Svalbard is so alluring in part because of its sheer remoteness: when you’re out exploring the wilderness – whether by Zodiac, ski-doo or snowshoe – you and your guide are likely to be the only humans there. In Europe, being this alone is all too rare an experience.

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From glacial plateaux to vegetation-rich tundra, the Svalbard archipelago offers one of the world’s most varied Arctic ecosystems. In summer, trek to nearby peaks from Longyearbyen – capital of Spitsbergen, the main island – or paddle through Adventsfjorden alongside beluga whales.

Cruise out to Jan Mayen to observe the volcanic cone of Beerenberg or, in winter, snowmobile across the frozen fjord towards a Dutch schooner-as-hotel in Tempelfjorden, moored in the ice. Between Zodiac sea crossings, dog-sledding adventures and tranquil polar nights gazing out towards nature’s end, exploring Svalbard’s dynamic landscape will never fail to enchant you.

Roger Norum author of Svalbard: the Bradt Guide

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