RACE DOWN THE SLOPES IN ICELAND’S LARGEST SKI RESORT
You’re guaranteed to have a picture-perfect white Christmas in Iceland, but nowhere is the Christmas spirit stronger than in Akureyri, base of Iceland’s longest fjord, Eyjafjörður, and home to the famed Christmas Garden. Open all year round, the city’s Christmas Garden - also known as Jólagarðurinn - is a celebration of all things festive, where you can admire Christmas accoutrements from around the world - it is also a hard sight to miss, what with its firetruck-red exterior moulded to look just like a gingerbread house. Surrounded by pine trees and located next to a quiet, meandering river, the Christmas Garden looks like a slice from a children’s fairytale. Inside, traditional Icelandic Christmas decorations made by local craftsmen also line the shelves, while the neighbouring garden provides an excellent spot for a postcard snap.
Akureyri also houses one of the largest ski resorts in the country, Hlíðarfjall, where the annual Iceland Winter Games are held in the spring. Conveniently located just 5 kilometres away from the town centre, Hlíðarfjall features a total of 23 alpine slopes for skiers of all levels. Floodlights also line all of the resort’s main ski runs, allowing for leisurely evening runs under the beautiful Icelandic dusk. Daily ski lessons are also available for adults and children.
Akureyri transforms into a veritable winter wonderland in December