We all know about the popular city of Reykjavik and its many quirks, including unusual cuisine and heavy focus on mystical creatures, but what about Northern Iceland? Read through our 7 fun facts and wow your family and friends with your new-found knowledge.
1. Akureyri has the northernmost botanical gardens in the world
Since 1957 this peaceful part of Akureyri has been the go-to place for a stress-free few hours. There are over 6600 alien taxa (foreign plants) and around 430 species of native taxa growing in the garden!
2. Temperatures in North Iceland are higher than in Reykjavik
Okay, okay… not too much warmer, but still enough to notice if you went to both destinations! While highs in Reykjavik can reach up to 20°, Akureyri enjoys warmer climes around the 23° mark, so pack your sunnies!
3. Lake Myvatn is a film location in cult TV series Game of Thrones
For any discerning #GOT fan, Lake Myvatn is a must-visit! Cast your mind back – it’s where Jon Snow (spoiler alert) casts aside his vow of celibacy with feisty local woman, Ygritte. In real life, the lake has a desolate atmosphere surrounded by lava stacks – ideal for those moody camera shots.
4. Akureyri has the world’s northernmost 18-hole golf course
According to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Akureyri Golf Course is the proud owner of this title. Perfect your swing in the serene natural surroundings and enjoy awe-inspiring views as you walk round the course. It’s open from mid May until the end of October, so plenty of time to become a golf pro!
5. Say ‘takk fyrir síðast’ if you want to appear polite…
When you meet people who you’ve recently met somewhere else (parties, dinners, meetings – you name it), try saying ‘takk fyrir síðast’ and watch your politeness level soar. The phrase means ‘thank you for the last time we met’ (inferring that last time was enjoyable).
6. Akureyri has the most ski slopes in Iceland
Which is why it hosts Iceland’s Winter Games! As well as skiing, guests can enjoy watching snowboarding and, wait for it, the Icelandic National Dog sledding championship (!) Cuteness overload level reached.
7. Þorrablót is a feast where all the (weird) traditional Icelandic food is eaten…
… such as fermented shark (known locally as hákarl), sheep heads and sheep testicles – yeesh. Might be worth bringing some money for a pizza on the way home with this one.
Fancy discovering Northern Iceland for yourself? Check out our Incredible Iceland experience and explore somewhere new – you won’t regret it.