On a clear day in Reykjavík, a town named Akranes can often be seen from the old harbour area. The town is located just across the bay, about 50 minutes driving from Reykjavík and just a bit longer with bus 57. Akranes is located not far from the ring road but is often a forgotten tourist destination, despite the many things you can do there. In this article, you can read our recommendations on how to spend a day in Akranes.
Visit a museum
Akranes used to be a big fishing village. You can visit the Akranes Folk Museum to learn all about Akranes and its fishing industry. The exhibition includes displays of rowing boats from the late 1800s, old cars, and three fully furnished old houses which are open to public. After a tour of the museum, Garðakaffi, located on the premise, is the perfect place for a cup of coffee.
Visit Breiðin lighthouse
If you like lighthouses, then Akranes lighthouse is the place for you. Built in 1944, Akranes lighthouse is today the home of art exhibitions, concerts, and guided tours. The view from the top is picturesque on a nice day and the lighthouse is a popular destination in winter for northern lights hunters.
Go for a swim
Just like most towns in Iceland, Akranes is home to a thermal swimming pool. The Jaðarsbakkar swimming pool is one of the local hang-outs of swimming team ÍA. It has hot tubs, a 25m pool, and a waterslide. For those who dare, go sea swimming! Sea swimming is a popular sport amongst locals and on weekends, you can see people swim from the beach Langisandur. Unlike most beaches in Iceland, Langisandur does not have black but yellow sand, which makes it unique. If you are not one of the brave, you can still enjoy a nice warm bath in the recently opened hot pool Guðlaug, located right on the beach. You will have a stunning view over Faxaflói bay while soaking in the warm water.
Akranes might be small, but it is home to a couple good restaurants such as Galito and Gamla Kaupfélagið. Go to Galito if you are craving high-quality pizza, and to Gamla Kaupfélagið for juicy stakes. Coffee lovers should head to Lesbókin Café, a cosy place located by Akranes’ main square.
Enjoy your day in Akranes!