The first thing about Svalbard is that very few people know what it is, or where it is. It’s a group of islands in the high arctic that Norway has sovereignty over, but due to the Svalbard Treaty numerous countries have the right to found settlements there and exploit the natural resources available. Currently only Russia is taking advantage of this and they have a small 500 person settlement (Barentsberg) not too far from the main Norwegian town, Longyearbyen, that has around 2000 people.

I first got interested in the place when I first discovered that you could actually get this far up north in the world on a reasonably priced scheduled flight (As low as £250 return from London with SAS, 2% cashback through quidco). I had a week booked off work to tour with a band but it fell through so I checked flights to Longyearbyen and low and behold I managed to get some on the cheaper end of the spectrum.

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