Svalbard in February

With the polar night coming to an end in February, conditions in Svalbard are freezing and daylight is at a premium. However, this is a great time to explore Svalbard's interior via dog sled or snowmobile.

February weather and where to go

Of all the accessible months to visit Svalbard, February is the coldest. With a combination of extensive sea ice, freezing temperatures and an almost complete lack of sunlight rendering ship-based expeditions unviable (not to mention undesirable), February in Svalbard is not the best time of year for wildlife sightings.

However, with plenty of snow on the ground, this is a great month for those looking to try out a snowmobile or dog-sledding safari. This is still not the best time to take one of these overland trips – March and April are the peak months – but the polar night does at least come to an end in February, and you may get lucky by stumbling across some polar bear tracks. Sightings of actual bears in the winter months are very rare. If you want to experience the elemental majesty of the polar night, February is a great time to explore the frozen wilderness of Svalbard’s interior.

• Browse our Svalbard holidays
• Contact our Polar Destination Specialist for advice

Norwegians know the polar night – the time when the sun remains below the horizon, from October 26th to February 15th – as mørketiden (the dark period). If you choose to travel to Svalbard in February, your experience will depend on what time of the month you choose to set foot in the Arctic archipelago. Travel in the first half of the month and you will be plunged into darkness, with nothing but a glimmer of twilight to remind you of the passage of time. Travel in the second half of the month and you will at least be treated to a few hours of sunlight each day, from around 1.5 hours at the end of the mørketiden up to almost 7 hours on the final day of February.

Snowmobiling and dog-sledding safaris are a great way to see Svalbard. These overland adventures take you from Longyearbyen into Svalbard’s frozen interior, staying in remote accommodations far from civilisation. To find out more about these exciting trips, NWS Alice – one of our Polar Destination Specialists – has written a detailed blog which you can read here.


Contact one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey.

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