Arctic Challenge - Photo: Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions
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Arctic Challenge

Difficulty level
Demands exceptional physical fitness
11 hours
Age limit
16 years
Jun - Sep
On this tour, you will enjoy a tough hike up the 1,000-meter-high Hiortfjellet – but first you must warm up by crossing the fjord by kayak! Do you have what it takes to complete the Arctic Challenge?

One of the most characteristic features of Longyearbyen is the view of Hiortfjellet, the majestic mountain on the other side of the fjord. Hiortfjellet is a beloved mountain among the locals in Longyearbyen. This is where the first snow of the season settles like a soft blanket, and where the first sunbeams land after long and dark winter months. At the summit, a panoramic view over town awaits. Explore the area from a unique perspective: Join us on a tour to the other side of the fjord!

Your guide will pick you up at the hotel and drive you to a kayak storage close to the sea. Here you will get your personal kayak equipment for the day. We continue down to the beach, where you will be given kayaking instructions and a safety briefing. Then we pack the kayaks (remember hiking shoes!) and paddle about 3 km over to Hiorthamn. From here, we begin the beautiful hike up Hiortfjellet.

We have to climb close to 1,000 meters of altitude in untouched terrain, but it is a beautiful tour from the first second. On our way up, we will pass former miners’ homes and facilities from the time when the mine in the mountain was in operation. The tour offers a lovely mixture of history and nature. With some luck we may also meet Svalbard reindeer, ptarmigans and Arctic foxes along the way.

Upon arrival at the summit, the tough journey up is quickly forgotten. Here we will enjoy the fantastic view over the mountains and glaciers around Longyearbyen, and the breathtaking fjord landscape of Isfjorden in the west. We enjoy a nice expedition lunch, including biscuits and something warm to drink. Eventually it is time to set course back towards town.

There is a reason why the tour is called "Arctic Challenge". It is a long and physically demanding day. You do not need any kayak experience to participate, but a good fitness level is required.

Arctic Challenge Map 750x750