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The midnight sun

Where the sun never sets
Like a prolonged sunset and sunrise all at once, this natural phenomena colours heaven and earth in a reddish yellow light. Welcome to “the land of the midnight sun”.
Lighthouse at Slettnes in the midnight sun Lighthouse at Slettnes in the midnight sun
Slettnes, Nordkyn.
Photo: Christoffer Robin Jensen

It’s tempting to wonder about all the sights and experiences that have been made under the midnight sun through the ages – by people living off the sea in the Lofoten and Vesterålen archipelagos, or the Sami reindeer herders of the far north.

The phenomena has at least made a lasting impression on several Norwegian artists and writers. This excerpt is from Knut Hamsuns Pan (1894): “Night was coming on again; the sun just dipped into the sea and rose again, red, refreshed, as if it had been down to drink. I could feel more strangely on those nights than anyone would believe …”

Lofoten Lofoten
Lofoten.
Photo: Jørn Allan Pedersen / Visitnorway.com

Travel to the areas above the Arctic Circle in Norway and live these moments yourself: Doing a whale safari or exploring the wilderness inland takes on a new dimension at night in the summer months, when you literally get to see the nature and wildlife in a different light.

If you’re not afraid of the sometimes chilly summer nights in the north, you could try a midnight swim – or pitch your tent in the wild and stay up with the sun. Many sights and activities are open at night during these weeks, so you can go midnight golfing, cycling, river paddling, or sea kayaking – or maybe just find a quiet spot to fish.

If you travel to the Arctic islands of Svalbard, the sun doesn’t set between April and late August. Here, you can do a midnight walk on a glacier or look at the reddish sky from a moving dogsled, experiencing the unique climate and nature near the North Pole.

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The North Cape The North Cape
The North Cape.
Photo: Dagny Margrete Øren / nordnorge.com

3 tips for photographing the phenomenon

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Tip 2: Foreground images can be used to frame subjects in mid and deep field, creating a better sense of three-dimensionality.

Tip 3: To maximize the impact of the light sky on a landscape, compose your picture in the viewfinder by keeping the horizon a third of a way from the bottom; this will help your camera to expose properly.

Travellers’ own pictures

A word from our sponsors

Find summer activities

Many activities in Northern Norway are best enjoyed in the daylight. Fortunately, the summer days never end.

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