Icy peaks, freezing streams and of course the Aurora Borealis; these are just some of the things you can expect to see if you plan on traveling to the northern part of Europe. Norway is known all across the world for its wonderful sights, fjords and abrupt cliffs as well as its great northern wildlife and plant life.

National Parks of Svalbard – Norway

The Svalbard National Parks consist of 7 different parks and is in fact an archipelago found in the Arctic Ocean near the mainland of Norway. This fantastic land has more than 60% of it protected by law and the Park itself was established in 1973.

Tourists visiting the Svalbard National Park can expect to see a great many beautiful natural environments as well as a vast selection of animals and plants. But it is important to remember one thing. Svalbard is polar bear country! Never travel unaccompanied by a local travel guide.

The four main parks of the Svalbard region are: Nordvest-Spitsbergen, Forlandet National Park, Idre Wijdefjorden and Sassen-Bünsow Land. Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park is most visited because of its tall icy mountain peaks, glaciers and offshore islands as well as whaling stations and burial grounds from the 1600’s. The Forlandet National Park was established in 1973 and offers tourists lovely sights as well as a variety of wild life such as walruses, wild geese and eider ducks.

The Idre Wijdefjorden National Park is mostly visited for its great fjord that stretches from the seaside up into the glacial front of the island. The Sassen-Bünsow Land National Park is a land with rich hunting history. Travelers that visit this place can expect to see a landscape rich in wildlife,especially birds.

Svalbard parks

How and when to visit Svalbard National Parks:

As the National Parks are found in the Arctic Ocean, for the longest period of the year the lands are cold and frozen. Between December and May travelers can explore the islands only with skis, dog sledges or snowmobiles but from June to mid September boating is a viable option.

One of the more popular ways to visit the Svalbard National Parks is through a cruise line.

Cruise Lines also provide a wide range of activities for travelers on the way to the National Park and also makes a few stops along the way. If you would like to take a private trip, there is an airport in Longyearbyen, the capital of the Islands which has regular flights to Oslo and Tromsø.

As always, before you depart for your trip always make sure you have the necessary protection, good equipment, warm clothes and a comprehensive travel insurance policy. With just a few pounds you can feel safe you are protected against any medical emergencies, trip cancellation and the costs of an unfortunate evacuation.

Read more: The Checklist Before You Plan for Easy Cruising