Best time to visit Svalbard

Cycling in Svalbard 2024

Enjoy Arctic landscapes while cycling on the paved and unpaved roads of a polar archipelago

Best time: June–October


While cycling may appear to be an ordinary and widespread sport, this is not the case in Svalbard. Here, it transforms into an unforgettable experience where fatbikes with 12cm tires can be used both on roads and frozen, snowy ground. The erosion of fragile tundra and new tracks shouldn't scare you, but you need to be prepared for a wide range of road conditions. Outer clothing and good shoes are recommended. You should be ready for physical activity and are responsible for any bicycle damage.

One of the most popular areas for cycling is around Longyearbyen praised for its flora and fauna. You'll be able to take stunning pictures during the five-hour, 25km distance of the trail. Mid-May to the end of August is the ideal time to focus on Svalbard's fantastic birdlife, so don't forget to take binoculars with you as you can use them during the trip.

Generally, you may enjoy both summer and winter cycling. However, the most popular season is June to October. During the snow-free season, you can borrow regular bicycles which are very useful on those long unmounted roads. Riding a bike through lovely areas such as Adventdalen and Bear Valley suddenly becomes much more accessible.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Svalbard for cycling?

Svalbard is best for cycling between June and October. The roads are free of snow, making it possible to navigate with a regular bike. If you plan to cycle in winter, a fat bike is necessary due to the snowy, icy terrain. You will particularly enjoy bird watching during the summer and exploring birdlife. Show more

Where can I rent a fatbike in Svalbard?

To rent fat bikes, you can contact Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions, Svalbard Adventures, and Spitsbergen Adventures. Bike shops offer regular bike rentals in summer. Availability and prices of bikes vary with season. Show more

What kind of clothes and shoes should I wear while cycling in Svalbard?

Svalbard's climate demands appropriate dressing while cycling. In winter, padded clothes, waterproof and windproof layers, thermal underwear, warm socks, and waterproof shoes are suitable for the temperature, which can drop to −20°C. In summer, wear layers that can be removed, comfortable shoes with non-slippery soles since it could be windy, sunny, and rainy. Show more

What wildlife can be seen while cycling around Longyearbyen?

Cycling around Longyearbyen exposes you to stunning scenery and unique Arctic wildlife like reindeers, polar bears, and Arctic foxes, migratory birds such as puffins, kittiwake, and little auks. Carry binoculars to get a better view of the birds. You must know that polar bears are wild and follow guidance to remain safe. Show more

Are there any safety concerns while cycling in Svalbard?

Cycling in Svalbard comes with safety precautions such as observing the local rules and regulations, including carrying a rifle outside town limits. Appropriate bikes with fat tires and suitable pressure are necessary for the terrain. Be ready for changing weather conditions and carry a well-equipped first aid kit while exploring offbeat paths. Show more

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Authors: Olha Savych