Arctic Hiking, Spitsbergen
Day 1 Flight to Longyearbyen
Welcome to Longyearbyen, we will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the city under the light of the midnight sun.
Transport: Private vehicle and aeroplane
Accommodation: Guesthouse or private apartment
Day 2 Longyearbyen and departure for Svea
Get ready for a full Immersion in Longyearbyen: Take a quick tour of this typical Norwegian city of the Far North. We do a briefing of security measures before the big departure, by boat. Today, we get together to set up our main camp where we wil be staying on multiple days, with a view of the ice front of Svea that we will discover during our trip.
Transport: Boat trip
Day 3 Crest of Svea
Today we will hike to one of the most spectacular hikes that you can do in Spitsbergen.
We warm up a few kilometers in the tundra before gradually taking the height to the ridges that overlook the Svea glacier.
The view of this stretch of ice as far as the eye can see makes us aware of the immensity of this glacier. It stretches to King's Bay, 40 kilometers away.
We seem tiny in the face of the immensity of this ice giant that inspires respect and humility within us.
We then come back through the foothills of a canyon to the camp for a good dinner prepared together under the mess tent.
Activities: around 7 hours of hiking
Day 4 Svea Glacier
We approach the glacier of Svea before going back to its moraine which will give us a striking view on this huge glacier and its surroundings.
We advance on this millennial ice on the dead and safe part of the glacier. The view of the seracs bluish, a few tens of meters, is striking.
We photograph the glacier in all its glory before heading back to the camp.
Activities: around 6 hours of hiking
Day 5 Svea - Ekman by the ridges: change of camp
This morning we dismount the camp and leave it as a "deposit" on the beach.
After crossing the Lappelva river from the melting glacier, we start to climb the neighboring summit: the Lundbohmfjelet.
From the summit, we overlook the bay of Svea and its glacier, but also the Ekman fjord and its ocher cliffs with the evocative names of Kolosseum and Kapitol. We take advantage of this spectacle by crossing the ridges of the mountain before descending to the Ekman fjord. We then arrive at the edge of the fjord, where a boat brings us the material that we left in Svea this morning so that we can set up a new camp, which will be our second base camp.
This new location allows us to discover a changing Spitsbergen, the stratified cliffs that surround us are tinted with multiple colors, the landscapes are more mineral but also looks more beautiful than at the beginning of the week.
* Variation: If the conditions do not allow the crossing on foot the change of camp can be made using the boat "logistics".
Activity: Around 15km, 8 hours of hiking
Day 6 Ekmanfjellet
We are leaving today for a real climb from our camp. We first head near a beautiful waterfall which is also our supply of drinking water.
The slope is regular and the ground rather stable. We pass 4 successive peaks by a splendid line of ridges, until the summit of Ekman which overhangs our camp to 539m of height. The panorama is incredible. To the east, an ice cap that seems endless, to the north, the Sefström glacier literally flows into the ocean. In front of us, cliffs carved in a millenary rock and worked by erosion giving the impression of being in front of a temple. Below us, the island of Coraholmen, sits in the middle of the Fjord. Its characteristic red hue brings a colorful contrast to this superb fjord.
After all these magical moments, we head back to the camp.
Activities: around 6 hours of hiking and 600m of difference in altitude
Day 7 Back to Longyearbyen
Dismount the camp and prepare departure for Longyearbyen . A boat picks us up in the late morning to take us back to Longyearbyen (2 to 3 hours of transfer).
We find the pleasure of a hot shower with pleasure and we are preparing to enjoy a last evening in a friendly atmosphere in high latitudes.
Activities: around 11km, 5 hours of hiking
Day 8 Safety Day at Longyearbyen
Free day to visit the Svalbard Museum and the many points of interest of the city.
Optional (210 €), possibility to take the boat to Pyramiden in the aftermath of the afternoon, mining town abandoned in the 80s whose visit remains a highlight because it is a place full of history frozen in time.
In the evening, we enjoy a last meal in the restaurant to close together this beautiful adventure since we leave Spitsbergen tonight via a night flight.
Activities: around 10km, 5 hours of hiking
Day 9 Back To Longyearbyen
Today we fold your tents back and arrange the camp and get ready to leave for Longyearbyen. A boat will pick us up in the late morning to take us back to Longyearbyen.
Transport: Boat to Longyearbyen
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Dates & prices
Departures for English-speaking groups:
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Trip code: ENSPT1A
- Airport transfers
- Two nights guesthouse accommodation in Longyearbyen
- All technical camping gear
- Full supervision by an experienced professional guide
- Visit of the abandoned Russian city of Pyramiden
- Full board except a final evening meal in Longyearbyen (day 9)
- Boat trips
- Registration fee: €18 per person (free for under 12s)
- Evening meal on day 9 in Longyearbyen (kitchen facilities/restaurant options available)
- Meal in a local restaurant: from €30
- Svalbard museum: from €9
Comfort 1/5: Camping
Level 2/5: Moderate
Terms and conditions
Budget & exchange
- Any additional activities
- Drinks and personal expenses
- One evening meal in Longyearbyen, kitchen facilities, shops and restaurants available
- A 'Tepee' style mess tent with table, stools and cooking equipment
- 'Ortlieb' water belts
- A Sarsat beason
- A VHF radio
- A heavy caliber rifle
- An alarm gun
- Mini-flares and penjectors for each group member
- A copy of Spitsbergens animal records
- A first aid kit
- Books about local flora and fauna
- A tent per two people (a 3 man dome tent for maximum space and comfort)
- A self-inflating sleeping mat
- A suitable synthetic sleeping bag ( -6°C)
- An aluminium thermos flask per 2 people
- A sleeping bag liner
- Your walking boots
- Waterproof, windproof jacket (with a hood)
- Waterproof trousers (breathable)
- Warm gloves and hat
- Thermals - top & long johns
- A fleece/jumper
- Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
- Thin socks and thick socks (we recommend bringing 3-4 pairs of thick socks)
- Sunhat and sun cream
- Sunglasses (UV 400)
- Toiletries and toilet roll
- Any personal medication
- A water bottle/flask
- A small rucksack to use as a day bag
- Head torch & spare batteries (although it is nearly always light in the summer months)
- Your swimming stuff (for the pool or sauna options)
- Clothes for travelling in
- A small towel and your personal toiletries
Our advice for keeping warm
- No cotton
- Bring dry spares of everything, including underwear and gloves
- Wear multiple layers including:
- A warm breathable base layer
- A second thermal layer
- Wind and waterproof protective out layers
- Your camera (and suitable protective case)
- A comfortable evening outfit
- A comfortable pair of shoes for the evenings
- Inflatable pillow
- Insect repellant
- A knife
- A notepad and pencil
- Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
Health information & recommendations
- The weather in the Svalbard archipelago is very changeable.
- The average annual rainfall in Longyearbyen is only 200mm (7.87 inches), in London, England, the annual average is 594mm (23.4 inches) - Spitsbergen is a cold desert!
- Average temperatures in Longyearbyen range from -16°C to -9°C (3.2°F - 15.8°F) in April and -3°C to -7°C (26.6°F - 19.4°F) in May.
- Strong katabatic winds can occur here, particularly near to high glaciers but winds can generally be described as moderate and localised.
- Dark polar nights occur from 14th November to 29th January, the full moon shines across the snow creating a beautiful gliterring winter landscape. Then, from 19th April to 23rd August, the sun shines constantly, uninterrupted, high in the sky.
- The Norweigian Svalbard archipelago is the closest territory to the North Pole; Spitsbergen is the name of the largest island.
- Svalbard covers an area of around 39146 square miles (63000km2) and two thirds of this polar world are constantly covered by ice.
- The archipelago was deserted by human civilisation for a very long time but today has over 2600 inhabitants.
- The archipelago has 3 National Parks, 3 Nature Reserves, 15 Ornithological Reserves (bird reserves) and 3 Botanical Reserves.