Join us on 2-days adventure to “Little Russia on Svalbard”, inaccessible otherwise than by snowmobile. You follow the traces of the famous Arctic explorers, get known to the stunning history of the Russian mining settlement and Russian traditions and have a unique tour to the mine which is still in operation.
Day 1. Longyearbyen – Russian settlement Barentsburg
After breakfast, at 08:30 you will be picked up by the guide at your place of accommodation, who will take you to our Expedition Centre Russki Dom for a briefing. We will brief you on the planned route, and give you an update on the weather forecast. We provide solid and warm snowmobile suits. At 09:30 we are equipped and ready on to discover Little Russia on Svalbard in spectacular Arctic wilderness.
We start heading through the narrow valleys Todalen and Bodalen. Having made at least a dozen unique pictures in a couple of hours we pass along Grønfjord in the midst of magniﬁcent mountain landscapes, to Cape Finneset and further on to Barentsburg – a charming Russian mining community. One can say that time is frozen here. A statue of Lenin watches the town and its population and a slogan “Our purpose is communism” standing behind. But the whole atmosphere is very positive with multi-coloured houses, playing children, curious reindeers roaming here and there and absolutely splendid Arctic landscape. We check in at the comfortable Barentsburg Hotel and soon after will be served a delicious traditional Russian lunch. Afterwards a guided tour round the settlement for 30-40 min and a visit to the Local Regional Museum Pomor, special for its exhibitions on the Pomor culture, the Arctic ﬂora and fauna.
In the evening – OPTIONALLY you can use a splendid opportunity 1. to visit a handicraft workshop in the local Handicraft Centre and make a unique souvenir of your own (Russian matryoshka/ soap/ funny toy of felted wool etc.). OR 2. Choose a snowshoe tour to the Olaf Mountain. The tour doesn’t require special skills and could be suitable to everyone. The view downwards is spectacular!
Dinner of Russian cuisine with tasting of local beer made according to the best Belgian traditions with glacier ice water in the brewery Red Bear. Night in Barentsburg.
Snowmobiling 60 km, 3 – 3.5 hrs
Day 2. Visit to the mine and more Arctic adventures: Barentsburg – Cape Heer – Coles Bay – Bodalen – Todalen - Longyearbreen – Longyearbyen
We start the day early with a unique tour to the mine which is still in operation, and experience everyday life of a miner. You will change into miners’ clothes, put on a helmet and sign yourself in, just like the miners do every day when starting their shift. As you approach the entrance of the mine (ending point of the tour), light from the outside fades away and you can vividly imagine what it is like to spend the whole day in the pitch-black mine. 09 am - breakfast at the hotel.
Check-out at midday and leaving the charming Russian community. We drive back to Longyearbyen and have one more exploration of Arctic spectacular wilderness. After passing Cape Heer, still active Russian heliport, we continue along the coast with many fine views to take photos of. Soon we arrive Coles Bay by Kapp Laila, on the south side of Isfjorden. After driving through the different valleys and the changing landscape we will start climbing with the snowmobiles up a long hill to the top of the Longyearbreen. The view here is absolutely amazing discovering gleaming in lights tiny Longyearbyen in an enormous Arctic nature.
Expedition lunch is on the way. Arrive to Longyearbyen at appr.18 pm.
Snowmobiling 100 km, 4 -5 hrs
Total snowmobiling distance: 160 km