The Svalbard Islands are located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and unique wildlife in a setting that is both rugged and fragile at the same time.
Many places follow sustainable principles, but being certified as a sustainable destination is an honour few qualify for. It takes years of work demonstrating their lasting commitment to providing the best possible experiences for their guests, while keeping the negative impact of tourism to a minimum. In addition, the destination must work to continually improve its business practices and relations with the local community, whilst safeguarding their natural and cultural assets, history and traditions.
Join a boat trip to watch the arctic landscape and wildlife. Or try dog sledding or a snowmobile safari.
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Remember that Svalbard is not part of the Schengen area, so passports must be brought by all non-Norwegian visitors.
Get in-depth travel information on Svalbard’s official website.
There are daily flights to and from Svalbard throughout the year, and frequency increases in the summer.
Most flights are to and from Tromsø, but in the summer season you can fly directly to Svalbard from Oslo.
Flight time is around 3 hours from Oslo, and about 1,5–2 hours from Tromsø.
There is an airport shuttle service available for all scheduled flights, which will take you to most hotels and guest houses for a fee.
There are only around 46 kilometres of road on the Svalbard Islands. Driving off-road is strictly prohibited.
There are no roads between the various settlements. Instead, locals use boats during summer and snowmobiles in winter. Snowmobiles can be rented in Longyearbyen.
There is no regular boat transportation between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard.
Several companies offer Svalbard safaries and round trips, but these do not offer passage to and from the mainland. You will need to make your way to Svalbard through other means. Check out ferry and cruise companies in Svalbard.
Read more about northern lights in Svalbard.
In Longyearbyen, the average temperature ranges from -14°C during the winter to +6°C during the summer.
It is not uncommon on Svalbard to have long periods during the winter with temperatures between -20 and -30 °C.
Periods of fog are common during the summer. In terms of precipitation, however, Svalbard may be described as an “Arctic desert” with annual rain- and snowfall at a mere 200–300 millimetres. The weather on Svalbard can shift very quickly, and local variations are often considerable.
There is no need to wait until you’re here to find out what you’d like to do.
The glaciers, mountains and waterfalls are all about raw, sublime power. On the other hand, natural wonders such as the northern lights, the fjords and quiet mountain plateaus highlight Norway’s serene qualities.
You may climb them, marvel at them – even ski on them in the middle of summer. But you will not fail to feel the massive, untameable power inherent in the glaciers.
Like a prolonged sunset and sunrise all at once, the midnight sun colours heaven and earth in a reddish yellow light.
Experiencing the unbelievable colours flashing across the Arctic sky is on many travellers’ bucket list. Few places on earth offer more ways to witness the aurora borealis than Norway.