Total snowmobiling distance: 1 000 km
Day 1. Longyearbyen – Todalen – Colesdalen – Grøndalen — Barentsburg
Arrive in Longyearbyen. Transfer from the airport to Longyearbyen for brieﬁng on the itinerary in the Arctic Travel Centre. After lunch, get the winter overalls and start the Arctic adventure by snowmobiling from Longyearbyen to Colesdalen in the midst of magniﬁcent mountain landscapes, passing huntings cabins to Grøndalen and further on to Barentsburg.
Time to discover Barentsburg, a small Russian mining community (appr. 400 inhabitants) having a scientiﬁc research center, a meteorological observatory, the northernmost cosmic rays station and a school for only a dozen children. Learn about the history of the place with your local enthusiastic guide during the visit to the local Lore museum, with its exhibitions on the Pomor culture, the Arctic ﬂora and fauna. Dinner and night at the hotel in Barentsburg.
Snowmobiling, 70 km, 3 -4 hrs
Day 2. Mythical Isfjord Radio and Pomor trapper’s hut: Barentsburg – Grønfjord – Isfjord Radio – Starostin Cape – Barentsburg
Start oﬀ for a day of wilderness exploration across various landscapes: you leave Barentsburg and follow the coast of Grønfjord. The snowmobile allows to run great distances in the immensity of the Arctic, stay all the day out in the wilderness and reach otherwise inaccessible places.
We drive up to the Grønfjord glacier and across wide canyons further to Orustdalen valley, amidst high cliﬀs. With the landscape in the background experienced by Willem Barents 100 years ago, we continue along Nordenskjøld coast to the Greenland sea. A delicious 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 make a short stop at Starostin Cape and have a look around an reproduction of Starostin hut. That was a place of staying of Ivan Starostin, a Pomor trapper who managed to spend on Spitzbergen 39 winters in total and 15 winters at one stretch.
Return to Barentsburg in the evening. Visit to the ArtArcticGallery and displays telling on Svalbard and Arctic discovery. Explore the unique object collections of the Pomor hunters from 15-19 centuries.
Tasting of local beer and dinner of Russian cuisine made of local products.
Night in Barentsburg.
Snowmobiling 95-120 km, 8-10 hrs
Day 3. Glaciers and Fjords
Breakfast at the hotel.
Depending on the ice and snow conditions today’s itinerary runs to one of the glaciers – Paulabreen or Fridtjovbreen. Both are shining bright in their beauty and worth to watch. A route to Paulabreen runs through an impressive site: Sveagruve mine. A short stop to listen to the guide and on along the ice of Reid Bay to the enormous Paulabreen glacier, 15 km front long, considered as the most picturesque and romantic in the world. It is named after Paula, wife of the shipmaster Richard Ritter von Barry. This region is famous for frequent encounters with polar bears. Watch out the King of the Arctic! We pass on our way the Reindalen, one of the biggest and most impressive valleys on Svalbard (45 km long). The round route is approx. 200 km and takes 8-10 hrs. It is a good option when a fine windless weather and good visibility. Otherwise it could be rather tiresome.
OR we offer another option – a route to Fridtjovbreen. This itinerary runs closer to Barentsburg and is noted for dramatic and variable landscapes and frequent wild animals. The Fridtjovbreen glacier has a length of about 14 kilometers and its name stems from a hunting vessel used during the Torell expedition to Spitsbergen. The route is approx. 100-140 km and takes up to 6-8 hrs. Expedition lunch is served on the way.
Back to Barentsburg.
Delicious dinner of Russian cuisine.
Day 4. Optional Day in Barentsburg
This is a kind of relaxed day free of snowmobiling to catch our breath before tomorrow when we have a challenging route to the ghost town Pyramiden. Otherwise we can use it as an emergency option any other day when the planned originally itinerary is not possible due to unfavorable weather conditions.
We can recommend a whole range of variable optional activities this day:
Early in the morning we offer you a tour ‘Meet a Miner’ on a unique journey to the mine which is still fully operational nowadays. This is one and the only tour to the operational mine in the world!
Guided visit to the husky farm with all breeds of sledge dogs used in the Russian Arctic. You can also have a ride in komatik, an Eskimo sledge with wooden runners and crossbars.
Visit our classes in traditional Pomor handicrafts and make a unique souvenir of your own.
Book an extra snowmobiling trip in picturesque surrounding s of Barentsburg.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in Barentsburg restaurant.
Day 5. Glaciers and the ghost settlement: Barentsburg – Colesdalen – Fardalen — Longyearbyen – Sassendalen — Nordenskiøld Glacier – Petuniabukta — Pyramiden
Early check-out and depart for a long itinerary, striking in its beauty and diversity of the landscapes. We pass Cape Heer and Colesdalen on the way to Longyearbyen and make a short break with lunch in the Expedition Centre Russki Dom. Half a route is staying behind ….Then continue over shiny glaciers and sharp mountains in the valley of Sassendalen . We may encounter walruses along the way. About 100 miles northeast of Longyearbyen lays the mighty glacier Nordenskiöld. Just in several hundred meters from the glacier, you can find the ghost town Pyramiden, a destination point for today.
Upon arrival in Pyramiden, check-in at a small hotel, dinner and night in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 200 -220 km, approx 10 hrs
Day 6. The ghost settlement Pyramiden and wildlife observations
After breakfast, walk around Pyramiden.
The ambiance of this ghost settlement makes an unusual and strong impression on any experienced traveler. This community was founded by Sweden in the beginning of the 20th century and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. The speculations around its importance during the Cold War are many. One thing is certain; this was an Arctic out-post, but also an Arctic Paradise for those who lived and worked there in the Communist spirit. The town was a showcase to the West exhibiting to the world the excellence of communism. The atmosphere is still there! In the end of the nineties, Pyramiden was closed and has since then remained abandoned with all its infrastructure in place, ‘’conserved’’. All the buildings are in a good state and the settlement would seem inhabited, but the silence reigns over Pyramiden, no living soul is around…
Pyramiden is located right in the heart of Arctic wilderness. While looking over its surroundings we can easily come across polar foxes, reindeers as well as the mammals: seals, walruses at the glacier Nordenskiøldbreen.
We can also encounter polar bears! We don’t have permission to track them down, but if we use our binoculars we might have an opportunity to view this majestic creature from a distance.
Depending on the weather and snow conditions we decide upon the most suitable and appealing itinerary: to picturesque Skanskabukta; frozen like in the fairy-tale and magniﬁcent Ebbadalen waterfall or one of the mighty mountains. Expedition lunch is on the way.
Return to Pyramiden. Dinner and overnight in Pyramiden.
Snowmobiling 120 km, 6-8 hrs
Day 7. Pyramiden – Nordenskiøld Glacier – Lomonosov plain – Sassendalen – Longyearbyen
Check-out and start one more wildlife snowmobile safari – this time to a realm of polar bears on the east coast of Spitzbergen. We travel through valleys to the great Nordenskjøld glacier and pass the pink shade mountains to find ourselves in the middle of the endless Lomonosov plain. Just take a look around the ice kingdom…… It will take your breath away! We continue to the region known for its majestic glaciers and unique scenery. Polar bears live on the ice hunting the seals, and here we can have an opportunity to spot this mighty animal and watch it at a safe distance.
Expedition lunch on the way, enjoying the arctic silence around together with the vast white landscape. Depending on the weather and snow conditions our guide can change today’s route.
In the evening arrival in Longyearbyen and dinner in one of the local restaurants (KROA or Stationen).
Transfer to the airport for the night flight. *
* Before the flight, you can stay in the common guest area of the expedition center «Russkiy Dom».
If you don’t want to have a night flight, you can book one of the places of accommodation in Longyearbyen, stay for one more night and get a day flight instead.
Snowmobiling 200 km, approx 8 hrs