Enjoy the silence of Svalbard's breathtaking landscape on this 2-day hiking adventure along the coast. You will be impressed by the diverse nature and rich wildlife. Hiking in the Arctic is a truly unique experience as you will get the chance to watch exotic animals from a close distance. Get ready for some breathtaking views!
You will start the tour in Longyearbyen early in the morning from where you drive by boat to the old Russian settlement of Colesbay which is located roughly 30 kilometres south.
At the end of the 1950s, at the time of the cold war, more than 1000 people used to live and work in this old mining town. Today, most people are gone and there are only a few houses and ruins left. You will find abandoned railway tracks along the shoreline which were used to connect the city to Grumant. After a guided tour aroundColesbay, you will have breakfast before you start hiking.
First, you are going to follow the old railway tracks… On your way, you are going to stop at an old cabin which has been transformed into a small museum. Now, will leave the coastline and head up towards the so-called bird cliffs.
Once you reach the top of the bird mountain, you will follow the cliffs and enjoy the beautiful views. If the weather conditions are nice, you will hike down the mountain to the city of Grumant.
Now it's time to decide where you can set up the camp for the night. Most likely, it will be close to Grumant, somewhere close to the sea. Alternatively, you might hike up again and set camp on the top of the bird mountain for the stunning views.
There will be polar bears around so you will have to be on watch during the night. Together with the other group members, you will take turns and stay awake during some time during the night. Previous participants described this as one of their best memories from the tour.
Next day you will start with a solid breakfast. Afterwards, you hike along the coastline for a few kilometres until you find the path to Bjørndalen. Here you will find one of the most diverse flora terrains close to Longyearbyen.
On the way to Bjørndalen, you will need to cross a shallow, but rapid stream that runs through the valley. You can cross the stream barefoot if you are not afraid of cold water.
Then it's time for lunch and you will finally leave Bjørndalen. The old dust road will lead back towards Longyearbyen…
Day 1: Distance 11-16 km, Altitude 600 meters (Total ascent of 1200 meter)
Day 2: Distance 14 km
The hike is not too exhausting but some might find it challenging. You should be able to hike off roads in rocky terrain. And you will carry a personal backpack with all the equipment, tent and a sleeping bag which can weigh up to 15kg.
It is recommended by the guide of this activity to wear a base layer in 100% wool, a mid-layer in wool, down or fleece and thick woollen socks. It is possible to bring a small backpack.