Five Best Places to Experience the Midnight Sun
Above the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun shines throughout the night, casting a reddish-yellow hue over the horizon.
Above the Arctic Circle, the midnight sun shines throughout the night, casting a reddish-yellow hue over the horizon. With three months of perpetual daylight, there are dozens of locations where voyagers on a Hurtigruten voyage can embrace the lasting glow, but some spots rise above the rest. Take a look at the top five places to witness the midnight sun in the summer.
1. North Cape
No spot is quite as majestic for beholding the midnight sun than North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe, which boasts 76 days full of light. As the headland on the northern coast of the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway, North Cape towers 1,007 feet above the ocean, making it a prime stage for sunny spectacles. Stand at the edge of the cliff and gaze as the iconic globe monument cups the sun. Find the right angle; photo opportunities are a must.
Hammerfest is billed as the northernmost town in the world, drawing a steady flow of visitors throughout the summer. Good news for Hurtigruten guests: This harbor town stays ice-free thanks to the warming effects of the North Atlantic Current. Capitalize on this by enjoying a 'nighttime' sightseeing cruise – more than 3,000 reindeer make their way here to munch on plants and grass around the city. Nearby, the city of Repparfjord offers the northernmost golf course in the world, which has six holes and is open 24 hours a day from June through August. 1am tee time, anyone?
3. The Svalbard Islands
Situated north of the mainland Europe roughly between continental Norway and the North Pole, the Svalbard Islands are about as off the beaten path as it gets. Take a glacier walk during the polar day on Austfonna, Norway's largest glacier. In this archipelago, you'll find nature, and plenty of it. Because of the frequent polar bear sightings, tour guides are recommended. Longyearbeyen, on Spitsbergen, is the most popular spot because it is home to the archipelago's airport.
4. Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik's Summer Solstice Festival occurs on June 21 to honor the Vikings, who welcomed the peak of sunlight thousands of years ago. Today, locals gather for a variety of midnight events in Iceland's largest city, often in traditional Viking garb! Join in on the singing, dancing, and drinking. In the heart of the city, revelers fill Laugavegur Street. While Reykjavik is a bit south of the Arctic Circle, those who want to celebrate the festivities and cross the circle can take a boat to the island of Grimsey.
5. The Lofoten Islands
Island hopping is the wonderful way to soak in the midnight sun on the Lofoten Islands. Take a night hike up a local mountain or play a round of golf at Lofoten Golf Links at midnight. Or go fishing with the yellow glow reflecting off the water. The sun is visible at Lofoten from the end of May through the middle of July.
Lucky for Hurtigruten guests, experiencing the thrill of the everlasting light of the midnight sun is guaranteed from the comfort of your vessel.
Read more about Summer cruises in Norway