From the ocean to glaciers - Snowmobile tour with Hurtigruten Svalbard - Photo Eveline Lunde
HomeseasonsSunny Winter | 1 March – 16 May

Sunny Winter | 1 March – 16 May

The perfect time to explore Svalbard by snowmobile and dog sled. You can experience ice caves, go on ski expeditions, and take an ice bath! The light is constantly changing, and you can witness everything from the "blue hour" to pastel lights.

Experience the Sunny Winter on Svalbard

As mid-February approaches, the sun finally returns to Svalbard after a long, dark season. February is renowned for its stunning pastel colours and spectacular landscapes, making this time of year a favourite among locals and photographers alike. The magical light continues into March, with the days gradually growing longer. The sunny winter season is when Svalbard comes to life, allowing you to explore valleys and glaciers by dog sled or snowmobile – classic Svalbard activities that offer unforgettable experiences.

Constantly changing light conditions

The sunny winter season in Svalbard offers incredible natural experiences and magical light that must be seen. The clear, crisp Arctic air and beautiful mountains make this a truly special place. The sunny winter is the season for the "blue hour," and if conditions are good, you can also see the northern lights in the evenings until the end of March. Around mid-April, the midnight sun returns, and it is light around the clock!

Explore the ice caves

Ice caves are channels formed by meltwater on the glaciers during the summer. When winter comes, these freeze and are covered by snow, creating channels and cavities within the glaciers. With local knowledge, you can venture into the glaciers and explore these amazing caves. These natural wonders create an enchanting world of ice crystals and blue hues. Ice cave tours take you into the heart of the glaciers, where you can wander through narrow passages and large chambers. The ice caves change from year to year, so you never know what formations the glacier has created. You can expect to see icicles, beautiful snow crystals, and fascinating layering in the ice walls.

Activities for everyone

Travel across snow-covered plains and through narrow valleys, experiencing the raw, untouched nature up close. Snowmobiles allow you to cover large distances and see much of Svalbard's spectacular landscape. Another popular activity is dog sledding. Have you truly experienced Svalbard as a real Svalbardian if you haven't gone dog sledding? We're not sure! Feel the thrill and joy of being pulled by eager huskies through the snowy landscape. This is an authentic Arctic experience that brings you closer to nature. The sunny winter is also a perfect time for skiing! Whether you are an experienced skier or a beginner, there are many routes that let you explore Svalbard's winter landscape on skis. We organise several ski expeditions, both long and short, so there are opportunities for both beginners and seasoned adventurers!

5 fun facts about the sunny winter on Svalbard

Sun festival and sun buns

The return of the sun is a major event in Svalbard. On 7 March, the sun rises over the mountains in Longyearbyen for the first time after the polar night, and this is celebrated with festivities. It is traditional to wear sunglasses, even if it is cloudy, and to eat sun buns – delicious buns filled with vanilla cream.

More snowmobiles than people

In Svalbard, snowmobiles are an important means of transportation in winter, and there are actually more snowmobiles than people on the archipelago. They are a common sight parked everywhere and are used for both daily transport and adventures.

Kicksleds and crampons

In winter, the kicksled is a common mode of transport for locals in Longyearbyen. The roads and pavements are often covered with ice or hard-packed snow, making the kicksled ideal for getting around. Due to the slippery conditions, many people use crampons over their winter boots to avoid slipping.

Sunglasses and cold cream

Two things that might not typically be associated with each other are actually essential during the winter months in Svalbard: sunglasses and cold cream. The sun can be dazzlingly bright, so it's important to remember sunglasses if you plan to be outside for many hours. Cold cream protects your skin against the biting cold, which you can feel on your face on days when the wind is strong.

Adopt a husky

At the family-run dog kennel Green Dog, the dogs enjoy a long and happy life. Each year, new litters of puppies are born to become future sled dogs. When the dogs become too old for daily tours, they are adopted out to families on the mainland. These retired sled dogs remain active and love shorter trips, making them perfect family pets.