Discover the pristine wilderness of the North Pole and come face-to-face with wildlife that thrives in this swirling white rugged region
As the year-end holiday season draws nearer, you might be wondering where to for your next winter holiday. We recommend Norway; an extraordinary city nestled within some of nature’s best wonders in the world, a vast adventure playground for the active enthusiasts, and an opportunity to witness the enthralling Northern Lights that will get most of your peers green with envy.
The bulk of your time should be spent within the Norway Svalbard islands, located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Here, you will find untouched arctic wilderness and wildlife within their natural yet rugged and fragile habitats. One fine example includes the polar bears. In addition to the thousands of polar bears living in this region, you will encounter the world’s northernmost settlements, with a population of approximately 3,000 people. Over 2,000 of these human inhabitants live in Longyearbyen, the administration centre and largest settlement of the islands. Though small, this colourful community awaits visitors with a surprising range of cultural activities and opportunities such as concerts, shows, festivals and exhibitions.
Dig deep into the rich history of Longyearbyen through various attraction visits to coal mines, local village and churches and the Svalbard Museum – featuring a complete exhibition on Svalbard’s history and present natural places in Arctic Norway. After which, uncover the future as you tour some research facilities and the global seed vault, the world’s largest seed storage, to learn of conservation efforts not only for the local community, but for the world.
Of course, no visit to the North Pole should go without Aurora Chasing. Join a snowmobile (or snowcat) tour and be captivated by the unique blue light that characterise the polar night. Northern Lights campsites are also set up in traditional Sami style to allow guest a full immersion experience. While waiting for the occurrence of the rare and mystifying Northern Lights, open fires are often seen and people gather to hear Arctic stories told by friendly and professional locals. When daylight comes, admire the gorgeous landscapes featuring snow-capped mountains and crystal-blue fjords while keeping an eye out for the arctic animals. If lady luck is not on your side, fret not. Husky sledge safari will give you an introduction to dog sledding with the famed and lovable Alaskan Huskies. At Trappers Station, there are 90 happy huskies eager to take you out for a ride.
End off your vacation with a relaxing city tour in Oslo, a metropolitan city with forests and fjord aplenty. As one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, you are bound to encounter eye-catching architecture popping up in town with an abundance of world-class museums, restaurants and art. Learn about the Norwegian history, culture and lifestyle within the many cultural institutions, including the Norwegian Opera &C Ballet, the National Theatre and the National Museum of Art. Despite being a seemingly bustling city, Oslo is able to maintain a relaxed atmosphere akin to a small town and that’s the charm of it.