The summer is short and hectic with daylight around the clock
SVALBARD, NORWAY: One of the world’s largest areas of untouched nature awaits you on 78 degrees north. In the dark season it’s 24/7 without any daylight in Longyearbyen, and this attracts people from all over the world to experience the unique northern lights of the High Arctic.
In the summer, beautiful colours and contrasts provide the frames for dramatic glaciers, majestic mountain formations, buzzing bird mountains and endless arctic tundra. As a visitor you are enclosed by the unparalleled silence on Svalbard. The light lures us to this unique place in which the midnight sun shines from early spring until autumn. The surroundings become works of art.
Climate. Despite being so close to the North Pole, Svalbard has a relatively mild climate compared to areas at the same latitude. In Longyearbyen, the average temperature ranges from -14°C during the winter to +6°C during the summer. The very lowest temperature was measured in March 1986 at –46.3°C, while the very highest temperature was measured in July 1979 at +21.3°C. The weather on Svalbard can shift very quickly, and local variations are often considerable.
Summer June to August. The snow disappears; small flowers blossom, and a rush of bird activity replace the quiet of winter. Mountains, valleys, glaciers, the sea, flowers, animals and birds attract you to adventures you will never forget. The summer in the Arctic region is short and hectic with daylight around the clock.
A stay on Svalbard is the perfect vacation if you want peace and space for thoughts and dreams. Thoughts swell in the encounter with Svalbard’s exciting wildlife, history and fascinating cultural monuments located across the archipelago. For the sake of your safety and to ensure that you get the most out of your stay, we recommend local tour operator’s selection of organised tours.
A Polar bear spends most of its life on the drifting pack ice. A large number can be found on the surrounding islands east of Spitsbergen, yet you should be prepared to encounter a polar bear anywhere on Svalbard. The bears give birth to their cubs in snow caves on land, and the young bears walk with their mothers until they are about two years old. A polar bear attacks quickly without warning.
In the Svalbard area the population of polar bears is about 3000 animals, and the size of a grown- up bear varies from 200 to 800 kg. You can meet bears all year round. The polar bear has been protected since 1973, and it is considered a criminal act to pursuit, allure, disturb or feed a polar bear.
Taste of Svalbard. A guide will lead you from Radisson Blu to the first stop, the Svalbard Brewery to taste the local brew master’s creations. Then to old Longyearbyen and many historical sites from the early mining era. At “Huset” you will visit the impressive wine cellar where a local delicacy will await – a taste of mouth-watering Arctic Char. Nybyen is next on the tour and after a visit to Spitsbergen Hotel you will have a greater insight into the history of Longyearbyen. At the end you will walk to Karlsberger Pub, where you may meet the modern miners and explorers, and perhaps even a local trapper or two.
Dog sledging. This is a chance to drive a dog sled even though it isn’t winter. At Green Dog, 10km from Longyearbyen you will be equipped with an exposure suit and boots and given introduction how the dogs and sleds should be worked when the dogs head out on an adventure with the guide.
Hiking. A guided hiking trip in a glacier. The trip will start by hiking up the east side of Sarkofagen by the glacier Larsbreen. Here, we will have time for a stop, allowing us to enjoy the view of Longyearbyen and Isfjorden, before the trip continues southwards down to the glacier Longyearbreen. Duration about 6 hours.
Museum. The Spitsbergen Airship Museum in Longyearbyen recounts the heroic efforts made to reach the North Pole by aviation pioneers and includes the story of three airships, departing from Svalbard, and their flights towards the North Pole in 1906, 1907 and 1909. The nations that participated in these historical events include Norway, Russia, Italy, America, Sweden, Holland, France and Finland.
Svalbard Museum is a museum of natural and cultural history. The ambition is to provide broad and comprehensive knowledge of history and nature in the Arctic. Svalbard Museum presents a modern exhibition in a traditional form, with models, reconstructed environments and authentic artefacts.
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Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Norwegian and SAS offer flights to Svalbard. For non-Norwegian citizens it is vital that you bring your passport. There is an airport shuttle corresponding to all arrivals and departures. The airport shuttle stops at every accommodation.
Stay: Radisson Blue Polar Hotel Spitsbergen is the world’s northernmost full service hotel located in the heart of Longyearbyen. From a table at Brasseri Nansen you can enjoy the panoramic view towards the majestic mountain Hiorthfjellet accompanied by an excellent Arctic menu and a selection of wines.
Eat: Enjoy a complete arctic meal in a modified restaurant bus! At Artic Tapas you will be served different arctic courses made from food by Norwegian farmers and small producers north of the Arctic Circle. The trip last for 2,5 hours.
Play: Karlsberger Pub, known as KB by the locals, is a small pub in the heart of Longyearbyen. Provides Europe’s finest selections of whiskey and cognac, and with over a thousand different brands they are able to require the uppermost choice for everyone depending on their preference including a unique collection of Armagnac.
Mini Guide: The Tourist Information in Longyearbyen is located at the end of the walking street in the city center, direction Nybyen. The opening hours of the tourist information is: Monday - Friday 10 - 16 Saturday - Sunday 12 - 16