At the end of Eyrarlandsvegur, the glorious Lystigarður (Botanical Garden) was established in 1912 by Margrethe Schiöth, a Danish woman who lived in Akureyri, and offers a rich display of plant life enclosed by that Icelandic rarity, fully grown trees. Besides virtually every Icelandic species, there’s an astonishing number of subtropical plants from South America and Africa – seemingly defying nature by existing at all in these high latitudes, the annual mean temperature for Akureyri being barely 3.4°C. In summer, when the fragrance of hundreds of flowers hangs in the air, the gardens, with undisturbed views out over the fjord, are a real haven of peace and tranquillity. The dozens of kids you’ll see around the gardens, and indeed the rest of Akureyri, are there on behalf of the town council, keeping the place tidy and earning a little pocket money in the process.
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