Tips on how to spend a perfect summer’s eve in Iceland’s Capital of the North – Akureyri

First up is an apology for the ever-so-slightly misleading image that accompanies this post. And why exactly might this be considered ever-so-slightly misleading?
Well, the headline talks of how to spend a ‘Summer’s Eve in Akureyri’ and you will note that is dark in the picture. The truth is that during midsummer it doesn’t get that dark at night.
This is, after all, the land of the midnight sun!
The darkness doesn’t come back into full force until mid to late September – which was when this photograph was taken. I just happen to really like the image and felt that by using it I could introduce more aspects of summer evenings in Akureyri – the Midnight Sunny ones AND the Northern Lighty ones.
YES! REJOICE! You can be lucky and spot Northern Lights during late summer evenings in Akureyri.

Currently, most cruise lines call in Iceland from Mid May to Mid October, with several lines very wisely choosing to stay overnight in this outstanding northerly port.

Akureyri, aka Iceland’s Cruise Capital of the North, is located just shy of the Arctic Circle – offering visitors extended daylight hours during the summer months and the promise of Northern Light viewing in winter. But as mentioned, not just during winter. The Northern Lights are known to dance across the skies above Akureyri as early as mid-September. All you need are clear, dark skies.

The best way to see the lights?
I would suggest taking a boat tour out into the fjord in order to get away from the light pollution. Your cruise line is probably offering a tour along those lines so be sure to look out for evening tours on your shore excursions schedule. Just remember to pack up warmly for the trip. It gets cold out there on the ocean – summer and winter, and who knows, you might even spot a few whales during your tour!
Most boat companies offer thermal overalls, but best be on the safe side, dress warmly and wear closed shoes with a non-slip sole.

And what about those long lazy mid-summer evenings? Alongside going ashore and checking out the local bar and restaurant scene (which is very good by the way!) There are also plenty of evening tour options out there too. All of them located a reasonably short distance from the port. My advice would be to save the longer full-day tours such as the Jewels of the North (Mývatn and surroundings) and the geothermal Nature Baths, for during the day and make the most of the extended daylight hours to do some additional evening exploring closer to the port. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • How about a round of midnight golf?
  • Or horseback riding on the famous Icelandic Viking horse?
  • A spot of midnight whale watching maybe?
  • Anyone for some light hiking?

For a full list of activities, I would suggest taking a look at the What’s On in Akureyri booklet which you can download here.
Take note that there is a beer spa opening in June 2017 so be sure to add that to your to-do list too!

The Visit Akureyri website also comes highly recommended and has lots of great ideas and information.

The Hof cultural house, located within an easy walking distance of the port will be showing a ‘comedy history’ show in English during the summer months called ‘Let’s Talk Arctic’ which also promises to be a lot of fun!

All in all, I’m sure you will enjoy your stay in Akureyri.
Don’t forget that this blog post only features what to do in the evenings.
There are several other posts that I have written focussing on day tours and featuring recommended shore excursions.
Just tap the Akureyri tag to find more posts featuring this delightful port!


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