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If you want to go to Svalbard, you should come here sometime between late March to late May. You can come later during the summer, until september, but then you'll miss the chance to take a ride across a glacier on a snowmobile.

Here's some more info:

Group of islands between 74° - 81° N and 10° - 35° E.

Approx. 63 000 sq.km.; approx. 60% covered by glacier

Largest islands:
Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Barentsøya, Edgeøya and Prins Karls Forland

Longyearbyen (Norwegian administrative centre) approx. 1 500 inhabitants.
Barentsburg (Russian mining community) approx. 900 inhabitants.
Ny-Ålesund (Norw. international research centre) approx. 40-100 inhabitants.
Sveagruva (Norwegian mining community) approx. 210 commuters.
Hornsund (Polish research station) approx. 8 inhabitants.

Norwegian sovereignty, regulated by the Svalbard Treaty of 1920.

By plane from/to Oslo and Tromsø, Norway.

There are no roads connecting the communities on Svalbard.

Historical dates

1194 ”Svalbarði fundinn” noted in Icelandic texts.
1596 Willem Barentsz discovers Svalbard.
1600 – 1750 International whaling activities.
1700 – 1800 Russian all-winter hunting and trapping.
1800 – 1900 Norwegian all-winter hunting and trapping.
1906 John M. Longyear establishes first mine, calling the area Longyear City.
1916 “Store Norske Spitsbergen Kulkompani” takes over the mining activity in Longyearbyen.
1920 The Svalbard Treaty is signed.
1925 Norway is given sovereignty over Svalbard.

The small village Longyearbyen
is surronded by mountains. It lays next to the Adventfjord, at the entrance of the Advent valley.

During the summertime, there's 24 hours of daylight (19/4-22/8), and in the wintertime (14/11-29/1) it's completly dark. The sun returns to Longyearbyen on March 8th each year.

This is a map of where you can find Svalbard.

Want to know more about Svalbard and see some pictures of the places that I've been to?
Feel free to take a look at:
Longyearbyen Travel Page
Barentsburg Travel Page
Ny-Ålesund Travel Page
Moffen Travel Page

I'm also working on some travelogues:
Cleaning Up Hiorthamn
Cruise With m/s Nordstjernen
Hector and Carol (24/6-30/6 2002)
Ice Grotto Tour - a walk inside a glacier

Here is a link to the local newspaper "Svalbardposten", you can only see the front page and read the headlines (it's in norwegian):

Here is a link for two webcams, one in Longyearbyen (the old harbor) and one in Svea:
Webcam in Longyearbyen and Svea

And here is one from Ny-Ålesund:
Webcam in Ny-Ålesund

  • Intro Updated Jun 20, 2004
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