Akureyri in detail

History

The first permanent inhabitant of Eyjafjörður was Norse-Irish settler Helgi Magri (Helgi the Lean), who arrived in about 890. By 1602 a trading post had been established at present-day Akureyri. There were still no permanent dwellings though, as all the settlers maintained rural farms and homesteads. By the late 18th century the town had accumulated a whopping 10 residents, all Danish traders, and was granted municipal status. The town soon began to prosper and by 1900 Akureyri’s population numbered 1370.

Today Akureyri is thriving. Its fishing company and shipyard are the largest in the country, and the city’s university (established in 1987) gives the town a youthful exuberance.