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Akureyri is a city in the north of Iceland. The "Capital of the North" has about 17,500 inhabitants and is by far the largest urban area outside Reykjavik. It is an important fishing and port centre and increasingly is becoming a major tourist centre for all sorts of activities.
Akureyri has a relatively mild climate for its location. Summers are short and last from June to August, with daytime temperatures close to 15 °C, while nights are around 6-7 °C. In winter (December to February) temperatures are slightly above zero during the day and average around -5 °C at night. Precipitation is possible year round, though spring is certainly the driest and sunniest time of year, while summers are almost as dry and sunny. Most of the rain falls from October to January.
Akureyri Airport (AEY) offers Air Iceland flights to/from Reykjavik, while relatively new Norlandair serves Grímsey, Vopnafjörður and Þórshöfn. Iceland Express has seasonal flights to/from London-Gatwick and Copenhagen (summer only).
Norlandair has charteflights to Greenland as well.
The Icelandic Ring Road (Route 1) connects Akureyri with other places around the country. Reykjavik is about 400 kilometres away, about a 5 hour drive. Roads inland require 4wd vehicles, such as along the the F821 road which ascends from the head of the fjord and connects to the trans-Interior route F35.
The Icelandic Bus Company provides services to/from Akureyri. Buses run to Reykjavík twice daily from May to September, departing at 8.30am and 5pm (5¾ hours). There is at least one service daily during the rest of the year. From mid-June to the end of August an additional service runs to Reykjavík along the interior’s Kjölur route (10 hours), leaving at 8am.
Heading east, there are daily summer buses from Akureyri to Egilsstaðir (four hours), stopping en route in Reykjahlíð and Skútustaðir for Mývatn (1½ hours). In peak season up to three additional buses run to Mývatn. From June to August there are three daily services to Húsavík (one hour), from where you can connect to Ásbyrgi and Þórshöfn (weekdays only). Buses to Árskógssandur and Dalvík (for the Grímsey and Hrísey ferries) and Ólafsfjörður leave up to four times a day on weekdays.
Cruisehips call at Akureyri in summer and there are whale-watching trips in season as well.
Avis, Budget, Hertz and National all have offices at the airport or downtown. Since 2006, you must now put a parking disk (available free from all shops, guesthouses and banks) on display in your car. Spaces are marked with maximum stay allowed (from 15 minutes to two hours). Parking is free, but overstaying your time certainly is not!
The bus service within Akureyri is provided by the SVA (Akureyri Bus Company) and fares are Ikr200, running from 6.20am to 11.30pm daily.
Central Akureyri is easily negotiated on foot, but you will need a bike when you go outside the city.
There are camping sites, guesthouse and more luxurious hotels in Akureyri. For a complete overview, have a look at this website.
|Guesthouse Akureyri||Hafnarstraeti 104||GUESTHOUSE||79|
|Sleeping Bag Accommodation||Fnjoskadal||Hostel||-|
|Akureyri Backpackers||Hafnarstrati 98||HOSTEL||89|
|Akureyri H.I. Hostel||Stórholt 1||HOSTEL||-|
Most of Iceland is well connected. Most homes have ADSL connections which work well most of the time. There is however a firewall which can cause connections problems especially at busy times. Most hotels, guesthouses, hostels, cafés etc. have a working Wi-Fi network. Generally it's free of charge, but sometimes there might be a small fee or limited amount of time. There are a couple of public computers at the University of Iceland and the National Library that you can use for free and without the need to log in.
See also International Telephone Calls
The international telephone code is 354. National numbers in Iceland are seven digits long and generally written in the form xxx xxxx or xxx-xxxx.
There are no area codes in this closed numbering plan and the international call prefix is 00. Numbers of mobile phones tend to begin with either 6xx xxxx, 7xx xxxx or 8xx xxxx, while land line numbers start with 5xx xxxx (in Reykjavík) or 4xx xxxx (the country side). The Icelandic emergency number is 112 for all services.
Internally, phone calls in Iceland are very reasonable priced and most providers offer friends and family discounts or free calls/messaging to same network phones. International calling cards are available in most convenience stores which can significantly reduce the cost of international calls.
There are three main companies who supply personal internet connections: siminn Vodafone and Talk. It is very important to get full details of the charges and excess charges as it is very easy to run up a huge bill without being aware of it, especially on a mobile connection. You can buy a local SIM card, if you have an unlocked mobile phone. The major internet companies can supply 3G mobile internet on a monthly basis. If you are travelling be sure to check the coverage because the mobile connection is not as wide as the mobile phone connection.
Iceland's Postal Service (tel. 580-1200) is reliable and efficient. General post office hours in Reykjavík are 9:00am to 6:00pm weekdays, but post offices close earlier elsewhere. Mailboxes are bright red and marked Pósturinn. Stamps are sold at many locations, including Nóatún supermarkets; N1, Olís, and Shell gas stations; and some bookstores. Mail typically takes 3 to 5 business days to reach Europe or the United States. If you are importing goods through the post, it takes a while to sort out the customs and tax based on the value of the item, so be sure to have receipts readily available. For sending packages you can also use international courier companies like TNT, UPS, FedEx or DHL, since they are fast, reliable and generally competitively priced as well.
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