I assume that just the title is already putting a question mark on your face. Well, you have read right. Midnight Sun in Norway is a thing, and you can experience it here, in this Scandinavian paradise. This is a phenomenon that cannot really compare to any other, and it is something that you should witness at least once in your life. So, grab a pen and make room in your travel bucket list to visit Norway during summer. And now, let’s dig deeper into this one of a kind event.
What is the Midnight sun?
I am no expert, but allow me to explain in a brief and easy way what the midnight sun is.
The midnight sun is basically when the sun does not set therefore we have daylight during night time. How amazing is that?
Now you are probably wondering how this happens because it is not about shaking a magical wand and boom! the sun stays throughout the night.
The length of day and night are not equal, and this happens because the earth tilts on its axis by 23.4 degrees, so if it was absolutely perpendicular, then we would have 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of daylight. So, when the summer months approach, the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, causing the poles to have sunlight 24 hours a day.
Where can you see the Midnight sun?
This natural phenomenon occurs only at the north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic circle. It can be seen at the northernmost point of Norway. So the further up you go, the best to experience the Polar Day.
A Polar Day is when the sun is visible for 24 hours. And while we are at it, let’s talk about the midsummer, which is the longest day of the year. Such festivity takes place on June the 21st. This phenomenon is commonly called the Summer solstice, and the coolest part about it is that a celebration comes along!
For centuries, the Summer solstice has been a reason for celebration. Many rituals were made in hopes to get a good harvest for the upcoming fall. But that's not everything! it was also believed that it drags out all the evil spirits and negativity, as the darkness was defeated by a solar deity or sun god.
Our neighbor countries have different traditions, but our celebration is called Sankthansaften or Jonsok. You will see pilgrimages to holy sites and other interesting events such as mock weddings. Anyways, like I previously mentioned, the closer to the northern hemisphere you go, the better the experience you will get. So, Northern Norway is the place to go.
Midnight Sun in Tromso
Pack up, and get ready to visit Tromso, one of the best places to see the midnight sun! Be prepared to see this magical event from this astonishing city which holds countless attractions, and what a better way to experience them while seeing the midnight sun.
And speaking of experiences, Tromso is home to the Midnight Sun Marathon. In my opinion, the most unique one, as you will get to witness the white night while running. how cool is that? Visit us during June and sign up to https://www.msm.no/en/enjoy this unique event. And trust me, not many can say that they ran a marathon at midnight and with sunlight still shining bright! Your grandkids will be delighted with your story!
Bodo has some very interesting facts, and probably the most important one is that it marks the end of the railroad in northern Norway. It is also a sailing point to Lofoten Islands.
So do not miss the midnight sun from this enchanting city, which is the entrance to northern Norway. Bodo is in-between mountains, so any hike you take to an upper part of the city will give you the most incredible views. Around Bodo, there are more than 100 peaks, and you can choose from easy walks to hard hiking routes. Trust me, you will not run out of options.
Midnight sun in the Lofoten Islands
In one of my previous posts, we spoke about this stunning archipelago, an incredible place, the perfect scenario for such a wonderful occurrence. I also mentioned that one of the most –if not the most- popular activity is hiking. Most of the hiking routes are in mountains and peaks, you will notice that the island is all about heights and water. I personally think that its dramatic landscapes are incomparable.
Hike your way up to the Himmeltindan, the highest mountain in Lofoten, at 964 meters, you will be able to enjoy the most beautiful views of this Scandinavian island. And experience the midnight sun from there. Trust me, the effort will be absolutely worth it and unforgettable.
Midnight sun in Svalbard
The options we mentioned are not the only places in Norway where the midnight sun is visible, they are just the best ones. Having said that, let's check our last candidate.
Svalbalard is an archipelago located in the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. It is the northernmost town on earth, and as a consequence, it has the northernmost everything! Northernmost hotel, library, cinema, café and well, the list goes on, you get the idea.
This one of a kind island holds very special secrets, you might think only layers of snow and ice can be offered by this cold island but nope, that's not right.
Svalbard is classified as a desert. Why a desert? Well simply because of the lack of precipitation and the air is just as dry as the average dessert. It is also the home of polar bears, in fact, there are more polar bears than people here, so it is bear's land.
So, why is this place so magical? If you were to visit Svalbard during every season, you would realize how strange it is, of course, I mean it in a good way. It is like living in a different world, and here is why:
You will see no sunset for a very long time, for almost half a year in fact. If you want to have the greatest midnight sun experience, then Svalbard is the right place. Whether you are here for photography reasons, exploring or just enjoying the cold weather, do not miss the Midnight sun in this breathtaking island.
When can I see the midnight sun in Norway?
This wonderful gift from mother nature can only be seen during the summertime. There are indeed different dates and timings, depending on region, it could last a week, a few weeks and even months. Oh, and it happens every year.
The midnight sun stays longer in April to August, and this happens in Longyearbyen, a beautiful town in Svalbalard.
On a side note, during the polar night, in Longyearbyen (from November to February) there is absolutely no daylight, making the perfect conditions for the Northern lights. And here’s a fun fact, since there is no daylight, the aurora might appear even at midday, isn’t that cool?
Anyways, here you have a couple of cities where you can see the midnight sun in Norway and its season:
Bodø: From June the 1stuntil July the 6th.
Tromsø: From May the 19thuntil July the 26th.
Alta: From May 18thuntil July the 27th.
As you can see, in the cities mentioned above, the midnight sun lasts for approximately 1 month each. These places are a great starting point for your road trip in Norway. So if you are planning on renting a motorhome in Norway, do check these cities as a pick-up or drop off place. This way you can enjoy the midnight sun at its best.
What is it like to experience the midnight sun in Norway?
That answer is simple; the Midnight sun is a natural occurrence that is hardly comparable to others. Norway is one of the fewest places in the world where you can live that experience, and it might be the best one...
Now let’s dig into enjoying the midnight sun in the North Cape, the most northerly point in Norway. The Nordkapp (How we Norwegians call it) is a must if you visit us, as it will give you the best Midnight sun scenery. What travelers like the most about this unique place, is that the Midnight sun lasts 2 months (From May 14thuntil July the 29th) and of course, you can say you were at the very end of the world!
So, what is it like to experience the Midnight sun in Norway? Unique would be the best word to describe it. It makes you feel as though you are in a different world. It is past midnight, late-night but the sun is still shining on the horizon. It is not too bright, the light is a bit dim, just like the one you would see at 18:00 of at dawn. I promise you, if you are not used to the Scandinavian weather/ time zones, you will be amazed by this weird, yet breath-taking occurrence.
Midnight Sun in Norway
This country is ready to welcome you, with arms wide open, ready to give you experiences that you will never forget about. To conclude this post, it is good to mention that you always need to be respectful of our nature, and be careful wherever you go. Norway’s geography is quite rough and wild, please watch your steps and be ready to enjoy the Midnight sun wherever you go. And remember that traveling Norway in a motorhome is one of the best –if not the best- way to enjoy our beautiful land. What are you waiting for? Pack your bags, fasten your seat belts and get ready to start one of the best trips of your life!