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Svalbard was first discovered by the Norwegians in the 12th century. The islands served as an international whaling base during the 17th and 18th centuries. Norway's sovereignty was recognized in 1920; five years later it officially took over the territory.
Following a long season of midnight sun between April - August the twilight and its warm shadows arrives. During the Autumn darkness wraps us into Arctic Winter hibernation. Let yourself be impressed by the fantastic changing lights in October and February with a star-lit sky, moonlight and arctic winters. Or the atmospheric polar nights from November till January.
Svalbard's capital, Longyearbyen flourishes with restaurants, pubs and cultural activities. Some of the highlights are Dark Season Blues festival in October, Artistic Break Svalbard in November and Polar jazz the last weekend in January. As Christmas closes in the restaurants can offer arctic Christmas dinners, and with tax free shops Christmas shopping can be both quick and affordable.
Svalbard's activities range from a historic meeting with Longyearbyen to dog-sleds and ice grottoes. When the snow has settled we travel on a polar night safari where you will discover that the polar night is exciting, atmospheric and beautiful. The favorite time for many is when the light returns and the mountains are bathed in pink and lilac rays. The return of the sun is celebrated with a Sun Party on March 8th.
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