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. 

History

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 approx. 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.

Culture

The Akranes Folk Museum at Garðar is the cultural hub of the town, consisting of a folk museum, a few 19th and 20th-century houses and boats, the Iceland Sports Museum and various temporary exhibitions.

The houses open to visitors are the Garðar house, the first concrete house in Iceland, originally built as a vicarage in 1876; Neðri-Sýrupartur from 1875, the oldest preserved timber house in the Akranes area; Sandar-Vestri, a 1901 working class family’s home; as well as the Folk Museum and the exhibitions of the Museum Hall. 

The museum's collection includes household items, various tools and machinery used by craftsmen, farmers and fishermen, medical equipment, costumes, part of a turf house, and much more.

Geography

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.

Services near Akranes

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Akranes

Akrafjall

Akrafjall is a mountain located on the Akranes Peninsula on the west coast of Iceland. Mount Akrafjall is a lone and eye-catching mountain that ris...

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Grótta

Grótta is a nature reserve on the tip of the Seltjarnarnes Peninsula, in the north-westernmost part of the Greater Reykjavík Area. It ...

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Álftanes

Álftanes is a town and former municipality in Iceland, located roughly twenty minutes drive from the capital, Reykjavik, on the northeastern ...

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Engey

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons, photo by Christian Bickel Engey is the second largest island in Faxaflói, the bay by which Reykjav&i...

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Seltjarnarnes

  Seltjarnarnes is a township in the Reykjavik district. It has a population of about 4600 people and land-wise it is the smallest township in th...

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Lundey

  Lundey ('Puffin Island') is a small uninhabited island off the western coast of Reykjavik. It is a haven for seabirds. The island is ...

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Whales of Iceland

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Milan Nykodym. Whales of Iceland is an exhibit in Reykjavík, and the biggest whale exhibition i...

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Grandi

Over the past few years, Grandi harbour has transformed into a cultural fixture of Reykjavík. Bursting with shops, restaurants, and museums, ...

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Whale Exhibition Center

The Whale Exhibiton Center is a floating information and exhibition center at Reykjavik harbor. The Whale Exhibiton Center is focused on informing it...

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Reykjavík Harbour

  Reykjavík Harbour refers to the Old Harbour, and is located close to the centre of the city. It is the main port of departure for wha...

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Reykjavik Art Museum - Hafnarhus / Harbor house

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by TommyBee. Hafnarhús, or the Harbour House, is one of the three buildings which hosts the exhibit...

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Harpa – Reykjavik Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Harpa is Rekjavík’s premier concert hall and conference centre. Opened in 2011, it was designed by a collaboration between Danish-Icela...

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Bæjarins Beztu | Hot Dog Stand

Bæjarins Beztu Pyslur is a popular hot dog stand in the centre of Iceland’s capital Reykjavík.  The name of the busine...

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Reykjavík Settlement Exhibition

Photo above from Wikimedia, Creative Commons, by Heidrunin The Reykjavík Settlement Exhibition is a fascinating place where visitors can disco...

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Austurvöllur

  Austurvollur is a public square in the centre of Reykjavik and a popular gathering place. Around the square are cafés, clubs, sho...

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Alþingi

The Alþingi is Iceland’s longest running and highest institution of government, having been formed amidst the stunning beauty of Þin...

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Dómkirkjan

  The small and charming Domkirkja church is the central Lutheran church in Iceland.  The Domkirkja is situated at Reykjavik's main pu...

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Lækjargata

  Laekjargata is a street in central Reykjavik. The street has some of Reykjavik's oldest houses and features several cafés, restaura...

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Ráðhúsið – Reykjavík City Hall

Reykjavík City Hall (Ráðhús Reykjavíkur) is located on the banks of Tjörnin Pond in central Reykjaví...

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Viðey

From the Skarfabakki pier at Sundahofn harbour in Reykjavik (around 5 km from the center) you can take a ferry to Videy island in Kollafjordur bay. V...

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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!......

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