Walrus Safari - Hurtigruten Svalbard - Photo Stephen Gollan
HomeseasonsPolar Summer | 17 May – 30 September

Polar Summer | 17 May – 30 September

This is the season of midnight sun, vivid wildlife and barren landscapes. It is prime time for boat trips and hiking, and if you are looking for a really unique summer holiday – Svalbard is the perfect destination.

Polar Summer: 17 May – 30 September

Discover the magic of the polar summer on Svalbard, where the midnight sun shines 24 hours a day from mid-May to the end of August. This Arctic paradise offers unique experiences, spectacular nature, and rich wildlife that comes to life in the endless daylight. During the polar summer, Svalbard's landscape transforms dramatically, with snow-covered mountain peaks melting into green valleys, and colourful carpets of flowers covering the tundra.

Svalbard is renowned for its spectacular nature, and the polar summer allows you to experience this fantastic area at its best. Join boat trips that take you to some of Svalbard's most impressive glaciers, where you can hear the crackling sound of calving ice floating in the sea. For those seeking more adventure, mountain hikes are a popular activity offering outstanding views of the Arctic landscape.

Meet the Arctic Wildlife

The polar summer is also the time to encounter Svalbard's iconic wildlife. Keep an eye out for whales, seals, walruses, and polar bears along the coast, and you might even spot a reindeer in the streets of Longyearbyen. Bird watchers will be in their element, with thousands of seabirds nesting along the cliffs. Join one of our boat tours for a chance to see these magnificent creatures.

Endless Activities Under the Midnight Sun

On Svalbard, you don't have to go far to experience unique wildlife, exciting culture, and history. A short walk to the dog yard will introduce you to the beautiful eider ducks that nest here every summer. You can also often find barnacle geese and pink-footed geese in the area.

In Longyearbyen and the surrounding area, you will find cultural monuments and remnants from the days when mining was central. A walk through the town is exciting and beautiful, with plenty to see. A trip to the beach is also highly recommended, offering a stunning view and, if you’re lucky, a chance to spot beluga whales in the fjord.

Longyearbyen boasts many small shops selling everything from clothes to local souvenirs. Visit the Svalbard Museum and the Expedition Museum, or check out the local art gallery Nordover.

5 fun facts about summer on Svalbard

All flowers on Svalbard are protected

Svalbard has around 170 species of flowers, all of which are protected. These unique Arctic flowers have adapted to the harsh conditions of low temperatures, strong winds, and short growing seasons. It is very challenging for these plants to grow and survive here, and many of them only grow on Svalbard. The protection ensures that these rare species can continue to bloom and contribute to the unique ecosystem in the area. So even if you are tempted to pick a flower, it could be a costly affair!

Watch out for the Terns!

The Arctic terns, known as rødnebbterna in Norwegian, are beautiful birds that nest on Svalbard in the summer. They are known for being very protective of their nests and can attack people who come too close. Watch your head when walking in their territory!

The sun never sets

In summer, the sun never sets on Svalbard. This phenomenon, known as the midnight sun, occurs because Svalbard is north of the Arctic Circle. During this period, the Earth's axis tilts in such a way that the sun does not dip below the horizon. From mid-April to the end of August, you can experience this magical time, where it is light all day long. It gives you endless opportunities for outdoor activities and nature experiences at any time of the day.

A paradise for those afraid of spiders

If you are someone who does not like spiders, Svalbard is the place for you. The archipelago has no native spider species. This means you can enjoy nature without the fear of encountering these creepy crawlies.

Watch out for Arctic traffic

Traffic on Svalbard is quite different from what you might be used to. Here, it is not cars you need to watch out for. In the summer, you may encounter flocks of geese and reindeer blocking or crossing the roads. Additionally, it is not just cars on the roads; you might also come across dog sleds on wheels. Always be alert and ready to yield for this unique "traffic" in Longyearbyen.