Where the sun never sets

Spring is coming and the darkness of winter is loosening its grip, and here in Scancinavia that means sunshine is coming back with the pace of a high speed train. In the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland, the sun will not even set when June arrives: this is the time of the so called Midnight Sun. Ever wanted to experience this phenomenon? There is no better place of doing it than north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, Sweden and Finland!

 
What is it?

The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at midnight. Around the summer solstice, June 21st, the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, if the weather is clear. The number of days per year with potential midnight sun increases the farther towards the North pole you get.

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Near the North Cape – photo: Crowbared

When to go:

The Midnight Sun is seen in the summer in the North – if the weather is clear, you can see the sun going down and touching the horizon at midnight, before it comes back up again. It’s extraordinary to watch!

 
What to bring:

Make sure you bring warm clothes – the weather can be quite chilly even in the summer far north. Moreover, you should not forget an eye cover, as it can be very hard to sleep when it’s light all night. Very. Hard.

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A Sami shop in Jokkmokk, Sweden – photo: Daisy Chain

What else not to miss:

In Norway, don’t miss the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. Here the high cliffs of the desolate island fall into the sea, and in front of you is the Barents Sea. We also recommend activities such as fishing and catching king crabs. In Sweden and Finland, you might want to go fishing in the many lakes, or get an impression of the local Sami culture.

How to get there?

The easiest option is to fly: in Norway to for instance Lakselv or Alta Airports, in Sweden to Kiruna and Gallivare airport and in Finland to the Ivalo and Rovaniemi airports. Alternatively you can drive a car or take the bus – then bring patience but also a good camera. In Sweden, it is also to take the train to Kiruna, Gallivare and other parts of Lapland.

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A midsummer night in Northern Norway – photo: Johnny Myreng Henriksen

Where to stay?

You don’t want to experience the Midnight Sun by yourself, right? Then we recommend staying at our social and friendly HI Hostels in the three countries.

Norway:
Mehamn
Lakselv

Finland:
Lemmenjoen
Saariselkä
Sodankylä

Sweden:
Kiruna
Jokkmokk/Åsgård
Jukkasjärvi

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The midnight sun at a lake in Finnish Lapland – photo: Rana Sinha

Photo top: Stefanie Kurtz

Text: Robin Van de Walle

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