Although the Book of Settlements, in the Icelandic Sagas, mentions the name Akranes, understandably the town didn’t exist until centuries later. Like most towns and villages by the seashore of Iceland, Akranes traces its origin to rich fishing grounds right out by the shore. For centuries, the bay of Faxi, or Faxaflói, was a primary source of provision for inhabitants in Iceland.
Akranes is an old fishing town
On the other hand, Akranes is probably one of the oldest towns in Iceland. Even at the end of the middle ages, a cluster of fishing farms formed a tiny fishing village. However, it wasn’t until the late sixteenth century and into the seventeenth century that Akranes started to develop as a town. At the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the first dock was built, and the first docked vessels began operating. It wasn’t until the turn of the century when motorboats took over from rowing boats and docked vessels that Akranes started to grow as a town.
A thriving community with a strong economy
Today Akranes is a thriving town and fishing and fish processing still the primary foundation of the town’s economy. Commerce and industry are also significant for the town. After a tunnel under Hvalfjörður opened in 1998 Akranes became a part of the larger capital area as transportation to Reykjavík shortened considerably.
The houses in Akranes mostly consist of single-family houses although the town has seen new apartment buildings in recent years and decades. Throughout the centuries, most of the houses were turf huts and the first timbered house was built in 1871. Today all houses in Akranes are heated with geothermal heating from the Reykjavík heating and energy plant, Reykjavík Energy. Akranes is part of the green energy revolution and development that started in Iceland almost a century ago.
Akranes is a nice town to visit as well as a nice town to live in
Like most towns and villages in Iceland, residents are content with the service provided by the municipal of Akranes. The town offers the usual service like preschool, primary school, middle school and high school. Akranes also has excellent facilities for sports and has for decades had one of the best soccer teams in Iceland. It has a good sports center, a swimming pool, and a community center. Akranes also has a music school, a library, a local museum, and a photographic gallery.
If you are going to visit the West Region in Iceland you might be looking for a places to stay. Here you can book from a selection of accommodationin the Akranes region.