Akranes, located 48 km northeast of Reykjavik, offers one of Iceland’s most comprehensive museums that will appeal to those with many varying interests. Getting there is half the fun. After a long adventurous slog through Iceland’s third longest tunnel, Hvalfjörður, you follow the viewpoint sign (the infographic is shaped like a cloverleaf) until you see the giant ship (Sigurfari, which is the only decked vessel preserved from former times in Iceland.)
The museum offers several different sections, including multiple museum-within-a-museums like the folk museum (with artifacts left over from the cod wars), and many other colorful, diverse exhibitions.
Perhaps the most attention grabbing of these is the Iceland Sports Museum, built in 2002. If you wanted to discover every possible achievement and contribution Iceland has made in sports, you’ve hit pay dirt. Vilhjálmur Einarsson’s Olympic silver medal from his historic triple jump in 1956 is included, as are his footprints measuring the approximate distance he sprawled in his momentous achievement.
Other Olympic paraphernalia includes Vala Flosadóttir’s pole from the 2000 Olympics where she won the bronze and Bjarni Friðriksson’s judo suit from his bronze-winning effort in 1984. There is a special section dedicated to Jón Páll Sigmarsson with many of his trophies from the World’s Strongest Man competition and NBA player, Pétur Guðmundsson’s Los Angeles Lakers pre-game basketball outfit. Museum curator Jón Allansson is optimistic that he’ll be receiving items from this year’s silver-winning handball team soon. “We hope we’ll get something from them,” Allansson said.
Akranes Museum Centre
Garðar, 300 Akranes
Open September 15 – May 14
13:00 – 17:00