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Summer in Norway

Don’t sleep away the white nights
During the months of June, July, and August, the days are long and the nights short, even non-existent north of the Arctic Circle, where you get the midnight sun. The Norwegian summer weather is often quite stable, and the temperatures are pleasant on both land and sea.
Midnight sun over Lofoten
Midnight sun over Lofoten.
Photo: Jørn Allan Pedersen / Visitnorway.com

As soon as summer gets a firm grip on Norway, usually in late May or early June, you’ll see the locals out and about, enjoying the sun after a long and cold winter, barbecuing in the parks or at the beach, and generally enjoying the outdoors. As the weather gets warmer and warmer, so do the people.

Summer temperatures can reach 25 to 30 degrees Celsius, and there is hardly any humidity in the air. Even the nights are often warm, and water temperatures in the sea and in the many inland and forest lakes usually reach 18 degrees or higher, making swimming a popular pastime.

From late June to early August, it never gets really dark anywhere in the country. But if you want to experience the true midnight sun, you have to travel to Northern Norway. The further north you go, the more nights of midnight sun you get. There are plenty of cool things to do with the extra hours – go kayaking, hiking, or fishing in the middle of the night, or visit one of the top places to experience the phenomenon in all its glory.

Norwegians celebrate Midsummer Eve, or Sankthansaften (Saint John’s Eve) on 23 June. Outdoor parties where bonfires are lit take place all over Norway, especially along the coast or up in the mountains. The Norwegians take their bonfires seriously – in 2016, residents in Ålesund built the world’s largest open-air fire.

With one of the longest coastlines in the world, Norway has a rich boating life. People of all ages are out at sea all summer long. The skjærgård in Southern Norway – an archipelago consisting of thousands of small islands and islets – is especially popular, and almost every town along the southern coast has a good guest harbour. Check out our water safety tips.

Summer is also prime time for hiking, cycling, and camping. Most of the snow in the mountains has melted away, and lots of people spend their summer holiday out in nature. Outdoor recreation is a major part of our national identity, and the right to roam freely is even established by law.

Get the latest weather forecast

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Weather forecast from Yr, delivered by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). Download Yr’s free weather app for iOS or Android.

Seasonal food and drink

Blueberries are common in Norwegian forests and mountains, and begin to ripen in the middle of summer in Southern Norway and a bit later further north. In July and August, you will see roadside booths offering locally grown strawberries and cherries for sale.

When the sun is out, so are the Norwegians. Barbecuing is a Norwegian summer tradition, and at the first sign of summer, Norwegians flock to pubs to enjoy a beer on the pavement or in a beer garden. The phenomenon of utepils (literally “outdoor beer”) is so ingrained that the first opportunity to indulge is reported by the media. We wouldn’t want to miss the year’s first beer in the sun, would we?

A typical summer dish is freshly caught fish, especially mackerel, served with sour cream, fresh potatoes, and cucumber salad. Prawns straight from the boat, served outdoors with white bread, mayonnaise, and white wine is another favourite. Yet another popular summer choice is cured pork or mutton served with sour cream and flatbread. 

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