Best time to visit Svalbard

Kayaking by Glaciers in Svalbard

Rowing among icy cold waters, snowy landscapes, and white bears

Best time: June–August

Kayaking by Glaciers
Kayaking by Glaciers
Kayaking by Glaciers

It is a true Arctic adventure in the middle of summer. From June to August the northernmost territories experience 24 hours daylight. Svalvard boasts over 100 glaciers. One of the most beautiful and fascinating places to visit there is Monaco Glacier. It is located to the north-west of the Svalbard Archipelago. Other famous glaciers include Nordenskiöld Glacier and Biscayarfonna. Some of the most popular fjords for sea kayaking are Isfjorden, the largest fjord of the Svalbard Archipelago with a number of smaller so-called fjord arms, and Adventfjorden, full of history and wildlife.

At the beginning of July, the hard and thick ice melts opening new adventures for enthusiasts and extreme seekers. The trip among polar scenery varies from tundra plains to alpine peaks and dramatic glaciers. During a kayaking trip, you can marvel at the colors of the landscape and the beauty of large fjords.

Kayaking in these waters isn’t just a fun way to spend time. You will have to maneuver between the icebergs, ice caps, and fjords from one glacier to another. So, you need to be very careful and well prepared. Besides icy cold waters and strong winds, you might meet the residents of this territory: mainly polar bears, whales, seals, and walruses. Such an encounter can be a real threat to a human. This trip is definitely one of the unique experiences, full of excitement and gorgeous views.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit Svalbard for kayaking among glaciers?

Svalbard's glaciers are best visited between June and August when the ice melts and glacial routes are open. The weather is mild during this time, and visitors can experience the Arctic in all its glory with 24 hours of daylight. The breathtaking views of snow-covered landscapes against a bright blue sky offer an unmatched experience. Show more

Where are some of the most popular fjords for sea kayaking in Svalbard?

Sea kayaking in Isfjorden, the largest fjord in Svalbard, and Adventfjorden, home to historical sites and wildlife is gaining popularity. With a kayak, visitors can explore some of Svalbard's most magnificent glaciers, including the Monaco Glacier in the northwestern Archipelago, Biscayarfonna Glacier, and Nordenskiöld Glacier. Show more

What are the dangers of kayaking in Svalbard?

Kayaking in Svalbard comes with inherent risks, including polar bear attacks and unpredictable movements of icebergs and fjords. The weather is challenging and subject to sudden changes. Visitors must be well-prepared with suitable equipment, warm clothes, and enough supplies for the trip. The lack of shops or residents for miles means visitors must be well-equipped before starting the trip. Show more

How can one prepare for a kayaking trip in Svalbard?

A Kayaking trip in Svalbard requires visitors to be physically fit and sufficiently prepared with dry or thermal suits, gloves, and shoes. Kayaks can be rented or purchased locally in Longyearbyen. Visitors must bring their supplies, which include food, water, and camping gear. Guided tours led by knowledgeable experts are recommended to ensure a safe and enriching experience. Show more

What wildlife can be encountered during a kayaking trip in Svalbard?

Kayakers on a trip to Svalbard can encounter an array of wildlife, including polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, walruses, and whales. Visitors must maintain a safe distance from the animals to avoid causing any disruption to their natural habitat or making any unnecessary noise. Guided tours led by knowledgeable experts are a great way to enrich the experience with insights and tips on how to best engage with these animals. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Kayaking by Glaciers (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin