Charming towns await travellers who drive north through the Hvalfjörður tunnel from Reykjavík. Just 50km from the capital is Akranes, a popular detour for those looking to explore the west coast and spend time in the countryside. Akranes is a traditional fishing village, peaceful and friendly, and home to a famous lighthouse that is open to the public.
The Akranes Lighthouse (Akranesviti) is a delightful place to visit at any time of year. Away from the bright lights, tourists and locals flock to the site in winter to enjoy the view of the Northern Lights dancing across the sky. In the summer, people picnic outside the lighthouse and, during opening hours, guests are invited in and can climb to its top. Built in 1947, the lighthouse has been used to host concerts and art exhibitions in recent years. Visit @akraneslighthouse on Instagram for photos and videos and its Facebook page for opening hours.
Rich town history
To get familiar with the town’s history, visit the Akranes Folk Museum, which is dedicated to exploring what Akranes was like from the time of the Settlement to the present day. The museum recently underwent an extensive renovation, re-opening in 2020, and the revamped museum hall features multimedia exhibitions and historical and cultural artefacts from the town. There’s an audio guide available in the price of admission. Outdoors, there are various houses and boats crucial to the town’s history. Visitors can explore the houses. Visit www.museum.is and the Akranes Folk Museum’s Facebook page for more information.
Bathe in soothing Guðlaug
After exploring the lighthouse and folk museum, there is no better place to relax than in Guðlaug, a heated natural pool situated along Langisandur, Akranes’ sandy beach. The two-tier structure is the perfect place to take some time off. For opening times and prices, visit Guðlaug’s Facebook page and visit @gudlaugbaths on Instagram for picturesque photos.
Akranes is a family-friendly destination,so ensure you take time to visit the town on your next trip to Iceland.