Photo: Klokkergaarden /Www.Visithelgeland.Com
Fjord Tours Articles / 1 Feb 2021

Journey into the Arctic Circle

What to explore if you find your way 66 degrees north in Norway’s arctic? The Arctic and Antarctic Circles are two latitude circles around the Earth's poles that mark the boundary of the area that has darkness and the midnight sun.

Photo: © Tromsø Friluftsenter

The Arctic Circle goes a little north of 66 degrees north latitude (66 ° 33 'north) and cuts through Nordland in Norway and sets the boundary for the Arctic Empire with the midnight sun and winter darkness. The Arctic Circle, which crosses Helgeland, marks the border of the Arctic, while the southern one marks the border of Antarctica.

Internationally, the Arctic Circle passes through Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Iceland.  As you get north of the Arctic Circle, you will be able to experience the two unique natural phenomena that Northern Norway is so famous for; Midnight Sun and Northern Lights.

006813 Filip Olsen Www.Visithelgeland.Com
Photo: Filip Olsen / Www.Visithelgeland.Com

Closest city to the Arctic Circle

Mo i Rana is the city in Norway that is closest to the Arctic Circle. That is why Mo i Rana is often referred to as the "Arctic Circle City". The Arctic Circle actually crosses about 25km  north of the city but, we can assure you that there are still northern lights to be found there. In Helgeland there are two places you can cross the Arctic Circle:

Via the E6

The Arctic Circle is actually not static. It moves around 14 meters every year depending on the inclination of the earth. The Arctic Circle Center (650masl) on Saltfjellet in Rana municipality can be found by following the E6 from Mo i Rana with exhibitions, souvenir shop and cafeteria.

In the cinema, the multivision program «Welcome to the Arctic» is shown, with fantastic pictures and music from the Arctic Circle area. The center also has its own post office where all postcards are stamped with a polar circle stamp. You can also get your own polar circle certificate.

002902 Baard Loeken Www.Nordnorge.Com
Photo: Baard Loeken / Www.Nordnorge.Com

Along the coast

The Arctic Circle Monument at Vikingen, north of Tonnes in Rodøy municipality, is a well-known navigational aid for marine traffic along the shipping lane, and is very visible and well lit up. On board the Hurtigruten express boats, Arctic Circle crossings are usually celebrated with baptisms and a visit by King Neptune. If you take the FV17 road (Coastal Route), you will cross the Arctic Circle on board the ferry between Kilboghamn and Jektvik.

007446 Stefan Barth Helgeland Reiseliv
Photo: Stefan Barth /Helgeland Reiseliv

Arctic Circle Hiking

Saltfjellet - Svartisen National Park, with its varied and unspoilt nature, offers a wealth of ​​opportunities. Svartisen covers about a fifth of the national park and is Norway's second largest glacier. The park also has a unique collection of Sami cultural monuments.

Are you going to cross the Arctic Circle?

Bring a flashlight in Winter and sunglasses in Summer. In December and early January, the sun will not reach the horizon and the area is in constant darkness. In Summer, the opposite is true. On cloudless days the sun can be seen 24 hours around the clock.

Photo: Lyn Clifton/Hurtigruten