Akranes, a small coastal town in West Iceland was settled in the 9th century by two Irish brothers, Thormodr and Ketill. Row-boat fishermen based themselves at Akranes as far back as the 1600s, and the township evolved during the 19th century. Fishing remains the village main industry for the about 7.500 inhabitants. Akranes also has a cement plant, running since the 1950s, and an aluminium smelting plant that began operating in 1998. Mt. Akrafjall, home to thousands of gulls, dominates the landscape.  


At Gardar, on the outskirts of Akranes, is the Akranes Folk Museum.  It offers a unique insight into past times in Akranes and surrounding area. The museum’s exhibition is in several houses, some of which were moved from other parts of town. The permanent exhibition reflects living conditions and life at sea, in rural areas, at work and in play. In the museum there is also a micro-cinema and a space for temporary exhibitions.

What to do in Akranes?

The coastline around the village is rich with bird life and there are many beaches along the coast. One of these is Langisandur beach, one of the most popular outdoor areas in Akranes and a popular area for sea swimming.  The brave and cold swimmers can then warm up in a geothermal pool, called Gudlaug, which is located on the rock formations. The view from the pool across the bay and beach to Reykjavik city is magnificent.

Down by the harbor there are two lighthouses. The bigger one is currently in use and is open to the public and there is a photography exhibition to enjoy in there.