The Hidden Valley
All is not always what it seems in Iceland. A town is not merely a town and the countryside is not either wilderness or farmland. The valley south of Akureyri in the north of Iceland is one of those areas difficult to define. It has the atmosphere of farmland, offers a variety of tourist attractions and activity any town would be proud of and accommodation ranging from camping sites to lovely hotels. The river Eyjafjarðará runs through this narrow valley, which is surprisingly long, about 50 kilometres. The farms are mostly located along the riverbank with the road crisscrossing the river via number of bridges, making access to everything on offer to the tourist quick and easy.
Eyjafjarðarsveit has, of course, an excellent outdoors swimming pool with hot tubs and fun slides, a lovely playground for youngsters, museums, cafés, an ice-cream factory with an ice-cream bar, a vegetarian restaurant which also offers a raw food menu, horse rental farms, river-fishing and two golf courses.
When planning a holiday with your family and friends in Iceland the many Guesthouses in Eyjafjarðarsveit are a real treat. There is Brúnalaug Guesthouse, a bungalow situated 700 metres from the main road providing absolute peace and quiet. Further south is Öngulsstaðir, where the old barn has been renovated and now houses a tiny hotel where all rooms come with en suite bathrooms, and the lovely restaurant Lamb Inn. Nearby, is Hóll Guesthouse, an apartment with two double rooms and all necessary facilities and Uppsalir Guesthouse which can accommodate up to ten individuals. Uppsalir offers their guests to take part in their beautiful farmer’s life which is especially loved by city youngsters. The same goes for Hrafnagil Guesthouse, 12 kilometres south of Akureyri.
Then there is the Leifsstaðir, one of the loveliest hotels in Iceland. An hotel with a view, lovely verandas and its very own golf course.
Kátur is a Horse Rental at Kaupangsbakkar, offering guided tours ranging from 1 to 3 hours, every day of the week from 8th June to 1st September each hear. They also offer custom horseback riding trips for groups of any variety.
The real treat in Eyjafjarðarsveit has got to be Holtsel offering their very own farmhouse Ice Cream, labelled Holtsels-Hnoss. Ice-creams made from cream, milk, yoghurt, full-fat, low-fat, non-fat and sorbets. Something delicious for everyone.
A short distance away is Kaffi Kú or Café Cow, a bar specializing in whisky apart from vast selection of beer and, of course, coffee and quite different cakes, i.e. liquorice cake. A truly original place.
The vegetarian restaurant Silva is gradually becoming one of the most popular restaurants in Iceland, offering a vast and wonderful vegetarian and raw-food menu, fresh shakes and juices.
When driving around Eyjafjarðarsveit, be sure to visit the various old churches in the area, each with their own special history and architecture. And last, but not least, do not miss the Smámunasafnið, an original and fun museum containing one man’s collection of odd and everyday pieces. A day spent in Eyjafjarðarsveit is a day well spent.