West Coast Trek with visit to Barentsburg

Have you ever been to Russia? The Russian mining town of Barentsburg is located only ~50 km from Longyearbyen, and during your visit, you will experience a completely different culture there!

This four day trip provides opportunities to admire breath taking landscapes, learn about Russian culture, and explore the cultural heritage of Svalbard.

To reach Barentsburg, we will drive our boat through one of Spitsbergen’s largest fjords, Isfjord, heading west along the southern coast.

After passing Kapp Heer, we will reach the active Russian mining community, where we will get an overview of the town’s history and the local culture. The Statue of Lenin, an orthodox chapel, and modern buildings with unique architecture are linked together into an environment that makes this place well worth the visit.

Experience the special atmosphere of this post-Soviet arctic outpost by staying overnight at their hostel. Spending your evening in Barentsburg and waking up there is a truly unique experience that few people have tried.

After our night in Barentsburg, the hiking portion of the trip starts from the heliport at Kapp Heer near the end of the road from Barentsburg and follows the peaceful coastline of Isfjord. There are incredible views over Isfjorden with jagged mountains and glaciers in the distance. Our first campsite will be at Kapp Laila, and everyone will take part in our daily routine which includes setting up tents, preparing meals, and polar bear watch at night.

Later during our trip, you will have additional opportunities to explore fascinating cultural heritage of Svalbard. We pass the Russian settlement at Coles Bay, a historical Soviet mining town that was abandoned in 1960.

As we continue along the coastline, you will be amazed by the magnificent contrast between the blue colors of the sea and intensely green zones of vegetation on the surrounding mountains. 

The trek follows the old railway used for transporting coal between Coles Bay and Grumant City, another small abandoned village on the steep southern coast of the fjord. This part of the trek follows a particularly rugged part of the coastline and has impressive views over Isfjord. On our third night, we will make camp just after Grumant City.

We will spend the following day hiking over the mountains to Bear Valley where we arrive to the road near the airport of Longyearbyen (the only operational airport in Svalbard). There, after an exciting four day journey, we will be picked up by car and return to Longyearbyen.

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Horn Media 2020