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Stykkisholmur, Iceland

The people of Stykkishólmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland have renovated some of the oldest buildings in the town center for new uses aimed at visitors. The old library is now the Library of Water, and innovative art installation using glass columns filled with glacier water, natural light and words to inspire thoughts about weather and more. The fish-packing plant is a restaurant, and Norwegian House, the first two-storey house in Iceland, is a museum of local history. Another favorite is the Volcano Museum, featuring the collections of a native son who became one of the world’s most respected vulcanologists. The town is scenically set on the broad Breidarfjördur Bay. A modern church with swooping architecture crowns the town and its hilltop setting provides panoramic views of the town and bay.  The bay is a favorite breeding area for eider ducks, and the town has an Aedarsetur Islands Eider Center offering information about eiders, traditional and modern methods of eider farming and examples of fine eider-down products.