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“Consider visiting Akureyri Botanical Garden. This Botanic Garden is one of the most northerly botanic gardens in the world. It is a beautiful garden with a nice variety of Icelandic native species and imported plants.”
A short distance from Lake Mývatn you’ll find the geothermal power center of Krafla. Its name derives form the mountain Krafla (818 m).
It’s possible to drive a “dead end” road through the area which climbs steeply up to the Krafla caldera. What is a caldera? A Caldera is made when the roof of the magma chamber collapses after the chamber has been emptied by an explosion.
There is a special parking area and you can take a short walk to the edge of the caldera or even walk along a path to the left which will take you to a lava field in about an hour.
About 35 km south of Akureyri (still in the fjord of Eyjafjörður) lies a beautiful cluster of mounds and steep hills called Leyningshólar.
It is the perfect camp site with grassy hills and sheltered, attractive spots for camping. It is also a great place for hiking. The mounds and hills were formed by rock slides which occurred 7-8000 years ago.
There are many secret hot spots in North Iceland worth mentioning. Mainly wooden areas where you can enjoy peace while hiking and the scent of wood and nature.
Akureyri is one of the biggest and most beautiful towns in Iceland. It lies in north Iceland and you will most probably visit this friendly town if you travel the Ring Road (nr. 1).
A few kilometers south of Akureyri lies Kjarnaskógur, a delightful place. It is a wooded recreational area for everyone, adults as well as children, extremely beautiful and peaceful. Perfect for hiking and relaxation.
There are hiking paths all over and clearings, often with grill facilities and playgrounds for children. You will also find a volleyball ground and a jogging track which becomes a skiing track in winter. There are over 50 species of trees and shrubs in the woods and the highest trees there reach ca. 12 meters.
How would you like to visit a place where Odinn, the chief pagan god of old, once rode his eight legged horse? The horse put down one of its legs and created this wonderful hoof like green oasis. According to the Northern mythology of course...
Ásbyrgi is a part of the National Park of Jökulsárgljúfur in the north of Iceland. It is basically a long canyon (about 3 1/2 km) with very high walls. Families love it in Ásbyrgi, the area is partly wooded and it is great fun for kids. It is perhaps not exactly a secret spot but worth mentioning here since you have to leave Road One to get to it.
When in Asbyrgi you must also pay a visit to Hljoðaklettar which are rock formations, remains of ancient volcanoes.
Namaskard is a sulfur field right on the main road – the Ring Road. Park your car at the car parking area and walk beside the boiling mud pools and sulfur gases.
The colors are simply wonderful and the smell terrible! Be careful in this place. You can walk around the area where the paths are clearly signed but stay behind the ropes around the pools, the ground is crumbly and accidents do happen.
In the valley of Fnjóskadalur, east of Akureyri, lies the second largest forest of Iceland, Vaglaskógur.
A perfect place for camping, hiking and enjoying the peace there and smell of wood and nature. There is a tree nursery one of the most important ones in Iceland. Vaglaskógur also hosts a few of the highest trees in Iceland.
Drangey, the island hideaway of one of the biggest heroes of the Icelandic Sagas, Grettir Ásmundarson – an outlaw from the 11h century. His superhuman feats are of course recounted and even embellished in our Sagas.
He and his brother are said to have lived on the island for 3 years before they were killed by their enemies.
Lake Mývatn lies in northern Iceland, east of Akureyri. It is the fourth largest lake and among the most famous places in Iceland. The lake is a bird sanctuary and is surrounded by interesting lava formations, volcanoes, hot springs and craters. On the lake are some volcanic islands.
Don’t forget to try Myvatn Nature Baths – the latest addition to the many attractions around the lake.