The northern coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, is pierced by a series of fjords reaching far inland. The Liefdefd Fjord, Raudfjord, and Woodfjord together make up some of arctic Norway’s most dramatic scenery.
All three fjords and the entire chunk of western Spitsbergen are part of the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park—of special interest due to the remnants of extinct volcanoes and the hot springs discovered there in the late 19th century. The park is a relatively popular tourist draw today because of its natural beauty as well as the significant cultural value of its abandoned whaling stations and several abandoned arctic expeditions dotted around.
Although you might expect consistency among the breathtaking backdrops, the mountain ridges that surround the fjord system are as diverse as the Norwegian mainland itself. Granite, Devonian sandstone and glacier fronts that calve into the sea can all be found here—the Liefdefd is known as Svalbard’s most scenic fjord.
The waters of the Liefdefd Fjord are always accessible during the summer, but ice can make navigation difficult at other times of the year.