• Photo: Chris Howey / Shutterstock


Akureyri—called the Capital of the North—is the second-largest urban area in Iceland, and a lively one at that. Hemmed by the 60-km (37-mile) long Eyjafjörður, Akureyri is sheltered from the ocean winds and embraced by mountains on three sides. Late-19th-century wooden houses impart a sense of history, and the twin spires of a modern Lutheran church—rising on a green hill near the waterfront—provide a focal point. To the south of Akureyri is the pyramid-shape rhyolite mountain Súlur. Beyond it is Kerling, the highest peak in Eyjafjörður District.


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