Complete Traveler’s Guide to Svartisen Glacier

Svartisen Glacier

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    Norway’s second-largest glacier, the mighty Svartisen is a stunning glacier in Northern Norway, lying just above the Arctic Circle. This epic Norwegian glacier is a super popular natural wonder to visit for hiking adventures and a chance to view the remains of the last Ice Age for yourself!

    Let’s learn all about what you can do at Svartisen Glacier, where exactly this expansive ice giant is, how to get there and top tips for your visit so you can make the most of your Norwegian adventure.

    What is Svartisen Glacier?

    Svartisen is actually the collective name for two glaciers: the 221 square kilometer Vestisen and the 148 square kilometer Øsisten. These two glaciers are separated by Vesterdalen Valley, which is 1 kilometer long.

    At only 20 meters above sea level, Svartisen Glacier is the lowest glacier in mainland Europe, making it the perfect place for hiking. Extending 230 square miles, this second-largest glacier in Norway has 60 glacier tongues stretching through the surrounding valleys between several mountains of over 1,500 meters in height.

    A research laboratory was built at Svartisen Glacier in 1995 to explore glaciology further, serving as a scientific hub for researchers from around the world. There’s even a sub-glacial laboratory beneath one of the glacier arms, Engabreen!

    Did you know? Glacial water from Svartisen is used to create hydroelectric power via the streams flowing from Engabreen.

    Svartisen Glacier in Norway

    Where is Svartisen Glacier?

    Located in Northern Norway above the Arctic Circle, the expansive Svartisen Glacier stretches across several Norwegian municipalities, including Rana, Meloy, Rodoy and Beiarn. Svartisen Glacier sits between Blakkadalen Nature Reserve in the east and several fjords, namely Holandsfjord, Melfjord and Glomfjord, in the west.

    How to Get to Svartisen Glacier

    The most popular glacier arm of Svartisen Glacier to visit is Austerdalsisen, which can be reached by taking a 20-minute boat ride across Svartisvatnet Lake. You can also take the coastal road Fv17 in Melroy municipality to view the incredible Svartisen Glacier directly from the road.

    Things to Do at Svartisen Glacier

    You might be wondering how exactly you can enjoy exploring Svartisen Glacier and its stunning surroundings for yourself. Well, here are some of the best ways to marvel at the epic ice structure that is Svartisen and discover its beauty for yourself!

    • Hike at Svartisen Glacier – Svartisen is a top-tier destination for keen hikers, with breathtaking glacier, mountain and fjord views. You can even find large caves in the limestone mountains of the area!
    • Take a fjord cruise Norway’s fjords are unparalleled in their beauty, so taking a fjord cruise at Svartisen Glacier will allow you to soak in the majesty of Svartisen while you glide along the spectacular water of the fjord.
    • Walk around Svartisvatnet Lake – You can enjoy a beautiful 18 kilometer trail around Svartisvatnet Lake, admiring the glacier views while experiencing the wonderful nature of the area up close.

    Glacier in Norway. Svartisen

    Visiting Svartisen Glacier

    When visiting Svartisen Glacier, we recommend keeping these top travel tips in mind:

    • Wear warm, waterproof clothing and shoes – Sturdy, waterproof hiking boots are a must for visiting Svartisen, as well as comfortable clothes for walking. Make sure to bring warm layers and a waterproof coat to keep you cozy and dry.
    • Bring your camera and electronics in a waterproof case – You’ll definitely want your camera to take some epic photos of Svartisen and its surroundings. Just make sure to pack your camera and any other valuable electronics in a waterproof case to keep them protected.
    • Pack drinks and snacks for the day – As Svartisen Glacier is in a fairly remote natural area, it’s a good idea to bring water and food with you for your Svartisen trip to make sure you have enough supplies for the day.

    Explore the Magical Nordic Nation of Norway For Yourself!

    Ready to explore the winter wonderland of Svartisen for yourself? Get set for your Norway adventure by reserving your very own campervan rental in Norway, so you can travel up and down our stunningly beautiful country soaking in all the amazing sights along the way. We look forward to welcoming you to Norway soon!

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