South of Akureyri is Iceland’s most visited forest, Kjarnaskógur. The recreational area has a 7 km (4 mi) lit trail, a vast network of backcountry trails, and a 10 km (6 mi) long designated mountain bike trail and cross-country skiing options. This summer, new hiking trails from Kjarnaskógur to Glerárdalur connect to hiking trails up Mt. Hlíðarfjall. There are two playgrounds, picnic areas, barbecue facilities, a volleyball course, and restrooms, making Kjarnaskógur the perfect outdoor space for nature lovers.
Krossanesborgir nature reserve centres on 10,000-year-old basalt rock formations formed by glaciers during the last Ice Age. With diverse birdlife in the area, Krossanesborgir is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Over 27 different birds, or about 35% of all Icelandic bird species, nest in the area, including a large number of ptarmigan. Bird lovers can view them from hiking trails and bird-watching cabins.
Glerárdalur & Mt Súlur
The mountain Súlur rises above Akureyri to its southwest. Hiking to the peaks and back takes about five to six hours, and the hiking trail is popular with locals. There are two peaks, the highest one reaching about 1,213 m (3,980 ft). The peaks are mainly made of light rhyolite (liparite), a volcanic rock created during volcanic eruptions some eight to nine million years ago.
Hlíðarfjall is one of the best skiing areas in Iceland. The hallmarks of Hlíðarfjall are high-quality snow, extensive cross-country trails, and exciting ski slopes with breathtaking views of Eyjafjörður fjord. Equipped with snowmaking machines and fully floodlit main runs, Hlíðarfjall promises excellent conditions throughout winter, from the end of November to early May. From July until early September, the chairlift Fjarkinn is operated for hikers and bikers, opening Mt. Hlíðarfjall for recreational activities in summer, too.
Last updated on 9 May 2023.