Information about Akranes

Akranes is a port town in the west of Iceland, approximately 42 km from Reykjavik, lying at the tip of the peninsula separating Hvalfjörður and Borgarfjörður. 


Settled in the 9th Century by Irish brothers, Þormóður and Ketill, the town only began to take full shape in the mid 1700s. In 1942, the town was officially chartered and saw a great surge in its population growth. Today, Akranes has a population of 6700. An important service centre for surrounding regions, Akranes is expected to continue growing in future years. The town holds both a cement plant and a nearby aluminium smelter, though fishing is still the largest contributor to the town’s economy. Akranes is also known for its strong footballing tradition. The town boasts one of the country’s best football teams, Íþróttabandalag Akraness.


Akranes Museum Centre in Garðar is the cultural hub of the town, consisting of three separate museums; the Akranes Folk Museum, the Mineral Kingdom and the Icelandic Sports Museum. The centre has a number of permanent exhibitions, including an open-air section filled with vintage cars and boats. There have even been houses moved to the exhibit, most notably the Garðar house, which presents visitors the opportunity to see how a mid 19th/20th-century Icelandic house looked.

The museum’s most notable attraction is the Sigurfari, an 86 tonne two masted Ketch. Built in the late 19th century out of solid Oak, the ship made its way from England to begin fishing off Iceland, a task it held until 1919. In the 1970s, the Sigurfari fished off the coast of the Faroe Islands, before returning to Iceland. Now in its final resting place, the ketch is the only boat of its kind in Iceland.


The town sits at the base of the domineering basalt mountain, Akrafjall (643m). The mountain top has some of the best panoramic views of West Iceland, from Faxafloi Bay to the Reykjanes Peninsula to Snaefellsjokull Glacier. Akranes Lighthouse in Breiðin (only recently opened to the public) has fantastic views over the bay and town, and is operated by an amateur photographer who uses the lighthouse interior as gallery space.

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Attractions nearby Akranes


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Tours near Akranes

3 Day Self Drive Tour | The Golden Circle & Hraunfossar Falls

See Iceland's finest sights and most popular attractions in only 3 days on this self-drive tour!......