15 landscape photos that show why Svalbard is one of the most beautiful places on earth


I was fortunate enough to visit Svalbard on an expedition in June 2017 and take the following images.  I was instantly struck by how majestic and timeless the landscapes were.

The same scenes would have greeted the first explorers hundreds of years ago.

remote places

During June the mountains are still covered with snow but the fjord beneath is clear of sea ice making it navigable to boats.

A glacier reflects in the icy waters of a fjord.

The glaciers in Svalbard have retreated considerably over the last 40 years.

An iceberg that has recently calved from the glacier floats along the fjord.

The landscapes of Svalbard are timeless, unchanged by humans apart from climate change which is causing a rise in temperatures.

An ice flow that starts at the north of Svalbard and extends all the way to the north pole. In 2017 the Arctic sea ice was at its fifth lowest year since 1979 and under the average for that period of time. You can find out more about sea ice research here

A retreating glacier is framed by the imposing black mountains.


Large icebergs that have recently calved from the glacier in the distance.

As the Arctic warms Svalbard’s landscapes could change forever.

The average year round temperature of Svalbard rose from minus 6.7 degrees to 0 degrees in 2016.

The first meltwater can be seen as the Arctic comes into summer time.

Snow covered mountains on Prins Karls Foreland an island off the west coast of Spitsbergen. Throughout the summer the snow will melt before being replaced the following winter.

Svalbard is known for its rugged, imposing landscapes which could one day be free of ice.

If you’re interested in visiting Svalbard please see my cruise guide for lots of tips and information.

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