with Akureyri Town Festival at the end of August, which commemorates the anniversary of the town. Further afield in the north, Grímsey’s Arctic Run, which circles the island and crosses the Arctic Circle, takes place in September.


Akureyri truly becomes a winter wonderland over the darker seasons, often with an astonishing sight of the Northern Lights mixed with a twinkle of snow. Speaking of the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights excursions are one of the most popular wintertime activities, with the season lasting from the end of September until the end of March.

For everyday pleasure, Akureyri has a lot to offer. Soaking in hot tubs is always a treat, but for excitement, activities such as snowmobiling, winter horseback riding and dog sledding are popular options. Mt. Hlíðafjall, arguably the best ski- and snowboarding resort in the country, is only a 5 minute drive from the city centre, and within the city you can go skating at the skating rink. Winter is also the optimal season for cross-country skiing in Mt. Hlíðarfjall and Kjarnaskogur, the best time of year being from roughly November until the end of April. For those on the hunt for a slightly less conventional outing, there’s snowshoeing and heli-skiing. For the even more adventurous, there’s the option of arctic surfing or even diving! For these extreme types, you don’t want to miss the Iceland Winter Games in March or AK Extreme in April. In addition, there is a full in-town calendar of concerts, plays and exhibitions.

Finally, being in Akureyri on New Year’s Eve is something not to be missed. Not that you can miss it if visiting, the town practically explodes with colourful fireworks!