Best time to visit Svalbard

Snowmobiling in Svalbard

It's impossible to avoid snowmobiling while you are in Svalbard

Best time: November–late May


The snowmobile provides you with an opportunity to cover large areas in a short period of time and is an amazing way to get around Svalbard: you'll witness old trappers’ huts, icebergs frozen in the sea ice, glacier termini and Arctic fauna while driving through the wonderful nature of the east coast.

Snowmobiling is the fastest way for you to explore the ghost Russian town of Pyramiden or Barentsburg. You can visit a beautiful ice cave on a short trip outside Longyearbyen and experience driving into the Arctic wilderness. You can even go watch Northern Lights during Polar Nights.

Try not to forget all of the necessary equipment and be sure to bring additional clothes with you as the weather changes rapidly. You are expected to drive only on snow and not to disturb animals. Be sure to obey the speed limit which is 30km/h in settlements, and 80 km/h outside elsewhere.

Although the snowmobiling season in Svalbard is winter, both dark and light. You'll find various options between November and late May. Still, if you want to visit any particular location, you should check the season valid for that particular destination. Though the main season if winter, there's a spot where you can drive snowmobiles in the summer too—it's the Longyear Glacier.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to go snowmobiling in Svalbard?

Svalbard is excellent for snowmobiling between November and late May. Throughout winter, it's blanketed with snow, perfect for snowmobiling, including Polar Nights. Riding snowmobiles around the main settlements is possible, while the Longyear Glacier provides an unparalleled summer snowmobiling experience. Venture and speak with guides before exploring the other locations. Show more

Where can I go snowmobiling in Svalbard?

Snowmobiling throughout Svalbard is possible except for restricted areas. Renting snowmobiles and selecting guided tours is possible in Longyearbyen, allowing you to relish a ride to abandoned Russian towns, ruins, ice caves, and glaciers. You'll travel across vast meadows of tundra, frozen fjords and relish the arctic wilderness' exquisite beauty. Show more

What should I wear for a snowmobiling trip in Svalbard?

For protection from the Arctic cold, dress in warm layers. Wear a thermal base layer, an insulating middle layer, and a water-resistant outer shell. Include a balaclava, gloves, wool socks, sunglasses and a wool hat to keep warm. Furthermore, you must pack winter-weight outerwear and warm boots that can handle wet snow. Cold-weather helmets are usually provided by rental operators but check before the trip. Show more

Can I drive a snowmobile anywhere in Svalbard?

Public access is limited in Svalbard as local laws protect the vulnerable ecology. Bird sanctuaries, national parks, conservation areas, breeding grounds, and cultural heritage sites are among the areas that limit public access. Use designed routes, and follow the speed limits imposed in settled areas. Furthermore, always be mindful of the wildlife. Show more

What unique sights can I see during a snowmobiling trip in Svalbard?

On a snowmobiling trip through Svalbard, you will witness several spectacular sights. You will encounter frozen sea icebergs, the abandoned Russian town of Pyramiden and Barentsburg, glacier termini, and several Arctic wildlife. Guided tours will take you to stunning ice-caves, massive glaciers, and the Polar Nights where you can catch a glimpse of the northern lights. Reindeer sightings and dogsled rides are occasionally offered too. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin