Glacier safari to Tempelfjorden and Tunabreen with Kvitbjorn HGR 156867 1080 Photo Eveline Lunde


Polar summer: 10 reasons to go

Svalbard is a unique and breathtaking destination to visit during the summer months. Bathed in the continuous daylight of the midnight sun, it boasts Arctic wildlife, stunning landscapes, and a wide range of outdoor activities. Svalbard provides visitors with fantastic experiences and sights to explore, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

1. Midnight Sun

During the summer, Svalbard experiences continuous daylight, with the sun never setting below the horizon. This means you can explore the stunning landscape at any time of day or night, allowing for unique and memorable experiences.

Experience Midnight Sun Magic at Funken Lodge

2. Wildlife

Svalbard boasts an abundance of Arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, whales, and walruses. Summer offers an excellent opportunity to observe many of these animals in their natural habitats when the sea ice recedes, and the wildlife migrates back to the land. A boat tour comes highly recommended, as it often provides the best chance to witness this unique wildlife up close.

We recommend taking a walk down to the dog kennel, where, at the start of the season, the kingfisher congregates. Here, they nest closely together, incubating their eggs in a protective environment safe from the Arctic fox, which tends to avoid the area due to the howling dogs.

3. Hiking

Svalbard offers a range of hiking opportunities, from gentle strolls to challenging mountain climbs, all surrounded by breathtaking scenery. The summer months are the perfect time to explore the rugged landscapes and witness the unique flora and fauna of the region. You can read more about our different hiking tours here.

Stay right next to the wilderness at Coal Miners' Cabins this summer

4. Boat Tours

Take a 3 or 4 day boat tour with MS Nordstjernen and get up close to glaciers, icebergs, and wildlife. If you want to stay in Longyearbyen and explore the sea for just one day, we reccomend a day trip with MS Bard, Kvitbjørn or a Polar Circle boat. You can read more about our differen boat tours here.

5. Bird Watching

Svalbard is a paradise for birdwatchers, with a diversity of species to observe during the summer months. The mountainsides are home to several seabird colonies, including the common eider, Arctic tern, and the puffin. During the summer, you can explore the avian life in Longyearbyen, or take a boat trip to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. Geese and ptarmigan are not an uncommon sight in the town, and motorists must actually be extra cautious, as these birds tend to cross the roads in large flocks. Unsure what we mean? Check out a video from a colony of geese right in the center of town here.

Stay right in the center of Longyearbyen at the world's northernmost Radisson hotel this summer

6. Cultural Experiences

Discover the unique history and culture of Svalbard. Svalbard and Longyearbyen have a rich cultural heritage with mining at its core. We highly recommend a visit to the museum or a guided tour of Mine 3 to learn more.

Longyearbyen also boasts a number of interesting traditions that are fun to experience. It's a common custom to remove one's shoes before entering a building, and to purchase alcohol at "Nordpolet" (Svalbard's version of the state-run liquor stores), locals must present their personal alcohol card. This card comes with a monthly quota. Tourists can also buy alcohol, but they must show their boarding pass.

7. Local Cuisine

Svalbard is the place for foodies! Here, you can have a fascinating and culinary experience. Taste everything from local reindeer, grouse, to seal. A visit to Huset is a must. The food in the restaurant is characterized by Nordic techniques and flavor combinations, with ingredients primarily sourced from Svalbard and the Arctic region.

Longyearbyen also offers several charming eateries like Barentz Gastropub, which serves classic pub food, while other restaurants offer dishes made with high-quality ingredients. At Funktionærmessen Restaurant, you can enjoy exquisite meals from an international kitchen, and Restaurant Nansen focuses on Nordic Fusion. In short, in Longyearbyen, there's something for every taste.

8. Photography

With its wild landscape, unique wildlife and colorful skies, Svalbard is the ideal place for photography enthusiasts. The summer months offer continuous daylight and a flood of photo opportunities. Within the borders of Longyearbyen there are several photo-friendly places that do not require much effort to get to. If you want to explore areas outside the city, such as Adventdalen or perhaps the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a sightseeing tour or a taxi ride is recommended.

9. Dog sledding og puppies

Though often associated with winter, dog sledding is also an exciting summer activity in Svalbard. Dog sledding on wheels provides a thrilling and unique way to explore the landscape.

At the dog yard, Green Dog they often have puppies and cuddels is included for everyone who goes on a tour. Cuddling with puppies is an unforgettable experience. The furry little bundles of joy are sure to bring smiles and laughter to all who visit.

10. Arctic Flowers

On Svalbard, we have tundra and permafrost. Due to the permafrost, not much grows, and there are no trees. In the summer, the top layer of permafrost melts, providing nutrients for flowers and an opportunity for them to grow. Therefore, summer is the perfect time to witness the explosion of colorful Arctic flowers that cover the archipelago's tundra. The unique flora of Svalbard is a must-see for nature enthusiasts.

In conclusion, Svalbard is a destination unlike any other, offering visitors a chance to witness the beauty of the Arctic and its unique wildlife. With endless outdoor activities, breathtaking scenery, and a rich cultural heritage, Svalbard is the perfect destination for those looking for a unique and unforgettable summer adventure.

Are you convinced?

We have put together three different package offers that guarantee you the ultimate summer holiday on Svalbard.

Midnight Sun Magic at Funken Lodge
A luxurious stay at our tasteful boutique hotel with a fantastic view of Longyearbyen. Includes 4 nights, a boat tour and a 3-course gourmet dinner. Price from €725. You save 20%.
Summer Adventure at Radisson
Stay right in the center of Longyearbyen at the world's northernmost Radisson hotel. Includes 4 nights, two dinners, a bout tour and sightseeing with electric bike. Price from €786. You save 12 %.
Summer at Coal Miners' Cabins
For those who want to stay with the wilderness and glaciers right outside the door. Includes 3 nights, a bout tour and a dinner at Coal Miners’ Bar & Grill. Price from €345. You save 11 %.
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