The polar bear kingdom of Svalbard

During the winter, the darkness of the long Arctic night envelops the unspoiled Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, but we've got a gallery of lovely 'summer' pictures for you to enjoy – with plenty of ice and snow!

by hellomagazine.com

At the far limits of Europe, set in the Arctic Ocean, midway between Norway and the North Pole, lies the archipelago of Svalbard, a wild and unspoiled wonderland of white. Over half the area is covered by glaciers and permanent snow, and the wildlife of the Arctic roams a kingdom of ice almost untouched by man.

The long Arctic night takes over in winter, but in the summer months it's possible to take a boat and discover the local fauna – polar bears a speciality – the icy landscapes and numerous protected areas. Here you'll find the Austfonna – the largest glacier in Norway and one of the largest in the world; you can explore the coal mines, visit the world seed store or take a trip to the only three inhabited islands: Spitbergen, Bjornoya and Hopen. This remote archipelago, whose name means "cold coast", is a major centre for scientific research bases and offers the chance of an unforgettable experience as you journey in exploration of its imposing natural wonders.