What to do in Svalbard

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Svalbard: The Must-Do Activities

Svalbard: What to do when you get there?


Svalbard is an archipelago situated midway between Norway and the North Pole and it a veritable Arctic dream, complete with natural ice constructions to rival the world’s greatest architects, some of the biggest mammals of land and sea wandering around the snow and icy waters, and incredible natural phenomena that continue to attract the world’s leading scientists. It is home to the most Northern cities in the world, many of which are home to a number of scientific research institutes. A mecca for geologists, Svalbard is 60% glacier-covered. Permafrost is a defining characteristic of the island, creating a natural freezer that Norway uses to store the world’s seeds in case of an agricultural disaster.

Beyond the archipelago’s geological and mineral peculiarity, it is an exceptionally beautiful island of snow and ice. The Arctic light there is truly unique, and transforms magically with the changing seasons. In the Winter seasons, the Northern Lights can be seen dazzling over the snow-covered valleys; in the Summer, the Midnight Sun lights up the night, playing a mind-boggling game with our body-clocks. The animals roaming its land and surrounding skies and waters are also somewhat fantastical. Svalbard is home to more polar bears than humans, and it is not uncommon to sight a multitude of whale breeds, Antarctic puffins, bearded seals, reindeer, and walrus.


WHEN TO GO: FOLLOW THE ARCTIC LIGHT

Don’t underestimate the beauty of the midseasons! The Arctic North completely transforms with each new season. On Nature Documentaries, they will have you believe that the Poles have two seasons: Bright Summers with 24 hours of light, and dark Winters where the sun barely rises for 6 months. This is an oversimplification of the truth. In fact, the poles experience gradual seasonal changes that should not be overlooked when booking your holiday. All year round, the Arctic light never disappoints! Here is an overview of the best things to do for each season:

WHAT TO DO

Winter

In the darkness of midwinter, you will likely witness the famous aurora borealis dancing in the sky. Go on snowmobiling excursions to scout out the best spots to catch them. Winter is also prime time to go and seek out the polar bears on the East of the archipelago: book a snowmobile tour with an expert guide with whom to observe the white bears from a safe distance!

Spring

Winter is the peak tourist season in Svalbard, in great part due to the Northern Lights. However, come only a few months later and the light puts on another show: the Blue Light of the Spring is equally mesmerising, colouring the snow a deep pastel blue as it sees the sun for the first time in months. This period offers hypnotic views over the wilderness.

Spring-Summer

With the end of Winter comes the thawing of the ice, creating a perfect opportunity to see Svalbard by sea. Make the most of the new water-way to discover Svalbard’s coast-lines. Book a boat tour and go whale-watching, and try to spot the puffin nests and lazy walruses as you go! For the more adventurous, why not go on a kayaking expedition around the archipelago's ancient glaciers, and glide at sea-level along the seals? In the Summer, stay up all night and bask in the mystical Midnight Light.

Year-round

Any time of the year is the occasion to meet the inhabitants of Svalbard in some of the world’s most curious settlements. Visit little Russia, a town where Norwegian, Russian, and Ukrainian people live together harmoniously, or Ny-Ålesund, the Northernmost town in the world. Post a letter from the most Northern post office in the world, and learn about the scientific expeditions that have been taking place in Svalbard for hundreds of years!

Svalbard: All our activities

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling

15 activities

Customer feedbacks on Svalbard

Average rating

4.7/5

(66)
  • Excellent
    86.4%
    57
  • Very good
    6.1%
    4
  • Average
    3%
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Zita G., Lithuania — 04/07/2024
5/5
Well organized trip with beautiful scenery near the glacier. Perfect guide and skipper. Walruses, however, were only in port area.
Cheryl C., Singapore — 23/06/2024
5/5
The activity was amazing. We didn't see many walruses (though we did see a couple), but the stunning Arctic Ocean views and glaciers made up for it.
Steven W., United Kingdom — 06/06/2024
5/5
Great way to experience Longyearbyen's nature in a safe way, with great local insight
Margaux M., Norway — 03/06/2024
5/5
We got to see a lot of wildlife beautiful surroundings. The food served was very tasty!
Richard D., United Kingdom — 21/05/2024
5/5
A great experience. Care for participants and great knowledge of habitats led to many sightings

Around Svalbard

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