Just outside of Akureyri city you will find a Christmas House in Hrafnagil in Eyjafjörður fjord. It is a must visit while in this area. It is ever so lovely, like a magical world. Last time I visited it was in August and the temperature was 20 degrees C so it was quite strange entering the Christmas House.
The Christmas House is on two floors and sells everything imaginable related to Christmas. There is a cave there with Grýla inside. You cannot see her that well but I put my camera inside her cave and got a bit startled when I looked at her photo ;) She is the mother of the Icelandic Yule Lads and eats children who behave badly.
The owner of the Christmas House tells children, who ask him why he is celebrating Christmas in summer time, that he is making sure that Christmas will not get lost :)
I know that people visit the Christmas House only to have a look inside while travelling in this area, but then always end up buying something - one just cannot resist it - it is like a fairy-tale world in there.
You can find Christmas stuff from all over the world, but also a lot of Icelandic Christmas handicraft. And if you wonder what the lovely smell is upstairs, then it is smoked lamb "hangikjöt".
There is also a lovely garden by the Christmas House with benches and a lot of Christmas stuff. In the garden is the Tower which is the largest calendar in the world. Yes, and not to forget the lovely outside Christmas toilet :)
In the tower by the Christmas House is probably "heimsins stærsta dagatal" or the World's largest calendar.
It is so lovely visiting it. Inside the tower is painted in beautiful colours and there are different fairy tale paintings. And numbered windows to open - just like on a Christmas calendar - but on a much larger scale.
The artwork was done by Sunna Björk Hreiðarsdóttir in 2003.
Don't miss visiting the tower after visiting the Christmas House. I had visited the Christmas House so many times, but it wasn't until in 2013 that I eventually walked up into the tower.
The Wishing Well of Unborn Children
You will find a beautiful wishing well opposite the Christmas House in Eyjafjörður. It is called the Wishing Well of Unborn Children - in Icelandic Óskabrunnur ófæddra barna.
On a sign is written: "Walk to the well and make a silent wish. Touch the surface of the water and your wish will join all good wishes in the wishing well for children of the future".
The white tree next to the wishing well with stars on top of its branches represents unborn children. On a sign is written: "A child is a star in the sky of life. A wish for a child is a wish for a star". I can tell you that one can get very emotional there. But I recommend going there, it is a lovely little grove.
The Christmas House is open all year round, and it is lovely visiting it both in winter time and in summer time. It is so close to Akureyri that driving down there is well worth the trip. And if you drive a little further there are some lovely historical churches. Eyjafjörður fjord just never ceases to amaze me.
The Christmas House is located a little over 14 km away from Akureyri. You can either rent a car to visit the Christmas House or go there by taxi from Akureyri as there are no buses going there.
Also check out the myriad of self-drive tours put together by Guide to Iceland with accommodation, car and a detailed itinerary.
While you are visiting this area why not join some of the amazing tours from Akureyri with Saga Travel. I have joined several of their tours and can recommend them, as they take you to places which you cannot visit on your own, f.ex. the extraordinary lava field Gjástykki and the lava cave Lofthellir with its huge ice sculptures.
This is part VII in my series of travel-blogs on Eyjafjörður fjord - now join me on a further exploration of Iceland's longest fjord: