Sør-Spitsbergen National Park (Norwegian: Sør-Spitsbergen nasjonalpark) is Norway's largest national park with an area of 8,504 km2 (3,283 sq mi). The park comprises most of the southern third of Spitsbergen in Svalbard.
Flora and fauna
Like all Norwegian national parks, there are no roads getting into Sør-Spitsbergen National Park, and getting in overland is almost impossible in today's world. That leaves you with only one option – getting in by boat. There are no boat tours to Sør-Spitsbergen National Park, meaning you have to come by boat. On occasion, Sør-Spitsbergen National Park is visited as part of some Arctic tours, when visited Spitsbergen, but this should be checked with tour operators.
Fees and permits
- 1 Recherche Fjord (Recherchefjorden). A spectacular pristine fjord today but was once the site of a British whaling station; 2 Lægerneset during the early 17th century.
- 3 Polish Polar Station, Hornsund. A Polish research facility erected in 1957; the base now has several research projects.
- 4 Gåshamna. A bay in the park's southwest which was once the site of several major whaling stations, likely during the 17th century. While most of Svalbard's former whaling stations are now no more than a piece of wood lying around, there is a cabin in Gåshamna that, while largely destroyed, is made from whale bones.
- 5 Sørkapp Land. A large inland piece of land that is home to two glaciers – 6 Hambergbreen and 7 Hornbreen.
- 8 Sørkappøya (South Cape Island). A small 7 km by 7 km island that used to be a site that Russia used in the 18th century to hunt walruses and whales, and while there are not many remnants of Russia's hunting presence, there are some old graves that can be found here. Today, the island is a haven for geese and ducks.
- 9 Sørkapp. The southernmost point of Spitsbergen and where the Greenland Sea, Baltic Sea and the Norwegian Seas all meet.
Buy, eat, drink and sleep
There are no facilities apart from the Polish research station in Sør-Spitsbergen National Park.