Vopnafjorour, Iceland

The tiny village of Vopnafjordur sits on the Tangi Peninsula in northeastern Iceland, as it has since the 9th Century. The landscape seems as timeless as ever. The towering Krossavik Mountains loom 3,500 feet above the town, freed from their overburden of Ice Age glaciers. Two of Iceland’s most famous salmon rivers, the Hofsa and the Sela, run nearby, attracting global celebrities and crowned heads to test their skill against the seasonal migration of silvery fish. In the 19th century, farmers were forced upward onto highland farms by the growth of the town, where they endured hardships documented in the novel “Independent People” by Nobel Prize-winning author Halldór Laxness.