Midnight sun

Nordfjord sunset Norway

The polar circle is more or less halfway through Norway, at 66.5 degrees N. It runs about 75 km south of the city of Bodø and just past the northernmost tip of Iceland. To the north of the Arctic Circle you can experience the magical midnight sun in the summer: 24-hour daylight. And the further north you go, the longer that period lasts.

In earlier times, midsummer was an important moment in the year. In Stonehenge (UK), for example, on the longest day of the year, the first rays of sunlight appear exactly behind the largest stone of the formation, the Heel Stone.

The Norwegians, and many other Northern European peoples, ignite big bonfires on the evening of 23 June (the eve of Saint John). In the past they were used to fend off witches and to counteract the power of trolls and evil spirits that would emerge from their caves during midsummer night.

Nowadays it is a joyful celebration and the sun has reached its highest point. After that she (already) starts her journey back to the southern hemisphere. However, you can still enjoy the midnight sun on the polar circle until 1 July (from 12 June). If you really want to take advantage of the sunlight for a long time, you will have to travel to Spitsbergen. There the sun will not go down between 18 April and 24 August.

During many of our sailing trips in Norway you will also be able to enjoy the midnight sun. It often gives extra energy and a magical feeling when you glide through the deserted fjords in the middle of the night, in full light.

Midnight sun (24-hour daylight):

Where When
The Arctic Circle 12 june – 1 july
Bodø 4 june – 8 july
Svolvær 28 may – 14 july
Harstad 25 may – 18 july
Andenes 22 may – 21 july
Tromsø 20 may – 22 july
Hammerfest 16 may – 27 july
The North Cape      14 may – 29 july
Longyearbyen 20 apr – 22 aug

photo: Jorn Allan Pederson

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