Eyjafjörður, which translated to English means 'Island Fjord,' is one of Iceland’s longest fjords. Lined by peaks that descend to the water’s edge, it runs some 64 kilometers (40 miles) long and is located roughly in the middle of the country’s northern coast. Hydrothermal vents surround the fjord and the small island of Hrísey sits smack in the middle of it. Inhabited since the 9th century, Hrísey was long the home of a herring processing facility, though today it is better known as a bird sanctuary.
Farther down the fjord at its southern end, Akureyri is commonly called the capital of the north. Though it has a population of just over 18,000, it is Iceland’s second-largest city. The university town is hemmed in by the fjord on one side and the mountains on its other three. Its streets are lined with late-19th-century wooden houses, while the spire of a modern Lutheran church rises atop a hill near the waterfront. Beyond the fjord itself, Súlur and Kerling are two of the area’s tallest mountains and some of Iceland’s most fertile farmland can be found in the region.