February 18, 2020
Svalbard Welcomes you to the High Arctic!
Experience 78˚ North, feel like you are living in a dream. A beautiful Arctic fairy tale. The landscape is largely stark yet beautiful tundra, bare mountains, mammoth glaciers, vivid light variations and an unique wild life. That would be hard to match anywhere on earth. Vist Svalbard, and you can’t for a moment imagine a more unique place to holiday. Svalbard has something called the “Polar bug”. A term representing your perpetual desire to return after coming here for the first time. Be ready to be bitten by the Polar bug!
In Svalbard, you will discover a year round plethora of nature-based experiences. The seasonal variations this far north are profound. Dark winter months replaces the long, bright season summers with 24/7 sun.
The nights in the polar region in the months from October to January, the Northern Lights scatter the sky both day and night. The residents of Longyearbyen are the world’s northernmost urban community. They spend a lot of time at social gatherings. They meet at pubs and restaurants, concerts or exhibitions or at each other’s homes. great food and drinks are central to enjoying this season in the snow, which many locals regard as the best time of the year.
In February the sun slowly but surely rises above the horizon again. The play of colours experienced during this time is beyond beautiful. Blue skies and snow-capped mountain peaks provide the background for the sun’s return, and the rays of sun turn the blue colours to pink. This phenomenon is refereed as the “blue light” and, to put it simply, it’s something you must experience to understand.
The interests of the locals change along with the lights as they bring out their skis, snowmobiles or a sled behind a team of eager huskies and head outdoors. Maybe view polar bears, maybe seek shelter in an out-of-the-way cabin or maybe don’t go far from our doorstep to experience the surrounding wilderness.
After the winter, around mid-May, a short spring awaits, followed by a slightly longer summer. Varied migrating birds invade the archipelago. On the seemingly inhospitable tundra, a minor miracle occurs at ground level as beautiful flora emerges in the most unlikeliest of places, offering life where very few would believe it to be possible for plants to come alive. Hiking trails emerge as the snow melts. Locals transform into yearning hikers and head for the peaks which surround Longyearbyen. Being outdoors is the most dominant form of recreation. Hiking boots are stored away in place of boats or kayaks for longer trips.
Svalbard is large and diverse, boasting nature which is surprisingly rich and extremely varied. Life in Longyearbyen may be perceived both as different and perhaps extreme, but for those who is fortunate to experience, it’s hard to imagine anything else. There is enormous seasonal variations in temperature, light and darkness. People residing in Svalbard are called Svalbardians. They receive visitors from all over the world – all year round.
Welcome to Longyearbyen and Svalbard – and have a wonderful, memorable and profound experiences. You will get bitten by the Polar Bug. Its harmless, but stays with you for eternity!