Ragged mountain peaks, snow forests, and glaciers: Scandinavia is a land of unparalleled natural beauty. One of its most special and unique spectacles is the Midnight Sun, a mesmerizing phenomenon of the natural world. In this article, we’ll explore the incredible Midnight Sun of Scandinavia — what it is, and its potential appeal to travelers from around the world.
1. Overview of the Midnight Sun Phenomenon
Scandinavia sits at latitudes that experience the Midnight Sun phenomenon, providing a bewitching light show and unique experience for all those in the area during this time. The sun never fully sets, just shifting away from the horizon line in a 24-hour period—regardless of the season. The difference in amount of light received greatly depending on your geographic location within the Nordic region.
The show can start as early as late April in some parts of the south of Norway, but towards the northernmost parts, it’s only from late May and up until July when it hits its maximum. During this time, long summer days with up to 24 hours of daylight are experienced. And come October, the darkness begins to gradually return again.
While the locals tend to take the phenomenon in stride—perhaps familiarising themselves with old-school blackout curtains and other light interventions—it can be an amazing natural experience for all those willing to travel far enough up north.
- What: Midnight Sun phenomenon in Scandinavia
- Where: Norway, Sweden, Finland and parts of Denmark
- When: Late April (South Norway) – Late July (depending on location)
- Experience: Unique daylight phenomenon combined with stunning landscapes.
The effects of the midnight sun phenomenon are different depending on the time of day and place. In some places, the sun holds steady around the horizon line for hours on end—from late afternoon until early morning—creating a pinkish hue, and in others, angling higher in the sky, it occasionally sets in a blaze of fiery oranges and yellows.
The farther north you go, the more magnetic the experience. At 70°N, the sun gives a perpetual twilight—forever skirting just above the horizon never getting fully dark, while in Svalbard, the sun stays constantly above the horizon for almost four months.
The northernmost parts of both Finland and Sweden only experience the midnight sun for two months—around June and July—where they get more than 18 hours of daylight. Although, in some places, the show continues for almost a month after that.
The Midnight Sun phenomenon is a natural wonder unique to Scandinavia and an experience no traveler should miss if possible.
2. Exploring the Best Places in Scandinavia to See the Midnight Sun
Have you ever longed to see the Midnight Sun? If so, Scandinavia is the perfect place to have this amazing experience! Not only is the land of the midnight sun one of the most beautiful places in the world, but it’s also a place full of natural wonders, amazing landscapes, and friendly people. Here are the best places in Scandinavia to catch a glimpse of the fascinating phenomenon:
- Kiruna, Sweden: One of the best places to observe the Midnight Sun is in the Arctic town of Kiruna, located right above the Arctic Circle. Here, you can experience the midnight sun from late May to late July. You can also take part in traditional activities, such as reindeer sledding, ice fishing, snowmobile tours and more.
- Tromsø, Norway: Tromsø is an amazing place to experience the midnight sun. Take a midnight dip in the icy waters of Norway’s fjords and witness the beauty of the midnight sun from early May to late August. The town has plenty of outdoor activities, historical sites, museums, and traditional cafes to explore.
- Bjørvika, Norway: Bjørvika is located in the heart of Norway’s coast and offers one of the most spectacular views of the midnight sun. From late May to late July, you can witness the sun dip or rise as late as 2am. Take a cruise in this beautiful area for the best view of the midnight sun.
- Lofoten Islands, Norway: The Lofoten Islands are known for their stunningly beautiful landscape and its unique midnight sun. Here, the midnight sun is visible from late April to late August and the best way to experience it is to book a boat tour and explore the majestic landscape.
- Northern Finland: Northern Finland, located near the Arctic Circle, is a great place to experience the midnight sun. While the intensity of the sun may vary slightly, the midnight sun can be seen from early May to early August. Popular activities in this area include camping, hiking, fishing, or watching the mesmerizing northern lights.
The magical midnight sun is a natural wonder of Scandinavia and every visitor should experience it. Visit these places and enjoy the beauty of the midnight sun.
3. When Is the Best Time to See the Midnight Sun in Scandinavia?
The best time to experience the mesmerizing beauty of the midnight sun is from late May to late July in Norway. During this period, the country is nearly at its northernmost point, meaning the Sun embraces the night for around 18-19 hours each day.
The cities of Tromsø and Bergen are some of the best places to experience the midnight sun in Norway, with the stunning Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø being a must-visit. With the sun always visible in the sky, midnight in Norway in this period often has an ethereal quality to it, with the sun’s rays reflecting off the sea and the land.
Sweden offers plenty of opportunities to experience the midnight sun from late May to early July. Its capital city Stockholm is a great place to start, located as it is firmly in the north of the country. Kopperö, the only inhabited island in the Stockholm archipelago, is also a great place to visit during this period if you want to enjoy an unobstructed view of the sky at night.
But for the most intense experience, Luleå in the far north of Sweden is the best option. Here, the sun never sets at all, which is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity no traveler should pass up. Plus, visitors can also take part in a range of summer activities to make the most of their time.
The best time to visit Finland to witness the beauty of the midnight sun is from late May to late July. During this period, the sun shines near-constantly around the Arctic Circle for around 19 hours each day. Lapland is particularly awe-inspiring during this time, with beautiful landscapes and stunning natural reserves.
The city of Rovaniemi, the official hometown of Santa Claus, offers visitors ample opportunity to explore during the summer months. Visitors can also stay awake all night in Lapland’s numerous forests, and experience the feeling of mid-summer madness that makes the midnight sun so magical.
No traveler should miss out on the chance to experience the midnight sun in Scandinavia. With stunning cities and majestic natural landscapes, the experience will stay with you long after you’ve gone.
4. How to Best Enjoy and Capture the Midnight Sun-filled Skies
The midnight sun in Scandinavia is an incredible natural phenomenon that’s best enjoyed and captured in a few telling ways. Whether you’re an aspiring professional photographer or an amateur admirer, you’ll have an opportunity to capture some amazing memories under the midnight sun. Here are four of the best ways to take in and preserve the magic of the midnight sun:
- Experience it in Nature: Of course, nothing compares to standing beneath the midnight sun and simply soaking in its beauty. Make sure to plan for the right timing as the midnight sun shines throughout Scandinavia during the summer and only in certain parts, for a certain duration.
- Photograph it with the Right Lighting: Get the most stunning captures of the midnight sun with the right lighting. During the summer months, plan your photographic excursion around the night time, when its light is at its peak intensity.
- Capture the Fun: Don’t forget the importance of capturing the fun of the experience. Everyone has a different interpretation of the midnight sun, so make sure you snap some candid shots or photos that capture the creative expressions of the moment.
- Go On an Excursion: With the right destination and planning, you can turn your midnight sun experience into a full-blown excursion. Plastics fjords, snow-capped mountains, tall forests and smaller hidden lakes are all great options for discovering the beauty of the midnight sun in Scandinavia.
These are just a few of the ways you can enjoy and capture the remarkable midnight sun in Scandinavia. From timing to technique, outwit the midnight sun to witness and photograph some of the most beautiful skies in the world.
5. Bottom Line: The Must-Visit Midnight Sun Locations in Scandinavia
Scandinavia is home to some of the most stunning landscapes that nature has to offer. While the breathtaking fjords and rolling hills are impressive enough to draw visitors from far and wide, it is the region’s unique natural phenomenon known as the midnight sun that really sets it apart. The midnight sun is an experience that is unique to the Northern hemisphere and is a must-see if you are planning a visit to Scandinavia. Here are five of the best places in Scandinavia to take in the midnight sun:
- Norway: Much of Norway enjoys stunning views of the midnight sun every night from May to July. With its iconic northern lights and rugged mountain peaks, Norway is the perfect destination for nature lovers who want to witness nature’s beauty at its peak.
- Sweden: Sweden is no stranger to the midnight sun, and there are plenty of places to catch its beauty during the summer months. Areas in the Lapland region are particularly popular for spotting the midnight sun phenomenon.
- Finland: With its pristine wilderness and plenty of prime spots to witness the midnight sun, Finland is one of the best locations in Scandinavia for catching the natural wonder. This is especially true in the regions of Lapland, Pirkanmaa, and Ostrobothnia.
- Iceland: Iceland is often overlooked when it comes to midnight sun experiences. But this small island is actually one of the best places to witness the beauty of the midnight sun during the summer months as the country experiences near-constant light from May to August.
- Denmark: While Denmark does not experience a full month of midnight sun, it still offers some stunning sights during the summer months. This is particularly true in the northernmost region of the country, where the midnight sun is at its peak brilliance.
Whether you’re looking for the stunning colors of the midnight sun, or just want to experience the natural beauty of Scandinavia, these five locations are sure to provide a memorable experience. So, if you’re lucky enough to be able to travel to Scandinavia this summer, make sure to include a midnight sun visit in your plans!
Q: What is Midnight Sun?
A: The Midnight Sun is a natural phenomenon where the sun is visible at midnight in parts of the Nordic region during summertime.
Q: Where in Scandinavia can you see the Midnight Sun?
A: The Midnight Sun is best seen in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark as far north as the Arctic Circle.
Q: When does the Midnight Sun occur?
A: The Midnight Sun occurs during the Arctic summer, usually from mid-May to late July.
Q: How long can you see the Midnight Sun for?
A: The Phenomenon usually lasts for 2 to 3 months depending on the exact location.
Q: What type of activities can you do while seeing the Midnight Sun?
A: You can take part in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, bird-watching and photography.
Q: Is there accommodation available while visiting the Midnight Sun?
A: Yes, there is accommodation available ranging from camping sites to luxury hotels.
Q: What other natural phenomena occur nearby the Midnight Sun?
A: Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, is a popular phenomena which occurs in the vicinity of the Midnight Sun during winter months.
Q: Are there different colours you can see during a Midnight Sun event?
A: Yes, the Midnight Sun can appear in a range of different shades of pink and orange. The midnight sun is a unique sight to behold, one that has amazed people of all ages and backgrounds for centuries. It’s an awe-inspiring natural phenomenon that can only be found in Scandinavia. We hope this article has inspired you to learn more about the midnight sun and the wonders it brings to the Nordic region.