Akureyri is located in the northern part of Iceland, it is the second largest urban center. In the 17th century Danish merchants based their camps on the actual Akureyri which was one of the numerous spits of land in Pollurinn. The reasons for choosing this exact spot for the trading operations were mainly the outstanding natural harbor and the fact that Akureyri is located by a very productive agriculture area. The Danish merchants did not live at Akureyri the whole year though, in winters the houses were locked up and the merchants went home. Permanent settlement at Akureyri started in 1778. Akureyri did not grow from its population of 12 until after 1862. From that point, Akureyri started to grow because of the excellent port conditions and perhaps more because of the productive agricultural region around it. Industries processing agricultural products became the backbone of the city and spurred its further growth. The 20th century in Iceland became the scene of a mass exodus from the countryside to the cities and Akureyri had its share in that. Commerce and service industries grew to be the primary employers in Akureyri as the manufacturing industries started to decline. In the last ten years, fishing industries have become more important in Akureyri as two of the major fishing companies of Iceland has become a more important source of revenue and is expected to grow further in coming years. It is surrounded by mountains, the highest being Súlur 3980 feet and Hlíðarfjall 3661 feet. The coast in the area is a narrow strip of flat land before a steep but low hill. Because of the town's position at the bottom of a long fjord surrounded by high mountains, the climate is actually more inland than coastal meaning greater variants in temperature (warmer summers, colder winters) than in many other parts of Iceland. The surrounding mountains also shield the town from blowing winds.
Godafoss, or "Waterfall of the Gods", is
considered one of the World’s natural wonders and is one of Iceland’s most
popular tourist resorts. Godafoss received its name from the momentous occasion
on which the Chieftan, Thorgeir of Ljósvatn, threw his Pagan Idols into the
falls as a demonstration of his conversion to the Christian faith. The
surroundings are truly magnificent – the volcanic & geothermal features succeed
in reminding the admiring tourist of the incredible forces that surge below the
Lake Myvatn is a unique experience. See an important bird sanctuary with many rare species, surrounded by lava formations, volcanoes and craters. It has been designated as Iceland’s winter sports centre. Also, within the Myvatn area you can bathe in its glorious hot pools.
Skiing is a year-round activity and Iceland's most popular winter sport. In Akureyri you will find an Alpine-style resort with standard lifts and facilities. Resorts offer down hill and cross-country skiing.
The Akureyi Golf Club hosts the yearly Arctic Open, an international competition at the end of June which climaxes with a tee-off at midnight continuing until the early morning hours.