Bear Island: Just like the Moon


Bear Island (or Bjørnøya in Norwegian) is a fascinating island in the Arctic that completely took my breath away… It was a place that altogether felt like another planet! It is the sort of place that makes you fall in love with our world all over again, because it its purity, since it has remained practically untouched by humans since its discovery.

Bjørnøya is the southernmost island of remote Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Archipelago. Click here for a map. The island was named Bear Island by the Dutch explorers in late 16th century, because they spotted a polar bear swimming close to the island. Unfortunately, there are no more polar bears remaining this far south due to global warming; regardless Bjørnøya will stay permanently imprinted in my mind.

This tiny uninhabited island, apart from the permanently staffed Norwegian weather station (there was only one staff member at the time we visited),  mesmerised me with its barren, raw beauty: massive waves crashing into the jagged monumental rocks along the coast; expanses of rolling rocky hills covered with sparse Arctic vegetation; small tranquil lakes only visible if you climb the hills leading inland; massive bird colonies of along the high-rising cliffs facing the sea. Visiting this island is a big lottery due to rough weather throughout the year: more or less permanent blanket of thick, impenetrable fog; strong, gusty winds that can knock you of your feet; massive, rolling waves that make landing here often impossible. And I am so happy that we won this particular lottery!

I am not sure whether my pictures can do Bjørnøya’s beauty jutice…


17 responses to “Bear Island: Just like the Moon”

  1. Anastasia says:

    Wow, the place is breathtaking. Love this fierce and rough beauty…


    • Olga says:

      I wish I could stay there for a few days and walk around this island all day, every day; I think I could keep company to whoever is working at the weather station! Although I would be a bit apprehensive about the volatile weather…

  2. Tiffany says:

    wow so beautiful! I’d love to visit the Arctic someday

  3. Wow, what a place! So strange, barren and exotic! I’d love to go there one day, and to Spitsbergen as well.

    • Olga says:

      Such a unique place with very strange other-worldly atmosphere… I hope that you get a chance to wander around that island some day!:)

  4. Madeline says:

    So pretty. Travel and books are the only things that you can buy that will make you richer 🙂

  5. Never heard of this place before, but your post and beautiful photos made me add it to my bucket list.

  6. P. says:

    Amazing place!!! love it!
    My Showroom

  7. Kim says:

    Beautiful! I wasn’t expecting such colorful flowers when I saw the first couple of photos, but it’s nice to see pops of color here and there against the rugged terrain 🙂

    The scenery looks absolutely breathtaking! Traveling through cities is nice but sometimes I wonder why we must live amongst such bleak skyscrapers when we could be drinking in nature’s beauties and fresh air.

  8. Sherry Lou says:

    These photos are absolutely beautiful. I want to go here to see the penguins!! Ahh they’re so cute! <3 Thank you for these great images.

    Sherry Lou

  9. joy says:

    what a beautiful place, love the photos

  10. Svetlana says:

    Hello 🙂
    Your blog is amazing
    Follow me back

    See you soon ♥

  11. Christina says:

    Omg these are so gorgeous and inspiring! xx

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