Touch the Untouched Arctic Wilderness of Svalbard

The Svalbard archipelago is cold, rugged and beautiful. It is home to polar bears and an international community, and the welcome sign is always out.
- By Pamela Grant

With the Arctic Ocean to the north, Norway’s Svalbard Archipelago is one of the most untouched spots on the planet since 60 percent of its land is protected area. Approximately 400 miles off the mainland of Europe and halfway between Norway and the North Pole, the remote islands offer visitors an opportunity to explore a true arctic wilderness that is not polluted, developed, groomed or arbitrarily forced to adapt to humans. This is a land where polar bears lounge, glaciers and fjords display cold beauty, and polar nights glow.

Not surprisingly, Svalbard is covered in snow most of the year. Winter is defined more by weather rather than the calendar, lasting from November to May. The people calling Svalbard home dare to call the climate mild, though people from Florida may consid...

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