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    Skiing the Troll Peninsula

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: Sea-level

Top elevation: 1,000 metres

Number of lifts: 11 (combined)

Number of runs: 27 (combined)

Access: Fly to Akureyri and pick up a hire car to take you between the ski fields.

Akureyri stands proud as Iceland’s second city. However, with only 18,000 residents, it’s more of a provincial town, but with cool cafes, quality restaurants and something of a late-night bustle. Think of it as a  whimsical yet friendly ski town, sat on a rugged fjord  surrounded by 1,500 metre peaks which plummet straight down to the sea.  

Sounds idyllic doesn’t it - well, it is! You’ll soon settle in, pick out your favourite hang-outs, bond with the locals and your home-away-from-home will be established in no time at all.

The local ski field is Hlíðarfjall, just three miles above the town. This place bills itself as the premier ski centre in all of Iceland, and we’d concur. You’ll find  quality snow, exciting slopes and an extensive network of cross country tracks.

Siglufjörður is nearby and the three lifts here provide access to some of the best skiing in the region. Siglufjörður itself is a famous fishing town, where you’ll find the….wait for it…..’Herring Era Museum’.

Ólafsfjörður (easy for you to say!) is as famous for it’s cross-country skiing, as tracks extend practically all over the town. There is only one lift which opens in the afternoons, accessing a tame piste, but if you are prepared to make the effort then you’ll find large pristine areas at your disposal from surrounding hilltops and ridges. There is so much more - skating, snowmobile safaris or hand line fishing in the cold waters of Ólafsfjarðarvatn.

Sauðárkrókur is an hour and a half from Akureyri and sells itself very much as a ‘family-friendly’ ski field, though the areas higher up have an increased gradient and hold some interest.

Finally, there is Dalvík, only a 35 minute drive from Akureyri and also one of the best skiing areas in all Iceland - the comparatively wide variety of runs sets it apart, as well as the floodlit slopes.

Skiing in Akureyri & the Troll Peninsula

To cover five distinct ski fields , lets take each in order and list what’s on offer. None are huge, most are a little ramshackle, but all can be tremendous fun. In an idea world, you’d visit each, though some only warrant an afternoon and others (Akureyri’s ski slopes at Hlíðarfjall, for example) requiring more of your time.

In Hlíðarfjall the longest trail is one and a half miles, with a 500 metre of vertical drop. There are seven lifts accessing 24 recognized pistes, much of which is floodlit during the short winter days. There are also cross-country trails, a snowboarding course, a ski school, and a restaurant - all making this the most ‘complete’ ski resort in Iceland. Snow cannons ensure an early opening of the season, which extends from the end of November until early May.  The nursery area are supremely gentle and the top lift accesses some interesting black runs.

In Skarðsdalur there are three lifts; two combined lifts, a disc lift and a rope tow, which make the total length of 1500 meters. The top gets you to 650 meters above sea level and the skiing area is again equipped with flood lighting

Ólafsfjörður has only one lift, which takes you up 600 metres. However, this merely scratches the surface of what is heaven-sent terrain - large pristine areas at your disposal if you are prepared to make the effort to access it.

Sauðárkrókur, where you’ll find the Tindastóll ski area, is best suited for families. The first 300 metres of the main slope are ideal for beginners; higher up, however, the steeper gradients offer a bit more challenge. The slopes also have a snow production system which has ensured better snow conditions and there are well laid-out tracks for cross country skiing as well as a special zone reserved for snowboarding.

Dalvík has a variety of runs suitable for all levels, one of the slopes being floodlit and 1,200 metres long.

Because these are (comparatively) small ski fields and you can see what you ski, all of the ropeways have got gentle beginners areas. Hlíðarfjall and Sauðárkrókur are particularly ideal for novices.

After finding your snow legs at Hlíðarfjall, head to Skarðsdalur and Dalvík.

If you are more interested in extreme skiing and snowboarding adventures, there are literally hundreds of mountains to choose from for a backcountry powder hunt. These ski fields are fine for finding your ski legs - but we’ll happily organise something a little more appropriate for you.

If you are more interested in extreme skiing and snowboarding adventures, there are literally hundreds of mountains to choose from for a backcountry powder hunt. These ski fields are fine for finding your ski legs - but we’ll happily organise something a little more appropriate for you.

Surface tows are tiresome, though a few of the ski fields do have chairs. Beyond this, no challenges for snowboarders and plenty of fresh powder snow can often be found off the sides of the pistes.

North Icelanders are passionate gourmets, proud of their food customs and traditions. In Akureyri you’ll find a lively restaurant scene, keen to showcase what’s on offer in this region famous for its beef. Skýr -- Iceland's famous whipped whey concoction -- was invented here. Delicious blue mussels are cultivated locally. Tender lamb is smoked "the traditional way" -- with dried manure.

However, in town you’ll find most locals tucking in to burgers with béarnaise sauce, stuffed with french fries. In a stroke of some genius, this unique burger concept has been translated on to the popular Bókullupizza: Yes, that’s a pizza topped with beef, béarnaise sauce, cheese, and french fries. What’s not to like?!

Iceland's first and only microbrewery, Kaldi, is made in tiny Árskógssandur, with grains from the Czech Republic. Well worth a tipple. In Akureyri the bars and nightclubs are all within 10 minutes' walk of each other, so do as Icelanders do and roam until you find a scene to your liking. As is always the case in Iceland, young people work hard, and then place a huge emphasis on partying even harder at night.

Because these are (comparatively) small ski fields and you can see what you ski, all of the ropeways have got gentle beginners areas. Hlíðarfjall and Sauðárkrókur are particularly ideal for novices.

After finding your snow legs at Hlíðarfjall, head to Skarðsdalur and Dalvík.

If you are more interested in extreme skiing and snowboarding adventures, there are literally hundreds of mountains to choose from for a backcountry powder hunt. These ski fields are fine for finding your ski legs - but we’ll happily organise something a little more appropriate for you.

If you are more interested in extreme skiing and snowboarding adventures, there are literally hundreds of mountains to choose from for a backcountry powder hunt. These ski fields are fine for finding your ski legs - but we’ll happily organise something a little more appropriate for you.

Surface tows are tiresome, though a few of the ski fields do have chairs. Beyond this, no challenges for snowboarders and plenty of fresh powder snow can often be found off the sides of the pistes.

North Icelanders are passionate gourmets, proud of their food customs and traditions. In Akureyri you’ll find a lively restaurant scene, keen to showcase what’s on offer in this region famous for its beef. Skýr -- Iceland's famous whipped whey concoction -- was invented here. Delicious blue mussels are cultivated locally. Tender lamb is smoked "the traditional way" -- with dried manure.

However, in town you’ll find most locals tucking in to burgers with béarnaise sauce, stuffed with french fries. In a stroke of some genius, this unique burger concept has been translated on to the popular Bókullupizza: Yes, that’s a pizza topped with beef, béarnaise sauce, cheese, and french fries. What’s not to like?!

Iceland's first and only microbrewery, Kaldi, is made in tiny Árskógssandur, with grains from the Czech Republic. Well worth a tipple. In Akureyri the bars and nightclubs are all within 10 minutes' walk of each other, so do as Icelanders do and roam until you find a scene to your liking. As is always the case in Iceland, young people work hard, and then place a huge emphasis on partying even harder at night.

Getting There

Akureyri is a short domestic flight from Reykjavík, it only takes about 45 minutes on Air Iceland. However, note that a change of airport in the capital is required. Akureyri airport is close to the town (less than two miles) and the rather dramatic runway protrudes in to the fjord.

Resort Scorecard

Snowsure


Beginners


Intermediate


Advanced


Snowboarders


Après Ski


Families


Base elevation: Sea-level

Top elevation: 1,000 metres

Number of lifts: 11 (combined)

Number of runs: 27 (combined)

Access: Fly to Akureyri and pick up a hire car to take you between the ski fields.