When God proclaimed “Let there be light!” he must have proclaimed it somewhere in the general direction of Norway. Norway is known as ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun’. Because the Earth is tilted on its axis, in summer the Arctic Circle (which includes parts of Norway) is constantly facing the sun – so, between late May and mid-August, nowhere in Norway experiences complete darkness.
To give you an idea of just how bright it is, ponder the idea of waking up at 1:30am to see that it is already light again. During summer solstice on a clear day you could read a book at 11:30pm without switching a light on. The bright side of all this (pun intended) is that the midnight sun gives you more time to enjoy the outdoors and you feel quite safe walking around the city at ‘night’. On the other hand, constantly losing track of time and having to wear an eye-mask to sleep is a little funny! It also feels strange to not see any stars for three months. However, spare a thought for the far north of Norway… where the sun doesn’t set at all for three months.
The flip side is that, in winter, the country is plunged into darkness. In the north of Norway, the sun won’t rise from November to January. Knowing that a forced winter hibernation is lurking around the corner, Norwegians go absolutely mad for summer: they need to take advantage of the sunshine while they can get it.
During the Norwegian summer season, the sun never sets north of the Arctic Circle and for a couple of months the sun is visible 24 hours a day. So remember to cross the Arctic Circle to Norway to catch this phenomenon.
24 hours of daylight gives the flora and fauna along the coast an energy boost. This is likely to rub off on visitors as well, so why not use the extra energy to experience some of the many midnight sun activities available throughout Northern Norway? From coastal towns and fishing villages, a variety of guided boat trips are possible. Whale, seal and fishing safaris will take you up close to some of the largest sea creatures whilst reindeer watching in Finnmark or guided bird watching trips from Sto will show you how our four-legged and feathered friends react to the midnight sun.
These same small coastal communities are also great for people watching as well as eating and drinking in a variety of cafes, bars, shops and restaurants offering various fare including superb local seafood. You can also enjoy night cruises on the shores. Locals in Northern Norway are usually friendly, laid back and happy to engage with visitors who are respectful of the environment. So don´t be shy, nearly everyone speaks passable English so why not just start a conversation with people you meet and hear about some of their best midnight sun experiences?
There are many land and shoreline activities on offer north of the Arctic Circle such as sea kayaking, swimming, camping, cycling, hiking, fishing and even golf. The fjords are also a spectacular route to follow the midnight sun north with a variety of sailing options
The golden glow is what many people remember most about their midnight sun experiences. This tends to accentuate colours and elongate shadows, which provides plenty of scope for dramatic and expressive photography. However, there are some things that you just have to see and capture with your own eyes. Have you ever noticed how looking at that stunning view you captured on your camera isn’t quite the same as gazing at the real thing? Natural phenomena are great reminders that the world is a weird and wonderful place. We have to travel far and wide to witness that perfect vista or rare phenomenon first hand and Midnight Sun is one such phenomenon that can’t be missed!
Team Veena World