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Land of the Midnight Sun

Norway is famous for its natural beauty, and it’s also known around the world as the “land of the midnight sun”. The northernmost regions of the country experience a remarkable natural phenomenon in which the sun stays up for several months during the summer. In this article, we’ll tell you all about this interesting phenomenon and tell you how you can experience the midnight sun for yourself!
Midnight  sun in Lofoten - Norway
Brim Explorer

Why is Norway called the “Land of the Midnight Sun”?

Norway is known as the land of the midnight sun because a sizable portion of the country is located beyond the Polar Circle. This unseen line cuts across the country separating the northern regions from the rest of the country and, as a result, has had a strong effect on the nation’s culture.
Many of Norway’s most famous artists and writers, including Nobel winner Knut Hamsun, have been inspired by the majestic views this natural phenomenon produces. As a result, while there are parts of other countries in the Arctic Circle (such as in Greenland and Russia), none have been so defined by the phenomenon or have integrated the effect so holistically into their culture. Internationally, Norway is considered the optimal place for experiencing the midnight sun.
Midnight sun i Tromsø, Norway
Roger Johansen / Www.Nordnorge.Com

Where can I see the midnight sun?

There are many options within Norway where you can see this fascinating natural occurrence, so it all depends on what kind of experience you are looking for!
Tromsø is the main point of arrival for anyone wishing to explore Northern Norway. Boat or plane is the most common means of transport since it’s located so far north that you’ll be driving for days! Tromsø airport is well connected and offers many domestic flights along with several international options. The main domestic ferry line is called Hurtigruten and it operates daily transits between Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, but there are several other special midnight sun cruises available starting in Bergen and going up the coast.
Once you arrive in Tromsø, there are a variety of options of how to explore the smaller towns and islands. You can hire a car and explore the wild beauty of the Norwegian coastline or you can catch a flight from Tromsø airport to most of the popular destinations in this area. Despite their remote locations, several of these have well-functioning airports that make travel easier than you might expect.
Jørn Allan Pedersen/visitnorway.com
In the historic city of Tromsø, many a tale of Arctic exploration has begun – and there are some fantastic midnight sun boat tours available for new explorers. Further north, in Lofoten, you can go on a midnight sun kayak tour or a midnight fjord safari with RIB-boat.
If adventure is what you’re after, try heading even further north to the Svalbard archipelago. These unique and captivating islands remain as one of humanity’s last true wildernesses, and there’s plenty to explore in the long summer days and nights. Here, you can enjoy husky sleigh rides, rugged walks in the wild terrain, and even glacier hikes on the spectacular mountains – just make sure to stay safe because polar bears outnumber people in Svalbard!
MIdnight sun at the Polar circle - Norway
Halvor Hilmersen / Helgeland Reiseliv

When is a good time to see the midnight sun?

Timing is crucial when it comes to experiencing the midnight sun. Since this spectacular natural phenomenon only occurs during certain times of the year, it’s important to plan well. In fact, while these areas experience full sun 24/7 for some time during the summer, they also experience total darkness during the winter. You have to be careful to avoid going at the wrong time if you don’t want to experience a permanent night instead of the midnight sun!
As a rule, the midnight sun season lasts longer the further north you go. Some towns may only have a day or two in mid-June, whereas in Tromsø and Kirkenes, the season runs from mid-May to the end of July. Svalbard sees the midnight sun for several months, so many travelers hoping to experience this fascinating natural occurrence set their sights on this rugged, remote archipelago for their midnight sun expedition.
Guided kayak trip in Lofoten, paddling under the midnight sun - Reine, Lofoten, Norway
Joanna Borgiel

Lofoten Islands in a Nutshell™

A great way to experience the midnight sun in an easy and convenient way is on the Lofoten islands in a Nutshell™ tour. If you're looking for a unique holiday destination, Lofoten is definitely the place for you. On this self-guided tour, you will experience a vibrant coastal culture and breathtaking scenery in a sustainable way. The main part of this tour starts from Svolvær, but note that you can also start from Tromsø, Bodø, Narvik, or Evenes.
The Lofoten archipelago offers dramatic, imposing beauty everywhere you look. In Lofoten, you will find steep mountains, white sandy beaches, cozy fishing villages, and an authentic way of life. All is ready for you to enjoy - under the alluring midnight sun.​

The best arctic experiences

Check out our exciting collection of activities in the arctic here!

Life in the arctic

Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Norway’s Arctic Climate

Norway’s Arctic is one of the most astounding places on the planet. From the vast untouched snowy landscape, to the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, to the unique wildlife, the Arctic is truly something incredible. Unfortunately, climate change is having a devastating impact on Arctic regions worldwide. If change doesn’t occur rapidly to repair the damage that has already been done, the results will be devastating for Arctic regions as well as the rest of the world.

Polar bears in Svalbard - Norway

Animals in the arctic

It should come as no surprise that the Arctic region is one of the toughest places on earth for wildlife to live. Humans have been able to adapt fairly well to living in this part of the world due to the ability to wear clothing and reside in heated structures throughout the majority of the winter. However, for the animals that are forced to stay outside and venture through the Norwegian fjords and other areas of the Arctic, the climate is much more inhospitable.

Mining community of Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Norway

The Arctic Circle

Sitting at Earth’s most northerly latitudes, you can think of the Arctic as the planet’s hat. The main focus of this area is, of course, the North Pole, however there is so much more to it than that. Surrounding the North Pole is the Arctic Circle which stretches out into different countries, forming a line around the top of the Earth. Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating part of the world.

Aurora Safari Tromsø - Northern lights tour from Tromsø, Norway

How to have the ultimate arctic adventure

When you book a trip to somewhere adventurous like the Arctic, you want to make sure that every second of the journey is packed with as much excitement as possible. But in order to do this, you need to know a variety of things about your destination such as where to sleep, what to do, and what to eat while you are there.