About the Botanic Garden

Picture of the Park as it looked betweet 1920-1930Park history

The garden began as agricultural land which was set aside in 1910 for the formation of a park, the design of which was entrusted to the Akureyri Park Society, which unusually for its time, was composed entirely of women.

The park was officially opened in 1912 and was Iceland's first public park. After subsequent donations of plant collections, the park was officially incorporated as a botanic garden in 1957 run by the municipality of Akureyri. The picture to the right  was taken in the 1920s and shows the park in its formative stages.

Location and aims

The park is located just below the arctic circle (65.7°N), is around 3.7 ha in size and lies at altitude of 40-50 m amsl. The average rainfall in summer growing season is around 35mm per month.

Being at the sea bottom of Eyjafjord, one of the longest fjords in Iceland, the mountains encircling the garden provide interesting conditions for plant growth. The garden has a section dedicated to native and naturalised Icelandic flora and in addition we are able to grow a surprising number of hardy perrenial species, over 6400 in total. Colour is added each year by planting a plethora of annuals.

The main aim of the botanic garden is to test the hardiness of tree, shrub and herbaceous perennial species in the demanding climate of northern Iceland, which is characterized by pronounced seasonality and day length. Though primarily intended for recreation, the garden is also active in seed-exchange, public information and education.