Svartisen is Norway’s second largest glacier and covers fully 370 square kilometres. Svartisen is easily accessed from Kystriksveien – rv17 – and can be experienced by taking the shuttle boat across Holand Fjord from a point just near the Meløy Tourist Information office in Holand. Here are 3 excellent options – depending on how much time you have to spend here.
Boat transport across the fjord to Svartisen
The first step involves taking the shuttle boat across the fjord to the dock at Svartisen. There are regularly scheduled crossings from the end of May until the beginning of September. On board the boat, you can rent bicycles or book transport by car if desirable.
Option 1 – Walk up to Brestua
It is 1 km from the dock up to Brestua, which is situated atop a moraine just near the lake into which Svartisen’s glacial melt flows. From here, visitors enjoy a magnificent view toward Svartisen. Brestua has a restaurant.
Option 2 – Walk right up to the glacier
Walking right up to the glacier – especially for anyone who has never been close to a glacier before – is an awesome experience. If you go on foot from the dock, you should count on about a 3-hour walk round-trip. It is 3 km up to the end of the road and you will use another 40 minutes for the walk along the trail to the glacier. Remember that it is possible to rent bicycles on the boat, which will make the trip a bit easier.
Option 3 – Glacial walks on Svartisen
This is absolutely the best way to see Svartisen – atop the glacier itself! During the open season, there are glacial walks every day. The walk takes about 5 hours, and the minimum age is 12. Book at least one day in advance. Get more info on glacial walks on Svartisen here, and check the schedule.