Conference venue and traveling tips

The NordGen thematic day will be held in conjunction with the annual Forest conference in Iceland. Venue: Hof Cultural Center in the heart of Akureyri town, North-Iceland.

Where is the conference held and how do I to get to Akureyri?

Hof Cultural and Conference Center in Akureyri, venue of the next NordGen thematic day in April 2018. Photo: visitakureyri.is.

Hof Cultural and Conference Center

The conference town of Akureyri is a world in its own league. It is a peaceful town, with short distances and easy to hold a group together in work and play.  Akureyri offers first class service in all areas and it is very easy to treat you and your guests. Entertainment options are endless all year round, whether you are interested in tours, group entertainment, sports, cultural events, presentations or education. Hof Cultural and Conference center offers state-of-the-art conference facilities with first class equipment and service. The building is in short walking distance from Hótel Kea, right in the town center. Facilities are run by the Akureyri Cultural Society.

Hótel Kea

Hótel Kea is located in the heart of Akureyri town, the Capital of North Iceland. Its a short walk to main attractions and most services, like banks, shops, retaurants and other recreational areas as well as the Hof Cultural and Conference Center.

Located in the heart of Akureyri, gateway to the rich natural splendor of northeast Iceland, Hotel Kea has been welcoming guests since 1944 with the same high standards of elegance, quality, service and comfort which would be expected of one of Iceland's well-established hotels. The hotel offers four halls for meetings and conferences, bars and restaurant.

Comfort, rest and relaxation come easily in all of the 104 bedrooms. They all have private bathroom, coffee and tea, making facilities hairdryer, telephone, radio and satellite television, and free WiFi. There is room service from morning till evening and same day dry cleaning, to mention but few of the benefits of staying with us.

By plane + inland flight or bus

International destination: Reykjavik
Airport: Keflavik Airport (KEF)
See: E.g. Dohop or Tripadvisor for easy booking and best prices

For those the NordGen thematic day only it is possible to take a domestic flight directly from Keflavík International Airport to Akureyri at 17:15  (9/4 2018) and back from Akureyri to Keflavík at 04:30 (12/4 2018).

The other alternative is to take a bus from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavík Airport for the domestic flight route Reykjavík Akureyri Reykjavík (4-5 daily departures).

Domestic fligths: From Reykjavik Airport towards Akureyri
See: Air Iceland Connect
Traveling time: 45 min.
Transport from Akureyri Airport to Hótel Kea will be arranged for if needed. Please contact Brynjar by email, brynjar@skogur.is, or by phone, (+354) 899 8755 indicating inland flight number and sceduled arrival in Akureyri.

Public transport (bus): From Reykjavík Bus Terminal (BSÍ)
See: Journey Planner
From: BSI - To: Akureyri
Traveling time: 6 hours
Transport from Akureyri Bus Terminal to Hotel Natur will be arranged for

By car

See: Car Hire in Iceland
Traveling time: 5 1/2 hours

How to find your way

Directions: From the capital Reykjavik follow Route 1 direction Akureyri. Arriving in Akureyri drive ahead to the town center still following Route 1. When you spot the Hof Cultural Center on your left proceed to the next conjunction and turn right. Drive 50 meters and you are there! The distance from Keflavik International Airport to Akureyri is 430 km so expect five and a half hours for the drive.


Icelandic weather

The climate of Iceland is cold oceanic in the coastal areas and tundra inland in the highlands. The island lies in the path of the North Atlantic Current, which makes the climate more temperate than would be expected for its latitude just south of the Arctic Circle. This effect is aided by the Irminger Current, which also helps to moderate the island's temperature. The weather in Iceland can be notoriously variable so bring your winter clothes and rainwear for the excursions. In April the average temperature high in Akureyri is 5.4°C, average low -1.5°C. Although spring is coming earlier in recent years due to global climate change frost is to be expected at this time of year. Snow should still be at the skiing area above Akureyri which boasts the best skiing facilities in the country. In April all kinds of weather are to be expected although normally the first signs of spring should now be emerging. However, a snowstorm shouldn't be any surprise. If Calm days with bright sky are also quite common. The Aurora borealis (Northern lights) is still visible in April if you are lucky and skies are bright. The night sky can be gazed at from the town but even better is to take a trip to the countryside or up to the mountains to escape the city lights.

Icelandic money

The unit of currency used in Iceland is the Icelandic krona, ISK – Íslensk króna in Icelandic. Króna means crown.

The Icelandic word in the singular, “króna”, becomes krónur” in plural. The international currency abbreviation is ISK, but in Iceland you will see “kr.” before or after the price of things. Coin denominations are: 1 króna; 5, 10, 50, and 100 krónur. Banknotes are: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000 and 10000 krónur. 

Exchange rate
The Central Bank of Iceland issues the daily rate of exchange. Information in English on the current exchange rate can be found on the website of the Central bank of Iceland.

Currency exchange

All banks can exchange currency and most hotels, but you are likely to get a better rate at the bank. Some shops catering to tourists will accept payment in US dollars or Euro but not necessarily at the best rate. Almost every shop and most businesses accept Visa and MasterCard credit cards although American Express is not as common. Cards are commonly used in Iceland even for quite small transactions.

However, if you intend to visit isolated villages, or stay in rural farmhouse accommodation in Iceland, it's a good idea to carry enough cash to tide you over. Banks and ATM's are to be found in Akureyri center, e.g. one at the entrance of Hof Cultural and Conference Center.

Icelandic language

When arriving in Iceland you will notice that almost everyone will be able to speak to you in English. It may even come as a surprise for you to realise that a great deal of the staff at tourist locations, restaurants, bars, hotels etc. are not locals but people from all over the world. This is due to the recent boom in tourism with the Icelandic workforce not meeting the demand. However you won't miss hearing the distinctive native Icelandic language which probably will not remind you of anything else, except for maybe occasional words.

Icelandic is a North Germanic language of Indo-European origin. Most Western European languages have greatly reduced levels of inflection, particularly noun declension. In contrast, Icelandic retains a four-case synthetic grammar comparable to, but considerably more conservative and synthetic than, German. The conservatism of the Icelandic language and its resultant near-isomorphism to Old Norse (which is equivalently termed Old Icelandic by linguists) means that modern Icelanders can easily read the Eddas, sagas, and other classic Old Norse literary works created in the tenth through thirteenth centuries.