Ever dreamed of spotting a polar bear in the wild? How about visiting the world's most northerly capital? Or escaping to a remote island? If your answer is yes, Svalbard should definitely be on your travel list.Read more...
Svalbard - At a glance
Longyearbyen is Svalbard's capital © DonLand, Shutterstock
Svalbard at a glance
Location North Atlantic (Greenland Sea), Barents Sea and Northern Polar Ocean
Neighbouring countries Greenland, Norway, Russia, USA (Alaska), Canada
Size/area Svalbard 62,500km², Franz Josef Land 16,100km², Jan Mayen 380km²
Climate Low Arctic to High Arctic
Status Svalbard: part of Norway with special international status due to the Spitsbergen (Svalbard) Treaty; Franz Josef Land: part of Russia by annexation in the 1920–30s; Jan Mayen: part of Norway, but some special legislation
Capital Svalbard: Longyearbyen (pop 2,080). Only stations in the other two territories.
Economy Svalbard: coal mining, tourism, scientific research and education, small enterprises
Languages/official language Svalbard: Norwegian (official language), Russian; Franz Josef Land: Russian; Jan Mayen: Norwegian
Religion Svalbard: mostly Church of Norway (Protestant), with some Russian Orthodox and Roman Catholics
Currency Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Norsweigan kroner (NOK) (for up-to-date rates, visit the XE website)
Airport/National airline Svalbard: Longyearbyen Airport (LYR)/ Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). No civil airports or regular flights in the other two territories.
International telephone code Svalbard and Jan Mayen: +47. No regular telephones in Franz Josef Land.
Time Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Central European time (GMT+1, also in summer); Franz Josef Land: Moscow time (GMT+3)
Electrical voltage In both Norwegian and Russian are as, as well as most cruisers and other boats, the norm is 230V 50HZ. The two-pinned standard European plugs will fit.
Weights and measures Metric (SI standard) in all three territories
Flag Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Norwegian; Franz Josef Land: Russian
National anthem Svalbard and Jan Mayen: Norwegian; Franz Josef Land: Russian
National flower Svalbard: polar poppy (Papaver dahliamum)
Sports Svalbard: Nordic skiing, snowboarding, jogging, soccer, badminton, surfing, golf
Public holidays Svalbard and Jan Mayen: 1 January (New Year), 1 May (Labour Day), 17 May (Constitution Day), Easter, Ascension of Christ, Whitsun, 25–26 December (Christmas)