Best time to travel to Svalbard

Polar Night in Svalbard

There is a vast number of things to see and do during this unique phenomena, just remember the further north you go, the darker and longer the Polar Nights become

Best time: November–February

Polar Night
Polar Night
Polar Night
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The Polar Nights that take place in Svalbard occur in the northernmost and southernmost regions of the Earth inside the polar circles. During the "Night" the centre of the Sun does not rise above a free horizon. The atmosphere bends the rays, and the area that is affected by Polar Nights is small and it lasts around 28 days.

Polar Nights are cold, dark, and endlessly long. There are various types: from pitch-dark black to light grey. Polar twilight, for example, occurs at the inner border of the polar circles, where the Sun is on or below the horizon all day long on the winter solstice. This means that the Sun is below the horizon by less than 6 degrees. Civil polar is just a faint glow of light visible at mid-day, and it occurs when the Sun is between 0 and 6 degrees or more below the horizon. Nautical Polar Night implies daylight at midday only, and it happens during astronomical twilight at the solar culmination. And, finally, a period of the Astronomical Polar Night is an eternal night with no astronomical twilight. The astronomical twilight happens when the Sun is between 12 and 18 degrees below the horizon and astronomical night when it is lower than that.

November to February is the Polar Night season, also named the dark winter. February 20th is the day when the sun returns at the end of the Polar Night. It reaches Longyearbyen by March 8th because of the mountains towards the southern horizon. Since it is one of the most northern settlements in the world, it gives us a fantastic chance to witness the mysterious darkness.

Practical info

When does the dark winter occur in Svalbard?

The dark winter in Svalbard falls between November to February. February 20th is the day when the sun returns, but it reaches Longyearbyen by March 8th due to the mountains towards the southern horizon. This period is popularly known as the Polar Night due to the sun being below the horizon for 24 hours. Show more

What is the geographical region inside polar circles in Svalbard where one can observe the Polar Night?

The northernmost and southernmost regions, which fall inside the polar circles in Svalbard, offer the chance to experience the Polar Night. Svalbard is the most northern settlement in the world and offers a fantastic opportunity to observe the darkness. Each region's Polar Night has different degrees of darkness, which depends on how far north they are from the Arctic Circle. Show more

What is the duration of the Polar Night in Svalbard?

The Polar Night in Svalbard usually lasts around 28 days and exists in different types. The various types of Polar Nights include pitch-dark black to light-grey. Polar twilight, Civil Polar, Nautical Polar Night, and the Astronomical Polar Night are a few examples of different types of Polar Nights that occur in Svalbard. Show more

What are the different kinds of Polar Nights that occur in Svalbard?

Polar Night comes in different forms in Svalbard. The different types include Polar Twilight, Civil Polar, Nautical Polar Night, and the Astronomical Polar Night. Polar Twilight offers just a faint glow of light visible at midday on the inner edge of the polar circles. On the other hand, the Astronomical Polar Night is an eternal night with missing astronomical twilight, whereas Nautical Polar Night has daylight for a few hours at mid-day during astronomical twilight. Show more

When is the best time of the year to travel to Svalbard to witness the Polar Night?

To experience Polar Night, November to February presents the best time to visit Svalbard. During this period, the sun remains below the horizon, which results in complete darkness. It is suggested to visit Svalbard during this period because the further north you go, the darker and longer the Polar Nights become. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin