Svalbard: Halfway Between Norway and the North Pole

Svalbard is a Norwegian group of islands located in the Arctic Ocean north of continental Norway, about 650 miles (1,050 kilometers) from the North Pole. It is the northernmost year-round settlement on Earth, with a population of about 2,200. Recently, Svalbard has been trying to move its economy more toward tourism and scientific research, and away from coal mining, which supported much of the economy since the early 20th century. Tourist visits to Svalbard have been steadily rising, with amazing views and abundant wildlife—especially the polar bears—drawing visitors from around the world.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Andy Buchanan / AFP / Getty

    The Up Helly Aa Viking Fire Festival

    Images of the annual fire festival held in the Shetland Islands from the past 20 years.

  • Tomohiro Ohsumi / Getty

    The Snow Monkeys of Nagano

    Images of Japanese macaques relaxing and staying warm in the waters of a mountain hot spring

  • Peter White / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Firefly Forest, Husky Club, Turnip Toss

    Frustration at the Australian Open, a light show in London, Republic Day parade rehearsals in India, snow cover in Yosemite Valley, anti-government protests in Peru, and much more

  • Yannick Gouguenheim / Ocean Art

    Winners of the 2022 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest

    Some of the top images from the 14 categories of underwater photography in this year’s competition