Just 100 km south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland’s second largest town Akureyri (pop. approx. 20,000) boasts a mostly ice-free port and one of the most charming Botanical Gardens I have visited so far.   My visit at the beginning of August coincided with the explosive bloom of thousands of delphiniums in a rainbow of blue hues.

Started in 1912 by a group of local women, the garden has expanded to its current 3.6 ha., it is also meant to serve as a gene and seed bank for trees, shrubs and flowers native to Northern Iceland and other plants that are hardy in that part of the world.  Currently, they have about 500 native and 6000 foreign specimens.  If you are interested in one of the native Icelandic plants, you can even order some seeds to grow yourself!

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