The polar bear kingdom of Svalbard

During the winter, the darkness of the long Arctic night envelops the unspoiled Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, but we've got a gallery of lovely 'summer' pictures for you to enjoy – with plenty of ice and snow!

At the far limits of Europe, set in the Arctic Ocean, midway between Norway and the North Pole, lies the archipelago of Svalbard, a wild and unspoiled wonderland of white. Over half the area is covered by glaciers and permanent snow, and the wildlife of the Arctic roams a kingdom of ice almost untouched by man.

The long Arctic night takes over in winter, but in the summer months it's possible to take a boat and discover the local fauna – polar bears a speciality – the icy landscapes and numerous protected areas. Here you'll find the Austfonna – the largest glacier in Norway and one of the largest in the world; you can explore the coal mines, visit the world seed store or take a trip to the only three inhabited islands: Spitbergen, Bjornoya and Hopen. This remote archipelago, whose name means "cold coast", is a major centre for scientific research bases and offers the chance of an unforgettable experience as you journey in exploration of its imposing natural wonders.

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