Svolvaer (Lofoten), Norway
Huddled together in what appears to be a wall of solid rock, the Lofotens are actually several islands. Their scenery, revealed when the ice disappeared from the last Ice Age, is held to be among the most dramatic in Norway. Svolvaer, located on the island of Austvaagoey, received town status in 1996, and is the Lofotens' most important city with about 4,500 residents. Dominating the town is the mountain peak called Svolvaergeita, a beacon for climbers. Fishermen flock here when the Norwegian Arctic cod enters the Vestfjord to spawn. Artists prize the picturesque setting and extraordinary light conditions.