Luxury holidays in Akureyri

Charming (and chilly) Akureyri is nestled at the base of Eyjafjörður Fjord in northern Iceland. It’s the country’s second largest city (with a whopping 20,000 residents) and the perfect base for exploring the Mývatn region, Dettifoss and Goðafoss waterfalls, the Ásbyrgi canyon and the nearby islands Hrísey or Grímsey. In winter, there are snow-covered slopes to careen down and otherworldly Northern Lights to chase. In the summer, make like a local and lounge about poolside or at one of the city’s alfresco cafés; it’s the best time of the year for hiking the nearby coastline and surrounding mountains too.

When to go

Keen to hunt the aurora borealis? Long winter nights are your best bet. If you dress in layers (and seek out Iceland’s ever-present geothermal pools), Akureyri is a year-round destination. Real talk? Temperatures dip to -5°C in December and January. Pass the thermos.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Akureyri has a domestic airport; internal flights from Reykjavik to Akureyri take 40 minutes.
  • Automobiles

    If you don’t fancy a connecting flight, you can land at Reykjavik and drive the 400 kilometres along Highway 1 to Akureyri (journey time: five hours). A set of wheels will come in handy if you want to get visiting the various waterfalls, lakes and canyons. Driving from November through February is best left to snow-competent drivers only; roads are often risky, difficult to drive on and occasionally closed due to snowfall.