Experiences you'll have
You will experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure snowmobiling along the gigantic glaciers that descend from dramatic summits into the Greenland Sea, crossing the frozen fjords and looking for a passage between majestic multi-colored mountains. Animals, not humans, inhabit this land: wild reindeer grazing in spectacular valleys, seals and walruses basking on the ice ﬂoes, and this whole world of wilderness is reigned by the Polar Bear, the king of the Arctic.
This trip is an intense experience for true adventurers: in 8 days, you will travel across the island and visit all the stunning sites of Spitsbergen, accessible only by snowmobile. You will follow the traces of the famous Arctic explorers, stay in a ghost settlement, and ﬁnally relax in comfort.
Total snowmobiling distance: 500 km
Photo by Sergey Dolya
The journey begins in the city of Longyearbyen — the administrative center and the capital of the Svalbard archipelago. It is the northernmost town in the world, home to only about 2,000 people, and also has the northernmost airport in the world.
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Day 1 Longyearbyen
Arrive in Longyearbyen. Transfer from the airport to Longyearbyen and check-in at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel/ Spitsbergen Hotel. Short brieﬁng on the itinerary in the Expedition Centre Russki Dom and introductory snowmobiling tour in Advendalen for 2-3 hrs.
Dinner at Nansen Restaurant.
Day 2 Longyearbyen — Barentsburg
Transfer to the Expedition Centre Russki Dom. We’ll get the winter overalls and start the Arctic adventure by snowmobiling from Longyearbyen through the narrow valleys of Todalen and Bødalen, heading southwest through a varied landscape. Having passed through at least a dozen unique landscapes in just a couple of hours, we pass along Grønfjord, surrounded by magniﬁcent mountain landscapes, to Cape Finnesetand and further on to Barentsburg. Check-in at Barentsburg Hotel.
Time to discover Barentsburg, a small Russian mining community (appr. 400 inhabitants) with a scientiﬁc research center, a meteorological observatory, the northernmost cosmic rays station and a school for only a dozen children. We will learn about the fascinating history of the place with the enthusiastic local guide during the guided tour round the settlement. Afterwards, a visit to the Regional Museum, famous for its exhibitions on the Pomor culture and the Arctic ﬂora and fauna.
Optionally: you can use this splendid opportunity to visit some handicraft classes in the local Handicraft Centre and make a unique souvenir of your own (Russian matryoshka/ soap/ funny toy of felted wool etc.)
Snowmobiling 2 pers/machine, 70 km, 3 hrs
Day 3 Fjords and lakes
Barentsburg — Grønfjord — Congress Lake — Linné Lake — Starostin Cape — Isfjord Radio — Barentsburg
Start oﬀ for a day of wilderness exploration across various landscapes: you leave Barentsburg and follow the coast of Grønfjord. Our itinerary leads to the spectacular lakes of Linné and Congress. With the landscape in the background experienced by Willem Barentsz nearly 500 years ago, we continue to Starostin Cape. Lunch will be served at Isfjord Radio, a mythic coast radio and weather station founded in the beginning of the 20th century at Kapp Linné.
In the afternoon, we drive back along Nordenskiöld coast, then across wide canyons to the Orustdalen Valley. Upon reaching the summit of the Grønfjord glacier, we catch an absolutely fabulous view on Barentsburg. Return to Barentsburg at appr. 16 pm. Optionally: you can be offered a snowshoe tour to the Olaf Mountain. Spend the night in Barentsburg.
Snowmobiling 80-100 km, 6-7 hrs
Day 4 Arctic adventures
Barentsburg — Cape Heer — Coles Bay — Bødalen — Todalen — Longyearbreen — Longyearbyen
We start the day early with a unique tour of the mine, which is still in operation, and experience everyday life as a miner. As you approach the entrance of the mine (ending point of the tour), light from the outside fades away and you can vividly imagine what it is like to spend the whole day in the pitch-black mine.
Today’s itinerary runs back to Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen. After passing Cape Heer, the Russian heliport, we continue along the coast with many fine views to take photos of. Soon we arrive at Coles Bay by Kapp Laila, on the south side of Isfjorden. After driving through the different valleys and the changing landscape we will start climbing with the snowmobiles up a long hill to the top of the Longyearbreen. Check-in at Radisson Blu Polar Hotel/ Spitsbergen Hotel.
Snowmobiling 50-60 km, 3 hrs
Day 5 Valleys and Glaciers
Longyearbyen — Adventdalen Valley — Tempelfjord — Tunabreen Glacier — Nordenskiöldbreen — Petunia Bay — Pyramiden
Сheck-out and transfer to the Expedition Centre Russki Dom to take the snow scooters and start driving to the area considered to be the most picturesque and romantic on the island.
Enjoy the speed along Tempelfjord coast and make a stop to take in a splendid view of 3 magniﬁcent sites: Tempelfjord, Sassenfjord and Tunabreen. Across valleys and canyons, we come closer to the glacier Nordenskiöldbreen, a jewel of Svalbard, the largest and most stunning glacier. Driving along the Petunia Bay, we end our day in the ghost town of Pyramiden.
Guided walk around Pyramiden. The town was meant to showcase the excellence of communism to the West, and the atmosphere is still there! At the end of the nineties, Pyramiden was closed and has since remained abandoned with all its infrastructure in place, “preserved”. Overnight in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 110-160 km, 6-8 hrs
Day 6 The ghost settlement and wild animals
Pyramiden — Adolf Bay — Ebbadalen Waterfall — Pyramiden
We continue to get familiar with Pyramiden and its surroundings and watch the abundant wildlife. Today chances are great to meet a polar bear!! First we are snowmobiling to the beautiful Adolf Bay facing the mighty Nordenskiöldbreen.
Soon after, we will come across the magniﬁcent Ebbadalen waterfall, completely frozen like something from a fairytale. We will make a longer stop at the glacier Nordenskiöldbreen to observe the mammals: seals, walruses, etc. Return to Pyramiden. Dinner and overnight in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 50-100 km, 6-8 hrs
Day 7 Tempelfjord
Pyramiden — Tempelfjord — Sassendalen — Longyearbyen
Breakfast. Check-out and leave the Soviet ghost outpost. Today we start one more wildlife snowmobile safari – this time we come back to Longyearbyen. We travel across vast valleys and past the pink-shaded mountains to the frozen Tempelfjorden - about 60 km from Longyearbyen, then drive along the wide and spacious valleys of Sassendalen and Adventdalen, heading for the area known for its majestic glaciers and unique scenery. Expedition lunch on the way, enjoying the arctic silence along with the vast white landscape. Depending on the weather and snow conditions our guide can change today’s route.
In the evening arrival to Longyearbyen, check-in at the Hotel. Dinner in the stylish restaurant “On the Edge of the World”. Spend the night in Longyearbyen.
Snowmobiling 110-60 km, 8-10 hrs
Day 8 Departure
A guided tour of the city of Longyearbyen. This morning you can visit Svalbard Museum (optional) covering the history of the Svalbard archipelago and the local wildlife. The Svalbard Gallery exhibiting 40 original pieces by the artist Kåre Tveter, known as the Artist of the Light, is also a good option.
Around 12:00 transfer to the airport of Longyearbyen
Accommodation during the trip
Barentsburg Hotel is a new and modern 4-story hotel facing the gorgeous mountain of Olaf. Has 43 newly-refurbished rooms, including Twin, Double and Suite rooms. Also features a restaurant where you get a great view of the bay of Grønfjord. Drying cupboard is available on each ﬂoor.
Tulpan Hotel has been open seasonally since 2013 - with half or full board. Located near spectacular Glacier Camp next to the impressive ice front of Nordenskiöld glacier. Has 23 Twin rooms, including modern and old Soviet-style rooms. Newly-refurbished rooms are each equipped with a toilet and a shower. Soviet-style rooms have a toilet and a sink with a shower on the ﬂoor. Restaurant and souvenir shop are on the first ﬂoor.
Pomor Hostel in Barentsburg is a modern and functional 2-story accommodation facing the gorgeous mountain of Olaf on one side and the fascinating Grønnfjord on the other. Has 30 newly-refurbished rooms, incl. double rooms / 600 NOK and triple rooms /800 NOK. In total 72 beds are available. 4 shower cabins, toilets and a fully-equipped kitchen with an electric stove on each floor. Wi-Fi access.
Guesthouse Russki Dom in Longyearbyen is a new and modern 2-story house located right on the shore of the Adventfjorden. Can accommodate up to 12 people. The 3 rooms are simple, come with no frills and are terriﬁc value for money. Large breakfast room with good cooking facilities. Shared showers. Wi-Fi access.
Next to the North pole