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Sunny Winter

Sunny Winter

1 March – 16 May

Sunny Winter

On the Norwegian mainland we call the short period from March to mid-May spring, but this term is virtually meaningless in Svalbard. It’s still full winter here during this two-and-a-half-month period, with a beautiful ice and snow-covered landscape as far as the eye can see. Even though we have daylight, the contrasts are enormous – from virtual twilight during the daytime in early March to the never-ending light of the Midnight Sun from 20 April.

From early March, it’s light during the day, but still dark in the evening and at night. We often refer to this transition up to mid-April as the “pastel winter”. This refers to the unique and beautiful light conditions, where the snow-covered mountains meet the bright blue sky, and the steadily increasing presence of the sun casts the clearest pastel shades over the landscape. This transition from the winter darkness to the summer brightness impacts on everyone who lives here at 78˚ N. It’s as if we wake up to a new nature as the daylight displaces the darkness. This transition also causes a change of focus, from indoor activities to far more action in the great outdoors by ski, dog sled or snowmobile.

It’s often cold as we enter the Sunny winter, a period which provides wonderful conditions for winter activities. As the sun rises higher in the sky, the temperature rises and it gradually becomes more pleasant to be outside. When the Midnight Sun arrives in late April, it feels like spring even though it’s still full winter. The first migratory birds arrive and as we enter May we can see the first signs of the snow melting and winter letting go.

During the season we call the “Sunny winter”, where we go from some light to the Midnight Sun in the space of a few hectic weeks, visitors are primarily attracted to Longyearbyen by the prospect of trying amazing outdoor experiences, especially dog sledding and snowmobile safaris. Such activities enable you to reach more remote areas and see the rugged and spectacular wilderness of the High Arctic. If you are lucky, you will see the polar bear – the King of the Arctic – although such sightings are relatively rare. Nevertheless, we are in the realm of the polar bear, and as a guest we do our best not to disturb the polar bears or any of the other wild animals.

Svalbard

Inspiration

  1. Snowmobile
    Everyone in Svalbard drives snowmobiles – and you should try too!
  2. Dog Sledding
    Dog sledding in an Arctic landscape is peaceful and beautiful, both winter and summer.
  3. Ice Cave visits
    Join us into the frozen world, underneath the glaciers.
  4. Skiing
    Longyearbyen is surrounded by majestic mountains and nature, perfect for unique skiing adventures.
  5. Expeditions
    Book your expeditions and challenge yourself summer and winter on a memorable several day trip in Svalbard.
  6. Photo safari
    Photo safaris in Svalbard, don't forget your memory card!
  7. Sightseeing and tours
    Don’t be fooled by the population. Longyearbyen has more attractions and opportunities than most larger cities.
  8. Snowcat
    This is an excellent way to experience the Arctic wilderness for those who can’t or don’t want to explore on foot or drive a snowmobile.
  9. Hot Air Balloon
    What do you think Svalbard looks like from above? If you really want to take your trip to new heights, one of the activities that stands out is hot air ballooning.
  10. Boat trips
    If you want to see and experience as much of the wild, raw and untouched Arctic nature as possible, go on a boat trip.
  11. Wellness
    Indulge in a day of wellbeing at 78 degrees north!
  12. Brewery Visits
    Beer brewed next to the North Pole. Come and visit!
  13. Food and drinks experiences
    Food taste even better in the Arctic wilderness. Combine it with exciting activities!
  14. Hiking
    There are many memorable hikes you can choose between. Close to town or far out in the Arctic wilderness.
  15. Biking
    Get out into the Svalbard nature on a fatbike and experience the joy of a physical trip in the Arctic landscape.
Visit Svalbard Sustainable Destination

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