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Move Over Reykjavik! This Stunning Town Is The New Travel Hotspot Of Iceland

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Iceland is no longer what it used to be – a faraway dreamland that nobody knows about. That's not to say Iceland isn't an amazing destination; it's just no longer a secret.

What used to be an ideal place for all types of travelers, especially solo travelers seeking an adventure, now it's a mainstream destination with prices through the roof.

Your first stop in Iceland is Keflavik, where in all likelihood, will be your springboard to reach the capital city, Reykjavik.

Scenic views of Akureyri, Iceland

Here is where your jaw may hit the floor with hostels costing double, triple, or even quadruple, what other popular European destinations charge, meaning upscale lodging is even more of a punch in the gut.

Good news is a new travel hotspot has emerged as a result of higher travel expenses across the board and influx of travelers invading Europe's most eye-popping country.

Formerly a top road trip destination, as Iceland's ‘Ring Road' is the ultimate bucket-list item, now the gorgeous town of Akureyri is making a name for itself all on its own as Iceland's new tourism hotspot.

A Whole New Way To Reach Northern Iceland

easyJet plane taking off

Iceland is still a blast the old fashioned way. You know, renting a car, getting lost on roads you can't pronounce and stopping at all the top sites, like the Blue Lagoon.

But…there's a new way to experience Iceland, making the country more enticing to visit than ever before.

Akureyri is Iceland's second largest city, which isn't saying much considering there are less than 400,000 residents in the entire country!

If you've been to Iceland, you probably flew Iceland Air or their flagship budget carrier, Play (formerly WOW Air).

Blue building in Akureyri

Rather than take these airlines to Keflavik and spend hours on the road upon landing, there is another option to connect in England with a nonstop flight from easyJet straight into Akureyri.

Skip The Blue Lagoon And Embrace Northern Iceland

With 8.5 million travelers set to fly into Keflavik this summer, many have their sights set on one of Iceland's top attractions – the famous Blue Lagoon.

What tourists may not know is showers are required before entering the lagoon. Let's just say weaving through the very Euro style locker room is an adventure in its own right, and even more so if it's jam-packed.

Female tourist in Iceland lagoon

But did you know there is an awesome alternative that opened in 2022 in Akureyri? The tranquil Forest Lagoon is the anti-Blue Lagoon where you can have some space for a nearly identical experience.

Receiving rave reviews, one recent guest exclaimed, “Of all the lagoons I visited in Iceland, this one was my absolute favorite!”, with others such as the Myvatn Nature Baths within 40 miles.

Alternative lagoons are not the only draw to lure more tourists in Akureyri and the surrounding area. This entire region packs a punch with less crowds and insanely beautiful natural sites.

Not Just A Winter Wonderland

Skjalfandafljot Falls near Akureyri

Iceland sees most tourists from the U.S. during the summer months. While Akureyri is magnetizing during winter as top spot for witnessing the Northern Lights, it's great for a summer getaway too.

As tourism has sky-rocketed, the country is doing its best to disperse tourists across the nation to thin the crowds.

Set along Eyjafjordur, the longest fjord in Iceland, what Bergen is to Oslo, Akureyri is to Reykjavik. In other words, it's worth the extra bit of effort to reach.

Those new to Iceland may be surprised by the country's endless green landscapes. Locals commonly joke Iceland and Greenland should switch names.

The scenery is gorgeous throughout the area with similar, and perhaps even more jaw-dropping sites, than southern Iceland with waterfalls like Skjalfandafljot Falls nearby.

Between May – September, Akureyri is an incredible place to go whale watching through multiple tour operators.

While many Iceland tourists are all about Puffin sightings, spotting a variety of Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and even Blue Whales and Orcas on occasion, is a whole other level.

And like Reykjavik, Akureyri is both charming and quirky and worth some on your itinerary hopping around all the scenic spots from the Akureyrarkirkja church, a handful of museums, and trendy cafes.

Aerial view of Akureyri

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