North Iceland Travel Guide
North Iceland is a beautiful region, hosting some of the best attractions on the island.
Home to the Lake Mývatn region, the town of Akureyri (otherwise known as the 'Capital of the North'), the whale-watching hot-spot of Húsavík and the northern parts of Vatnajökull National Park, the North attracts visitors throughout the year.
It is divided by fjords and mountain ranges into many beautiful regions. If you want to stay in this part of the country, there is a wide range of accommodations in North Iceland to choose from.
It is easy to reach via the Ring Road, and many cruise ships land in the port of the town.
The older part of Akureyri is particularly worth a stroll, as it contains many historic buildings. The town is also home to many interesting museums, galleries, and the world’s northernmost botanical gardens.
If you like skiing or snowboarding, one of the best skiing sites in the country is located nearby.
Other than its natural beauty, with huge cliffs bordering the town, Siglufjörður is renowned for its fascinating museums.
There is a folk music museum, which comes alive during an annual festival, and the Herring Era Museum. The latter is the only Icelandic museum to win an international award and is much more interesting than it sounds; it explains how Iceland managed to survive a millennium in such harsh climes by relying on the seas.
The Vatnsnes Peninsula
The Vatnsnes Peninsula gets its fame for two reasons. Firstly, it is the best seal-watching location in the whole country, with colonies hauling out throughout the year. In the town of Hvammstangi, you can visit the Icelandic Seal Centre to learn more about these animals.
It is also famous for hosting the coastal rock formation of Hvítserkur. This bizarre feature is said to be a troll frozen by the light of the morning sun, but to most, it appears to be more like an elephant drinking from the ocean.
Þingeyjarsýsla county is home to many incredible sites, particularly due to the fact that the Lake Mývatn region is nestled within it. This beautiful area is renowned for its lava formations, pseudocraters and rich birdlife.
Near Mývatn is the impressive lava field Dimmuborgir, which was featured in the Game of Thrones series. There is also the incredible waterfall Goðafoss, a beautiful feature between Lake Mývatn itself and Akureyri.
Húsavík is a nearby town, considered the whale watching capital of Europe. In summer, many operators see Humpback Whales every time they leave the port.
The Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon is home to some of Iceland's most beloved natural attractions; the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum runs through it and holds several waterfalls including Europe's most powerful, Dettifoss. Nearby to here is the spectacular, horseshoe-shaped Ásbyrgi canyon.
Far north, straddling the Arctic Circle is Grímsey island, the northernmost inhabited territory of Iceland, with a population of about 100 people. It is renowned for its fishing, its rich vegetation and birdlife, particularly puffins.
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