Magdalenefjord in northwestern Spitsbergen. Norway. Europe.; Shutterstock ID 1222385971; your: Sloane Tucker; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: POI

Shutterstock / Camillo Cinelli


Top choice in Svalbard

The lovely blue-green bay of Magdalenefjord in Nordvest Spitsbergen, flanked by towering peaks and intimidating tidewater glaciers, is the most popular anchorage along Spitsbergen's western coast and is one of Svalbard's prettiest corners. If you catch it on a sunny day (or a moody one with atmospheric storm clouds lurking), you'll think you've wandered into some Arctic paradise. Most visitors come as part of a multiday cruise.

In the 17th century, this area saw heavy Dutch whaling; at Graveneset, near the mouth of the fjord, you can still see the remains of two stoves used to boil the blubber. There are numerous protected graves of 17th- and mid-18th-century whalers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Svalbard attractions

1. Mine Museum

2.66 MILES

Ny Ålesund's neat little Mine Museum is in the old Tiedemann's Tabak (tobacco) shop. It recounts the coal-mining history of the area – it's a simple but…

2. Krossfjorden

12.82 MILES

This 30km-long fjord north of Ny Ålesund is a popular detour for cruise ships, partly for the scenic beauty of Lillehöökbreen (its grand tidewater glacier…