In the Arctic Ocean is an archipelago, which consists of four large and more than a thousand small islands. The largest of them has the same name with the archipelago – Svalbard. The archipelago is 61,022 square meters. km Norwegians call it “Svalbard”, which means “cold shores”.
The first mention of Svalbard belong to the XII century. Today, about 65% of the archipelago’s territory are protected areas. Previously, a small number of hunters and miners lived in the archipelago. Today this place has become quite lively. Now representatives of forty nationalities live here.
Svalbard is a kind of oasis in the harsh Arctic. Its territory is covered with eternal snows with sharp peaks of hummocks and endless glacier fields. In the waters of the Svalbard archipelago icebergs constantly float – these are icy mountains. This territory represents a unique corner unpolluted by human activity. Unique is the fact that there is a very low content of microbes, parasites and dust in the soil and air in Spitsbergen. When polar summer comes here, the sun shines here much brighter than near Moscow or Paris, due to the special purity and transparency of the air.
On the territory of the Svalbard archipelago, seven national parks and fifteen bird sanctuaries are located, which are designed to protect the habitats necessary for the survival of many plant and animal species. This protected zone of the Arctic is also called the “Crown of Europe”. For polar bears Polar region is a paradise. Judge for yourself, the average population of the archipelago is about 2500 people, and there are more than three thousand polar bears here. Therefore, when the locals go beyond their settlements, they must take weapons with them.
If you want to feel the power of nature and discover the hidden corners of the wild nature, then you can safely go on a trip to Svalbard. This could be a hike or a dog sledding, kayak or rubber boat trip. Most tourists who arrive in Svalbard, come here when the polar summer reigns supreme. From March to August, the average temperature is between five and seven degrees above zero. In spring, ski and snowmobile routes are popular. With the onset of the summer months, hiking expeditions are organized on glaciers and valleys. Most tourist routes pass through the fjords and glaciers. In the north-east of Svalbard there is the largest glacier in Europe, Auston, with an area of 8492 sq. Km.
The unique natural data and specific landscape make the island very interesting for the tourist business. Among the locals there is such a belief that any person who once came across the Arctic, “becomes infected” with the polar “bacillus”, which gives rise to an “incurable disease” in it – a love of nature and the exotic region of the north. Thousands of people who are tired of the stress of city life and everyday worries, getting into these harsh lands, imbued with the grandeur and beauty of these places, acquire new interests for themselves and discover new, hitherto unknown qualities.