1: It’s nature at its most extreme and pure
Svalbard is everything you would imagine the end of the earth to look like. Dramatic, barren, beautiful, but also delicate. Glacier covered mountains that plunge into icy cold whale-filled Arctic seas, it’s a breath-taking place with incredible scenery.
Booking flights to Svalbard doesn’t just give you an opportunity to visit the Arctic Circle, it gives you the potential to see polar bears and whales, and visit the top of the world where still very few people have been.
2: To visit the world’s most northerly town
The capital of Svalbard, Longyearbyen, is the world’s most northerly town, and is a friendly, warm (in hospitality that is – not temperature!), and interesting place. A special settlement, here you can have a beer in the world’s most northerly pub, pray at the world’s most northerly church etc – I think you get the idea
3: To see the Northern Lights
Svalbard was the first place I ever saw the Northern Lights, and what a sight. Those green waves followed by hues of pink and purple were just what I imagined and more. Svalbard is one of the best places on the globe to see the world’s and nature’s most stunning light show – just remember to book your flights to Svalbard for during the polar night season when its dark 24/7.
With no sunlight, and constant “night”, when I visited Longyearbyen during the polar night season all I had to do was walk away from the city a little towards the mountainside and stare straight up – I saw a light show everytime. Sometimes very faint, but sometimes it danced across the sky looking like it would never stop. An incredible experience.
4: For the food
So “Arctic Circle” and “good food” probably don’t seem like two sets of words that belong together, but Longyearbyen and Svalbard actually have a fantastic set of restaurants.
These restaurants draw on local ingredients (there’s actually more than you’d think) and have produced some really delicious food – with an Arctic twist – that you’d probably expect to find in London’s Soho rather than Longyearbyen in Svalbard.
I compiled my favorite list of restaurants, and the sort of dishes they do, on a previous post – which you can read by clicking here!
5: For the dog sledding!
Gliding across the ice with a team of eight dogs at top speed, with a light snow shower coming down on us, was one of my top experiences when I visited – and it’s something that should be incentive enough to book your flights to Longyearbyen.