Midnight sun in Lofoten

Chasing the midnight sun in Northern Norway – light facts and tips

Where the sun never sets.

During the dark winter months visitors flock to Northern Norway to hunt for the northern lights. In the summer the focus shifts to the soft golden midnight sun.

Northern Norway is often referred to as ‘the land of the midnight sun’. 

This is where you can look at your watch and register that it’s 4 o’clock. But suddenly you get unsure. Is it 4 in the morning or 4 in the afternoon? Even the locals can sometimes get confused. At midnight the sun will hover low on the horizon and cast a beautiful reddish yellow light onto the landscape. On cloudy days it may hide, but it does not set.

Girl sitting on a mountain top and enjoying the sunset in Lofoten
Photo: XXLofoten

The reason behind the phenomenon

You may wonder how this phenomenon is even possible. 

The midnight sun is when the sun doesn’t dip below the horizon. The reason this happens is because the northern hemisphere is tipped toward the sun, resulting in longer days and warmer weather. Destinations close to and north of the Arctic Circle get the midnight sun. The further north of the Arctic Circle you go, the longer is the period it lasts for.

Stay active at midnight

The midnight sun period in Northern Norway lasts from mid May to late July. 

For people living south of the Arctic Circle and north of the Antarctic Circle experiencing daylight when it should be dark is a surreal experience.

In addition to picture-perfect views and lingering sunsets you can go sea kayaking, late nike hiking or…if you don’t mind the cold…go for a midnight dip in the ocean, yet it’s broad daylight. These fantastic, whimsical activities are all enjoyable things to do during the months with midnight sun.

Midnight sun and fisherman huts in Lofoten
Photo: XXLofoten

The best places to bask in the sun this summer

With more than 70 days of midnight sun between April and August—and more sun the further north you travel—the north holds much to discover.

The midnight sun appears in 5 main areas in Northern Norway: Helgeland, Bodø and Salten, Lofoten and Vesterålen, Troms and Finnmark. Further north is Svalbard with an even longer period of midnight sun. 

Here are 5 popular areas to bask in the sun this summer and witness the magical glow, including when to go.

  • Hammerfest (May 16 to July 27)
  • Tromsø (May 20 to July 25)
  • The Lofoten Islands (May 28 to July 14)
  • Bodø (June 3 to July 11)
  • The Arctic Circle (June 12 to July 1)

The Midnight Sun is not just beautiful to look at – it is also beautiful to feel. The warm feeling of the sun at midnight is something special, a feeling that will stay with you and serve as a warm memory for a long time.