EasyJet’s announcement of a new route from London Gatwick to Iceland’s North opens up some great opportunities for travelers looking to go beyond the country’s traditional tourist sites. The twice weekly flights from Gatwick into North Iceland’s Akureyri Airport offer access to a destination known for hot springs, whale watching, picturesque towns, and even a bit of skiing. The flights will cover Northern Lights season, from November through March.
While North Iceland’s sites are less well-known than those near the country’s more touristed capital region around Reykjavik, in general they are at least as spectacular: higher mountains, bigger waterfalls (including Europe’s biggest, Dettifoss), and the country’s largest natural geothermal lagoon, the Myvatn Nature Baths between Akureyri and Husavik, the town immortalized by the Oscar-nominated song of the same name.
A collection of towns and cities close to the coastline make this relatively untouristed region even more compelling. While Akureyri has fewer than 25,000 residents, its role as the country’s main commercial center outside of Reykjavik gives it the presence and the amenities of a much larger town, including an excellent collection of restaurants and a lively student scene. Siglufjordur, to the west, has sweeping scenic views over its fjord, and has a colorful Herring Museum that is one of the country’s best small museums.
Because North Iceland is less touristed than the capital area near Reykjavik, the services of an Iceland travel planner can be helpful in finding quality accommodation, dining and excursion options in the area.
Iceland Unwrapped has extensive experience planning personal and custom itineraries in the region for families, business groups and individual travelers, and can offer deluxe private accommodations as well as hotels and other specialty accommodations. Iceland Unwrapped can also organize unique experiences including private and group excursions, and even “Dining with the Icelanders” where visitors dine with local Icelandic families in their homes.
Mike Klein is an American-British writer and communication consultant based in Reykjavik.
iceland Unwrapped is on social media