Campsite Longyearbyen: virtual panoramic tour
A 360° virtual tour of the campsite Longyearbyen:
I shot this virtual tour of the Campsite Longyearbyen on a golden late summer day in August 2014. It was a great summer in Spitsbergen anyway, compared to the rainy summer of 2013. The campsite had a good season with about 2800 overnight stays, even almost over capacity in peak season. So if you want to stay there it is good to know that you have to bring your own tent, sleeping bag and insulation blanket. If you want to rent any of this, then you have to get in touch with the Campsite Longyearbyen well in advance. The day before your arrival does not qualify as “well in advance”, then they may or may not have equipment for you. And if they don’t, then you don’t have a place to sleep, as simple as that. Not great …
Also in 2014, there were Belugas (white whales) several times near the shore next to the campsite, not to mention regular visits of reindeer, arctic foxes, a range of bird species including King eiders and so on and so forth …
Campsite Longyearbyen in the polar night
The camping site is at Hotellneset, close to Longyearbyen airport and next to the shore with a great view of outer and central parts of Isfjord. In good weather, the rugged mountains and wide glaciers on the northern side of Isfjord seem no more than a stone throw away, although it is almost 40 kilometres to Borebreen, the nearest glacier in view. Every summer, herds of Belugas are seen near the shore several times.
The tents are situated on a tundra plain on elevated beach ridges. It can be quite wet in the early summer, after the snow melting time. Not far from the camp site, Arctic terns are breeding on the tundra and between the coastal lagoons. Reindeer and polar fox are regular visitors.
In high season, from late June into August, the camp site can be a busy place. It is the cheapest accommodation in Longyearbyen, and definitely closest to nature.
It is not always sunny and calm. Many tent owners have found out that their equipment does not stand an arctic storm on this camp site.
The service building has showers, toilets, cooking facilities and place to have a meal.
Inside the service building, it can be quity lively when many are here for a meal. Almost everybody is either planning an exciting trip or just coming back from the field. This is the place to exchange stories and information.
When it is calm in here and you have some time, it is a great place to hang out and enjoy the view.
The campsite is closed during the polar night and most of the winter for obvious reasons, but a short visit during darkness can nevertheless be quite an experience …
… Especially if you are lucky to see the northern lights!