Midnight sun beach

How to enjoy the midnight sun

Where the sun never sets

summer

Hardly anything is more welcome than the first sunbeams of the year, apprehensively peeking out after a long, hard winter. The return of the sun marks the end of cold and darkness – and the beginning of the eternally bright season in the Arctic. Welcome to summer in the North. Where the sun never sets.

The Arctic North is the place for those who wish to experience unpolished nature – for those who dare to walk where few have walked before them. Here, the midnight sun lights up both humans and nature, and the life-giving sunbeams make it possible to embrace the short summer months to their fullest extent. When fall finally arrives, and the sun again disappears below the horizon, the memories of the eternally bright summer will live on forever.

Forever young, the day lasts forever

girl summer

Midnight sun is the name of the phenomenon that every year happens north of the Arctic Circle at 66º33′N. Beyond this latitude the sun never quite sets below the horizon during summer, and the farther north you travel, the higher in the sky is the sun at night. That’s why Northern Norway is often called the land of the midnight sun. However, unlike what some tourists hope for, the midnight sun is, in fact, the same sun we see during the day.

To some first-time travelers, falling asleep in the bright “nights” north of the 66th parallel can be a challenge. Dark blankets covering bedroom windows are a common sight – futile attempts at creating something that resemble nighttime. Still, your body soon starts adapting to days that never really end. It’s as if the pace slows down, and your circadian rhythm starts changing. You forget what time it is, and whatever schedule you were trying to stick to. Because there really isn’t any rush when the day lasts for several weeks, is there?

For the adventurous, this season is a fantastic time to explore what Northern Norway can offer. Nature is often best experienced at night, when the warm, reddish light creates a perfect frame for the life-changing, Arctic experiences. Why go to bed, when the next adventure is waiting at each Instagram-friendly latitude?

The land of sun and surprise

The midnight summer sun and the snowy streets of winter are certain attractions. But you might meet surfers and scuba divers. Star restaurants and music festivals. Explore us and your self. 

Read about beaches in Northern Norway

Surfers

Surfing at Unstad, The Lofoten Islands

Surfing

Have you ever tried surfing before? If not, The Lofoten Island is the perfect place to start.

Two degrees of latitude north of the midnight sun’s farthest extent is a place that has gained a great deal of international attention in recent years. The combination of Northern Norwegian nature and an active surfing milieu makes Unstad in Lofoten a very unique place. Here, surfing enthusiasts have for the past half century fallen in love with the waves, the beach, and the surrounding mountains. Today, Unstad is considered to be the world’s northernmost surfing destination. What once was a remote coastal settlement has now been transformed into a surfing paradise – and still far from the beaten track.

Every year Unstad attracts both world famous and beginning surfers from all over the world. Thundering waves roll in from the rough, open ocean and entice surfers into the water at all hours of the day and night. There are varying degrees of difficulty that fit most skill levels. People with a mutual passion for pumping adrenaline and the wild forces of nature come together here at Unstad.

They all chase the unique experience of mastering the waves in surroundings you won’t find anywhere else on the planet. The eight-degree water continuously makes your body really feel alive. 

Good tip: remember wetsuit, hat, and mittens!

After a long surfing session at this outpost on the Norwegian coast, there is nothing better than jumping into one of the area’s own open-air jacuzzies. Drink to the Arctic summer night with old and new friends – secure in the knowledge that the Arctic waves will continue to roll the next day too.

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Under the white peaks of the Lyngen Alps 

Lyngen Randonnee

The farther north we go, the brighter the Arctic summer nights become. That means even more time for exploring magnificent surroundings – and even more opportunities to get close to Northern Norwegian nature. The Arctic summer night never stops surprising us, and you can always sleep next winter…

Northern Norway is also the right place for someone who is looking for peace and quiet. In our modern world, the opportunity to take it easy, far from people and noise, is a privilege that’s becoming more and more rare. In Lyngsalpene in Troms, travelers can find both peace and nature experiences – with enough elbow room for most.

This protected landscape is wedged between two snaking fjords, and it encompasses both high peaks, snow-covered glaciers, and hidden valleys. Majestic, alpine mountain formations rise sharply up from the surface of the sea, creating a vista that has fascinated people for thousands of years. Today, visitors can explore the area by foot, or perhaps choose a mountain bike, an ocean kayak, or a kiteboard.

Find your way to one of the many viewpoints at night and enjoy peace of mind as you admire the reflection of the midnight sun in the surrounding fjords. The meeting between the low sun and the gleaming ocean surface creates a rich color symphony you won’t soon forget. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feel how the warmth of the Arctic sun reaches deep into your heart and soul.

Good tip: remember your camera!

Into the wild in Finnmark

If you really want to experience what it’s like to have the wilderness to yourself, Finnmark is the place. This extensive region borders on Sweden, Finland, and Russia and offers discoveries few other places in the world can boast of. The roads and inhabitants are few, but the great experiences in the summer nights are many. Here, curious wanderers can walk for days through untouched wilderness without meeting a soul – with the exception of a mosquito or seven.

In summer, salmon fishing along the region’s many waterways is a great experience for plenty of hopeful amateur fishermen. The world record for salmon caught on a rod belongs to the Tanavassdraget where a fish of almost 36 (!) kilos (79 pounds) finally met its maker. Still – with its 1100 kilometers of river it’s not exactly easy to know where the next record fish is hiding. Even though an estimated third of the world’s wild salmon population belongs to the Tanavassdraget, a hefty dose of patience and skill is required to hook a fish. Luckily, the reward for such an effort might be both an exceptional boost of adrenaline and an exquisite, self-caught evening meal.

Good tip: remember a scale to weigh the big catch!

Time to plan the great winter experience?