If you’re aching to get away from city life for the day, we’ve go you covered. Check out our picks for some of the best galleries, cafes, and events outside of the capital.
Gallery: Listasafn Árnesinga
Iceland is scattered with small towns of a few hundred people, often experienced by travellers as gas stops punctuating a road trip. But many of these towns contain hidden gems, be it a tucked away ice cream store, a time-capsule bodega, or, in the case of Hveragerði, a fully programmed art gallery that shows contemporary Icelandic art alongside a permanent display on the region’s unexpectedly rich artistic history.
You’ve probably passed through the Greater Reykjavík borough of Hafnarfjörður on the Flybus—it’s the first sign of civilisation, after the lava plains. It looks pretty quiet, but Hafnarfjörður is home to Pallett, one of our very favourite cafes. They serve hot soups and stews, hearty pies, rich sausage rolls, and artisanal coffee made by an Icelandic barista champion, in a beautiful, homely lounge. Worth the drive.
Event: Iceland Winter Games
From March 25 to April 1, Iceland’s biggest northern town, Akureyri, hosts the Iceland Winter Games. It’s a weeklong celebration of winter sports, featuring free skiing, ski jumping, and snowboarding competitions, amongst other events. Attendees can watch the competition unfold and take in the beautiful winter landscape, or they can enter the events and compete. Either way, it’s a great excuse to visit Akureyri.