Of the many things to see and do in Iceland, readers of The Guardian have a special place in their hearts for the Akranes Lighthouse, according to a new travel article in The Guardian, “The best travel discoveries of 2018: chosen by Guardian writers”.
“As my friend filled his Instagram feed with views of sunrise over the Atlantic, and the mountains of Akrafjall and Esja, I wandered to the door of the Akranes lighthouse,” Robert Hull wrote of his experience. “Keeper Hilmar Sigvaldason opened it and welcomed us in. Often it’s what you can see from a lighthouse that’s the highlight but Hilmar has reinvented Akranesviti – built in 1944, and gazing down on a smaller, older lighthouse a short distance away – as an arts venue. The acoustics inside are wondrous and the sustain so memorable that it hosts intimate concerts and recording sessions, as well as being used for art projects. The peninsula scenery is striking and Akranes is just an hour’s drive from Reykjavik – via the impressive 5.7km Hvalfjörður Tunnel.”
Hilmar is a well-known guardian and advocate of the lighthouse, and was one of the many people we spoke to when Grapevine visited Akranes in 2016. Calling the lighthouse “his baby”, he was the one who helped kickstart the regular exhibitions and concerts held there.
Icelanders, being a sea-faring people, have a special love for lighthouses in general. Some Icelanders, like mason Ingvar Hreinsson, have devoted themselves to the care and upkeep of the 104 lighthouses that dot the 5,000 kilometres of Iceland’s coastline.