The cold, wonderful season: You simply “must” experience winter in Svalbard!


The summer holidays in 2020 were unusual for most people, with no all-inclusive in Gran Canaria, sailing in Croatia, red wine drinking in Piedmont or hiking in the Alps. It’s now time to treat yourself to an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life. Many people have experienced mainland Norway on previous trips, but don’t forget the icing on the cake – Svalbard. We look forward to welcoming you to Svalbard this winter!

The magic starts as soon as you leave mainland Norway and fly north over the Barents Sea. Is it Bjørnøya (Bear Island) you see down there, or a glacier or a spectacular mountain range? When the aircraft lands in Longyearbyen, most passengers have been glued to their window for at least half an hour! The Arctic landscape has an attractive force that is difficult to explain. It’s so deserted, so cold and so beautiful. Maybe you will get your first taste of the Northern Lights before you even land in Longyearbyen?

Enjoy the Polas Night in Longyearbyen

In late October, the sun drops below the horizon, signalling the start of the Polar Night in Svalbard. This unique season, when it’s dark around the clock, offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Polar Night season in Longyearbyen is a time to enjoy, taste and see – a time for urban Arctic experiences surrounded by mighty nature illuminated by the Northern Lights. Did you think the darkness was boring? You will soon discover that that’s far from the case! The darkness sharpens your senses, and you will experience the mountains in the Adventdalen valley in a new and fascinating way. If you go on an excursion up to the glacier and venture down into the ice cave it’s impossible to know if it’s day or night outside, because down there it’s completely dark and completely silent. Here are 10 good tips of things to do during the period before and after the Polar Night.

Experience the spectacular northern lights

For many visitors in Svalbard, seeing the Northern Lights is at the top of their bucket list. During the Polar Night in Longyearbyen, you can experience the Northern Lights in the middle of the day because the sun is so far below the horizon. Allow plenty of time to enjoy this spectacular natural phenomenon because, unlike Netflix, it’s not something that can simply turn on and off! We recommend setting aside several days to vastly improve your chances of observing this magnificent green sight.

You can often combine seeing the Northern Lights with other activities like snowmobiling, dog sledding, hiking, or perhaps a gourmet dinner? Here are some suggestions of what to do if you visit Svalbard in the Northern Lights Winter

Explore Spitsbergen with varied activities in the Sunny Winter

In late February and early March, the Northern Lights Winter slowly but surely turns into the Sunny Winter. The return of the light after the non-stop darkness provides opportunities to explore more of Svalbard. If you like active holidays, we recommend going on a cross-country ski trek. Crossing Spitsbergen on a ski expedition is a popular favourite for those seeking a challenge, and there are many options depending on whether you choose the short or long “crossing”.

Ski touring in the mountains around the Isfjord area has become increasingly popular. Snowmobile safaris to the Tempelfjord, Barentsburg or the East Coast are also a fantastic experience, offering beautiful nature and one exciting impression after the other. Did you know that a tiny part of Russia has ended up in Svalbard?
Going on a dog sledding trip is a quieter and calmer activity. Leading a team of eight huskies out into the wilderness will also provide you with an enormous sense of achievement. This is a real nature-based experience, even though it’s close to town!

An unforgettable polar city break

Are you one of those who associate the concept of city breaks with skyscrapers, traffic noise and chaos? If so, you will be positively surprised by a polar city break in Longyearbyen! This small Arctic metropolis offers the best of both worlds: a wide selection of good restaurants, hotels and shopping – and magnificent nature-based experiences just a stone’s throw away from the main street.

It’s easy to think that you should visit Svalbard because of the majestic nature, but make sure you get to know the locals as well! Here you can meet some of those who will contribute to making your stay unforgettable! Svalbard has a fascinating history, many cultural offerings, and passionate residents who love sharing their experiences from living in the Arctic.

Perhaps you have spent a summer among fjords and mountains in mainland Norway. But, the experience to complete your Norwegian adventure awaits you this winter: Svalbard.

Visit our activity planner and plan a trip to Svalbard this winter.

Visit Svalbard Eco-Lighthouse

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