Picturesque Akranes sits at the base of Akrafjall mountain on the tip of a small peninsula separating the Hvalfjörður and Borgarfjörður fjords. On a clear day you can see across to Reykjavik, just 25 miles or so away. This area of western Iceland was settled during the 9th century, although the town didn’t take shape until the mid-1800s, born from the fishing industry that still dominates the local economy. Today around 7,000 people live in Akranes — a major metropolis by Iceland standards — and the surrounding coastline is rich with birdlife. The Akranes Folk Museum offers insight into the town’s heritage with exhibits and a small grouping of historic houses that are open to the public. Visitors can soak in the Guðlaug thermal pool or comb popular Langisandur Beach; the Breiðin lighthouse offers breathtaking views. Akranes has a proud football (soccer) tradition, and its team, Íþróttabandalag Akraness, is recognized as one of the country’s best.