Akureyri, pronounced ‘ah-koo-rare-ee,’ is fondly nicknamed Iceland’s ‘Capital of the North.’ Despite its population of just 18,000, it is one of the coolest places in the country with eclectic cafés, renowned restaurants and art galleries. The town is no stranger to contemporary dining, with menus embracing fusion cuisine using fresh local ingredients from the land and sea. It’s estimated that Akureyri is home to roughly 50 restaurants, so there’s plenty to look forward to for foodies on an Icelandic cruise.
Aside from the delicious cuisine on offer, Akureyri is also the gateway to the spectacular beauty of the north, including the Mývatn region, Dettifoss waterfall, Goðafoss waterfall and Ásbyrgi canyon as well as a variety of exciting wildlife experiences. Minke whales, humpback whales, killer whales and seals patrol the waters surrounding Iceland, and can be spotted from your cruise ship, or a more intimate wildlife boat tour during an excursion. While roaming through the landscape, look out for the elusive Arctic fox, mink, rabbits and reindeer.
Elsewhere, visitors to Akureyri can discover some of the best-preserved examples of ancient Icelandic housing by exploring the Laufás (turf houses); visit Lystigarðurinn, Akureyri’s botanical garden; explore the iconic church, Akureyrarkirkja, and discover the numerous, and beautiful, fjords surrounding the area.