Come summer, Svalbard – that great wilderness archipelago flung out towards the North Pole – opens up for all sorts of high-Arctic exploration. Truly unique flora adds extra colour to the tundra, while now-sailable fjords bring adventurers between mighty glaciers, Soviet outposts and evocative wildlife-viewing opportunities. This is after all, the home of polar bears and walruses. Then, back on land, there’s everything from hikes to dogsledding on wheels. Whatever you choose, however, it’s all made that bit more beautiful by the Midnight Sun, which never once dips below the horizon between mid-April and mid-August.
Day 1: UK/Longearbyen
Flying up to Svalbard, you’ll arrive at the world’s northernmost commercial airport; it’s just 650 miles from the North Pole. You’ll then make your way to your hand-picked accommodation. While the open fires and modern cut of the Radisson Blu offer exceptional value, we highly recommend an upgrade to Funken Lodge. It’s the place to stay in Longyearbyen, featuring Svalbard’s finest restaurant, a champagne cellar and sweeping views over the town and onto the Lars Glacier. There’s also some time today to wander through the streets to take in the frontier-town atmosphere.
Days 2-3: Optional excursions
As things change rapidly in the high Arctic, we’ve given you two days free, so we can tailor your trip to your tastes. If you’re travelling over May – considered as light winter by the locals – you can still snowmobile, go dogsledding and walk inside a glacier. Otherwise, those travelling over summer can expect a full range of fair-weather excursions. Perhaps get active, exploring the Arctic wilderness with a glacier hike, fossil hunt, fjord kayak expedition or an electric fatbike trip. Otherwise, cruises reward with spectacular views of the island’s cragged coast, along with everything from walruses and icy fjords to Russian towns and mighty glaciers. There’s even the chance for some summertime dogsledding, swapping snow for wheels. For further details on any of these options, see our full list of excursions.
Day 4: Depart for UK
After a final breakfast, make your way back to the airport for your flight home.
Travel between 01AUG and 31 OCT, stay at the Radisson Blu Polar and receive complimentary dog sledding on wheels in the Adventsvalley.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
** If you see this next to a price, a specific price in your currency has not been provided, this is an estimated-only price based on a currency conversion, the price you pay may be different to that shown
Sign up to our weekly Trip Finder email and get a selection of the best trips to feed your Wanderlust