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Welcome to Akureyri, home to explosive winter festivals, botanical gardens bloom and serene Christian churches hiding amongst rolling hills. The city is Iceland’s fifth largest but generally known as its ‘second city’ thanks to its irrepressible energy and thriving arts and culture scene. It’s remarkable in every way, perhaps most obviously thanks to its location: you’ll find it just 100km from the Arctic Circle, perched at the tip of the Eyjafjörður Fjord (which at 60km, is Iceland’s longest). Find out more about the city’s location and how it’s impacted its residents at the Into the Arctic Museum, which details Akureyri’s wildlife, founding and more. On Akureyri cruises, don’t miss the Akureyrarkirkja, an iconic church which overlooks the city from a high hill. It was built in 1940 and features a 3200-pipe organ as well as a ship sculpture suspended from the ceiling. And of course, no visit to this northern city is complete without checking out its remarkable botanical garden, which thrives thanks to Akureyri’s micro-climate. The garden, also known as Lystigarðurinn, is the world’s most northerly and contains many plant species which are unique to Iceland. Once you’ve wandered around the fragrant displays, have a rest in the café and enjoy the view.
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