Colorful flowers at a botanical garden in Akureyri, Iceland
Find a wealth of plant life at a stone's throw from the Arctic Circle. At Lystigardurinn, the most northerly botanical garden in the world, you can walk along green pathways lined with colorful, sweet-smelling flowers, and take a look at Iceland's native species, as well as 4,000 foreign plants.
Buildings at the Laufas Rectory Farm Museum in Akureyri, Iceland
Take a taxi 23 kilometers to Laufas, where you'll find quaint turf-roofed farmhouses built in the 1860s. They may remind you of the hobbits' houses in "The Lord of the Rings" — but more importantly, they're a window into how Icelanders once lived.
The Akureyri Thermal Pool is one of Iceland's finest. Cruise to Iceland and splash about or relax in the indoor and outdoor pools, which are open year-round. Join the locals for a dip in the geothermal hot spots, the 25-meter pool or the Turkish bath. There are also water slides and a pool for younger children.
After sightseeing and bathing, you'll probably have worked up quite an appetite. Luckily, Akureyri has lots of restaurants nestled in its downtown center. Icelandic cuisine is based on fish, lamb, dairy, root vegetables and herbs. If you're brave enough, try hakarl (fermented shark). Wash it down with a local craft beer or a taste of Brennivin, the traditional schnapps.
You don't need to walk far when shopping in Akureyri: Most shops are in the city center along Hafnarsteti street and in the Glerartorg shopping mall. You'll find trendy designer brands, fun souvenirs and high-fashion labels. The Icelandic Kroner (ISK) is the official currency, and many stores accept credit cards.
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