HISTORICAL PATH (Blue)
The blue path takes you through the historical old town of Akureyri, with its colourful and historic buildings. The birthplace of Akureyri, this area is characterised by the steep slopes and stunning views it has to offer.
Start your walk at Ráðhústorg square. The name translates to Town Hall Square, although the town hall that was planned was never actually built! Walk south, through the centre of town, into the oldest part of Akureyri, with its vividly coloured houses. Walking along Hafnarstræti, you will pass historic buildings, such as the Akureyri theatre, built in 1906, and Sigurhæðir, the former home of poet Matthías Jochumsson (who wrote the national anthem).
You will also come across Akureyri’s most famous ice cream shop, Brynja. When you get to Akureyri Museum, stop to admire the childhood home of Nonni, a popular author of children’s books, and a 19th-century church. When you pass the museum, turn right and head up the hill. As you walk towards the centre on your way back towards the Ráðhústorg square, you’ll walk past the Akureyri park and school. Alternatively, walk towards the sea and take the coastal route back. You’ll cross the new Rendezvous Bridge, perfect for a selfie with a view!
THE FIRST SETTLERS & TOWN ARCHITECTURE (GREEN)
The first settlers of Akureyri, in the 10th century, were Helgi magri (Helgi the thin) and his wife, Þórunn Hyrna. Taking this path past their statues and following the streets named in their honour will give you a feel for modern-day Akureyri.
Starting once again from the Town Hall Square sans town hall, walk up the hill past the Municipal Library, to a hill where statues of the first settlers of Akureyri, Helgi magri and Þórunn Hyrna, look over Eyjafjörður. Fittingly, you walk back towards the town along Helgamagrastræti. At the end of the street is the Akureyri geothermal swimming pool, perfect for a refreshing swim.
Continue along Þórunnarstræti till you get to the Botanical Garden. This beautiful park is the northernmost botanic garden in the world and contains several thousand plant species. When you leave the garden, pass the Akureyri school and walk atop the edge of the hill towards Akureyri church. On your way, you’ll pass the Akureyri Catholic church.
RIVER AND GARDENS (Orange)
One of the best things about cities and towns in Iceland is that you never feel too far from nature. Even walking through the town of Akureyri, the second-biggest settlement in Iceland, you’re still able to find plenty of peaceful green areas, rivers and gardens.
Walking up Brekkugata street, you’ll find statues of the first settlers of Eyjafjörður perched atop a wild-looking cliff. As you continue over the hill, you get to the Glerá river that crosses through Akureyri. Follow the walking path along the river and take in the wonderful scenery. In the summer, Akureyri often gets the best weather in all of Iceland, making a stroll along the river an absolute delight. Cross the river and pass Akureyri University.
As you walk back towards the town centre, you’ll pass through green areas and playgrounds in the residential areas of Akureyri, getting a look at the peaceful Akureyri life. As you get closer to the centre, you pass the Akureyri swimming pool, highly recommended for freshening up after a long walk through nature before ending your walk back at the Ráðhústorg square.
THE SEA & ODDEYRIN (PINK)
If you don’t have a lot of time but would still like to get a feel for the town of Akureyri, take this short walk through the old neighbourhood of Oddeyri by the sea. With its charming old houses, outdoor artwork and stunning view of Eyjafjörður fjord and the mountains on the other side, this route will give you a taste of what Akureyri is all about.
Starting at the town square, Ráðhústorg, you walk east, towards the sea. You will pass Hof, the cultural centre, on your right. The circular concert hall is certainly impressive but it has nothing on the view over the Eyjafjörður fjord.
Take a turn to the left and enter the residential neighbourhood. This is one of the oldest parts of town and the delightful old houses are painted in every colour of the rainbow. Many of the houses here feature the classic stone tins that cover many of Akureyri’s oldest houses. Walking back through the neighbourhood will get you back to Ráðhústorg square.
If you have time to spare, you can continue walking south along the coastal path. Not only can you admire the view of Eyjafjörður fjord and the surrounding mountains but the path features plenty of outdoor artwork as well.